New Firefighters

this is something i wanted to try it's for any firefighter that has joined a deparment or any firefighter that has any tips foe me and anyone else

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Comment by Mike Schlags (Captain Busy) Retd on August 27, 2008 at 5:44pm
Amanda wrote: So im in the process of getting my EMT B Certification.. Still in class! Im young and just out of high school and from what everyone has been telling me.. When I go to apply for a job at a station everyones just going to laugh at me because im young and have little experience so I was wondering what I could do to get my foot in the door with an ambulance company or a station or anything!

I just finished posting this on the discussion site for FFN and thought I'd share this here as well. I hope it helps anyone out who is planning on becoming a firefighter...

Hi Amanda,

Having three daughters myself, I'll tell you what I told my almost 18 year old youngest one... and maybe a couple of other things off the top of my head to give you some food for thought.

1. Do ride-a-longs at not just your department but others in your area to become a more well-rounded person. It also breeds familiarity with the crews. If they get used to seeing you. If you are a nice person and fun to be around then your chances of being given more responsibility will occur.
2. Think of doing something outside of the box to enable you to have an edge compared to other new people... Off the top of my head I would say that either volunteering or working at a local hospital emergency room wouldn't be a bad idea. It does not matter if you get paid... What you are going for is experience and more slides for your powerpoint presentation that you store in your brain. I know, it's an interesting analogy but for me and the other old guys out there, the analogy used to be putting slides into your mental carousel. The point here is that life is a lot of individual experiences that you draw on as you progress through your career that help you to hybridized your decision making process. This is why training is so important because it keeps refreshing old memories and experiences, and you couple that with outside of the fire department work experience and you become someone who will contribute to the solution.
3. Make sure that you are still in school. If you want to do this job, and you are serious about it, going to school never stops. I'm still taking classes, refreshing my knowledge base and I've been doing this since I was 18... I'm not almost 55...

One of my key rules is to not give advice. Here I am breaking my own rules... They really aren't exactly something that I came up with but instead, a very colorful character called Death Valley Scotty. He passed away in 1954 but had some interesting turn of the century experiences that I have read about. I admired the guy even though he was basically a junk yard dog that had a good amount of common sense and gumption to "Get Er' Done"...

Written on Scotty's Gravestone at Scotty's Castle, Death Valley National Park, California:

"Don't complain, don't explain, don't ever say anything bad about someone and never give someone advice, they won't listen anyway..."

On a more esoteric note, your goals can be summed up by Henry Thoreau...

"If one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams and endeavors to live a life in which they imagined, they will meet with a success uncommon among men."

Final note, ambulance is not spelled ambulence. If you check out your peers here on FFN, running things through a spell check is a good idea if your not sure if the spelling is correct. You represent yourself by how you write. This is not a big deal for the old salts out there but your just starting out your career and your competition is intense. Strive for perfection in everything you do, including spelling...

Hope you find this helpful, I wish you all the success that you can dream!

Captain Mike from Santa Barbara

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