Just to let you know beforehand, I'm new to this forum and fairly new in my pursuit of a Fire career.
I'm 23 years old and have recently (July 2017) been hired with my local Police Department in the GTA. Before I got hired, i was debating whether to pursue Fire or Policing; but based on my previous work experience and education, I decided to pursue Policing and was fortunate enough to get hired on my first application.
Now, shortly in to my Policing "career", I am realizing that I may have made the wrong decision and am experience some regret. I have started looking in to the process of pursuing a career in Fire and am just looking to get some opinions on how you think Fire Departments would perceive my situation if I were to apply soon.
As I mentioned, I'm 23 years old, have completed 2.5 years of my degree (have done very well up to this point -- receiving academic scholarships and getting on the Dean's List) and am currently continuing it online. I should complete it within the next 2.5 years. I'm volunteering with a couple different organizations, including Big Brothers and the Local Hospital Emergency Department. I have quite a bit of work experience, including diesel mechanic assistant, as I took a couple years off after high school to work full time before beginning university. I was also in the co-op option of my business program so I had a couple jobs with reputable companies during those terms. Also, I have this little bit of Policing experience; the department I work for is very busy and has high call volume so I have experienced quite a bit so far.
Is Police experience valued and considered an asset when applying? And assuming I pass the screening and obtain the certificate from OFAI, what do you think about my chances of getting on to a department such as Mississauga Fire? Just an FYI, I do not plan on stopping here; I will continue to try to obtain certifications and licenses to help in the meantime. If there are any suggestions that would be great too.
I value all opinions so please share!
I imagine you'll need to look at firefighter pre service schooling. So perhaps distance learning and boot camp with Lakeland College in Alberta or Training Division or Texas. Most municipalities require you to have NFPA 1001 firefighter level 1 and 2, NFPA 472 Hazmat operations and I think NFPA 1002 Driver Operator (not 100% on that one). Not sure how your holidays work but I think you should try to do this while maintaining your police job...
In the mean time, take courses:
- Advanced medical training (i.e. medical first responder from St. John Ambulance, or Emergency Medical Responder from Red Cross)
- High angle rope rescue, Ice water rescue, Confined space rescue, Swift water rescue etc
- Certainly maintain your volunteer and try to make sure it's something you're passionate about and not just doing for the resume... it comes across in the interview imo.
- Definitely finish your degree (whatever that is in) as your education level is always asked and is valuable.
- Read the OFAI guides for each of the stages. There are a few things that you need to ask yourself before attempting like do you have 20/30 uncorrected vision, flexibility to do the sit and reach etc but I think you'll be ok as you passed all the police testing.
- Get your DZ. You'll need it.
...Best of luck!
You are young enough that you can take the above noted courses while still working police, and have great chances of getting hired.
Being a police officer shows alot of positive things to an interview panel when considering applicants.
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