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Fire Academy

Dear Fire Careers,
I'm currently in the Navy as a ship board firefighter. I get out in 10 months and I want to pursue a career as a real firefighter. I have a basic idea of what steps to take to become a firefighter , but I'm confused as to what school/schools to go to here in San Diego. I guess what I'm asking is what do you recommend I do in order to get me going on the right track.

Thanks, Mike
This message was edited by Tenneys1012 on 8-12-04 @ 8:54 PM

First steps first. Not knowing your background or education history, I will kinda through out the steps that you should follow to open up your ability to take as many tests as you can.

1) You must meet the min. requirements set by the testing agency. They usually as a min. require that you be 18 years of age and be a HS grad or have you GED. I am sure you meet this requirement if you serve in the Navy
2) Next on the list of min. requirements is going to be an EMT certification. Almost every dept. holds this as a min. requirement to apply.
3) The next most sought after cert is going to be the Firefighter 1 cert. You can find schools in your area that offer Firefighter 1 by going to our school section and find a school in your area. All schools have a direct link from this site.
4) Of course you can go for your Paramedic cert. As many departments are now looking for persons to hire as Paramedic/Firefighter.

This of course is not set in stone and you don't have to have the above listed certs. to get a job. However, while you are testing and looking to find your Firecareer you can only help yourself by cont. your education.

Its great you are thinking ahead...Down in SD you have a couple nearby options. First you could go to Miramar College and pursue your AA in fire protection (what I am doing). Its a great program. Or you can go to Palomar College and pursue your AA also. The advantage of going to Palomar College is that they have the FF 1 academy up there, so you might be able to get a leg into that if you wanted your AA degree and FF1 cert. Plus a lot of contact with North County agencies. IF you go to Miramar college, you are right next door the SDFD training facility, so you will get LOTS of contact with current firefighters for the SDFD. Plus you can have the chance to be an open enrollee into the SDFD city academy later on down the road and get hired with the city...Each program is great...Just depends on your goals...Hope this helps...

Thanks for your advice it's much appriciated. It's going to be alot easier said than done but I want it bad so I'm going to go get it.


Thanks again for the advice as to what college to go to. I'm still a little confused as to where I want to go but I'm sure it's going to be Palomar or Miramar. Miramar is closer to where I live so I guess we'll see. There is a few things in the past that I've done that I'm worried about like a DUI when I was 21, possesion of marajuana, and under the influence of a controlled substance. All of that happened before I joined the navy though. Somtimes I feel a little discouraged that all that stuff is going to bite me in the ass later on when I'm applying at different departments. I guess I just have to look at like all that stuff was in the past and I've done a complete 180 degree turn around for the better. Has anyone of you guy's seen a person in my situation? Any feedback will help. Thanks

This message was edited by Tenneys1012 on 8-30-04 @ 8:15 PM

For a start, view this current thread in the open forum:
Steve Prziborowski, Captain

Thanks Captain, I needed to hear some of that. It really helps knowing that there are guy's out there going through the same thing that I'm going through. When I get out of the Navy I'll be 27. It will have been 6 years since I've done anything bad. Five of those years in the Navy. I do believe that there is a department out there that will hire me, it's just a matter of finding it. But then again I know I'm going to have to work that much harder to be at the top of my game and stand out in front of the others. So I guess I really am only competing against myself. Thanks again for the feedback that I've recieved from all you guy's.

This message was edited by Tenneys1012 on 8-30-04 @ 10:34 PM