Thread: College?

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    Default College?

    Hello, I am 17 and senior in high school, and since I was 5, I have wanted to be what every firefighter I talk to calls "the greatest job in the world." Heading into my senior year...it was time to get serious. I applied last summer to a local fire department for their cadet program...and I am currently on the waiting list. I have talked to the 3 firefighter/medics that live next door and the next door down. I have talked to every fire chief in the area and some out of the area on what to do. I have spent the day at a near by station learning about everything there is to know, and I will be spending the night at one of the most busiest stations in the area...Youngstown Fire Department....in Ohio. I have for sure done my research..but one question I am not too sure about. College or no college. Some local places say its good..also Toledo, Ohio and the New York Fire Director that I had the pleasure to talk to. With that said...a captain from Youngstown, the biggest city in the area and Pittsburgh's assistant chief said college was not needed. I am wondering about everyones opinion. I am aware that in Youngstown and the station I spent the day at that it does not help you on the civil service test, and I know Akron, Ohio doesnt give u points either. I will be attending the 36-hour basic class in March and then get my certification card when I am 18 in July...If i dont go to college i will go for the full 240-hour certification in the spring of 09...If i go to college I will have to wait 2 years because the University of Akron does not certify you. Any response would be great..Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianjpearson View Post
    Hello, I am 17 and senior in high school, and since I was 5, I have wanted to be what every firefighter I talk to calls "the greatest job in the world." Heading into my senior year...it was time to get serious. I applied last summer to a local fire department for their cadet program...and I am currently on the waiting list. I have talked to the 3 firefighter/medics that live next door and the next door down. I have talked to every fire chief in the area and some out of the area on what to do. I have spent the day at a near by station learning about everything there is to know, and I will be spending the night at one of the most busiest stations in the area...Youngstown Fire Department....in Ohio. I have for sure done my research..but one question I am not too sure about. College or no college. Some local places say its good..also Toledo, Ohio and the New York Fire Director that I had the pleasure to talk to. With that said...a captain from Youngstown, the biggest city in the area and Pittsburgh's assistant chief said college was not needed. I am wondering about everyones opinion. I am aware that in Youngstown and the station I spent the day at that it does not help you on the civil service test, and I know Akron, Ohio doesnt give u points either. I will be attending the 36-hour basic class in March and then get my certification card when I am 18 in July...If i dont go to college i will go for the full 240-hour certification in the spring of 09...If i go to college I will have to wait 2 years because the University of Akron does not certify you. Any response would be great..Thanks!
    I believe that it's a good idea to go to college, because what if something happens to you on the job? You need something to fall back on.

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    Default Highly Agreed with alpha

    If the unfortunate happens that you get hurt and can no longer fight fire, what would you do? Or more so, you get burned out from the job and want to do something else. Also, the fact that about half or more of the stations you talked with say that college would help, should say something. Most jobs that can support a family (even just yourself) require a degree from college. From what I have seen this is the way the career fire service is going. Maybe not in the next five years but in your lifetime of the fire service, there is a good chance that you will have to have a degree for a firefighting career. It is not so easy to go back to school after buying a house with and maybe having a family. It is easy to go to school now, when you can stay on your parents health insurance, have little/no bills and not a family to care for. I contemplated the same just over 4 years ago (I just graduated from college this year) and I went to get my bachelors in nursing. You can be a nurse without a degree however, I already have seen preferance given to those with a degree and many positions require a bachelors or higher. However, now I have a career to support myself and a family in the future along with the option to still fight fire career/volly. I hope this helps

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    College is the way to go, like ^ said...always something to fall back on. Also, dept's like diplomas (especially that is related)..

    I'm a freshman in college and just got hired on a volly. FD so I'm doing both and doing well so far...

    Hope that helps...

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    I'm just getting started into this great service. I'll try and shed some light on what I've learned so far.

    College is a great idea overall. Statistics show that college graduates get paid more over their career (I'm talking overall, not just the fire service) than a non college graduate.

