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Need Guidance and Answers

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  • Need Guidance and Answers

    Hello Everyone.

    I am walking the long and difficult road towards becoming a Firefighter, but I can't do it alone, and I can't do it with just the help of Counselors from my college. But to have their help, and with the advice and guidance I get from the people in these forums who are Actually doing what I want to do someday, will be very beneficiary for me to accomplish my goals.

    Currently, I am taking an EMT-B class at Pasadena City College (PCC, located in Pasadena, CA). Afterwards, there are 4 classes I want to take, that will Prepare me for the Fire Academy.

    The classes are:
    FIRE 110: Introduction to Fire Technology
    FIRE 115: Fundamentals of Personal Safety and Emergency Action
    FIRE 128: Fundamentals of Fire Protection
    FIRE 142: Building Construction for Fire Protection

    I plan on taking FIRE 110 in Winter 2011, FIRE 115, FIRE 128, and a GE class in Spring 2011, and FIRE 142 in Summer 2011.

    I am wanting to join the El Camino Fire Academy, which is a 16 week course.

    Once I finish the Fire Academy, will I have to Volunteer? I heard that after finishing the Fire Academy, I will have to volunteer at a Fire Department for 12 months, and once I finish, the Fire Chief will give me my Fire Fighter 1 Certificate; is this correct or am I wrong?

    Well, after I finish the Academy, lets just say that I do have to Volunteer for a year. As I volunteer for a year, I plan to continue my education, and take these classes:

    FIRE 112: Fundamentals of Fire Behavior and Control
    TECH 107A: Technical Calculations
    FIRE 114: Fundamentals of Fire Prevention
    FIRE 116: Fire Fighting Tactics and Strategy
    FIRE 124: Applied Chemistry
    FIRE 126: Fire Protection Equipment and Systems
    FIRE 146: Fire Investigation

    To receive my AS in Fire Technology. I plan on taking FIRE 112 and TECH107A in Winter 2012, FIRE 114, FIRE 116 and FIRE 124 in Spring 2012, and FIRE 126 and FIRE 146 in Summer 2012. In Fall 2012, I plan to take whatever GE classes I have left to be able to Transfer. By December 2012, my Volunteering will be complete, and I will get my Fire Fighter 1 Certificate from the Fire Chief, correct?

    In the Summer of 2012, I plan to take the CPAT. Once I get my Fire Fighter 1 Certificate, I will be able to apply and become a FireFighter, right?

    Am I taking the proper path to become a Firefighter, or is my path just too long and there is a quicker way of doing this?

    I have a question concerning salary also. I heard that Firefighters in Los Angeles get a starting pay around $5,000-$6,000 a month, which translates to $60,000-$72,000 a year. I know thats the Gross Income, but what would the Net Income be? Someone said that a $72,000 Gross Income translates to $45,000 Net Income, is this right?

    If so, why? I can't imagine being taxed around 37%! Currently, with my job, I'm being taxed around 12%-15%, although in my job, I'm making only $1,150 a month, after taxes.

    So, I figured I would be taxed the same amount as a Firefighter, but for some reason, I'm going to get taxed 3x as much? Why?

    Well, as for continuing education. I hope to transfer to CSUN (California State University of Northridge) in Winter 2013. But, I believe that Transfer students have to transfer during the beginning of the School year, so I would have to wait until Fall 2013 to be able to be enrolled at CSUN? I am wanting to get a BS in Sociology. I would want to continue my education in Fire Technology, but I figured, that if something happens to me while working as Firefighter, that prevents me from continuing work as a Firefighter, I would have something to fall back on. And with Sociology, it has a broad field of employment opportunities, so I would be able to find work and not be unemployed.

    I hope I gave enough information of what I'm wanting to do, and I hope you someone here would be able to guide me/inform me of taking the right steps to become a Firefighter. And for the record, I'm 23 years old right now, I will be turning 24 in July, and I am hoping to become a Firefighter no later than 26, I'm aiming at 25 right now.

  • #2
    Well at least you have a plan in your head for your life

    Do not know calif rules suggest you call the academy direct and ask them the volunteer question, My guess is the answer will be no you do not have to volunteer


    • #3

      Sounds like you go to school

      Then either get hired on a paid dept and after Dix months chief blesses you

      Or fo one year volunteer then chief blesses you

      Call the academy and find out for sure


      • #4
        Does anyone else have some advice to give?


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