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  • #16
    Trev,
    I certainly understand the challenge of going to school while working full time. 7 years ago I was 9 classes away from an AA degree. I just finished my Masters degree. This while working a full time job, being a husband, father, and writing a couple of books. Time management skills are very important.
    The more you can accomplish, the more desireable you are for us to hire. While you have a full plate, there are plenty of pepole who are doing everything you mentioned above and have a wife, kids and/or a mortgage payment. Life is full of choices. You can choose how to spend your time.
    You have a good start, but there is certainly room for more (JMHO).

    And yes, volunteering ABSOLUTELY does help you get hired!
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by paulLepore View Post
      Trev,
      I certainly understand the challenge of going to school while working full time. 7 years ago I was 9 classes away from an AA degree. I just finished my Masters degree. This while working a full time job, being a husband, father, and writing a couple of books. Time management skills are very important.
      The more you can accomplish, the more desireable you are for us to hire. While you have a full plate, there are plenty of pepole who are doing everything you mentioned above and have a wife, kids and/or a mortgage payment. Life is full of choices. You can choose how to spend your time.
      You have a good start, but there is certainly room for more (JMHO).

      And yes, volunteering ABSOLUTELY does help you get hired!
      thanks for the incite Paul,I definitely see where your coming from as someone who is actually looking over all the applicants,your going to pick the person most dedicated to getting a job on the fire dept.It just seems like alot of schooling to do (between the fire tech associates degree and the paramedic schooling)just to "have a better shot" at getting hired when it is not a definite thing. I'd like to ask, seeing as there are many other careers that require around the same 4 years of schooling that pay more...are you genuinely happy with your job as that is my main concern.If I go through all the schooling and finally get hired and I love it and could be making more money doing something else I would still be elated to get up and go to work doing something I love everyday...I guess thats where volunteering comes in because I can actually find out first hand if I enjoy the job.
      Last edited by Trevkm7; 03-02-2011, 12:36 PM.

      Comment


      • #18
        Trev,
        That's an entirely different question altogehter. I am sure that others will weigh in on the topic.

        I will tell you that I LOVE my job, although I had much more fun when I was working as a firefighter/paramedic on the box with a good partner. Being a Captain was great too as I could build a crew around me. Being a Battalion Chief was fun, but being in charge of 50 firefighters each day can be a challenge. Now as a Division Chief, I have an entirely different set of roles and responsibilities.

        If I had it to do all over again, the only thing I would do differently is to have gone to a university and earn a 4 year degree before getting hired on the fire department.

        As far as selecting a career in which you will make more money, that may apply on your end of the country bit it certainly does not apply here in California. In LA and Orange County most of the firefighter medics make over 100K. The standard of living is a little better in Northern California. I understand that California is one of the few areas in the country where this is the case. Money certainly is not everything, being happy in life is.

        I am 3 1/2 years from retirement and am really looking forward to it. I know I will miss it, but I have plenty fo things to keep me busy.
        Paul Lepore
        Division Chief
        Aspiringfirefighters.com
        AspiringFireOfficers.com

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by paulLepore View Post
          Trev,
          That's an entirely different question altogehter. I am sure that others will weigh in on the topic.

          I will tell you that I LOVE my job, although I had much more fun when I was working as a firefighter/paramedic on the box with a good partner. Being a Captain was great too as I could build a crew around me. Being a Battalion Chief was fun, but being in charge of 50 firefighters each day can be a challenge. Now as a Division Chief, I have an entirely different set of roles and responsibilities.

          If I had it to do all over again, the only thing I would do differently is to have gone to a university and earn a 4 year degree before getting hired on the fire department.

          As far as selecting a career in which you will make more money, that may apply on your end of the country bit it certainly does not apply here in California. In LA and Orange County most of the firefighter medics make over 100K. The standard of living is a little better in Northern California. I understand that California is one of the few areas in the country where this is the case. Money certainly is not everything, being happy in life is.

          I am 3 1/2 years from retirement and am really looking forward to it. I know I will miss it, but I have plenty fo things to keep me busy.
          Thanks so much for the help and incite, I really just needed someone who has done it before to talk to and I had nobody to give me some perspective...thanks again

          Comment


          • #20
            You are very welcome. Getting hired on the fire department is very unique as you have to pay it forward. What I mean by that is that you must complete your education, training, and experience before getting hired. When we have an open seat, I want to hire someone who is best quaified (and suited) for the position. As a general rule the person who can convince me that he or she is the most qualified for the position will get the job.

            Of course there are many other factors involved with selecting the right person such as their character, background, and history of responsibility.

            It is true that most places will train you upon being hired, but again, the person who comes with the most training et al will be an easier fit.
            Paul Lepore
            Division Chief
            Aspiringfirefighters.com
            AspiringFireOfficers.com

            Comment


            • #21
              I have to agree with Chief Lepore. I was hired at 22 with about 1 year left of school. I was so determined to be hired at a young age, I (foolishly) passed on going straight to a 4 year university after high school and enrolled in junior college and worked different jobs. As it turns out life happens, you get married, have kids and it becomes harder and harder to finish that education that will be invaluable when it comes time for promotion or even more important telling your kids they NEED a 4 year degree to have any decent job. Not to mention, I do regret not having that traditional college experience.

              You have plenty of time to get hired. Saying that you don't want to be waiting around until your 25 is a bit of an insult to those who don't get hired until they are in their 30's. I read somewhere that the average age of a recruit these days is 28...so there is plenty of time to live your life.

              Comment


              • #22
                I got my four year degree in Communications first. I wasn't thinking about firefighting at the time.

                Now that I'm hired, my department pays for my schooling. Good thing about having a 4 year degree out of the way, is it only takes a few classes to get a fire science degree. I'll do my masters next, and the department will pay for that as well. Again, I'll be ahead of the curve because I'll already have my AA and BA.

                I currently am, and will be way ahead of 99.9% of my competition by promotional exam time (but that is a long ways away - I like riding backwards too much).

                Furthermore, and not that this job is about the money, but many departments will pay you extra for being educated. I'll get an extra 2% of top step wages once my fire science degree is done. That's an extra $50,000 over the course of my career. Some departments pay 4% and 6%, respectively, for Bachelors and Masters degrees. I think you can do the math.

                Finally, you may get hired as a firefighter, but you'll always want to have a backup plan. Firefighters suffer 80,000 OTJ injuries annually, many of which result in early retirement.

                I have 2 uncles who were forced to retire early due to severe injuries. Every time I see them, the first thing they tell me is to make sure I have a back up plan in life. Not all of us get to kick in doors and eat smoke for a full 30 years.
                Last edited by powerhourcoug; 03-08-2011, 02:27 AM.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Hey guys great advice and I'm taking all of it into account...Because of my money situation and the fact that if I went to school I would get a good amount of debt, I am really looking into joining the air force to be a firefighter. Now IF i could get into the air force as a firefighter would all of my certs still be with me when I come back into the civilian world? I'm really interested in serving, it seems like a cool experience and a way to get away from home and live on my own while earning some money,I just want to know if it will do all that and give me the certs I need to get hired when my duty is up.

                  Comment

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