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Thread: Seeking Advice

  1. #1

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    Default Seeking Advice

    Hi, I'm new here to the forums and am looking for some advice. I'm 17 and a senior in high school. In a year from now, I'm going to be going to college, while in college, I'm hoping to get into volunteer firefighting.

    The only problem I have is that my parents are very much against me going into volunteer firefighting. Understandably, they are concerned about the safety of the job.

    Has anyone been in a similar situation and/or have any suggestion on how to ease my parents concerns?

    Thanks in advance!


  2. #2
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    I guess there are numerous things to consider in a response to you. As a parent of a boy just 1 year younger than you and being a volunteer myself I would look at things differently but I can understand your parents concerns. Since I'm in the fire service all I personally would want to know is 1. Does the proposed fire co have safe practices and 2. will this have a negative effect on my son's grades?

    Not trying to be nosey, but things that would be helpful to know: are you going to a four year college and living in a dorm or a part time student at a 2 year community college and living at home? How much time can you budget for the fire service? Do you go from hobby to hobby or do you tend to stick to things for a long time? What are your grades like? Do you know what your career goals are?

    I hate to say this but if you are going full time to college you probably will not have enough time to do this at this time, especally as a freshmen.

    I had to wait until I turned 45 before I had the time to allocate to this endevor. If you really want to do this now then 10 years from now you still will want to do it. I would not recommend that you do this if your parents are dead set against it until you graduate and are on your own.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by thomas15; 06-25-2007 at 04:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ESD1121 View Post
    Hi, I'm new here to the forums and am looking for some advice. I'm 17 and a senior in high school. In a year from now, I'm going to be going to college, while in college, I'm hoping to get into volunteer firefighting.

    The only problem I have is that my parents are very much against me going into volunteer firefighting. Understandably, they are concerned about the safety of the job.

    Has anyone been in a similar situation and/or have any suggestion on how to ease my parents concerns?

    Thanks in advance!

    Hey, I started with the V.F.D. when I was in college also. It seemed like a good hobby, and it was. I'm still on it, but I'm not as interested in it anymore. I never found it distracting from college, but I didn't have a job either while I was in college so I always had free time.

    The safety is just something you will have to overcome. I'm an only child, and my parents didn't try to stand in the way. As you perform the role of fireman more and more you'll find yourself less worried about what can happen to you. This doesn't mean that you will lose focus. Always be cognizant of safety hazards. I'm not going to die or get burned trying to save someone's burning belongings, lol. You should take on that mentality. I'll do what I can to put it out, including interior attacks, but when it gets too hot I'm out. I'm not the gung ho type.

    There are three things that may have helped my parents overcome. Then again, they may have just been tired of having me around. lol
    1. I took a night class elective course to become an EMT. That required me to go along on ambulance rides, etc before getting certified. Perhaps having been exposed to that made my parents feel I could handle firefighting. IDK.
    2. Their next door neighbor was the fire chief, and I'd known him for 15 years. All the time they lived next door to each other he was on the fire department and nothing ever happened to him so maybe they took solace in that.
    3. All I did was go to class and "play." Maybe they thought I needed something else to do. Now, I did tend to take more classes than most people, and I got my bachelor's degree faster than most.

    Performing the tasks of emergency responder with the V.F.D. got me interested in things so I took the EMT all the way to paramedic. I cross-enrolled at the university by day and the community college by night (they never knew lol) and got my paramedic certification at night while I was working on a real degree. Despite all of this school work, I still had ample free time to do whatever I wanted. It was still easy to live the college life if you do something like this.

    I finished college, became a school teacher, and I worked part-time as a paramedic. I got tired of doing ambulance work, and I got tired of teaching so I became a cop. It's fun, but although I don't want to be a patrol officer as a career I would like to stay in the realm of law enforcement. I feel like the V.F.D. had something to do with the progression.

    Why do you want to join a volunteer fire department?
    Last edited by ArkansasFan24; 06-25-2007 at 05:09 PM.

  4. #4
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    Look, Junior, you need to face the reality that Mom and Dad are RIGHT!
    This has the potential to be the most dangerous job you will find anywhere. There are 101 ways for a firefighter to be injured or to die while doing what we do.

    95% of the job is training, washing trucks, sweeping floors, or sitting around with your thumb up your butt. However, when the tones drop, you will ride out with the grim reaper always looking over your shoulder, waiting for one slip ... one missed step. And it doesn't matter whether you are volunteer or paid, we all face the same dangers and the potential for things to end up really BAD.

    You will experience things which will blow your mind and you will see things which nobody should have to see.
    And you need to understand that we don't do this because of the thrill, or the uniform, or any other stupid reason. We do it because it's the job ... it's what we do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Driver76 View Post
    However, when the tones drop, you will ride out with the grim reaper always looking over your shoulder, waiting for one slip ... one missed step.
    Good grief...

    Spoken like a complete and total stem-whacker.

    How many "I walk where the devil dances" and "I fight what you fear" tee-shirts do you own?
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ESD1121 View Post
    The only problem I have is that my parents are very much against me going into volunteer firefighting.
    A year from now you'll be 18 and fully responsible for making your own decisions. Your parents aren't going to agree with all of them. Welcome (in advance) to adult life.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Good grief...

