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  • Would Appreciate Some Advice

    Gentlemen I am new to Forums and this posting thing so I Hope I dont screw up to bad.

    First of all I am a 21 year old Firefighter I have been in the Fire Service since before I graduated High School. I am FFII Certified. I am 3/4 of the way towards a Fire Science Degree. What I am Seeking advice on is. The other day I meet with our Fire Chief and told him I would like to advance my career and start attending Instructor classes finish those and start Officer Classes, his response to me was you are only 21 years old and have been on the job for only 3 years, you need to wait until you are about 30 before you start considering any of these things (be a fire fighter first worry about these things later) He told me that If I wanted to go it would be on my own dime he wouldn't pay. So I spoke with my LT. and CAPT. and they encouaged me to go on my own dime they said if would show chief how bad I wanted it. My dept. is 35-member split 10-full time 25- part-time. I am only part time but want to be career. I think it might help me getting hired in the future.

    So my question is would you pay for you own way? (travel,cost of class,room and board)

  • #2
    It depends on how badly I wanted it. It does send a strong message to the fire chief if you choose to go. It is important that if you become an instructor, bring the information back to the department.

    For example:
    If you become a WMD instructor, implement a WMD training program. Once the chief sees the benefit to the department yo may find that you get sent for additional training.

    Age doesn't mean anything. It's maturity and credibility that are important.

    Lastly, becoming an instructor makes you a more marketable entry-level candidate.

    Good luck and don't loose your enthusiasm for the job!
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with BCLepore, I was 19 when I started with my department and now I'm 27 and the Deputy Chief. I took all the training available and attended all the fires I could. Due to things that happened at the department here, I was able to work my way up through the ranks very quickly. I do not think age has anything to do with it. Hard work, dedication, and maturity among other things is what I would be looking for.

      Do you want to be a career FF at your department, or else where?

      We have had some young people here who have the things I listed above but want the fire department to pay for their training and they want all the experience they can get. But they have no chance of becoming full time FF's here, we're all volunteer. They want all the training and experience to go to big city's like Edmonton or Calgary.

      So this is the only time we try to limit certain young FF's from taking alot of training in a short span. We don't have a problem paying for training, but we want them to put some time in as well.

      Maybe your Chief thinks your going to up and leave once you get this training you want. Not saying your going to do that but maybe that's what he's thinking.

      Just some thoughts.

      Mike

      Comment


      • #4
        Gentlemen Thank you for you advice. Firemanmikey I would like to be full time with the department I am with but openings are few and far between here. So I am starting to look at other depts. I ahve decided to go to the classes and pay my own way so the dept wont be out money if I leave. and again guys thanks...

        Comment


        • #5
          Good luck with your classes.

          If I'm ever a ff I don't even think I want to get promoted. I just want to put the fires out and save lives. Hopefully this is a good attitude because I don't think I'm going to change it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JTFD129 View Post
            Gentlemen I am new to Forums and this posting thing so I Hope I dont screw up to bad.

            First of all I am a 21 year old Firefighter I have been in the Fire Service since before I graduated High School. I am FFII Certified. I am 3/4 of the way towards a Fire Science Degree. What I am Seeking advice on is. The other day I meet with our Fire Chief and told him I would like to advance my career and start attending Instructor classes finish those and start Officer Classes, his response to me was you are only 21 years old and have been on the job for only 3 years, you need to wait until you are about 30 before you start considering any of these things (be a fire fighter first worry about these things later
            I don't want burst your bubble but I feel you need to wait to become an instructor. How much fireground exp do you have? Where I'm from you can pass a knowledge test of 80% to get in a instructors class I think you need to have 5 years at the level you're trained at as well. I know you could probably pass the test and the class but it's not all about that I feel. You need some experience before you get to this "next level" in your ff career. I will side with the chief and don't get bent out of shape with him. I hear all the time of depts putting people in classes and once their done and pass they leave. Classes cost alot of money know what I mean? I'm sure after time your chief would put you in a instructor class.

            Comment


            • #7
              Two words: Finish college.

              With a Bachelors Degree in FS, the world is your oyster. You can move to a graduate program in Fire Protection Engineering and make gobs more money than you ever would have dreamed of. The job market for FPE's is huge across the country. Whether in loss control, hazard analysis, code enforcement, incident analysis, etc., you will write your own ticket.

              Then, after you get that house in order, you take the instructor's classes at 25 instead of 21. You are a more mature and educated individual and you have a better view of the big picture. You will have a set of very impressive credentials.
              PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by dday05 View Post
                I don't want burst your bubble but I feel you need to wait to become an instructor. How much fireground exp do you have? Where I'm from you can pass a knowledge test of 80% to get in a instructors class I think you need to have 5 years at the level you're trained at as well. I know you could probably pass the test and the class but it's not all about that I feel. You need some experience before you get to this "next level" in your ff career. I will side with the chief and don't get bent out of shape with him. I hear all the time of depts putting people in classes and once their done and pass they leave. Classes cost alot of money know what I mean? I'm sure after time your chief would put you in a instructor class.

