Questions for Firefighters

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by glocknloaded, May 12, 2012.

  1. glocknloaded

    glocknloaded Click Click Boom Supporter

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    I am just curious to hear experiences from any Firefighters that maybe on the forum,

    How long did take you to get on board, what did you do to prepare, what prerequisite would you suggest, any suggestions for someone looking to get in your field.

    I currently own a small construction company( just myself I sub out all other work) but I am just not satisfied and I want to do something more meaningful something I can do as a profession and give back. I have thought a lot about military and law enforcement but I really feel like the fire department would be something I would love, I've always looked up to firefighters and as a young man it just seemed out of reach but as a young adult I've over come a lot and realize I can accomplish anything I put my mind to and have becoming a general contractor at only 27 and have been some what successful.

    I guess I'am asking as someone starting at the bottom what direction should I head to get started, I am currently trying to get on with a local fire department as a volunteer or reserve. I haven't contacted any of the local firedepartments and just wanted to first reach out to theGlockForum community for advise.

    Thanks in advance guys,
    Brandon
     
  2. MarinewithaGlock

    MarinewithaGlock Premium Member

    I'm a volunteer firefighter and I love it. I was told by a full time firefighter friend of mine on the Lexington FD that the best thing you can do is get your EMT certification because most city dept's are also EMTs. Most dept's are going to train you to fight fires the way they want you to fight them but most EMT stuff is is standard across the board. I got into it after the chief of the dept asked me to join.
     

  3. glocknloaded

    glocknloaded Click Click Boom Supporter

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    Thank you for your reply! Have you got EMT certified? Are you planning to join the full time?

    Thanks!!
     
  4. SquadCapt4

    SquadCapt4 New Member

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    I am a 25 year career fire Captain/Paramedic in a city of about 200,000. 35 years total in the biz with other departments. I also teach EMS at a community college here. I agree with definitely getting your EMT license. The fire service has switched priorities over the last couple of decades. Check out your local community colleges for EMS courses. Fire Departments like someone that is already established in EMS. Paid departments tend to bump those with some form of fire service education up the list a bit. You can join a volunteer department who will help you obtain your State Firefighter certifications. I can also tell you that, unfortunately, a lot of paid city departments are political. As much as I despise politics and politicians, that is the only part of the job that I hate....with a pee purple passion. But, such is life. If you know some firefighters, especially those "connected", that will help. If not, maybe work part time on an ambulance or volunteer department and get to know some paid folks by running calls with them. I can honestly tell you this. There's absolutely no better career on this planet. I wish you the best of luck.
     
  5. Tillerman

    Tillerman New Member

    What SquadCapt said is very true. I started in 1996 at a volley dept in Ny and then moved to VA. where i was hired as a Firefighter/EMT. i also vollied in Md as well. Having a background in the fire service and EMS field will help with most places to get hired and some places it doesn't matter how many certs you have or what qualifications you have, it boils down to whether you can pass a poly exam and background check, lol. Being a volley or career you will still get the same reward and satisfaction of helping people in their worst time of their life.
     
  6. jonm61

    jonm61 New Member

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    As others have said, get your EMT cert first. It will give you a leg up. If you can go on and get your Paramedic license, that will help even more. I don't know how it is now, but when I went through EMT school 21 (holy crap!) years ago, you could only go straight on to Paramedic school if you were in the top of the class. Everyone else had to meet experience requirements first.

    A lot of this will also depend on where you are. If you are in the Northeast, almost every state will require that you take and pass the civil service exam. I can tell you from experience that you'd better score very high on the test if you want to get hired. I had a 5 point Veteran's preference and after the first test, I scored 100 every time (they're only good for a certain period of time), so my total score was 105. It was very rare that they went below the 100s in hiring, because there were only so many positions and there were many, many people scoring 100s & 105s. A lot of people have to bomb in the rest of the process to get to the lower scores.

    Some states, like FL, you can find and take a 40 hour (or so it was 20 years ago) Volunteer FF certification or you can pay your way through the full FF academy. The more training you have, that the department doesn't have to pay for, the better off you'll be in the process.

    If you have a degree, it will also help. Again, I don't know how things are now, but we had the option of taking some general ed classes and turning the paramedic certification into an AS degree in EMS.

    Also, make sure you have all of your other ducks in a row. Criminal history, driving record, and credit history can all be used to disqualify you. Don't give them any reason to say no. If there is one, they'll find it.
     
  7. glocknloaded

    glocknloaded Click Click Boom Supporter

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    Thanks guys for the advise!

    I am looking into the EMT cert know and waiting to hear back from a local college I am just hoping that I can take it and still work full time.
     
