Whats life like in a paid FD?

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Greatest job in the world, and you get paid too.
Hours of mental anticipation to moments of shear terror. Actually there is so much paperwork, inspections and fire prevention activities that the calls actually are great to get us away from that. I too would have to say I have the greatest job there is and WOW! I get paid for it too. 29 years and counting................................................
what he said ^^^^^^
once getting hired full time, as a paid professional firefighter, you become a part of something bigger than yourself... you also get a paycheck for doing something that you love. it's the best job in the world hands down...

a side note here would be to ask, what's it like to be a volunteer firefighter... I suppose the answer would be close to the one above sans the paycheck...
What's it like to be a volunteer firefighter?

The hours are horrible up all hours of the day and night, the pay is terrible they just pay you no mind .
Would not trade it for anything most fun you can have for free.
It is real irritating when people say "paid professional",,, we are ALL professional, paid or volunteer. You just get a check, I don't.
I have to say...I have liked coming to work every day for the last twenty years, but...the older I get the harder it is to get out of bed for those night calls!!!
It truly is the best job in the world. Pride and tradition have built a solid foundation that continues today in most Fire Departments. And they pay us also...not alot but still a paycheck for doing the job we love.
Not gonna argue the "professional" point. Life as a career firefighter? Good. But it isn't any fairy tale or fantasy land. It's a job, and although many people will say it's what you make of it, there are problems and difficulties as in any other job. The biggest problem? Politics. Anyone with absolutely NO clue what-so-ever about firefighting can become a local politician. The Hardware store owner who feels his taxes are too high, and get's ticked-off seeing those firefighters hanging out in the engine room doorway on a nice day becomes a city councilman and soon he is an expert on how many people you really need to do your job safely and effectively.

So although he may only last one two-year term, the damage he/she can do to your career and the department can last a lifetime. That is until some local disaster happens, then all the politicians want their pictures taken with the local firefighters, to be used on the front page of their election campaign pamphletes, smiling and shaking hands with the town firefighters...to show support. Remember 9/11? Who do you think REALLY forgot?

In these rather tough times many of us have taken some viscious hits by people in occupations that, during better economic times have the oppurtunity to earn several times what some us may earn. But now wehave become the back-breakers of the local taxpayers because we get fair benifits, which we negotiated over the years to help secure our futures, often in lieu of better pay. Now we accused of enjoying lavish benifits, luxury work schedules, and well, you would think we were getting paid millions to play some sort of game. Oh wait, that's a professional athelete.

Basically though, I wouldn't trade it for throwing some ball around regardless of how many millions I could make...becouse this job matters. As you can see...anyone can be a politician, but there are thousands of applicants waiting years to become career firefighters.
I agree with all I have read so far. I have been a paid firefighter for 20 years. I was a Volunteer before that. I have enjoyed both. The one thing about being in a paid Department is, you go there to do the job you love to do and make it a career. It turns out to be everything you imagined, the camaraderie, the family, the brother/sisterhood. As a volunteer you are close in the family, almost like a distant relative, but when you are with that brother or sister for 24 or 48 hours of shift, it builds a closer tie.
What's life like in a paid Fire Department you ask??? It is hard to explain and would take a long discussion sitting down over a cold beer or two. The only real way to know is to live the experience. Honestly it is not for everyone, long hours away from home and loved ones, tired days after running all night on calls that have no thrill or excitement.
I, for one, would not trade it for the world...

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