Originally Posted by Slash7
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.