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Posted: 9/7/2005 1:05:45 PM EDT
So I'm considering a career change. I'm currently in real estate development and sales, but looking at making a change. I want to move away from the big city and into a smaller area or areas where my current field isn't as strong as I'd like. I've been looking this way for a while and after visiting with a few local guys, it seems like it may be the way to go. At one time I was a first responder, but that's the limit of my experience related to the field.
What can you guys recommend I do to get started? Should I find a local EMT class and enroll first? If I wanted to apply to X department, what credentials (if any) should I try to have as a civilian trying to get hired on with no experience (rookie)?

Link Posted: 9/7/2005 1:19:55 PM EDT
I'm in a fairly small Texas town of about 26000. We have five engine companies and run two first line ALS/MICU capable ambulances (just to give an idea about our dept's size) We are Civil Service so all you have to do is apply, take a written, and then a physical agility test. Highest on the list gets 1st shot at an interview. We only hire certifiable firefighters, meaning ones that have completed the academy. The fire academy now includes EMT-B in most places and most give preference to Paramedics, but some like us, will put you through medic school. We stay fairly busy with EMS, but fires are less frequent. However, on slow days like today I can stay in , watch the news, and surk Arfcom. We are testing 10-1-05 if you're interested in moving to Texas.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 1:25:48 PM EDT
What he said. Pretty much every paid department runs the same way.

If you get too far from the bigger towns though they'll most likely have volunteers, and all you have to do as most of them is ask if they want some help.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 6:12:23 PM EDT
Thanks for the info guys. I'd like to stay in a town size from 25k to 175k. I'm currently living in a city that's roughly 300k and its too big for my taste. Actually, I'd be very interested in Texas.
I hear the Oral board is where you either make it or break it. Any advise from you who have been there? Should I pay for an EMT or paramedic school now before I apply to have that under my belt?
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 6:20:22 PM EDT
One thing you have to remember is small towns make for small paychecks. I was a FF for 22 years so here you go. You are only going to work one day out of three so you can usally live up to 50 miles away. Allways have a part time job it will keep you out of trouble. Keep up the real estate deal and you will be well off by the time you retire.
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