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question for firefighters

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by meshmdz, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. meshmdz

    meshmdz OBAMA 2012

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    i have a criminal justice degree and am having trouble getting hired for some reason. its not because i have been in trouble, its just that around here, police work is very political... sadly enough, its the truth.

    however, i have thought about becoming a fire fighter. i was wanting to ask the firefighters out there how they like the line of work and how they got the job? did you all know someone who helped you get hired? how long is fire school? was it tough? is the pay good? etc...

    i would be greatful for someone to help me out here. thanks:supergrin:
     
  2. Pa Glock guy

    Pa Glock guy

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    Its a good job. Ive been a career fire fighter for 15 years in PA. I was a volunteer years before that and liked it alot so thats why im here today. The pay is good for this area. Youll get your base salary which will probably suck at first but with the night shift, shift differentals, holidays, overtimes, possible promotions, you can do pretty darn good. The hardest part is starting out as the pay is usually low and thats when most guys have young families so its rough for some. I get 5 weeks vacation, Blue Cross, decent prescription plan, nice schedule, pension plan, up to 170 sick days. Most fire fighters work for a set number of days then off for a set number of days. You can work part time as a cop if you like. Working for city goverment is usually pretty good. If the dept. has a union that helps as well. Political connections will help you in some depts. but not all. When I got hired we went to school for 6 weeks now the guys go for 4 months. You never stop learning when you get out of the academy. Hope this helps you a little and good luck.
     

  3. meshmdz

    meshmdz OBAMA 2012

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    thanks you sir
     
  4. Pa Glock guy

    Pa Glock guy

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    No problem, in fact I can retire in 5 years at 42 years of age. Im thinking of going to the police academy and becomming a police offcer for a second career.
     
  5. gloxter

    gloxter

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    :shocked:

    Actually, one of the other four people I got hired with earned his B.A. in Criminal Justice. Another earned his in Biology from UC Davis, and I received my B.S. in Fire Service Management.

    While you didn't state where you were from, other than "USA", know that pay varies greatly throughout the US. In some of the larger metropolitan areas (California, for example) it is NOT uncommon for a backwards ridin' firefighter to make more than Chiefs, even more than THE Chief. This is particularly true in the Bay Area and surrounding counties. Starting wages in the US are the highest in these areas. High 70,000's per year, before educational incentives, special team assignment incentives, bilingual pay, medic pay, etc., etc. are not uncommon. Couple that with benefits such as tuition reimbursement, department funded schooling; deferred compensation (pre-tax savings via payroll deductions) AND 3% of your single highest year times the number of years served as your retirement pay and the job is extremely lucrative.

    Again, you haven't said which state you live in. But I will say that this "job" is better than I have ever envisioned. You really have to be on top of your game while testing and interviewing. Scoring high in one or both takes dedication, perseverance, and an ability to recognize your shortcomings. Imagine my surprise when I stood in line for my FIRST written exam with 7,000 other people for about 30 jobs. Needless to say I didn't get on with that Department, but am more than happy where I'm at now.

    You did ask "did you know someone who helped you get hired?" A safe bet would be for you to start doing some station visits, by appointment, and develop a list of questions you have. Chances are that if you are sincerely interested in obtaining "the badge" someone may offer to essentially be a mentor to your pursuit. I didn't, but wish I had. My path took five years, and a whole stack of "Thanks for testing, but we regret..." letters.

    An absolutely invaluable resource for you at this stage of the game would be to join and do some "search" functions on the www.firecareers.com website. You don't have to subscribe to the daily job announcements (like $8.00/month) in order to participate in the bulletin board. Joining is free and very simple.

    You may also want to look into www.eatstress.com (Captain Bob's website) and his son, Captain Rob. Also, seriously look into Chief Paul Lepore's book on interviews and another called "The Aspiring Firefighter's Two Year Plan". Personally, I've used some of Captain Bob's stuff, but others on the firecareers.com website swear by Chief Lepore's books. Disclaimer: I DO NOT work for any of the above individuals or entities.

    I'd be happy to answer any other questions you may have. Feel free to post more questions.

    Regards,

    -gloxter:)