    The minimum requirements to get into the Fire Service for the most part are 1) A Drivers License and 2) A high school diploma or a GED. The thing you need to remember is like any job you apply for they are looking for the most qualified person. I'm not saying that a non-college graduate can not be hired into the service, but it can be much harder. I know that the last test a major department in my area did, all 8 of the people hired had masters degrees.

    Also, another thing to consider is that a lot of departments want firefighters with a college degree for an officers position and even offer more pay to a college grad. If you want to move through the ranks in the service later in your career this is a good idea. You also have to remember this can be a dangerous job, you may throw out your back if you do not lift right, or something could happen on your 1st, 2nd, 40th Medical/Fire/MVA/etc call that may put you out of the service. Not only that, but a lot of FF's pick up a second job for the extra income, or to pass the time they have off. A college degree will also aid in that as well.

    Plus college is a great experience, you will meet new people, learn new things and have a great time overall. (Except paying for your student loans after college.) In whatever decision you choose, good luck. You're young, have fun and enjoy yourself!

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    What others have said, College, College, College....And... did I say College.

    At least a minimum of a 2 yr degree, preferably fire related. While going to school think about doing an EMT course with national certification. A very large number of departments require EMT these days. Join a volunteer department to get some basic knowledge.

    Do not think about what you need to just get the "JOB". Think ahead, a) Do you want to be an officer? b) Do you want to work a second job on your days off (many ff's do this).......See where I am going with this.

    If you want to stay in the state you now live in research the department(s) you would like to apply for and see what they require, and not just the minimum. See what has been done by other ff's or officers there to get where they gotten in thier carrear.

    Some departments even pay (as said earlier) hiring bonuses if you have college, emt, especially if you have a Medic certification.

    If you have your 2 yr degree and then get job with a department you can then see what you want to persue in that carrear, Example: Stay a FF, officer position, Arson Investigations, .....etc. Once you decide you can then continue your education and go for the degrees you need.

    Good luck in what ever decission you make.

    T.J.
    Last edited by Remthedays; 11-22-2007 at 10:01 AM.

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    Look into Hicking College that is located in Southern Ohio. You can go there and get both a college degree and all of your fire certifications. They have a fire program that does everything. I am not saying it is the best, I did not go there, but you can get a ton of classes under your belt.
    Jason Brooks
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    You can never go wrong with college. Departments want people who are experienced AND well-educated. Not to mention that earning a degree will show maturity and commitment. Also, completing the Fire Academy alone will get you certified for a ton of things. It wouldn't hurt to double-major as well. Earning two degrees (either four or two-year) shows diversity and gives you a back-up plan in case anything happens in the Fire Service.

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    Plus, college will be one of the most fun times in your life. It will show you there are more things out there than just the fire department. (i.e. wild parties with naked girls.)
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer343

    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

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    College is for sure the way to go.
    Im a full time college student (major:chemistry) and have been a member of my hometown vol. fire department for a little over a year now.
    Ive learned through talking to my senior officers that most departments will work with you while you are trying to continue your education.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KEEPBACK200FEET View Post
    Plus, college will be one of the most fun times in your life. It will show you there are more things out there than just the fire department. (i.e. wild parties with naked girls.)
    I couldn't agree more! -it can be a nice break from the classroom.

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    Just pray that none of them happen to be your sister or mother!
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    Shall be my brother;..." - King Henry V - Shakespeare

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    It's not the brightest thing to come into a topic and try to provoke a bunch of guys/gals with more time on the firehouse crapper than you do in the firehouse.
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    When I first started considering taking college at Army expense, my commander told me that it's always a good thing to consider college. We should not be content with what we already know, we should always strive to know more. By knowing more, you have the information to make better informed decisions and that makes you a valuable prospect and an asset to any industry, whatever you chose to go into.

    Gaining experience takes time. I'm not all too confident in the 2 week EMT and online Fire Academy deals. They may teach you what you need to get certified, but does any of that information actually retain itself in your mind that quickly?

