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  • What would you recommend?

    I am the parent of a high school junior who is a cadet/volunteer at our local fire department. He is getting ready to apply to colleges in the fall and is seriously considering getting a 4 year degree in fire science or related major. He has found programs at Eastern Kentucky University, Oklahoma State, John Jay College (CUNY), CSULA, and University of Idaho. I have seen some posts that have suggested military enlistment but with an older brother who is a Marine midshipman he understands better than most the true purpose of the military and wouldn't use it in that way. If he were your son and you couldn't convince him to pick another profession now that he has been exposed to yours what would you advise? Study fire science? other major? P.S. Thanks guys he wanted to be a doctor but that is done now .

  • #2
    Originally posted by mudville View Post
    I am the parent of a high school junior who is a cadet/volunteer at our local fire department. He is getting ready to apply to colleges in the fall and is seriously considering getting a 4 year degree in fire science or related major. He has found programs at Eastern Kentucky University, Oklahoma State, John Jay College (CUNY), CSULA, and University of Idaho. I have seen some posts that have suggested military enlistment but with an older brother who is a Marine midshipman he understands better than most the true purpose of the military and wouldn't use it in that way. If he were your son and you couldn't convince him to pick another profession now that he has been exposed to yours what would you advise? Study fire science? other major? P.S. Thanks guys he wanted to be a doctor but that is done now .
    Have him look into emergency management. If the fire dept doesn't work for him he can go work for FEMA.

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    • #3
      Any degree will help, but I would recommend a Fire Science degree along with paramedic. The job market is only going to get tighter and he needs to ensure that he is the most desirable for the position. Plus the fire science programs could open up some networking opportunities. I know some department have internships with the local universities.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TL678 View Post
        Have him look into emergency management. If the fire dept doesn't work for him he can go work for FEMA.
        Emergency management is the way to go. He will have many many many opportunities other than fire departments. Everywhere is looking for people to make a disaster plan, or prepare for some kind of catastrophe. I know people that work full time fire and write emergency preparedness plans for big companies on the side.

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        • #5
          Fire protection engineering degree

          If he wants to fight fire let him go for it

          He can also go to college once he gets hired
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mudville View Post
            I have seen some posts that have suggested military enlistment but with an older brother who is a Marine midshipman he understands better than most the true purpose of the military and wouldn't use it in that way.
            If he is hell bent on being a career firefighter, I think that enlisting is THE most patriotic thing a person can do to re-pay their country for the freedom of having the CHOICE to enlist or not in addition to their freedom. I also firmly believe that one should make the most of their enlistment- If I am going to give the US Govt 3, 4, or 5 years of my life, I am going to make the most of it, take every opportunity offered to me, and take advantage of all bonuses/incentives such as the Montgomery GI Bill, or the 10 points for the civil service exam for the City of Philadelphia Fire and Police Departments; or however many bonus points are offered in other municipalities for their entrance exams.

            I can't begin to tell you how many people I know, that willingly and voluntarily enlisted in the branches of the US Military (with full knowledge that they would receive bonus points for exams, job training, and college credits) that are now on the job in NYC, Philly, and Camden NJ. None of them ever tried to get out of certain duties or shorten their enlistments. They went in with the full intent of being a Soldier, a Marine, a Sailor, a Zoomie or what have you FIRST.
            "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
              If he is hell bent on being a career firefighter, I think that enlisting is THE most patriotic thing a person can do to re-pay their country for the freedom of having the CHOICE to enlist or not in addition to their freedom. I also firmly believe that one should make the most of their enlistment- If I am going to give the US Govt 3, 4, or 5 years of my life, I am going to make the most of it, take every opportunity offered to me, and take advantage of all bonuses/incentives such as the Montgomery GI Bill, or the 10 points for the civil service exam for the City of Philadelphia Fire and Police Departments; or however many bonus points are offered in other municipalities for their entrance exams.

