How Long Can You Tread Water?
I could not agree more with the value of an education. Education can and will help you in many ways. But, here is the truth – everyone has an opinion about this, and there are exceptions to every rule.
How does that translate to a career in Fire Service? There are many roads to earning your firefighter’s badge, and there are no guarantees in life, no matter the path you take.
If you want that badge – and cannot think of anything that you want more, then ask yourself who’s getting the badge? Are badges going to those who have advanced degrees? What percentage of EMT’s or Medics are earning the badge?
Let’s put first things first. Ask yourself these questions. What is your timeline? Are you just starting college and want your BA? Will you need student loans? Is there a special person in your life who is going to wait while you pursue your career? Your answers matter to the path, and the time it will take.
Let’s dig deeper into your unique scenario. 80% of the fire service job offerings are for fire/medics. To get into the academy or paramedic school, including some street time, will add two-plus years to your path. Adding the 4-5 years to earn your BA, you are at about seven years until you will be able to go after the badge.
Consider this: Why not get the job first and gain your education, certificates, and degrees at a local college or online before you’re eligible to take your first promotional test? This approach would take about 4 to 5 years. And, many colleges provide classes on a firefighter’s schedule.
Yes. Every situation is different. And, that means – yours. No matter what path you take, you must be 150% committed. You got this!
Fire Captain Bob