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  • College student questions

    So I decided to go to EKU for a 4 year Fire safety Admin degree. I really debated doing the degree or just going through the dept. and getting my fire 1, fire 2, ect... so in this debate i am still comparing with friends who went the other route and went with the department. I will be joining the AFST and they do regular trainings but i still dont really know. any advice that anyone ha will help me out.

    My main questions are:

    -what do i come out with after 4 years? i know i will have a degree with my name on it, but what does that mean in the fire field.

    -Because of the degree how do I have to work out my Firefighter 1, ect...? I dont really understand the certification, will i be able to take a test or will i have more classes to go through?

    -lastly, Any suggestions for me as i go through this? What should i be doing to try an get myself ready to go once i get out of school. I.E. summers, weekend, nights, any ideas really.

    Thanks for your time and any advice that you may have

  • #2
    What is your goal?
    _____________________________________________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
    http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd say Battalion Chief would be my overall goal.

      Comment


      • #4
        You're suppose to say fire chief. LOL

        first things first. Where are you at now? Any education, age, experience, EMT? What is your time line?
        _____________________________________________

        "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

        More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
        http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


        Fire "Captain Bob"

        www.eatstress.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Does the University have it's own department? If it does, see if there's anything you can do to make yourself useful.

          What type of department serves the city of Richmond? Do they have any opportunities to volunteer, serve as an explorer, or maybe even some dispatching jobs?

          Finally, I'd try to find out if any of the local jurisdictions have any kind of ride-along programs. Even doing some with law enforcement will get your name out among the "powers that be" in local agencies.

          Comment


          • #6
            Haha yeah i know Chief would be the answer in that case but in all truth I think i want to be a higher up but still be out in the field. That may change though as I get older though lol.

            As far as me. Not much. Im 18 and just started as a freshman at EKU, and have been an explorer for the past few years. No timeline really yet, will finish my degree in 4 years. will be trying to volly or just ride at my home dept. in the summers.

            @downstate. thanks for the input! our AFST club is partnered with richmond FD so definately something to look into there. and good idea at looking at other local places for ride-along programs. i will keep the law enforcement idea in mind as a fallback

            Comment


            • #7
              4year degree does not help much when you are assigned to pull the hose

              It might be a fall back if for some reason you get out of the dept

              It will help you in the long run if you to stay in and make the dept a career

              A thing to think about is some cities will pay for your tution so you can have job, go to school,get paid and have your school paid for


              You would have to check to see if the 4year degree counts toward a ff certificate
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

              Comment


              • #8
                check ot the firefighter netcast poscast of "running to the curb" with chief sendlebach (spelling is different i'm sure) . he was from there and talked about the program and vollie opertunities down there.
                Originally Posted by madden01
                "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do you have any interest in the EMS Fire/medic side of the floor?
                  _____________________________________________

                  "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

                  More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
                  http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


                  Fire "Captain Bob"

                  www.eatstress.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ffmedcbk1 - I'll check out that video, thanks!
                    CaptBob - yeah i do still have an interest in that side also. I was debating taking my EMT-B in the summer at somepoint or if i could fit it in the semester schedule somewhere.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Everyone has an opinion, there are exceptions and more than one road to a badge and there are no guarantees in life which ever path you take. Education will never hurt you. At age 18 you have time to decide how you want to hitch up your wagon, especially if someone is picking up the freight for college.

                      But if you really want to get a firefighter job consider these points:

                      Is there a requirement for an advanced degree to get a firefighter job?

                      Answer: It’s rare to see departments require an AA or an advanced degree to apply. Those areas like MI and WI are setting the bar higher requiring some college credits to cull the heard because HR doesn’t want to spend the money to test and there are few jobs available there now.

                      In case you haven’t noticed there is an army (or air force) out there with every degree, certificate, experience, military time, volunteer and every merit badge you could imagine trying to be one of up to 800 competing for each firefighter job.

                      Even if you get an advanced degree in a fire science related field you need to get the JOB first to be able to use it.

                      Where are 80% of the job offerings?

                      Answer: Fire/medics

                      There are up to 800 candidates chasing each firefighter job. How many are chasing a fire/medic job?

                      Answer: 12-20. Which odds do you like better?

                      What’s the time line? If you’re just starting college and want to get your BA, it could take you 4 maybe 5 or more years depending on when you can line up and complete all your classes and requirements. Then, if you wanted to go further the timing it to get into and academy and or paramedic school and get some street time another 2+ years? So around 7 years give or take to get in position to go after the badge. Are you going to need student loans? Do you have a special person in your life that is going to wait while you pursue your career? How long can you tread water?

                      Try and get your EMT because you will able to take more tests as an EMT.

                      The path to become a medic is about 2 years with gaining some savvy street time. If you can get in an academy in that time period it will be convincing evidence that you have the hands on experience that a department can take a risk on you.

                      Can you continue your education once you’re hired? Will departments give you an education incentive?