  8. SquadCapt4

    SquadCapt4 New Member

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    Most colleges have different class schedules and, knowing how many EMT students have full time jobs, offer night classes at 4 hours a night. It takes a little longer to complete than the 8 hour a day class, but is worth it. Just let them know you have a full time job to consider.
     
  9. glocknloaded

    glocknloaded Click Click Boom Supporter

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    Thanks a lot! I really want to do this and I am getting excited and nervous all at once
     
  10. RES17CUE

    RES17CUE New Member

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    Just keep trying. I am still relatively new to the fire service (4 years) but being state certified has helped tremendously. Also, don't be discouraged if you don't get the first one you apply for. The polygraph can be intimidating and the CPAT is not all that fun. Just keep the wheels turning and stay out of trouble. Stay low
     
  11. glocknloaded

    glocknloaded Click Click Boom Supporter

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    What do they ask in the polygraph and what is the CPAT? How long did it take you to get on? Did you do any volunteer or reserve work prior to getting on?

    Thanks for the help!!!
     
  12. RES17CUE

    RES17CUE New Member

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    Anytime brother. The polygraph just asks everything from your birthdate to if you have ever used drugs. As log as you're honest you should do fine. Heck, you've already made it that far. The CPAT is the candidate physical aptitude test and to be honest it sucks. No way around it. Search it on YouTube and you will get a pretty good idea.

    As for me I started as a volunteer my freshman year of college. When I turned 21 I applied for and got on with the paid staff. All together 4 years of the best job on the planet.

    Heck, if the career thing doesn't work out then look into volunteer companies and work your construction. One pays the bills, the other fills a calling.
     
  13. SquadCapt4

    SquadCapt4 New Member

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    Once you get enrolled in the EMT course, if you need any help holler at me. I've been teaching EMT and Paramedic for 22 years. I might have picked up a thing or two over the years to help you. LOL
     
  14. RES17CUE

    RES17CUE New Member

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    Now Is that an open invitation for all of us Cap? Haha. There is always something new to learn especially from those more experienced. :)
     
  15. SquadCapt4

    SquadCapt4 New Member

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    I'm so glad you used the words "more experienced" instead of old fart or dinosaur...as I've been called too many times. :rolleyes: I may start a tutoring enterprise here. Whacha think? lol
     
  16. dutchs

    dutchs Well-Known Member

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    MORE EXPERIENCED!! I love the ring to that CAP, much better than the one they use for me as well " old grey haired fart"
     
  17. SquadCapt4

    SquadCapt4 New Member

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    My response to them is, it takes a lot of fortitude and common sense to have survived this long in this biz. Let's just pray you live this long! LOL
     
  18. glocknloaded

    glocknloaded Click Click Boom Supporter

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    Thank you very much I'll be taking you up on that offer.
     
  19. dutchs

    dutchs Well-Known Member

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    Please, Everyone take notice, In my humble opinion, this is what this " Glock Forum" is all about!!
    Just awesome guys, just awesome!
     
  20. jonm61

    jonm61 New Member

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    No doubt about that! I didn't have the fortitude to continue with the medical runs. I was an EMT/Ambulance driver when I left. Give me trauma all day, every day and I was good. It was the 90 year olds who needed a ride to the hospital or the terminal cancer patients that you couldn't do anything for that got me. I just couldn't do it. I was already more geared towards law enforcement anyway (I went to EMT school, in part, because I was too young for the police academy), not that I didn't also enjoy crawling through burning buildings for free during my off time, so I elected to chase bad guys instead. :)

    My first application of my EMT skills, after I finished school, was right after I got my license. I was 18. I hadn't been hired or started volunteering yet, so I was working at a hotel. A 14 year old fell off a balcony, 5 stories, bouncing off the building on the way down and missing the dumpster by about a foot and half. The hotel was, literally, right across the street from the university's teaching hospital, so we often had visiting doctors at the hotel. I was first on scene, outside of bystanders, and was at the kid's head. Within 30 seconds or so, a surgeon staying at the hotel came out of the parking garage to help. We rolled him and I stabilized his head until EMS arrived. The station was only a mile or so away, but it felt like hours. It was somewhat surreal, being 6 months out of EMT school and having a surgeon there who had to follow my lead because I was on the head. Not to mention after, when I went in to wash the blood off my hands. I didn't have gloves; I never would've thought I'd need them. This was 21 years ago and HIV was more of an after thought than a real consideration. I was wearing a maroon sweater. You couldn't tell where the blood stopped and my sweater started. The thought never crossed my mind to worry about getting this kid's blood on my bare hands and thankfully there was nothing to worry about.

    The kid end up with a broken pelvis, broken wrist, blown ear drums and fractures at C5 & C6. He was lucky. Drunk and lucky. Being drunk and bouncing off the building probably limited his injuries.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012