I am 45 years old, spent 11 years in the military. Going to start FF training
in Jan 08. Been a medic for 11 years. What are the odds of me getting a good job?
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Thread: Over age limit?
09-09-2007, 07:28 PM #1
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
Over age limit?
09-10-2007, 11:36 PM #2
im not on a full time department just a paid on-call but at 45 nothing new to the service, work hard, and get qualified ... you know the routine. Good luck
09-19-2007, 10:08 AM #3
I agree. You're a little older than me, but I've found there's a lot of opportunity.
Most of the largest departments are out, but take a look at this: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0763098.html . Do the math and you can see what some of the available options will be like in 20 or 30 years.I am a highly trained professional and can find my :: expletive deleted:: with either hand in various light conditions.
09-23-2007, 12:39 AM #4
- Join Date
- Jan 2005
never too old
i just graduated with a guy who turned 52 in my academy and he was one of the best in the class. bring a great work ethic and you'll bring everyone up because they don't want to be outdone by an "old" guy. good luck and thank you for your service.
09-23-2007, 09:40 AM #5
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
Will being 45 hurt you in the testing process? It all depends on YOU. If you have the physical conditioning of the average 45 year old man you have an uphill battle.
If, and I suspect this is the case, you are 45 years old and have maintained a high level of fitness there is an EXCELLENT opportunity to get a job.
You state you are a medic. Is that cert transferrable to the civilian world? If not, that should be your number one objective (if it CAN be done)
As far as the age issue is concerned make certain your fitness level is at a high level. Run circles around the young kids.
Here is an article I have written on age.
Everyone has an opinion of age when it comes to hiring new firefighters. Some people feel that a younger candidate has a better chance of getting hired because, after all, the fire departments are looking to hire a candidate for the next 30 years.
If a fire department hires a 21 or 22 year old, the department can train the recruit before he or she has a chance to develop “bad” habits. Furthermore, since the agency wants to get the most money for its training dollars, hiring a firefighter at a young age ensures that it will get at least 30 years of service out of him or her.
Younger candidates generally have fewer personal and financial obligations, and are more likely to have the free time to pursue relevant education and training prior to being hired. This is highly prized by many departments, as they do not have to pay for it.
Younger firefighters are generally in better physical condition. They will do well in high impact areas of the community where the job is very physically demanding. In addition, they will usually work out in the station, which can be contagious to the other firefighters. Ultimately they may be the cause of the entire shift working out together.
Younger firefighters are often very concerned about eating properly and are more educated about nutrition. Quite commonly, older firefighters pay little attention to healthy eating in the fire station. A younger firefighter may educate the crew about eating turkey burgers instead of ground beef, or on the importance of taking vitamins.
Additionally, hiring younger firefighters minimizes the chances of hiring an employee with a pre-existing injury. It is true that a pre-employment medical exam will identify many of these injuries; however, with the implementation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, agencies are not failing nearly as many candidates as in years past. Since many candidates have successfully litigated and won a job, medical disqualifications have become less frequent.
The converse to these potential benefits is the fact that a younger candidate has spent the majority of his or her life at home with minimal responsibilities. Predictably, this will not be well received in a fire station. This is especially true since it is expected that the rookie is the one who makes sure all of the little things are done around the station. These are the same things that mom did at home for him or her.
Another factor when dealing with “younger” candidates is the fact that they are going to be living and working with mature (relatively speaking) adults. It can be difficult for a younger person to fit in with a group of older adults, especially firefighters.
Fitting in is difficult to begin with, especially when you consider that a respected member of the crew may have been moved to another station to make room for the new firefighter. The displaced crewmember probably contributed to the chemistry and cohesiveness of the crew, and now an “outsider” has been assigned.
Maturity is an important quality for a young firefighter. Since he or she has usually led a sheltered life while in college or living at mom and dad’s, it is likely that the rookie simply does not have extensive life experience. Imagine what you were like 5 years ago. How about 10 years ago? How much have your values and work ethic changed? I guarantee you are a different person. You have matured by virtue of your life experiences.
An older applicant, on the other hand, will usually fit in much better than a younger one. He or she has spent years in the work force learning what it takes to get along, and has learned acceptable social behavior through “life experience.”
Many departments prefer “older” candidates to younger ones. Since these departments are looking to hire firefighters with life experience, older candidates fit the bill. An older candidate will do whatever it takes to earn (and keep) the job. A candidate with more work experience may have a greater appreciation of his or her new job on the fire department.
Many older candidates have worked in a variety of difficult jobs. These range from roofing, carpentry, plastering or working behind a desk in corporate America. All of these jobs may include long hours, inadequate pay, little or no medical benefits, minimal flexibility, poor job security and, oftentimes, minimal job satisfaction.
A career in the fire service offers good pay and benefits, job security and retirement as well as job satisfaction. Hiring a more mature firefighter gives you a rookie who feels like he or she got a new lease on his or her employment life.
Older firefighters usually bring a lot to the job. If they have spent their lives working in the trades, they bring knowledge of plumbing, electrical and carpentry, as well as the skills of using various hand and power tools.
Most importantly, older firefighters generally fit in with the crew more easily than younger firefighters. Their life experience gives them a strong platform on which to base their career.
A candidate who is considering leaving an established job has a lot to lose. Add a mortgage payment, a spouse, and a couple of children to the equation, and this candidate has a lot on the line. The candidate is taking a pay cut, losing benefits and most importantly, losing job security. It is not likely that an employer will give an employee back his or her job after leaving it.
People who have a lot at stake make terrific employees. It doesn’t matter how hard things get, he or she is going to have the drive to succeed. There is just too much to lose.
As you can see, there are benefits to hiring both younger and older candidates in the fire service. My personal belief is that most fire departments prefer to hire rookie firefighters who are in their late twenties to early thirties. Being married and owning a home strengthens their profile. Having a couple of children completes the equation.
This is not to say that candidates in their early 20’s or early 40’s will not be considered; they will simply have to demonstrate that they are the exception to the rule. It’s up to the candidates to demonstrate that their personality traits, maturity and experience make them the best choice for the job. A fire department will consider much more than age when making a hiring decision.
09-23-2007, 09:17 PM #6
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
Thanks for the Positive Feed back, I will see you out there!
09-29-2007, 11:51 PM #7
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
Age is an illusion
I'm 59 now and got on the job when I was 48. My routine then was the same as it is now: I run up two hundred flights of stairs and do about a hundred chin-ups every other day. True, I've been blessed with perfect health and have stayed pain- and injury-free. A lot of this is due to luck, but some of it, I firmly believe, is a benefit of high-intensity workouts. The higher the intensity, the better the results. If you plan on sticking around, you owe it to yourself, and you owe it to the job, to spike your heart rate on a regular basis, getting it over 90% of max. A lazy, three-mile jog won't do it. You want, at the end, to be gasping for breath, doubled over in agony. You also want to avoid overeating, not to mention overdrinking. This prescription isn't for everyone, but remember, as somebody else once said, "If you choose to be a fireman, you lose the right to be unfit."
Last edited by Enginist; 09-30-2007 at 01:16 PM.
09-30-2007, 12:09 AM #8
09-30-2007, 01:00 AM #9
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
my old partner just got hired on a pretty busy suburb of detroit at the age of 50. an 11 year paramedic and former marine is well respected by the fire service. best of luck
10-05-2007, 01:03 PM #10
- Join Date
- Oct 2007
- Brooksville, Florida
If you're in good physical condition and desire to work in the fire service you won't have any problems! I personally would train to pass the physical test and practice......practice.....pra ctice. Most of the practical test failures are due to making several little mistakes. My $.02. Good luck to you.
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