1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Red face Trying to Figure Things Out HELP!!

    For the past couple of months I have been trying to research and figure out where to start with becoming a fire fighter. I currently live in Tampa, Florida and I am 29 years old. I am starting late, but I am very focused now and just trying to get on the right path. I have been put on the waiting list for the community college fire school and they say sometimes it can take more then a year to get in. What I am trying to figure out is should I get my EMS certification first and then continue wiht the fire academy, or should I go ahead and get certified as a Paramedic and then continue with the fire academy program. I am having to work full time will doing this, so I can not do both at once. Since I live in Hillsborough County I was looking on their web site and they have a couple different options on how to get hired and one option is to become a paramedic and then within the first two years of being hired I would have to get my firefighter certification. After just skimming through some of these threads and some things online it looks like its best to become a paramedic, but again I have just started looking into this. Also I am concerned about how hard it will be to find a job. I have heard different things. Some people tell me it is one of the hardest jobs to get and they are very rare, and some say that it is not much different than any other competitive field when applying for a job. Will this be something where I will be certified and be waiting years to find a job in my area or what. If anyone has any information that would help thatd be great. Thanks!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    I too am just starting out with this. I'm several years younger than you but I hope to accomplish the fire academy program at my community college by the time I am 25. (5 years from now.) Right now I need to work on making sure I am the most physically fit I can possibly get.
    I was advised to try and learn Spanish and/or American Sign Language, so next year I'll be taking those courses. Maybe you won't have the time to do this with a full-time job, but even if you could squeeze a little bit in it'd help you out some, I'm sure.
    I still need to call the fire academy and see whether or not I should be EMT certified before I apply, or if it won't make much of a difference once I have a Firefighter Certificate, but I have a feeling that I should go ahead with the EMT certification anyway. Why not.
    I know I can't be much of a help since I'm a newbie too, but I just wanted to give my 2 cents...good luck with the Fire Academy!

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