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

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

    Greetings,

    I?m seeking some advice from folks, perhaps for Prince George?s County, or perhaps from just some veterans on the job. I?m a younger full-time firefighter at a department in the rural Pacific Northwest. I love the guys I work with, and we get good calls, but we?re a slower department. I?ve been looking at Prince George?s County for a long time, and I?m considering leaving my full-time job to be a resident/live-in volunteer somewhere in Prince George?s County while I go to school to get my bachelors degree and medic license while fighting a lot of fire with some of the best in the country.

    I?m seeking some advice on whether I should do this or not. Would it be foolish to give up a full-time job and potentially be taking a step backward? I think PG County is very well run, and it would sort of give me an opportunity to get some of those educational goals out of the way while (perhaps most importantly to me) fighting a lot of fire with some of the best around.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • #2
    What are you getting your degree in?

    Where do you want to be and doing ten years from now?

    Comment


    • #3
      I?m working on a business degree. It?s primarily for promotional opportunities and to prepare for the admin side of the job when those promotions happen.

      I sort of have two visions for the way things could go in ten years. One is that I commit to staying at this department and put my energy into helping to make this the best place I can help it to be. Part of the problem is that there is not much upward mobility, it has a long way to go, and frankly I want to be somewhere with more capabilities and that fights more fire.

      The other is that in ten years I would like to be working at a busy fire department where I could experience specialty capabilities like trucks, rescue squads, and USAR. I?d like to be moving my way into a company officer position, involved in training as an instructor, and preparing to move into a training officer/chief role. That?s one of the things that attracts me to PG County is that so many stations are busy, fight a lot of fire, and have these capabilities.

      Like I said, I?m concerned that I would be taking a step backward leaving a full-time position.

      Comment


      • #4
        Assuming you are single with no kids and not heavily entrenched (pension, etc) in your current department, I think you should make a move. It doesn't sound like you will fulfill your career goals in your current department.

        But why all the way across the country to PG? Are there not better opportunities closer to home? Why not start testing at every large department in the northwest? Or go nationwide and test at all of the big city departments?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SARJunkie View Post
          I?m working on a business degree. It?s primarily for promotional opportunities and to prepare for the admin side of the job when those promotions happen.

          I sort of have two visions for the way things could go in ten years. One is that I commit to staying at this department and put my energy into helping to make this the best place I can help it to be. Part of the problem is that there is not much upward mobility, it has a long way to go, and frankly I want to be somewhere with more capabilities and that fights more fire.

          The other is that in ten years I would like to be working at a busy fire department where I could experience specialty capabilities like trucks, rescue squads, and USAR. I?d like to be moving my way into a company officer position, involved in training as an instructor, and preparing to move into a training officer/chief role. That?s one of the things that attracts me to PG County is that so many stations are busy, fight a lot of fire, and have these capabilities.

          Like I said, I?m concerned that I would be taking a step backward leaving a full-time position.


          Should have asked where you are at with your degree?? How many years or hours left??


          Depending on what you have left, I am thinking finish the degree before you jump anywhere. Than start testing in your state or adjoining states at bigger departments.


          I am thinking if you do not finish the degree first, you will not do it, or take you more years.

          Are you doing mostly on line ?? local/ state college or one of the paid online colleges??

          Comment


          • #6
            I?m single with no kids, and I?m not originally from around here, so I don?t really have any roots. One of the challenges is that I don?t get very much time off to travel and test around the area. I?ve wanted to go experience the east coast and the fire service over there, and I just feel like that is a very unique place that has a lot to experience. Truthfully, I?m young and I know there?s a lot of fire to fight and experience to be had over there.I figure if it were to ever happen that it would be now before I am too set or entrenched.

            Right now im finished with most of my general education, and I?m about to begin the business track. Currently I?m doing my classes online through a community college.

            Comment


            • #7
              Come to NYC and get hired as an EMT. In two years you can take an easy promotion to firefighter.

              Comment


              • #8
                Definitely finish your degree FIRST. And I'd take a long look at some of the drama going on in PG Co. before I'd decide to move there.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Let me see if I have this straight.... you have a full time job, with pension, stability, retirement, and you want to quit your job, your sole source of income, to play firefighter outside of DC while you go to school?

                  Here is a better idea..... continue to finish your degree (online if you can), and earn your associates. take the test for PG county, DC, f and all the surrounding counties, and GET HIRED by a department. Continue completing your bachelors in business. This way, you will have a job already lined up, a source of income, a way to afford a roof over your head, and you will get the experience of being an east coast firefighter.

                  If you have time (and funds) to take several years off to complete your degree, than you have time to take a couple prescheduled trips out east to test for a new career.

                  Originally posted by captnjak View Post
                  Come to NYC and get hired as an EMT. In two years you can take an easy promotion to firefighter.
                  That is arguably some of the worst advice ever given on these forums.
                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by drparasite View Post
                    Let me see if I have this straight.... you have a full time job, with pension, stability, retirement, and you want to quit your job, your sole source of income, to play firefighter outside of DC while you go to school?

                    Here is a better idea..... continue to finish your degree (online if you can), and earn your associates. take the test for PG county, DC, f and all the surrounding counties, and GET HIRED by a department. Continue completing your bachelors in business. This way, you will have a job already lined up, a source of income, a way to afford a roof over your head, and you will get the experience of being an east coast firefighter.

                    If you have time (and funds) to take several years off to complete your degree, than you have time to take a couple prescheduled trips out east to test for a new career.

