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Hello all! Advice please?

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  • Hello all! Advice please?

    Hello everyone, new to this forum, but would hope to learn a lot of useful material in pursing my ultimate goal: being a firefighter/paramedic.

    I am 20 years old, 21 in november.
    I currently attend San Jose State University (SJSU), majoring in Sociology concentration in Criminology. Would like to attend additional schooling to become a Paramedic once graduated from SJSU.
    I am involved in my school as i am a member of a fraternity. Active role in the fraternity and a proud member.
    I speak Chinese(teochu,the language is unfortunately very unfamiliar) and i understand basics of Khmer (Cambodian). I am seeking to take course for Spanish as it is a heavily spoken language around my region.
    I am currently enrolled in an EMT-B course.
    I would like to get some experience under my belt as an EMT-B in the BLS and ALS before applying to a job for Cal-Fire.

    In terms of qualifications, what are my chances of getting accepted into Cal-Fire right after i graduate from SJSU, and get EMT-B certified. Also, what are my chances of landing a job in the fire department without taking fire science courses but having the education/certifications above.

    I am also looking for ways to get more involved in the firefighting community, how do i become a volunteer? do I have to go through orientations/trainings or should I just contact a local SJFD in order to figure that out because i would assume they vary from state to state.

    Future thanks for all the help, Rickey Ear.

  • #2
    First, go to the department your interested in joining and ask them what qualifactions,you must have to become a member of their dept. I suggest to get on as a volunteer to see if this is a job you want to pursue.Its very demanding and requires alot of deducation. Coming out of college with little or no fire training will be hard to go in as a fulltime employee. Just my opinion.
    If God be for us, who can be against us. Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the light.


    • #3
      Also look at other states if you are willing to move

      Yes your education is a fall back or second job
      But why spend all that time and money if you want to be a firefighter

      Like above find out minimum qualifications to apply and look at many depts


      • #4
        I agree with the previous poster who recommends knocking on the door of the local fire station. Since it is San Jose FD you are interested in I will tell you that the likelihood of getting hired there in the next 2-3 years is BLEAK. The department just laid of 50 firefighters. This is unprecedented in the City’s history. Before the department hires any new firefighter, these union brothers and sisters will be offered an opportunity to get their badge back.
        Here is a link to an article in TODAY’s paper in which the FFA offered to take a 10% PAY CUT. A council member is saying that it is not enough. In a nutshell, I would not expect the department to hire in the near future.
        Here is the link:

        In regards to Cal-fire, I suspect your qualifications will be looked upon favorable. If you aspire to be a wildland firefighter Calfire is a great way to go. If you aspire to be a City firefighter, I would encourage you to put yourself through a basic fire academy and ultimately through paramedic school.

        Seasonal jobs at Cal Fire make it EXTREMELY difficult to go to school. Without school and a basic fire academy, you are not a serious competitor. Yes, you will get some great experience at Calfire, but you will be lacking in other areas.
        Paul Lepore
        Division Chief


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