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Should I leave a full-time job to be a live-in in PG County?

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  • #16
    Some info that would help us all in offering advice:

    How long on current department?

    How old is he?

    Is there a pension plan in place?

    Is he vested in that plan?

    Would there be a return of contributions if he left?

    Does he own or rent his home?

    Is there a significant other?

    Does he have health insurance? Is there a way to get a plan if he leaves?
    Last edited by captnjak; 08-19-2018, 10:52 AM.

    Comment


    • #17
      I agree that he is thinking about a major upheaval from a established firefighting position to move across the country to a very uncertain future.

      Just seems to me that he could find just as much fire in Seattle or Portland as he could in NYC, or maybe he just wants to get out of the northwest.
      Train to fight the fires you fight.

      Comment


      • #18
        He also wanted variety of choice in his future positions along with promotional opportunities. We have options out the ying yang here.

        I wouldn't go anywhere just for fire duty. It will get old soon enough. How many older firefighters are itching for fires? Fires are bad. People get hurt or die sometimes. Lives are upheaved at the least. Homes are destroyed. Fires really suck!
        Last edited by captnjak; 08-19-2018, 07:15 PM.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by captnjak View Post
          He also wanted variety of choice in his future positions along with promotional opportunities. We have options out the ying yang here.

          I wouldn't go anywhere just for fire duty. It will get old soon enough. How many older firefighters are itching for fires? Fires are bad. People get hurt or die sometimes. Lives are upheaved at the least. Homes are destroyed. Fires really suck!
          I agree that fires suck. That is why in great part I made the decision to focus much of my effort and training time on prevention. I still roll to fires both with my career FD and at my volunteer gigs, and still enjoy suppression now and then, but my passion is prevention.

          That being said, I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would give up a firefighting gig to go be a volunteer living with a bunch of (for the most part) college students without a full-time job lined up. At the end of day, what you or I think about what the OP wants to do doesn't matter for squat, but I am having a tough time processing what he wants to do.But that may be just me.

          As far as opportunities and specialist training, I'm sure that the large departments closer to home like Seattle or Portland offer just as many opportunities as the FDNY does. As I said, maybe he just wants to get out of the Pacific Northwest.
          Train to fight the fires you fight.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post

            I agree that fires suck. That is why in great part I made the decision to focus much of my effort and training time on prevention. I still roll to fires both with my career FD and at my volunteer gigs, and still enjoy suppression now and then, but my passion is prevention.

            That being said, I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would give up a firefighting gig to go be a volunteer living with a bunch of (for the most part) college students without a full-time job lined up. At the end of day, what you or I think about what the OP wants to do doesn't matter for squat, but I am having a tough time processing what he wants to do.But that may be just me.

            As far as opportunities and specialist training, I'm sure that the large departments closer to home like Seattle or Portland offer just as many opportunities as the FDNY does. As I said, maybe he just wants to get out of the Pacific Northwest.
            I agree. Any good sized city department will have varying opportunities.

            I think only youth can explain the rest of it. Part of me admires him and part of me thinks he's nuts!

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by captnjak View Post

              I agree. Any good sized city department will have varying opportunities.

              I think only youth can explain the rest of it. Part of me admires him and part of me thinks he's nuts!
              And welcome back. I did not miss you. Nothing personal. It's just been so dead that NOBODY has really been posting.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by captnjak View Post
                I offered a possible answer that seemed to satisfy the desired requirements and the good doctor responded with a very strongly worded reply. And he did not explain his answer until I pushed him on it.
                It's still bad advice.

                Getting hired by FDNY (the suppression side, not the EMS side) would be awesome. no arguments that FDNY is big and busy and has some amazing options. While I do think that the amount of fire they see isn't that much (I do still have BNN), at least from the perspective of how often you are first due to a fire and actually get to go to work, but as one of the largest cities in the US, they do have daily working fires.

                I know several people that did work in EMS, and later on were hired by suppression.... so I am not saying that it can't be done; but they were already locals, they weren't moving across the country for a crappy job in hopes of waiting it out until they got the call that their number had been picked. I've heard the stories and don't deny that FDNY is a great department to be a firefighter for.... but it's a miserable department to do EMS for, as many reports indicate.

                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                That being said, I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would give up a firefighting gig to go be a volunteer living with a bunch of (for the most part) college students without a full-time job lined up. At the end of day, what you or I think about what the OP wants to do doesn't matter for squat, but I am having a tough time processing what he wants to do.But that may be just me.
                That's pretty much it. If you have a sugar momma, or mommy and daddy are still paying your bills, and you want to go play firefighter while you finish school, go for it. I'm an adult now, with adult bills, and responsibilities. quitting my job, moving across the country, without a way to pay for housing, food, and diapers (my son poops a lot, and needs to be changed multiple times a day) is not a mature decision that I would make.