                      Answer: Yes to both.

                      Yes, having a degree will help with promotions but how long will it be before you will qualify to take a promotional exam?

                      Answer: Engineer depending on the agency 3 plus years. An officer? Five or more years. So if you get on you could obtain the necessary education before your first promotional test to be in position. And, the department will pay for you to go to college.

                      I've talked to a lot of candidates recently who have received or are getting their advanced degrees. With the economy and the number of regular fire/EMT jobs they can test for (about 20% of the job offerings) they wish now they had taken the medic route so they would not be wasting a lot of opportunities.
                      Last edited by CaptBob; 08-31-2010, 05:41 PM.
                      _____________________________________________

                      "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

                      More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
                      http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


                      Fire "Captain Bob"

                      www.eatstress.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wow that is a lot of good information to digest. I guess im trying to make a plan for myself in how to get everything done and what i need to do to get it done. I had been looking at the fire/medic side and you just solidified that for me.

                        I know there isn't really an advanced Education requirement per say, but will it help get a full time position? I know it may take a little longer in the end to be able to get everything and still pull in a few years experience. But when it comes to getting a fulltime and/or promotion would it help?

                        I have the means for the money (thank god for parents that thought ahead with college funds and saving) and if i really work my butt of i can prob knock out my BS and Paramedic in 5 years. but i am setting up a meeting with an academic advisor soon to see how that all works out. if i cant then i can always finish my medics while working, right?

                        how does the Firefighter 1 certification work? is it just a test that you have to sit for like the EMT or is it much more involved?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You could do it like us old guys did. Get the education after you get a badge. It took me about 15 years to earn all that I have and still seems like it as forever to do it.

                          EKY is very good. I know several who went there got a degree and came out and got a job, the degree didn't help, but they get 600 a year for the BA and 300 for the AA. Masters pay 1000 all extra money. Plus as you move up through the ranks, you will need that degree and a lot of luck too!!

                          Go to it all, the Chief of the Department. Set that as your goal and objective.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            How Young???

                            Neil sounds a like like you. He was an explorer, etc.
                            ________________________________________
                            My friend Brent is an assistant chief for a large mid-west department. His nephew Neil admired Brent and from an early age and wanted to follow in his uncles foot steps as a firefighter. Since Brent only had daughters he referred to Neil as his son.

                            While Neil was growing up he became a fire explorer, volunteer, EMT, and right out of high school set off to medic school. By the time he could take his first test he had completed an academy and was an experienced street savvy medic.

                            Neil didn’t make the cut on the first 2 tests. What’s up with this? Brent asked if I could talk to him before his next dream department test. Like most candidates Neil had some great stuff he just didn’t know how to present it. One of the major errors he was making was using a lot of irritating pause fillers i.e. “You know” over and over. Neil sounded like an immature valley girl. As soon as he was aware of this mistake he immediately made the correction.

                            I talked to Neil a few days later after he had practiced with a voice recorder and you would have never known this was the same candidate. He was beyond his years just turning age 21. Neil mention that his passion for get a firefighter badge was so focused that he had his high school year book picture taken wearing his volunteer turn outs. You with me here? Although we are cautious about taking pictures into an entry level oral board this was a natural exception if the opportunity came up.

                            Neil was one of 5 going in for one job. By game day his confidence was back. During his oral board, none of the questions stumped him. Towards the end of the interview the HR panel member asked him why he hadn’t gone to college. Neil told him that from an early age he knew he wanted to be a firefighter. He felt the best way to reach his goal and be an asset was from the EMS side. As Neil picked up his high school year book to the page with his picture he said, “As a matter of fact I wanted this job so bad that I had my high school year book picture taken wearing my volunteer turn outs.” As the raters looked at the picture the room went silent. Next question please.

                            From Neil: I just wanted to again thank you for all your time and efforts in helping me with the oral interview process. My interview went great, I could not have planned it any better. I just turned 21 and only had taken a few tests. The other day I received a call from the Chief and was offered a full time position. I start July 21st and will be sworn in next week!!! I could not have done this without your guidance. Thank you again for everything. Firefighter Neil

                            Reply: Welcome to the fire service Neil.

                            It doesn’t get much better.
                            _____________________________________________

                            "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

                            More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
                            http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


                            Fire "Captain Bob"

                            www.eatstress.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Education

                              You can not go wrong with furthering your education. I think that EKU is regionally acredited which is required if you ever seek the Executive Fire Officer program from National Fire Academy.

                              I have noticed that a college education is benificial when applying for a position at a department. I have been on the interview board for hiring several times and can tell you that the candidates with the college education stand out. With the job market so competitve you will have an advantage with your degree.

                              It would also be advantageous for you to have your paramedic certification. In my department 70% of our call volume is EMS and when we hire we give points for paramedics which would give you a huge advantage over the candidates without it.

                              Good luck, this profession is not for everyone but for those who can do it, it is the best job ever!

                              Comment

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