Graduate work without having gotten my feet wet?
I'm quite new to the firefighting world and therefore don't have access to any career firefighters and am therefore in need of some advice from some of the long time career crowd out there. I've learned a great deal from many of you already, and for that, I thank you. This is going to be long, but it's worth it for me because your feedback is invaluable.
I'm graduating with my BA in Dec. from the University of Washington and finishing my EMT-B cert at the same time, which my new volunteer dept. is sending me to. There's a decent chance that I will not have a career job lined up immediately, though I am high on a few lists that supposedly have some slots opening up soon. At that point I will still have plenty of G.I. $ left to pursue graduate work. From what I've been reading, I really like Grand Canyon's Master of Science in Executive Fire Service Leadership program.
Now here's my question - would taking such a program at this point in my life work against me? Would this be something that would legitmately help me with advancement down the line, or would it be somewhat disreguarded because of the fact that I went through it without having a solid fire service foundation? Though I don't have fire experience, I do have 5 years experience working in a high stress and team oriented environment as a helicopter rescue swimmer and door gunner, where I flew 1000 hours and every mission imagineable - including 51 combat missions over the Iran/Iraq border, a distinction that earned me two air medals.
I would do a paramedic program, but I won't be eligible to apply for another 16 months, so I think graduate work might be my best bet.
I'm actually going to give a more thorough rundown of my current situation so you all can tell me where the chinks in my armor are and where I need to improve.
I'm a nationally certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and will be receiving their Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist cert. in Dec. as well. I'm a brand new volunteer firefighter and will be getting IFSAC qualified in the spring. I've completed 10 of 25 credits in the University of Washington's Fundraising Management certificate program, and have taken notes for the University's Disability Support Services office so students that cannot attend class have notes. I'm an active volunteer in my church and I volunteer in my wife's 2nd grade class 2 hours a week to help bring struggling kids up to the speed of the rest of the class.
Your advice and direction is greatly appreciated! Please feel free to direct me in a completely unrelated direction if there is some productive avenue that I'm overlooking.
What to do in the fire service ?
Have you considered going in the fire service and work in the fitness area? We have over 50% of our Line of Duty Deaths that are heart related.