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  #1  
Old 09-26-2011, 12:41 AM
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ORG Firefighters

Hey guys,

I know there are a few firefighters on here and was hoping to have a few questions/opinions answered that I have. I start my fire science program tomorrow and I'm actually pretty excited for it and right now I am pretty confident that I want to be a career firefighter.

I've talked to a few firefighters in my area and was told to go for the EMT-Paramedic for the best chances of getting hired. Although that is probably true, that is a completely different program than the fire science (although the program does require me to get my EMT-B). I like the idea of the fire science program because it introduces the equipment and the vocabulary that's used by emergency personnel. The paramedic program is a different program at the community college and goes more into the medical terminologies and patient care which is also very viable. So what do you guys recommend?

Hopefully theres a program to where I can get a paramedic certification while I'm employed as a firefighter? I love the shift 24on 48 off and loved going on a ride along at a fire station in the city. I just didn't get all my questions answered when I went. I understand this is an extremely competitive field to go into right now and I am very determined to get in I'm just looking for some tips and info from some people that have some years of experience. Thanks for any imput!
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:54 AM
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Anyone??
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:34 PM
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I would absolutely recommend going to paramedic school. When I started in the fire service 20 years ago they were pulling people off the street and putting them through school. Today if you don't have the most certificates, and maybe even a degree and somebody else does, you will probably get passed up. I have sat on many interview boards for my department and it is hard to look away from someone that has their medic licences, fire standards and a 2 or 4 year degree. Now the paramedic certificate really only counts if your applying to an ALS department, but that seems to be the trend for most departments to head towards today.
It is very time consuming to get all of that done, but if you are young and don't have a family to take care, now is the time to get it all out of the way. Here in Florida if you get your fire science degree you pretty much knock out your fire officer I, fire inspector, and fire instructor requirements which you will need at some point in your career. I tell any young people that ask me about the fire service to get as much done when you are young and have little or no obligations. Maybe you can get your fire standards/EMT and get on with a small department while you finish everything else then look elsewhere for a larger department that has more opportunities for advancement. You might even want to think about volunteering with a department just to make sure it is what you want before you invest all that time and money. Some people has misconceived idea about being a F.F.It is an awesome and rewarding career, but sometimes it can be just like any other job. We don't have fires like we used to and 75-80% of our calls are medicals which is why the medic certification plays such a big part in the hiring process.

Hope that helped some
Good luck

Steve
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:42 PM
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I have heard the same thing that getting my EMT-P. But I'm huge into the whole medical side so I'm going to get my EMT-B and keep it up to date. IF you think you can handle the EMT-P go for it man.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:33 PM
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Steve,

Thank you for your response, that actually helped out a lot and it's especially nice hearing it from someone that has been on the interview board. The fire science degree would give me my firefighter I certificate as well as the EMT-B certificate so hopefully that would make me stand out a little at a department. I'm really nervous about the hiring process because it seems pretty intense and very competitive; Written test, agility test, and then the interview. I really want to go for my paramedic certificate so I can add that to my education and I'm still unsure about the different duties and responsibilities of the Paramedic as opposed to the EMT-B. I have looked into volunteering in my area (TVFDR), which claims to be one of the top fire departments in the country and it seems like volunteering there is a lot like having the job because you have to respond to 75% of the calls, and I didn't think I could handle that and go to school at the same time. I am aware that most of the calls that come through the fire station are medical which is also why I'd want to get the paramedic certification. I'm 22 so if I did both the fire science program and the paramedic program it would take 4 years. One of my biggest fears is having done all that school and not getting a job, because I can basically only use the fire science degree to become a firefighter.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3LDUDE View Post
I have heard the same thing that getting my EMT-P. But I'm huge into the whole medical side so I'm going to get my EMT-B and keep it up to date. IF you think you can handle the EMT-P go for it man.
Yea it seems like a lot of the fire department are moving big into the medical thing as well. I know there have to be at least two paramedics on every shift in Portland. Are you taking your classes for the EMT-B through a community college also? In my area theres only like one 4 year college that offers the fire science program which kinda sucks...
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:57 AM
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Yes I will be taking it through a community collage.. Through my volunteer department, I took their academy and all the classes from that transfer over to my degree.. Good luck and be safe
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