    Spoken like a complete and total stem-whacker.

    How many "I walk where the devil dances" and "I fight what you fear" tee-shirts do you own?

    I was kind of wondering the same thing, Dpy. Marshal. It was a little over dramatic wasn't it, lol.

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    I've got over 30 years of close calls and know too many that have died in this business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Driver76 View Post
    I've got over 30 years of close calls and know too many that have died in this business.

    I'm sorry, Driver. Maybe it's time to hang it up. You obviously have a little pent up feelings.

  10. #10
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    Hey Kid, I have been around the fire service for just about all my life. I am a 3rd generation firefighter. I really started getting into the volunteer fire department that my dad was on when I was about 13. Ever since I have been in it. Bud, I am now 22 years old and luckily had a father that pushed me to go to every type of class that there was out there and eventually worked my self up to go to fire academy. I am now a certified Firefighter/Paramedic, a fire Chief of a fire department not far from the one that I grew up at. I have had a lot of good experiances and have learned a lot, and still learning. There is nothing better out there for a career. I recomend that you at least try it out, that will never hurt. But remember a few things and that is Pride, Tradition, loyalty, and Integrety. Thats the number one thing that will make you a good fireman. Use those few tools to help you in getting to where you want to be. Find you and Explorer program to get into. I have several explorers on my department who are coming up to the fire station everyday to see if this job is what they want to do. There are two types of fireman out there kid, a fireman that this career is their job, and a fireman that this career is their life! Your born one oe the other. Don't listen to these other people who are saying that this is a sorry job, your going to run into some hard stuff, but thats part of the life of a fireman. Those guys that don't recomend this job are the ones who do this because its their job, not their life! There's nothing better than the brotherhood of this job. Go for it man, you won't regret it! I promise.

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    When I went to join my volunteer dept, I was in college still living at home. I told my parents that I was going to join the fire dept, and they both didnt seemed thrilled with it. They both knew my chief for about 15 years, and I went and talked to him and got alot of info. After speaking to the chief, I told my parents the info that I had gotten from the chief. They still didnt seemed thrilled with it, but they said that they would support me. My point is, your parents have had a goal in their mind of what they want you to be since you were born. I will bet you that 99% of our parents never dreamed that their child would want to be a firefighter. If being a firefighter is what you want to do, then DO IT! I love it. Yes it is a dangerous job, but that is something that is known by everyone. Dont ever get in your mind that you cant get hurt, because as soon as you get that in your mind, you will get hurt! Training training training! Do the job to the best of your abilitiy and stay safe! Good luck!

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    My dept. has several college students. Some live at home , most live away. They all handle it no problem. The live away ones are back for our summer madness and run alot of calls. They are also here for winter break when many of our senior members are in Florida beating the cold.
    A couple of these members are also EMT's and earn money towards tuition at there college by working on the college ambulance.
    Go for it, sleeps not all its cracked up to be.

  13. #13
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    When you are 18, in the end, the decision is up to you. If I were you, I would make sure it is something you will be able to dedicate yourself to, and make sure you're not just going to do it a few months (long enough to get some t-shirts, gear, some attention from the ladies, and a few calls) and then let it fall by the wayside. Firefighting isn't really some "I'm bored" hobby, it really is dedication. Especially in the volunteer world, where every person available is counted on even more. If applicable, I would make a few visits to the station you are thinking of joining and talking with them about it. They may or may not have some sort of ride-along program, or some other things they can show you so you can get a little better idea of how you might really feel for it.

    Don't think of just the glory side of it. Think about the hard work, the dedication, the heartbreak side of it also. As far as the job being dangerous, yes, it is a dangerous job. However, when you work with a safe department and a department with good training practices, etc., that risk factor goes way down IMHO. Almost anything you do involves risk. Its a matter of how much that risk can be minimized by taking certain precautions. Driving in a car is risky; buckle your seat belt, it minimizes the chances of injury.

    Whatever you decide is the right answer; just make sure you make the decision for the right reasons.
    Assistant Chief
    Elberta Volunteer Fire Department
    http://www.elbertafire.com

    "Find a purpose in life so big, it will challenge every capacity to be at your best."

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    The college I went to had its own fire and rescue dept. They covered the college campus and were a substation for the town. The ambulance was one of the busiest in the area. There was plenty of training done, I learned a lot durning those 4 years. Obviously the more you learn the safer you should become. Sell your parents on positives that will help you later in life like learning teamwork, leadership skill, risk management, ability to manage time... Yes next year you maybe over 18 but assuming they are helping you pay for school your can't totally ignore them. I had more time available for training in college than I do now raising children, working, fire department involvement
    ...

  15. #15
    Forum Member GFD748's Avatar
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    Default GO for it.

    I'm 4th generation and can't think of anything I would want to do more. I've been in the service for 10 1/2 years and around it for 39. Two Chief's one Asst. Chief/Paramedic, and one Dispatcher. Do what your heart tells you, you'll love it or hate it.
    GFD748 First in... Last out.. Everyone goes home.... Do the best job you can and do it safely

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