                Bigger departments will almost always lead to more opportunities. There are some departments that see a lot of fire, and others that run a ton of EMS calls and see the occasional fire. I am not saying don't find a new department where you are happier.... I am saying leaving a full time career department to finish your degree without having another job lined up (that you want to do) sounds like an irresponsibly impulsive decision, and one that I would strongly caution against. Same thing would be to leave your current department and transfer to a job that you don't want to do, one that would prevent you from coming to a fire department as a lateral transfer.

                The OP asked for advice, I gave him my opinion. what he does with it is up to him
                If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

                FF/EMT/DBP

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by drparasite View Post
                  That's pretty much it. If you have a sugar momma, or mommy and daddy are still paying your bills, and you want to go play firefighter while you finish school, go for it. I'm an adult now, with adult bills, and responsibilities. quitting my job, moving across the country, without a way to pay for housing, food, and diapers (my son poops a lot, and needs to be changed multiple times a day) is not a mature decision that I would make.
                  The OP describes himself as 'single no kids'. As a live-in at a PG (or more generally 'central Maryland') firehouse, his housing cost is $0. All he has to cover is food, a car and tuition to finish his business degree. The tuition for his medic program, he may be able to get through a grant from the state of Maryland. Also, there are plenty of jobs in the DC metro area, any able bodied young man with the brain to go to college has opportunities to make a living.

                  We have a young man who is a live-in who basically did this. He left a career gig with limited career opportunities in the midwest and spent 2 years working carpentry while putting in applications and testing. He is now on a career department in the DC area and continues to live in a quiet rural firehouse until he has the cash to buy his first house or farm.

                  The OPs plan is not as crazy as it seems. 'Young and single' allows you to do things that come with some minor risk.
                  Last edited by Too_Old; 08-24-2018, 12:54 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by drparasite View Post
                    It's still bad advice.

                    Getting hired by FDNY (the suppression side, not the EMS side) would be awesome. no arguments that FDNY is big and busy and has some amazing options. While I do think that the amount of fire they see isn't that much (I do still have BNN), at least from the perspective of how often you are first due to a fire and actually get to go to work, but as one of the largest cities in the US, they do have daily working fires.

                    I know several people that did work in EMS, and later on were hired by suppression.... so I am not saying that it can't be done; but they were already locals, they weren't moving across the country for a crappy job in hopes of waiting it out until they got the call that their number had been picked. I've heard the stories and don't deny that FDNY is a great department to be a firefighter for.... but it's a miserable department to do EMS for, as many reports indicate.

                    That's pretty much it. If you have a sugar momma, or mommy and daddy are still paying your bills, and you want to go play firefighter while you finish school, go for it. I'm an adult now, with adult bills, and responsibilities. quitting my job, moving across the country, without a way to pay for housing, food, and diapers (my son poops a lot, and needs to be changed multiple times a day) is not a mature decision that I would make.

                    Bigger departments will almost always lead to more opportunities. There are some departments that see a lot of fire, and others that run a ton of EMS calls and see the occasional fire. I am not saying don't find a new department where you are happier.... I am saying leaving a full time career department to finish your degree without having another job lined up (that you want to do) sounds like an irresponsibly impulsive decision, and one that I would strongly caution against. Same thing would be to leave your current department and transfer to a job that you don't want to do, one that would prevent you from coming to a fire department as a lateral transfer.

                    The OP asked for advice, I gave him my opinion. what he does with it is up to him
                    So why is MY advice "bad" and YOUR advice just an an "opinion"?

                    I have worked with quite a few firefighters who moved from out of state to become FDNY firefighters. They left other departments in other states to do so. Ohio, Massachusetts and Florida immediately come to mind but I know there are others. Some came directly to firefighter and some went EMS first.

                    I don't deny that FDNY EMS has a salary problem. I acknowledged it earlier. I also suggested ways around it.

                    It is not for everyone. I don't have an FDNY chip on my shoulder. I know what we are and what we are not although I don't have BNN (whatever that is).

                    The Op never posted the particulars of his personal and financial situation so it is hard to really even give advice. As has been pointed out earlier by others, every person is different. You would not make the move. I get it. That doesn't mean HE should not make a move.

