First off, I'm 17 and still in highschool. Secondly I don't know all of what I need to get taken care of to become a firefighter. Everyone I know that I've asked says "Go take a course at the community college, thats all you can do". I plan on dual enrolling soon if they let you take the course before you graduate highschool. Hopfully they do because I want to start as soon as I graduate. But, I'm thinking theres alot more to it than just taking a course at the college. So I came here to hopfully get a thorough and complete list of what I need to do.
spanner I respect your onion but I don't think everyone is realizing that RileyThrift isn't planning on being a career firefighter. It sounds to me like firefightering is just something that he wants to do until he get through med school.
"I'll be 18 in 6 months. I've always wanted to do 2 things for sure. Be a doctor, and fight fires. I figure since fire fighting is a 1 day on 2 days off (or 1 day on 3 days off in some places) that I can do both in my life. Firefighting while in college. Doctor after I graduate. Firefighting will also help pay for Med. school so that's another plus. Theres only 1 volunteer dept. near me and I'd rather not spend my time there if it could be spent on the EMT-basic and NFPA firefighter 1 mentioned above.
What I understand is that I have to go talk to the guys at the firehouse and see whats required then go talk to the school and see if I can enroll for the classes while still in highschool..." this is a later post of his.
I think that volunteering to find out what firefighting is all about is the best thing to do first. To me firefighting isn't something that you can do to make money to pay for med. school.
Riley you need to firgure out if you want to have a career in firefighting or being a doctor.
Umm, he actually stated, in what you quoted that he wants to do both and that he wants it to help pay his way through school. And I respectfully disagree that becoming a volunteer is a good way to make the decision. I think you should make the decision before you decide to play with lives. Take some courses and see if it seems like something you would want to do and then apply, vollie or career. Finding out that you can't handle the job while on a call is the wrong time to figure it out. Know what I mean? I would like to know that the vollies in my area didn't just try it out, but made some effort to make sure they could do it.
Well, i guess the states are a "lot" different than Canada. It might surprise you that in alot of states "two hatting" is very acceptable. We, here is the states, do agree that becoming a voly can be a great stepping stone to a paid career. Some career guys go home to communities that are part of a volunteer based system, therefore thier families and communities depend on them "two hatting" for the safety of thier loved ones. Its a shame that everyone can't get paid to do what they love. Mr. Thrift will soon find out that becoming a doctor is going to take way to much of his time and being a firefighter isn't going to allow him to be a doctor and being a doctor isn't going to allow him to be a firefighter. I believe both are too demanding to carry on a career in the other and that continuing education classes and continued training for both is significant. Simple enough, choose one, stay the course. And no one ever said that once you become a career firefighter you have to leave the volunteer dept. After all, i think its terrible we train guys from canada and then allow them to go back.
I'm 17 and taking the EMT classes while in high school. I'd sugest doing that and joining an Explorer group...or HOSA. After you take the registry test and pass, find a college with Fire 1-2 classes. Positions are tough to get so I'd get experience in a volunteer department first but that's really up to you. Good luck!
Thrift I don't know if there are any volunteer departments in your area and what those departments requirements are but here in Montana all departments have cadet positions available to people under 18. I started my career under a volunteer department matter of fact I still am active with the department. I have been able to get tons of free training I have received. The department paid for my Firefighter 1 training, my EMT training, they send me al over to receive additional advanced training that would benefit the department. As a volunteer here, you never know who will show up to calls so everybody needs to be trained to do everybody else's job. My department has paid for all of my training and all of my gear. All so I can respond to any situation. My advice is to try to get in with a local department and take any training opportunities that come up.
You train guys from Canada and then allow them to go back? Wouldn't this be paid training through schools? What's wrong with that? They pay for a course with a school, like those from the US who come to Alberta and BC to take the course, and then go looking for work just like they would if they went to school in Canada. Maybe I misunderstood your comment, but it's not like they are training on your dollar, right?
As for two hatting, I'm not saying it doesn't happen. That's what I meant by the comment, "as long as the fulltime department doesn't mind two hatting", some do, some don't. Here we had to sign a contract that we would give up our volunteer positions, many do, some do not. It is actually stated in our collective agreement that we cannot have secondary employment of any kind, but if that was followed we'd all go broke.
My main point was if he's going to start in a volunteer department and then get hired fulltime ELSEWHERE, he is going to have to leave his department (elsewhere being somewhere other than the area he was volunteering in, meaning he would have to move, many people here have to move across the province or the country to find a department, as I'm sure they do there). And, he clearly stated that he was hoping firefighting would pay for schooling, how can he do that if he's volunteering? What's wrong with him putting some effort into applying to fulltime departments?
All that being said, there is nothing wrong with joining a volunteer department, but as he stated he wanted to earn a living at it so he could go to school. See what I'm saying?
Before you run off and spend a ton of money on gear that you know nothing about, try going to your local fire department and discuss with them what you would like to do. They may be willing to take you under their wing, and often will let you use their gear to go through the school. I think it would be unwise to purchase your own private gear at this point as you haven't even tried it out yet, and maybe you end up not liking it and then you're stuck with a bunch of really expensive gear. Try out a voluinteer station. I'm sure they will guide you to the specifics in your area...Good luck and Godspeed! Look forward to having you in the family!
Honestly, find out if your town's fire department is volunteer or not. if it is volunteer stop by sometime when there are people around and ask about it. they will likely give you an application. if accepted they will pay to put you through fire school
What I would do is get involved with junior firefighters if your area has them. Our department has them and we have had 2 highschool kids go through firefighter one while in school so when they turned 18 they already completed the courses. Our state pays the training and we provide the turnout gear so the cost to you is basically nothing but your time. As a junior firefighter you are allowed on scene but must be supervised so there is limited hands on but it will get you involved enough to help you decide if this is the career you would like to persue.