                    That is arguably some of the worst advice ever given on these forums.
                    "worst advice ever given"?

                    That's quite a claim. Back it up

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Some of the PG companies have out of state members who have creditable certifications and just ride for the experience. Some, like you, come from career departments that just don't see much action. Most are from neighboring states and federal agencies, not from straight across the country. While PG live in is a good opportunity to collect experience and certs, you still have to test for career positions like everyone else. That many of the live ins manage to get into career gigs is a testament to ttheir qualifications, it doesn't mean that this is guaranteed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by captnjak View Post
                        That's quite a claim. Back it up
                        The young person wants to be a big city firefighter. You are suggesting that he 1) move across the country to one of the most expensive (cost of living-wise) areas in the nation, and get a job at one of the worst paying EMS system for a city of it's size.

                        2) you don't get hired by FDNY EMS overnight, it's a long process, so that's more time wasted (and if you want details on some personal experience, check out https://emtlife.com, they have a threat that is 548 pages long just on this topic.

                        3) if he does get hired by EMS, he needs to go through the EMS academy (more time wasted), then wait until the firefighter promotion academy happens, and hope he does well enough to get in (but remember, no on wants to work in EMS, many are looking for the pay bump to firefighter, so you have a lot of competition), and then go back through the firefighter academy.

                        4) while some companies do so a lot of fire, some don't see much; it all depends on what house station you get assigned to. So while the training is awesome, if you assigned to a house that doesn't see much fire, you won't get much experience (as per a former NJ FF who got hired by FDNY, and came back to his original small urban city FD because it allowed him to see more actual fire).

                        So yeah, it's not a good plan, and it's actually really pad advice.

                        Now if you were already living in NYC, or around NYC, or really wanted to work on an ambulance in NYC, than I would say sure, go for it. If he wasn't already a career firefighter, and or was looking at transitioning to a new field, I would say,or was unemployed and had his heart set on NYC, I'd say "sure, take a chance, nothing wrong with that, because FDNY EMS is slightly better than nothing." But it's a pretty miserable job (much worse than other EMS jobs within an hours drive of NYC), so much so that it even had it's own website http://fdnysucks.com/

                        I stand by my original statement: continue to finish your degree (online if you can), and earn your associates. take the test for PG county, DC, fairfax county and city and all the surrounding counties, and GET HIRED by a fire department where you are assigned to a suppression unit, where you get to put out the fires, not just watch the firefighters work from the ambulance. Continue completing your bachelors in business. This way, you will have a job already lined up, a source of income, a way to afford a roof over your head, and you will get the experience of being an east coast firefighter.

                        If you have time (and funds) to take several years off to complete your degree, than you have time to take a couple prescheduled trips out east to test for a new career with a new department.

                        I guess worst advice ever given might have been inaccurate. how about worst career advice ever given?
                        I know it is a ways away but does anyone have an idea of a tentative date/week of the start for October academy? I have a vacation planned for the end...
                        Last edited by drparasite; 08-09-2018, 12:56 PM.
                        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


                        • #13
                          He wants to be a big city firefighter. No bigger city than NYC.

                          He wants opportunity for advancement. No department has more and varied options than FDNY.

                          Plenty of opportunities to continue his education here. There is a foundation that will reimburse his tuition if he gets a "C" or better in his courses.

                          Yes it takes time to get hired. Isn't that true everywhere?

                          Yes it is expensive. Young people of all occupations tend to share apartments or houses. EMT's here are indeed under paid IMO. With seniority and overtime it gets better, especially if promoting to medic. And of course much better if promoting to firefighter. FDNY employees are not obligated to live in NYC once hired.

                          Keep getting promoted and become a Battalion Chief and make almost $200K. And it is a civil service testing system. No political nonsense.

                          Each promotion comes with a training course. Lieutenants go for 5 weeks 40 hours a week. Captains and chiefs also have courses. You are moved to a different part of the city with each promotion. This gives us a very highly trained officer and chief corp with varied and numerous experiences. All training courses are taught by fellow uniformed members of the department.

                          Healthcare and pension benefits are very good. We have a 40 hour work week. Good vacation leave policy. Unions are strong, although public sector unions are limited in job action. Many, many firefighters in this country can be dismissed at any time without cause. Many work up to 56 hours per week. Many live far from work in order to enjoy a certain lifestyle. ALL uniforms and equipment are provided by the job.

                          If he wants action he may have to put in a couple of years at his original assignment and then transfer to a busier company. We have everything from detached private dwellings to tenements to high rise office buildings and everything in between. We handle every emergency known to man.

                          It takes commitment and effort to get hired. It's not for every one. And living in the NYC metropolitan area is not for everyone either. But very, very few ever leave. I've known many who came from out of state to work here.

                          When we do go to work it is with great staffing and resources. This allows a very aggressive interior type of firefighting. Evacuation orders are extremely rare. We get numerous hose lines inside the building and extinguish the fire. Search and ventilation are done simultaneously with fire attack. We have SOP for everything that go back decades (with updating of course).

                          Simply put, the FDNY can be an incredible career and well worth any sacrifices it takes to become a firefighter in this department.

                          The young man is already strongly considering making a move. I simply suggested an option that is doable.



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There are two kinds of people. Those who want to be a FDNY firefighter, and those who don't. Those who want it, will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              subscribed, this seems like a very interesting thread

                              Comment

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