              I can't begin to tell you how many people I know, that willingly and voluntarily enlisted in the branches of the US Military (with full knowledge that they would receive bonus points for exams, job training, and college credits) that are now on the job in NYC, Philly, and Camden NJ. None of them ever tried to get out of certain duties or shorten their enlistments. They went in with the full intent of being a Soldier, a Marine, a Sailor, a Zoomie or what have you FIRST.
              Very very very true. With how competitive things are getting these days, I think military points are gonna make or break you with some of these bigger cities. 5-6 years ago paramedic was a huge cert to have. Some places it still is, however most places it just means you're allowed to sit for the test...

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              • #8
                Thank you all for your very good advice. He has read all of the posts and is even considering spending his summer after graduation with his first EMT courses. That is if he survives his mother's wrath for allowing baseball to get in the way of his calc grade. Thanks to all of you for your committment to our safety.

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                • #9
                  If he's going to go that route i would recommend getting right into paramedic after, that will open up more opportunities for him.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mudville View Post
                    Thank you all for your very good advice. He has read all of the posts and is even considering spending his summer after graduation with his first EMT courses. That is if he survives his mother's wrath for allowing baseball to get in the way of his calc grade. Thanks to all of you for your committment to our safety.
                    Have him apply for BLM or DOI wild land firefighting next season. Seems to be good experience with fire, get a few certs and maybe some references. However, he'll be set back 6 months or so while out fighting fires

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                    • #11
                      Mudville,

                      The military will definitely help him out, as the fire service is militaristic. My advise would be go to college, obtain a bachelors degree in any field. If you son does want to join the military while in college he can join the ROTC, then upon graduation he can go to Officer Candidate School - in any branch. Going into the military as an Officer will open many more doors than enlisting. He could become a medic in the Navy or Army which will pay dividends once he's a firefighter (although the civilian medics have much different protocols), the majority of calls we go on are medical aids - around 80-90% of all calls.

                      There is no direct path to becoming a firefighter. I know people who have never seen a fire hose who have been hired, then I have friends who have every certification known to the fire service who are still trying to get hired.

                      Some main areas your son should consider: keep all of his records clean; criminal, driving, and credit. They will all be scrutinized during the background checks. Keep on learning, education never hurt anyone.

                      We can teach a monkey to pull hose. We're looking for smart men and women who have life experiences that can add to the dynamic of the team.

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                      • #12
                        I would encourage him to go to college and earn a 4-year degree. Most departments are NOT going to hire a 20 or 21 year old kid. Since this is the case, he should spend his time growing up and enjoying what life has to offer. A 4 year degree will set him apart from the rest of the candidates in the testing process. Additionally, it will help him promote down the road. Ideally he stays in school and earns a Masters degree.

                        As far as his choice of career fields, I understand your disappointment about him not becoming a doctor. I can tell you though that my father was a doctor. Medical school never interested me. I have found my niche in the fire service and will retire in three years. My defererd compensation, my pension, and my ability for a second career have allowed me to be in a way better position than my parents. I have absolutely zero regrets. Not to mention, I really have enjoyed my career.
                        Paul Lepore
                        Division Chief
                        Aspiringfirefighters.com
                        AspiringFireOfficers.com

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                        • #13
                          I would only have him consider a fire science degree if he plans to double major. Otherwise, he can be setting himself up for failure. Fire Science, outside of fire departments and other emergency fields, isn't a very respected degree.

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                          • #14
                            Id say go to school and pick something potentially related to, but not enveloped in, the fire service and heres why:

                            A degree in the line of architecture or engineering (several specialties) can give him more than a basic understanding of building construction, codes and fire suppression systems which can incorporate how modern structures stand up and fall down, how the shift toward LEED/lightweight/environmentally friendly buildings will affect us in the future...

                            In addition, it makes a great safety net in case he ever (God forbid) gets injured and cant work on the front lines anymore; he can fall back on something useful and forever in-demand.

                            You bring a fire science degree into a room full of firemen at an interview, youre not going to surprise them with anything. Bring in an engineering background, and youre instantly the resident expert.
                            To Persist is to Conquer.

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                            • #15
                              double post
                              To Persist is to Conquer.

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