                    Personally, if I were to make such a move it would be for a big career department that met all of the long term requirements. It would not be to go ride along with PG or any other department.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Gentlemen,

                      Thank you for the abundance of responses! I haven?t gotten on here in a month or so thinking that this thread was dead. I?ll respond to Captnjak?s questions first.

                      I?m in my early twenties. I already left one career job to come up to the PNW and get away from the southern part of the pacific if you know what I mean, and I?m sort of regretting it. I?ve been on at this department for 6 months and I already know that this is not the place for me. I do have a pension plan with excellent benefits but poor pay. I currently rent and have zero ties to the area other than my girlfriend who is flexible about moving.

                      This place is rural with an archaic system based on supplemental volunteer staffing that simply isn?t there anymore causing the duty staff to be overworked and fatigued from coming in on our days off on a far too regular basis. We have minimal staffing, poor leadership, and meet just about every line of duty death risk factor. I just know that this is not the place to make a career of as it is right now. We get good calls and I get great experience, but it?s just not the place for me.

                      I?m in the process with some other bigger city departments on this side of the country. FDNY would be the dream gig. I?d be happy to make a career at some other cities like Boise, Vegas, Seattle etc. or even a well organized suburban department, but I fully intend on testing for them in three years at the next test. I wouldn?t leave for an ems only job though. I guess the PG volunteer idea was sort of impulsive. I know I can get hired other places. I?m just feeling desperate to get out of here, and I sort of romanticize the idea of just fighting tons of fire like the old days.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by SARJunkie View Post
                        Gentlemen,

                        Thank you for the abundance of responses! I haven?t gotten on here in a month or so thinking that this thread was dead. I?ll respond to Captnjak?s questions first.

                        I?m in my early twenties. I already left one career job to come up to the PNW and get away from the southern part of the pacific if you know what I mean, and I?m sort of regretting it. I?ve been on at this department for 6 months and I already know that this is not the place for me. I do have a pension plan with excellent benefits but poor pay. I currently rent and have zero ties to the area other than my girlfriend who is flexible about moving.

                        This place is rural with an archaic system based on supplemental volunteer staffing that simply isn?t there anymore causing the duty staff to be overworked and fatigued from coming in on our days off on a far too regular basis. We have minimal staffing, poor leadership, and meet just about every line of duty death risk factor. I just know that this is not the place to make a career of as it is right now. We get good calls and I get great experience, but it?s just not the place for me.

                        I?m in the process with some other bigger city departments on this side of the country. FDNY would be the dream gig. I?d be happy to make a career at some other cities like Boise, Vegas, Seattle etc. or even a well organized suburban department, but I fully intend on testing for them in three years at the next test. I wouldn?t leave for an ems only job though. I guess the PG volunteer idea was sort of impulsive. I know I can get hired other places. I?m just feeling desperate to get out of here, and I sort of romanticize the idea of just fighting tons of fire like the old days.
                        Considering how bleak your current situation looks and the fact that you're not heavily invested in the pension system (or much else) there I would continue testing and exploring opportunities. Early twenties gives you time. That doesn't mean you should waste any of it but at least you have it.
                        Good luck.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          SARJunkie,

                          I have pondered my response here for a while and here goes.

                          You are young and that allows time to experiment with jobs and opportunities. But doing so comes with some risk. Suppose you leave your current department and then never get hired again as a career firefighter? Are you prepared for that possibility? There is a difference in leaving for another job and leaving to become a live in in PG County. I understand your dissatisfaction with your current job. Heck I left a department for another after 7 years because of dissatisfaction.

                          But having said that I will follow it up with this regret is a BITCH! Looking back at what might have been and realizing that you never took the chance is a really bitter pill to swallow. There is a job that I passed on that even now, 25 years later, I wonder what might have been. Not unhappy with what I did end up doing but there is that what if hanging over me. Understand the risks and follow your head and your heart.

                          Good luck!
                          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


                          • #28
                            Now we have some perspective... It sounds like you are not "living the dream". That being said, leaving without another job, as Fryrd said, without another firefighting job in hand is risky. Much of this depends on your personality and your aversion to risk, and only you can answer that question.

                            God luck with whatever decision you make.
                            Train to fight the fires you fight.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by captnjak View Post
                              Considering how bleak your current situation looks and the fact that you're not heavily invested in the pension system (or much else) there I would continue testing and exploring opportunities. Early twenties gives you time. That doesn't mean you should waste any of it but at least you have it.
                              Good luck.
                              What he said. Life is too short to be unhappy, but I do think it's shortsighted and foolish to leave a full time job without another full time job lined up.
                              If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

                              FF/EMT/DBP

                              Comment

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