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Eductational Awareness

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  • Eductational Awareness

    I may be out on a limb but the fire service is changing and those who are aspiring to become the firefighters of tomorrow need to take hold. The current requirements of fire departments are typically a high school education, or some experience, or possibly a degree. Some other areas are now requiring or at least preferring an individual with an EMT-P license (Paramedic). Why is this so? Because this is a new field for the fire service and the numbers are currently low. This may be a route to get a job, but throughout the typical 25-year career this major demand for paramedics cannot continue and the next push will be for an advanced education. The leaders at that time will have these degrees and will favor those for promotion as well. I am asking the web team to create a new section on the forums specifically dedicated to educational institutions to allow for comment discussion and awareness of the many educational opportunities that those aspiring to be firefighters have as well as those who are currently in the fire service have. Many schools will cater to firefighters and design their programs around them to facilitate their busy lives and varying schedules. Please help me to get this new section off the ground. Web Team please create a new section to promote higher education for the fire service. All members please let me know what you think both positive and neg. If you currently go to a college or have been to one before please list it and give us a rundown on what it was like.

    Patrick P. Dunn
    [email protected]
    High School or GED only
    Some College Credits (taken as actual courses not simply certifications)
    Associates Degree
    Bachelors Degree
    Masters Degree or Higher

  • #2
    Associates in Applied Science -- Criminal Justice, Suffolk County Community College Class of 94
    BS -- Arson Investigation w/ minor in CJ (even though I already had the AAS), University of New Haven Class of 97
    BS -- Fire Science Administration, University of New Haven Class of 97
    MA -- Political Science/Public Policy, SUNY Stony Brook Class of 01

    I never wanted to be paid firefighter, but I know a majority of the students I went to school with at UNH had their hearts and minds set on either a paid dept. where they were from, or a major city dept. such as Boston or FDNY. Some were there just for their Associates, but most got their BS's and had been taking tests all along, so a lot that I know were hired by dept's within a year or so of graduating. UNH also offered the same (popular) classes during the day and at night and called it a swing shift, so if a person was already on "the job" and couldn't change his/her shift for a day, at least they had another option to go at night, and vice versa.

    I enjoyed my college years, I even earned my EMT (for 6 credits) and National FF 1 while at UNH in CT. And interned at the Congressional Fire Services Institute in WDC twice....

    I probably enjoyed getting my Masters more because I was able to incorporate the fire service in my projects/papers and actually educated people on different topics since I was the only firefighter in my classes.

    Something of note, while at UNH I was on "school leave" from my vol. dept. and I was on it for about a year while at Stony Brook (even though it's local, I was still working two jobs and taking two classes a semester).

    It would be great to add info on scholarships, too....

    Hope this helps.

    Sorry it's so long....
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)


    • #3
      Much of this is devil's advocacy...
      Why can't the demand for paramedics continue? What income, as always the bottom line, does a rookie with a degree bring to a city? As opposed to a rookie medic who can justify for a dept. the cost of ALS transport or at a minimum a paramedic response? And as is the case in private EMS, burnout is always a factor. I don't think turnover in the fire service will be as prevalent because of the pension system, but you will still have a system of rotation off medic duty. You'd have to. When medics have 20-25 years in, I doubt they will still want to serve in that capacity. So you will continue to have a need for fresh young backs on which to place the financial loads of the fire department. At least in places that don't have a huge tax base...

      There aren't any places that I know of that will hire somebody strictly because they have a degree, but there are many that will ignore everything else about someone that has a paramedic license...

      It's a bum deal, really. Get my license just to get a job where they'll hold it over my head that the only reason I got hired was to wipe old ladys' asses on non-emergency transfers? Nah, I'll take the degree and my chances...
      ...if you put the handline in the right spot, you won't have to jump out the window...
      -Andy "Nozzles", SQ18, 9-11-01


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