    The choice is up to you. You know what you want, and that's better than 70% of high school seniors. You've done a fair amount of research. Now go off and do whatever it is you're gonna do.

    *sneeze*COLLEGE!

    Oh... bless me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JR3115 View Post
    College is for sure the way to go.
    Im a full time college student (major:chemistry) and have been a member of my hometown vol. fire department for a little over a year now.
    Ive learned through talking to my senior officers that most departments will work with you while you are trying to continue your education.
    Most places will work with you. I was a Junior at my department in high school, and when I went to college, we had the understanding that I would answer calls when I was home from school.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingKiwi View Post
    Go put your pussy 2 1/2" lines away kiddies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer343

    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

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    i think that college is a good idea...but not for firefighting, you can receive all the classes and get all the certs that you may need through local dept. for a fraction of the price...if your going to go to college make sure its something that you will be able to do incase, heaven forbid, you were to ever be hurt on the fire ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KEEPBACK200FEET View Post
    Plus, college will be one of the most fun times in your life. It will show you there are more things out there than just the fire department. (i.e. wild parties with naked girls.)
    I need to transfer to ECU!! lmao
    Do a little dance, make a little rum, Italian Ice! Italian Ice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonetrexler View Post
    I need to transfer to ECU!! lmao
    Bro, you don't know our reputation that our administration is working overtime to rid itself of?
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingKiwi View Post
    Go put your pussy 2 1/2" lines away kiddies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer343

    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KEEPBACK200FEET View Post
    Bro, you don't know our reputation that our administration is working overtime to rid itself of?
    Only rep i know is that Elon is tryin to rid itself of the heavy drinking reputation, which the Elon TV news is not helping, since they reported we drink 6x the national average
    Do a little dance, make a little rum, Italian Ice! Italian Ice!

    Actual lyric: Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight, get down tonight.
    (KC & The Sunshine Band "Do A Little Dance")

    My thoughts are mine alone and do not represent the thoughts of any Organization to which I am affiliated.

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    We were originally on Playboy's Top 25 party schools. (Not that that's anything to be proud of.)
    Last edited by KEEPBACK200FEET; 11-29-2007 at 12:34 PM.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingKiwi View Post
    Go put your pussy 2 1/2" lines away kiddies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer343

    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

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    As much as I'm into firefighting, I won't be able to get on a dept for at least 4 but more like 10 years because I intend on going to college (hopefully at a service academy) then serving in the armed forces.


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    Being in the middle of this exact dilemma right now.

    I joined as a junior when I was 14, graduated high school as an Explorer, became a senior member of the department and went to college.

    It's rough, not running calls, hearing about them, trying to balance being home and at school so that you can achieve not only academic success but run calls at the same time.

    I finally figured out that while I have the rest of my life to fight fire, save lives, etc., I only have these four or so years to accomplish this.

    While it still pains me to miss calls, school is essential.

    I have missed out on many training opportunities due to school. In fact, I am missing the EMT-B course at home I have been wanting to take.

    Time goes on, but your chances at an education aren't always there.

    Go to college, rack up that debt, love it. I did.

    Or, go to college for an education in the field. Just don't get a big head because you have higher education in the field then your chief officers, I have seen it happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiftyOnePride View Post

    Time goes on, but your chances at an education aren't always there.
    n.
    That's exactly why I went ahead and went to school rather than waiting until later.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingKiwi View Post
    Go put your pussy 2 1/2" lines away kiddies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer343

    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

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    Default Something's Fishy Here

    Is there some reason why you posted this exact same question in five different threads? *sniff, sniff* I think I smell a rat!
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    Go to college. You need some sort of degree to fall back upon if fire fighting doesn't work out. Even if it does work you, you need some credentials to make it easier on yourself. My father explained it to me very clearly. It took him over 30 years to get the experience and classes racked up that equal the credibility of what someone gets by getting a college degree in 4 years.

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