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  #1  
Old 12-21-2015, 11:13 AM
Slash7 Slash7 is offline
 
Posts: 2
Question Firefighting & Licensed Trades

Hi everyone,

I am a first time poster - long-time reader of this site. I apologize in advance if this not the most appropriate forum for my question, however I could not find a previous thread with questions of this sort.

I am a recent university graduate of a Physical and Health Education degree who has always had the dream on becoming a firefighter. I realize that the process can be long and strenuous, and so I will obviously need a job until I finally get the call. In the meantime, I am interested in pursuing a licensed trade as an electrician through the unionized IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. This would require that I complete 9000 hrs and months of schooling + tests before I qualify to be a licensed electrician. This process usually takes 4-5 years. Obviously my priority is getting on as a firefighter, but I feel that in the meantime this would be a fulfilling career path/job for me, and it would also open the door for me to make some extra money on my days off if I did get on as a firefighter (I do have a $100k debt from school after all *sigh*).

My questions are: do any of you have experience with the apprenticeship program/ licensed trades and firefighting? What happens if I am part-ways done my electrical apprenticeship and I get the call to be a fireman, will I have time to be able to finish the electrical apprenticeship? Do any of you moonlight firefighting with a licensed trade? If so, are you a part of a union? Do unions (the IBEW for instance) take on firefighters/licensed tradespeople on a part time basis (eg. 20-25 hrs/wk.) or must they work 40 hours/wk?

It seems like it is it more feasible for a firefighter/journeyman tradesperson to either run their own business or pick up the odd-job here and there - due to the fact that union employers probably want an employee who can do the standard 9-5 mon-fri. What are your thoughts?

Any and all information about supplementing firefighting with licensed trades work would be more than appreciated!

Thank you for your time
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2015, 10:25 PM
Probie91 Probie91 is offline
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Location: Toronto
Posts: 258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slash7 View Post
Hi everyone,

I am a first time poster - long-time reader of this site. I apologize in advance if this not the most appropriate forum for my question, however I could not find a previous thread with questions of this sort.

I am a recent university graduate of a Physical and Health Education degree who has always had the dream on becoming a firefighter. I realize that the process can be long and strenuous, and so I will obviously need a job until I finally get the call. In the meantime, I am interested in pursuing a licensed trade as an electrician through the unionized IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. This would require that I complete 9000 hrs and months of schooling + tests before I qualify to be a licensed electrician. This process usually takes 4-5 years. Obviously my priority is getting on as a firefighter, but I feel that in the meantime this would be a fulfilling career path/job for me, and it would also open the door for me to make some extra money on my days off if I did get on as a firefighter (I do have a $100k debt from school after all *sigh*).

My questions are: do any of you have experience with the apprenticeship program/ licensed trades and firefighting? What happens if I am part-ways done my electrical apprenticeship and I get the call to be a fireman, will I have time to be able to finish the electrical apprenticeship? Do any of you moonlight firefighting with a licensed trade? If so, are you a part of a union? Do unions (the IBEW for instance) take on firefighters/licensed tradespeople on a part time basis (eg. 20-25 hrs/wk.) or must they work 40 hours/wk?

It seems like it is it more feasible for a firefighter/journeyman tradesperson to either run their own business or pick up the odd-job here and there - due to the fact that union employers probably want an employee who can do the standard 9-5 mon-fri. What are your thoughts?

Any and all information about supplementing firefighting with licensed trades work would be more than appreciated!

Thank you for your time
I cannot confirm, nor deny that there are tons of seal trades people out there on full time departments. I also cannot confirm, nor deny that said people might work part time with their trade, and full time as a firefighter. I'm not sure about the logistics, with regards to unions however, so to that, I cannot shed a light.

As to your other question, there is most likely time if hired full time by a municipality to complete your trades.

Trades are invaluable, and can help in so many more ways than just a second job.

On the scene of an incident, you can give input or insight with your knowledge, share with others, and a lot more.
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  #3  
Old 03-10-2016, 05:44 PM
knowsnothing knowsnothing is offline
 
Posts: 7
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Well that last post is really helpful......

Let me shed a little light on it from my perspective.

(a) unions would prefer you never double hat.

(b) red seal trades people will always be in demand.

Here is my reasoning why:

I'm a Master Electrician in Alberta, I'm also a Full time firefighter on a major department and my experience is this. You will have a heck of time trying to work under the IBEW as a part time electrician, remember the union doesn't give out jobs, it provides large amounts of labour to employeers looking to fill spots with qualified full time people, some people that work part time only do so after they come to an agreement with an employer.

Long term is more likely you will just work non-union picking up small jobs here and there unless you start your own company and run your own business which is what the vast majority of second jobbers do. Or they have a line on another guy on the job that does. Most guys don't want to be seen taking a job from another person, that being said in your first 4 years most find it nessescary to earn money to suppliment the hurt. Also you really probably don't want to try and work two full time or 1 and a 3/4 time jobs, sleep and rest are a big need for most people on their off days. I'm more energetic then most but even I go "sheesh" need to take a break especially after a nasty night shift.

Secondly it takes a heck of a lot of work and time to get a trade that is Red Seal. The majority of guys at the station on my shift that I work with were not university only educations. Most have a trade of some sort, a few were professional athletes and maybe one or two were white collar. I spent 10 years in adventure sports after I finished my apprenticeship and never really stepped out of the trade as I was always doing work on the side. That Ticket was very valuable to the fire service and I do believe it gave me a massive leg up not just in the hiring process but in the day to day calls. My captain is thrilled when I can tell him exactly what is going on with a power situation, my Captain is also thrilled when I can tell him what needs to be done to make it safe and whether the "fire service" can do this or ENMAX needs to. From a trade perspective think of it like this. You are in a rippin fire, the accountant back ground guy goes "it's hot and the beamy things are showing", the tradesman looks up and goes "it's hot and the joists are showing and those are glue lams or they are solid fir, we either need to gtfo now or we have a bit of time." now maybe on my first real good fire I saw that and we stayed and fought..... just sayin....

cheers and best of luck.
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