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16 year old needs guidence

im a 16 year old and real serious about a fire carrer. i have joined the Las Vegas Fire Explorers been there for a little bit, i have a couple questions. I understand that EMT basic is required
and anything after that is optional butt knowing the keen competition its practically required(lol). i also understand that some reccomend some sort of fire science background or public administration in college. my question is if any of you have a Bachelors in any of these majors where did you go and or if you have any other suggestions please please let me know
thank you


You are already on the right track by joining up with an explorer post. I strongly recommend going to community college after you graduate high school. First and foremost, sign up for EMT class. Being an EMT is an absolute necessary skill in todays fire service and MANY dept's require and EMT cert just to apply. I would also recommend taking some fire science classes and working towards your AS degree. An AS degree is not required in most departments, but I cannot overstate how important education is. After finishing EMT, I would look into a fire academy. there are several fire academies in CA offered through community colleges. There is probably one in your area near LV. Although many departments will send you to their own academy when you get hired, completing an academy on your own demonstrates to the hiring agency that you have what it takes to make it through the rigorous training in an academy. It also demonstrates your commitment towards becoming a firefighter. There are a number of books out about the fire department testing process. Buy one! No point in re-inventing the wheel--learn from others who have been through the process. (see the bookstore on this website.) best of luck in your endeavor.

Captain Sprinkler

You are definitely on the right track, listen to Cpt Sprinkler. The path he told you is basically the same path I took, although I went into the military at 18 years old. But I got my EMT while in the military, got my Associates when I got out. Worked for an ambulance company as an EMT for a little while. Put myself through an Academy here in Southern California. I have been a volunteer FF for about 3 combined years with two different departments. I also studied a lot, took fire training classes. Hang out at the firehouse, get to know the ins and outs of this job. This is a great job, you need to stay progressive, keep moving, keep learning and most important, stay out of trouble. I say this because it has taken me over 7 years to get hired due to some run ins with the law when I was young. I had a couple misdemeanors in which I have had to explain about 4 to 5 times and each time, they have costed me a job. I have a job know and I have two more jobs lined up, which I am passed the background stage in them both, but man has it been a lot of work to get where I am. I know that if it werent for my stupidness as a young man, that I would have the job I want with the department I want. I think I will get there, but it has just taken me a bit longer. Anyways, you are on the right track, keep it up. Stay focused, it will all pay off in the end. If you have any other questions, email me. Good luck.

Yeah, i'm a 16 year old also and i'm having lots of trouble. I live in Indiana and we don't really have alot around here like in CA. I really want to job shadow but my counslor won't let me. I understand that we need to take some kind of fire science classes in college and get EMT training. Other than that I can't really find alot for where I live. I think i'm heading in the right track when it comes to physical strength i'm takeing weight training course and i'm a long distance swimmer for our swim team so i stay in shape but the educational stuff is really crazy.

Ray, what kind of counselor do you have that wouldnt allow you to explore a path to your future career goals??? A counselor is there to give you advice, and nothing more. It is up to you whether you choose to incorporate this advice into your life or not, but in this case and IMHO, you are being steered down the wrong path. You say that your resources are limited in your town, then take every advantage and make do with what you have, that includes job shadowing.

In this day and age, you can consider yourself luckier than the older generation who didnt have access to the internet. This site in itself, along with many others online have a lot guys and gals that have years and years of knowledge and advice that they are willing to pass on.

Good luck!

"Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted."
- Sun Tzu