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I thought I would let the firefighters know this.

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by Sturgell, May 10, 2005.

  1. Sturgell


    Apr 27, 2005
    In places
    My name is James Sturgell and I am a glock enthusiast as well as graduating from highschool on May 20th. Next fall I am attending Oklahoma State University planning to acquire my BS degree in Fire Protection and Safety Technology. I am going to be a paramedic, ropes certified and a rescue diver for sure, are there an other courses I can take that will further extend my future career? I am very open to ideas from seasoned veterans. Just wanted to let everyone know that in 4 years I will be out in the "Real World" fighting fires and doing my duties in one of these cities in OK, Shawnee, Moore, Norman, or Mustang and not necessarily in that order.

    Thank you all for all of your service and my gratitude for your bravery for choosing this occupation.

    James Sturgell
  2. DScottHewitt

    DScottHewitt EMT-B

    Jul 4, 2000
    Waynesboro, VA
    Any classes you can get into. I have something every weekend this month, as well as tonight. And helping with an EMT class. And evaluating for the local EMS Council for state testing. I helped last Saturday with a burn building. (I missed Sunday.) This weekend is DFP Farm Machinery Extrication. Next weekend is VAVRS Farm Machinery Extrication. Then DFP HTR-Vehicle Extrication the last weekend. Initial response to water rescue and leadership training in June. Along with CEs starting the week after the EMT class finishes. I had 500+ hours in 2004. (And did not start a class until February.) Always more to learn. And re-learn.....



  3. If you can swing it w/ your class schedule, join a local volunteer dept. I gained tons of experience while at a vol dept. Best of luck to ya.
  4. Ironeagle74


    Jan 11, 2005
    I'm not a firefigher or an emt, but i have lots of friends who are. Most of the guys i talk to say its funny how the people with the most experience and volunteer time get overlooked. They say its a lot of political crap that goes along with getting on with a paid crew. The guys that love it and make it their life dont end up getting hired and the guys that just want a "job" get hired.
  5. gloxter


    Jan 2, 2005
    A wall full of certificates wont get you a job. There will be plenty of time for more advanced classes once you do get hired. If you are sincere about getting a job as a PAID PROFESSIONAL firefighter I would suggest you first enroll in, and complete BOTH a State certified Firefighter 1 academy and an EMT course. These generally run about 12-15 weeks Monday thru Friday and some have EMT built in. While I'm not particularly familiar with your area, I can tell you that out West, where I live, there at least 100 applicants for every position. I stood in line with 7,000 people for my first written exam. You will be quickly humbled when you hear the qualifications of others in the process. What's paramount, is that you learn to INTERVIEW well. The interview is what will get you a job. Generally speaking, the written and physical agilities are pass/fail, but your job announcements will tell you, i.e. written = 30% of final score; oral interview = 70% and agility is pass/fail.
    While paramedic licensure will place you way ahead of most of your competition, it must be taken seriously. Medic school shouldn't even be a thought if you haven't even taken and passed your State's EMT curriculum.
    I don't want to come across as arrogant, negative, or worse; but you may want to consider the Fire Academy and EMT school before you go for your 4-year degree, but that's just my opinion. That way, you'll be exposed to an academy atmosphere and have your EMT, in fact, many departments require these two just to take a written! Best of luck to you. If you have any questions, I'd be glad to reply. By the way: I got my B.S. in Fire Service Management 1 year prior to my getting hired by a municipal department!:) Did that all make sense?;g
  6. Slinger646

    Slinger646 King of Sling

    Sep 5, 2004
    In the Mountains of VA
    +1, especially if you live in a "Progressive" town or your town relies on the good ol boy network. Vollie For Life!!
  7. Sturgell


    Apr 27, 2005
    In places
    I have talked to the fire chiefs of Shawnee and Norman, they were both impressed at my future plans and I have several close friends on the fire department to use as references. I know that I will excel at anything I set my mind to. As far as volunteer firefighting if I can do this during the summer while at home I will but it will also not interfere with my schooling, well not too much anyways.
  8. Sturgell


    Apr 27, 2005
    In places
    Thank you PBR, I graduated last night and after lots of tears and knowing that I will not be spending as much time with all my friends. I graduated with a final class size of 37 and 10 or so including myself have attended all 13 years at the same school. Going to Mexico in a few weeks and going to spend all summer with my close friends and then head off to Oklahoma State. I guess this is only the beginning...
  9. Lone Hunter

    Lone Hunter

    Feb 12, 2001
    Well things sure are differant around the country.

    Here in the North East one takes a civil service test for a Dept. and gets ranked by your score.Then as they need to hire they go down the list and you get back grounded. Pass that and then you go to the acadamy (your hired and paid at this time). All that really counts here is your test score.

    My dept. gets maybe 1,500 who take the test and will hire maybe 100 or so off the list before it expires.

    They don't care if your a volly,have taken a boat load of classes or have a 4 year degree.You just gotta beat out 95% of the other test takers.
  10. Stopdropnroll

    Stopdropnroll Moderator Millennium Member

    Jan 7, 1999
    Clackamas County, OR
    1.) go to school and listen... (2 ears, 1 mouth)

    2.) volunteer...and listen.

    3.) do everything Captain Bob tells you.

    SDnR ;)
  11. Tvov


    Sep 30, 2000
    I have been going back and forth on whether to say anything here. I think an old saying goes that if you are not sure about something, be quiet! Oh well, so much for listening to old sayings...

    About joining a volunteer department. DON'T join one just to get experience to become a paid FF. For those of us who stay with VFD, a lot of personal time goes into running a VFD, and it ticks us off to see some people "use" us. When I first joined, I thought the "old-timers" were just being old timers when they would talk about not liking to accept some young guys because they would just use us for training on the way to paid FF. That is, until I saw it happen, more than once.

    Go ahead and join your local VFD. Help out. Help run the department, help your friends and neighbors when they need help. If you become a paid FF, stay with your VFD if possible to contribute back to the department and townspeople who have helped you to become a FF.
  12. nam02G

    nam02G First throwing ax bullseye.

    Feb 4, 2002
    Vancouver USA
    James, like Tvov I've been debating with myself whether I should respond or not. I don't mean to pee in your Wheaties but you may just be setting yourself up for some disappointment. While your plans are great I wouldn't go expecting it to hold to your timetable. The chances that you will get a job right out of college aren't nearly as good as you may think. Your department of choice may not be hiring on you schedule, plus the stiff competition that is out there. Volunteer experience may or may not be valued by every department. Some like the experience, others don't want to have to break you of old habits to teach you their way. I would recommend becoming a volunteer firefighter for one reason. That is to find out if you are really cut out to be a firefighter. I've seen a lot of guys come and go over the last 23+ years. All of them had a childhood dream of being a fireman. A lot of them discovered that they couldn't handle it when they got it. There is a whole bunch that they don't show you on tv shows and in movies about the job. They only show the exciting stuff and never the aftermath.