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  • Which Academy?

    Hi everybody,

    Im new to this site and so far I like what I see (who doesnt if this career is their thing, right?).

    I just got a p.o.c position at the local fire dept and I just passed my NREMT- Basic test so now I am wanting to go to a fire academy.

    The closest one to me is the one in Elgin (that I know of) and I have heard that they dont do that many burns... I can get firefighter II classes at my station for free so the main reason for me wanting to go to an academy is to do the burns, and to get more hands on experience instead of book time.

    I dont mind physical training since I know you have to be fit to be a good firefighter, so if the academy did pt, that would be good too.

    Would you guys/ladies recommend me waiting to get a fulltime job at a fire dept so that they will pay for my training or would I be better off just paying for it. The chief told me that they wont pay for it. And if I can wait to get a job so I can save $2000 I will.

    Thanks, Todd

  • #2
    Looky here Bub

    Here's a bit of advice. Dont believe everything you "hear". Be real careful when you are critiquing an academy when you have no experience whatsoever. I am sure the good people of Elgin have a fine academy. If it is the closest to your locale, I would REALLY keep my trap shut. The internet is an amazing place. Uninvited (and uninformed) opinion, burning bridges before you even cross them and being outed and "known" are not rare. The fire service in Illinois is a lot smaller circle then you realize. This friendly advice is brought to you by someone who has had to learn a hard lesson or two during his illustrious fire service career.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT View Post
      Here's a bit of advice. Dont believe everything you "hear". Be real careful when you are critiquing an academy when you have no experience whatsoever. I am sure the good people of Elgin have a fine academy. If it is the closest to your locale, I would REALLY keep my trap shut. The internet is an amazing place. Uninvited (and uninformed) opinion, burning bridges before you even cross them and being outed and "known" are not rare. The fire service in Illinois is a lot smaller circle then you realize. This friendly advice is brought to you by someone who has had to learn a hard lesson or two during his illustrious fire service career.

      Not to sound rude or anything but where the hell do you get from what I wrote that I was "critiquing" Elgins Fire Academy? The only thing that I said was that I heard from other firefighters that they dont do as many burns as other academies in the area. I didnt say anything bad about anybody or any station...

      And how was I burning bridges saying that?

      I was just asking advice and the only thing you gave me was "Looky Here Bub"

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      • #4
        Dont shoot the messenger.
        IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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        • #5
          Dont tell me im cutting anything down when I am just simply looking for advice.

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          • #6
            Just giving you some friendly advice. Besides you can only go burn so many pallets and hay. I think you need a little reality check if you think you are going to be snapped up by some department so they can pay to train you. But what do I know? My work is done here. Good luck.
            IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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            • #7
              Disclaimer

              If any of you think I may be a tad harsh on young Todd, you are probably right. But if a little swat across the nose prevents heartache down the road, I can live with myself. Do I dare remind anyone of a famous FH.com contributer/character named Woody?
              IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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              • #8
                I would think burning pallets and hay would be alot closer to real life experiences then reading it out of a textbook...

                Nobody said getting on a F.D was easy, and im not expecting to be "snapped up" by anybody. I know it all takes work and thats what I am willing to do, if I wasnt willing to work I would find an office job.

                If doing live burns and hands-on work isnt worth going to an academy then what is the benefit of going to one and why do they cost $2000?

                Again, I am just looking for advice, no need to get a hair up your ***.

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                • #9
                  See... You were doing better until that last line. You need to be tough to be a fireman. You better learn that some of us old guys aren't as dumb as we look. I will move along and let some of the nicer people out here answer your questions.
                  IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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                  • #10
                    On another note: The reason for me posting this thread is to get peoples opinions that have gone to different academies in the area, and to see which one would fit MY liking the best. Since I am the one dishing out the money to go to one, I want to have fun and learn as much as I can instead of going to one and being disappointed.

                    So why do you keep making it sound like since I am a "young Todd" I have no say in which academy I go to? Kinda reminds me of EMT class when Paramagics would come in and think they were hot sh** when really, they put their pants on the same way I do and they were in my seat at one time too.

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                    • #11
                      And finally....

                      I rest my case.
                      IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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                      • #12
                        Wow

                        Wow, is this interesting. First off we all have advice for the new guys. Back to the subject of academies.
                        Ask around from former alumni, they can tell you first hand.
                        Location and traveling is huge. You dont want to travel long distances after a hard day of training. It will take a toll on you.
                        You will get out of it what you put into it. Bust your a**, keep your nose in the books, and be the best.
                        Dont take this the wrong way, but when you start you do have to mind your p's & q's. An old saying for newbies, "you have 2 eyes, 2 ears, and 1 mouth, there is a reason for this".
                        The paramagic comment was a little harsh cause we all were emt's once, and I NEVER FORGET THAT.
                        Good luck, try to find a mentor on your department and listen to him/her.

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                        • #13
                          I went through Elgin's academy, hell my name should be on one of the plaques on the wall because I managed to do well. Personally, a ton of live burns or not - I loved it. When I went through they had a HUGE smoke setup in one of the buildings on the grounds at the mental hospital, and I found that to be the most beneficial part of the entire thing. Large area searches, lots of places to get lost in - and you can't memorize that place like you can a burn tower after a few times in. I still think the search skills that (I believe) I have came from drills in that building, not in the burn tower.

                          We also did live burns in Carol Stream, but I don't think that tower exists anymore, at least not for burns. So what they offer now could be different than what they did then, it has been about five years. I've ran into some of their academy staff about six months ago who also volunteer in the smaller town they live in, and I know that the academy classes have come out to the "country" to burn in real homes. In my opinion, that's worth more than any tower burn...

                          Here's my take. I sure like it when I get that smoked smell and the helmet gets a little seasoned by burn tower days. I like feeling the heat once in a while of a real fire in training. HOWEVER - the core knowledge that they beat into us at Elgin is what sticks with me every day, and I think is worth far more than lots of burn room time.

                          Rockford's academy is more rigid (drill style, military) in nature, and since they have their own burn tower - they may smoke up evolutions more. However (and we use their tower once in a while, and let me tell you, since we don't have one - theirs is a hell of a lot better than the tower we don't have) - their tower is pretty limited for evolutions that can be done inside. I have a good friend that did Arlington Heights, I'll ask if he can tell me how many live fire evolutions they had. The sad truth is that they want to get you through all the practical evolutions that the state demands in the given hours, and that doesn't leave a lot of time for lots of live burn evolutions...

                          There's others on the Illinois forum who did Elgin, and I think they'll agree you won't be unhappy.

                          BTW - don't make a truckie joke to the ladders instructor. It will haunt you the rest of the academy... I won't begin to explain it, but we've all done something stupid at least once.
                          Last edited by npfd801; 01-15-2007, 03:19 AM.
                          "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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                          • #14
                            . . . Incoming !! . . . :d

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                            • #15
                              Champaign is a very good academy but probably a bit far for you from Chitown area. They have some very good burns and many buildings in which to do so. While i agree with you on some medics that are a much larger in there heads than the skills in there hands, as a medic myself i have found alot of basics that have come out of class and believe because they read it in a book that is how it is suppose to be done. Now you will apply that know how to real world situations, getting someone out of a car @ O'dark thirty in a snow storm is some thing learned not read. Mikey is trying to give you advice, he is just one of those mean old medics aren't ya buddy.....hard ***

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