It certainly doesn't have the best pay, but my dad has been a wildland firefighter since '72 for the U.S. Forest Service and he gets paid pretty good. As a chief for various different units, his rank is equivalent to the military rank of Colonel (figured it out b/c when working with the military, unless there's a general there, he's the highest ranking). He does a lot more than fight fires, though, since they use them for rescue operations, helping clean up hurricanes, and last year he spent 4 months leading a crew of a few thousand find pieces of the Columbia in the deepest, darkest places of Texas. He's gone about 6 months of every year fighting fires or other incidents, but he does get paid pretty good money. By the main thing is, he enjoys the hell out of it.Rabbi said:Everyone in the Navy is a fireman
It's an honorable job man but you need to realize it doesn't pay squat.
You should join the Civil Air Patrol. I was in it for about a year, and that was alot of fun. After a while though, it might get on your nerves like it did to me.Leatherneck said:I'm thinking that I might volunteer for Firefighter, but still I'm might joined CAP (Civil Air Patrol).
I dunno, like I said above, my wife thinks I'm a loon for even being a FF, much less enjoying it....Well, Hell, she pretty much thinks I'm a loon in general.Leatherneck said:Chick dig it? No kidding! I'll joined!
jthomas said:I've been a volunteer FF for several years now- it's the most fun you can have with your clothes on, I'll tell you that! Sign up and I'll be proud to call you Brother!
As far as the "insane" comment goes, I understand the spirit in which it was intended. Indeed my wife thinks I'm certifiable when it comes to this. Going into a burning building is indeed insane if you are unaware of the risks and have not taken any precautions to maximize your safety. Firefighters going into a burning building start with the following mindset:
a) Yeah, it's a BIG deal ( I think I understand your comment, tho, Lt.Dan- hear me out). At least guys will get into fights over who gets to take the knob!
b) You're not going in without the proper protective gear and training in how to use it.
c) you've got a crew to back you up.
d) you've got a Sh#$ load of wet stuff to put on the hot stuff.
e) you've got a commander who is watching for signs that it's time to get the hell out and go defensive if things go bad.
We spend a HUGE amount of time training for these situations, which in a typical suburban area may only account for 2 or 3% of your calls. However, we drill on it until many of the procedures we use are second nature. That way you can crouch at the door of a burning house with fire blowing out over your head and not dirty your knickers! Even then, it can get dicey....
Stage- you might want to consider doing BOTH, as most municipalities hiring FF's also want them to be at least EMT rated, if not EMT-P (paramedic).
Go to Firehouse.com- there is a huge forum there where you can get any and all questions answered.