                I disagree, sort of. I agree that you need to have experience in the subject to teach it well, however you also need the experience of teaching to pass along your knowledge. As long as the instruction is limited to things the instructor has a solid grasp of there shouldn't be a problem. Ropes & knots, tool maintenace, hose handling etc, these are things that even a firefighter with only 2-3 years experience should have a solid grasp of. By starting early as an instructor then hopefully by the time they get lots of experience they will have the ability to share that knowledge.

                How many old crusty firefighters do you know that are full of knowledge but lack the ability to really pass it along to the younger firefighters?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NonSurfinCaFF View Post
                  I disagree, sort of. I agree that you need to have experience in the subject to teach it well, however you also need the experience of teaching to pass along your knowledge. As long as the instruction is limited to things the instructor has a solid grasp of there shouldn't be a problem.

                  Ropes & knots, tool maintenace, hose handling etc, these are things that even a firefighter with only 2-3 years experience should have a solid grasp of. By starting early as an instructor then hopefully by the time they get lots of experience they will have the ability to share that knowledge.

                  How many old crusty firefighters do you know that are full of knowledge but lack the ability to really pass it along to the younger firefighters?
                  This person asked a question and I gave him my answer. Ropes & knots, tool maint & hose handling should be something that a ff with 2-3 years exp should have a grasp on. What about ladders, firefighter safety,,fire control,fire behavior,rescue & extrication,ventilation,water supply,fire streams, hose building construction and many more? I s this something that you'd want a 2-3 year firefighter teaching? Is this something a 2-3 year firefighter could teach with confidence? Is it something that a 2-3 year firefighter would have alot of expierience in all of the above areas? I feel probablly not. Maybe you could read from the book in the class room but can you apply it in the field? I feel it would be in his best interest to wait awhile before doing this. But if he does I hope he pulls it off but I feel nows not the time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NonSurfinCaFF View Post
                    I disagree, sort of. I agree that you need to have experience in the subject to teach it well, however you also need the experience of teaching to pass along your knowledge.
                    so you mean b/c i have no experience in teaching that I should not teach my guy's anything b/c I don't know how to pass on my knowledge the correct way.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The point wasn't that there is only 1 right way, the point was instruction is a skill of its own completely seperate of what you are teaching. Getting comfortable teaching a skill whether it be tying a bowline or teaching a 40 hour fire command class is a good thing, personally I'd prefer to see someone learn to teach on someting simple like knots or cpr than fire command.

                      Maybe its different in other parts of the country but I have State of California Instructor 1A&B, as well as Proboard Instructor 1,2 & 3. Personally nothing in those classes made me think I had to jump into highly complex stuff, I started teaching what I knew. Its just a class that tries to help explain how people learn and give you some confidence standing up in front of a crowd of people.


                      My comment about the crusties wasn't that you have to be instructor qualified to teach, its just there have been people I have known who were full of knowledge but getting it out of them generally consisted of "well you know, I just kinda thought and well I just did this because it worked. Great, that helps me alot, lets try to actually articulate something the rest of us can understand. Not bagging on the crusties, I've been guilty of making the same kind of statements when asked by a rookie.

                      Just seems to me learn to teach early, so you are good at it by the time you have something worth teaching.

                      Just my opinion, you are certainly welcome to your own.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dday05 View Post
                        This person asked a question and I gave him my answer. Ropes & knots, tool maint & hose handling should be something that a ff with 2-3 years exp should have a grasp on. What about ladders, firefighter safety,,fire control,fire behavior,rescue & extrication,ventilation,water supply,fire streams, hose building construction and many more? I s this something that you'd want a 2-3 year firefighter teaching? Is this something a 2-3 year firefighter could teach with confidence? Is it something that a 2-3 year firefighter would have alot of expierience in all of the above areas? I feel probablly not. Maybe you could read from the book in the class room but can you apply it in the field? I feel it would be in his best interest to wait awhile before doing this. But if he does I hope he pulls it off but I feel nows not the time.

                        Certainly not, but who in their right mind would put a 2-3 year firefighter in the position of teaching that stuff based on a cert?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NonSurfinCaFF View Post
                          Certainly not, but who in their right mind would put a 2-3 year firefighter in the position of teaching that stuff based on a cert?
                          You never know these days...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As an Explorer Scout and part-time FF, I began instructing at a young age. Looking back, I guess I pulled it off.

                            Also looking back, I got pretty deep into the fire department at a young age and wish I would have enjoyed life more.

                            If I can, I would take everything in moderation. Take the training if its really, REALLY going to benefit you. At this point, I would recommend gaining more life experiences and just learning the Firefighter job first.

                            At 30, I did complete the CA Instructor series and I would recommed the same. The mature factor is a big one. Not that I was "immature", but the timing was right. Learn the Firefighter job first, live some life outside of the fire service and bring it all together down the line.

                            I might be wrong, but it worked for me.

                            Comment

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