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Anyone become disillusioned with the job?

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  • Anyone become disillusioned with the job?

    We operate the ambulances/ems as well as fire. The majority of the runs we make don't seem to be a medical emergency at all and could easily be taken care of at an urgent care clinic vs a trip to
    the ER. No telling how many structure fire calls I've been dispatched to only to find something was forgotten in the oven or someone thought they smelled smoke. And then there's all the paperwork that no one ever really told me about. I haven't been on the job too long and enjoy station life, but I'm not sure I'm as passionate as others about what I do. I don't have a hero complex. I'm not an adrenaline junkie that actually likes running into burning buildings. I do it because I'm trained to and because it's my job. Is this the right career for me? Does anyone feel similarly?

  • #2
    If you're asking if this is the career for you; you probably already know the answer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by TXHuntFish View Post
      We operate the ambulances/ems as well as fire. The majority of the runs we make don't seem to be a medical emergency at all and could easily be taken care of at an urgent care clinic vs a trip to
      the ER. No telling how many structure fire calls I've been dispatched to only to find something was forgotten in the oven or someone thought they smelled smoke. And then there's all the paperwork that no one ever really told me about. I haven't been on the job too long and enjoy station life, but I'm not sure I'm as passionate as others about what I do. I don't have a hero complex. I'm not an adrenaline junkie that actually likes running into burning buildings. I do it because I'm trained to and because it's my job. Is this the right career for me? Does anyone feel similarly?
      The reality is the fire service is exactly like you are saying many places. The amount of "real" structure fires is way down in much of the country, which is good for the citizens. The amount of "band aid" runs for ems is way up. My former career FD ran about 85% ems and many of those were truly non-emergent.

      I guess I agree that if you are wondering if it is the career for you what exactly do you have in mind? Only you can decide what is right for you.
      Crazy, but that's how it goes
      Millions of people living as foes
      Maybe it's not too late
      To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

      Comment


      • #4
        If you are expecting lots of "fire porn," flashing lights, heroics, etc, never mind. As already noted, fires are down. And more and more of the fires we encounter today involve buildings built with toothpicks and cardboard (my description of lightweight construction), furnished with what amounts to gasoline. We often cannot save the buildings, and hope the occupants are out, cause we probably won't be able to go in. Flashovers are occurring in well under ten minutes.

        EMS has replaced the family doctor. In fact, very few people these days have a "family doctor." So they call EMS for anything they can't figure out for themselves (and often for things they should be able to figure out for themselves). That's why emergency medical dispatch protocols include a category for "should just call a taxi." In fact, an emerging portion of paramedicine simply involves making follow-up "house calls," designed to keep people from having to go back into the hospital.

        That said - departments vary. Some do still run a fair amount of fire. Some small towns see just a few fires a year. Some departments don't run EMS at all.

        Consider what you want out of the career. Then look at what's available around you and see if the fire service meets your expectations.
        Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

        Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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        • #5
          I just feel like maybe I didn't put in enough due dillegence when I decided that this was something I wanted to do. Looked at the pros positively without fully understanding the cons to the job. I think I'll stick with it. It is a great job and career that many can only dream of doing for a living (just looking at the hiring board section). It just isn't what I expected it would be.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TXHuntFish View Post
            I just feel like maybe I didn't put in enough due dillegence when I decided that this was something I wanted to do. Looked at the pros positively without fully understanding the cons to the job. I think I'll stick with it. It is a great job and career that many can only dream of doing for a living (just looking at the hiring board section). It just isn't what I expected it would be.
            How long have you been doing it and how old are you?

            Seriously though, I have to ask where you got your perception of what firefighting was? I pray to God it wasn't from Rescue Me or Chicago Fire, or Backdraft or Ladder 49, because it isn't like that and certainly isn't as busy as any of those shows portray it in most departments.

            If you are this disillusioned this early in your career, what will you be like in 5, 10, or 20 years? Now THAT is the question only you can answer...
            Crazy, but that's how it goes
            Millions of people living as foes
            Maybe it's not too late
            To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by FyredUp View Post

              How long have you been doing it and how old are you?

              Seriously though, I have to ask where you got your perception of what firefighting was? I pray to God it wasn't from Rescue Me or Chicago Fire, or Backdraft or Ladder 49, because it isn't like that and certainly isn't as busy as any of those shows portray it in most departments.

              If you are this disillusioned this early in your career, what will you be like in 5, 10, or 20 years? Now THAT is the question only you can answer...
              I'm in my late 20's. Have only been at it for about a year. A buddy I went to college with loved his job as a firefighter, so I looked into it and thought it was something I'd enjoy or at least not dread. I know a desk job isn't for me. My college major was a dead end unless I decided to go back and at the very least earn a master's degree, which I never had any desire to do.

              I never watched any of those firefighting shows/movies. I've never been interested in watching any occupational drama for that matter. I think I can stick it out. I love the amount of time I have to pursue my other hobbies/interests. I stay focused on the job while I'm on duty. I know I still have a lot to learn. And for the most part, I like the guys that I work with. It's good to know that I'm not the only one that gets tired of the BS runs.
              Last edited by TXHuntFish; 10-12-2016, 09:14 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                "I think I can stick it out."

                This speaks volumes to me. This may sound harsh, but here goes. In my mind you are just an employee of the fire department and not a firefighter because it is clear your heart isn't in it.
                Crazy, but that's how it goes
                Millions of people living as foes
                Maybe it's not too late
                To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TXHuntFish View Post
                  Is this the right career for me? Does anyone feel similarly?
                  I'm retired. What I used to tell people who were considering a fire service career was to realize there are two different aspects to the job. There is the romance, and there is the reality.

                  There is the romance of the fire service. Running into burning buildings and rescuing nuns and orphans jumping off the roof.

                  The reality is significantly different. It can be mundane and to be honest boring at many times.

                  This is not unique to the fire service.

                  I have a childhood friend who became a fighter pilot in the USAF. At first he admits to be incredibly excited every time he flew his plane. Towards the end (25 years later) it became a mundane task. Being a federal agency the USAF required one to fill out an amount of paperwork roughly equivalent to the weight of the plane (his words) every time he took off.

                  Couple that with being assigned in some pretty remote places and you get the idea. It's not like Top Gun where there are hot chicks chasing you in bars while living in beach side cottages.

                  We both retired about the same time. We finally got together afterward and laughed about how our career mindsets had similar trajectories. By the time we retired we were both ready to leave.

                  Don't get me wrong, I have some great memories and made some great friends. But it was a job. It was what I did for a living. It wasn't what I was about as a person.

                  Keep in mind you are working for a government agency. It was there before you and it will be there after you are gone. Your service will be appreciated, but will be forgotten the week after you leave.
                  Last edited by scfire86; 10-14-2016, 10:47 AM.
                  They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

                  I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am 57 and have only been doing it as a career for close to 8 years. that being said, I have been (and still am in 2 other departments) an active volunteer since I was 19, and working part-time since I was 45. I have been in EMS just as long.

                    Are there days that the job frustrates me? Sure. And yes, periodically there are days that I wish I didn't enter it as a profession, but that is true of any job. Overall, I still live to do the job, not just come to the job every day as a job. Obviously as a volunteer, I can walk away for a couple of weeks if need space, and periodically I have, but that's not an option as now it's my paycheck.

                    To me the fire service - even it's mundane parts - has always been a passion. For some it's just a job, and that's cool, but if you have been at it for only a year, and you are feeling this way, you may want to rethink your career choice as 25 years is a long time to just muddle through your work day.
                    Train to fight the fires you fight.

                    Comment

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