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firefighting

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Corky Ramirez up on 94th St., Mar 19, 2007.

  1. Perhaps this could be cross-referenced with the "state of the media" thread as it pertains to the future, but whatever...

    Need some advice here (or maybe just a kick in the ass). I've been a sportswriter for awhile now; in fact, I'm finishing up my Masters degree in December in journalism that i started two years ago.

    However, lately I've been seriously considering switching careers and becoming a full-time firefighter.

    I have a good friend I went to college with who is a full-time fireman here in the city. I've been helping him go through our archives as he's working on the history of the city's department. During that time, I've met a bunch of the guys (some of whom I've already known through different capacities) and have gotten to know the station real well. I've always been interested in firefighting in general...but now I'm thinking about it as a career, something I never thought of doing.

    I guess my problem is I've never made such a drastic change before. The pay and benefits are much better than sportswriting (for obvious reasons), and the work-20-years-and-retirement-opens-up is certainly a plus. I have no problems putting my life on the line if need be, either.

    Curious if any of you are firefighters (volunteer or full-time) and what your thoughts of it are.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Volunteer and then decide.
     
  3. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    that's what i'd do - volunteer first. in some states almost all cities - except the major ones - have all-volunteer FFs with maybe the chief and a couple assistant chiefs the only full-timers. in other parts of the country even the most podunk town has a full-time staff of FFS.
     
  4. boots

    boots New Member

    Go for it! Don't become an old out-of-shape scribe wondering what could have been.
     
  5. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    My brother is a firefighter/paramedic. Works a 24-hour shift, then is off two days before he goes in again. Because of OT rules, quite often he ends up with several days in a row off -- and then he'll get called back in anyway and make OT because someone else is off. He makes big cash working holidays. And there are rarely major fires where he is, just lots of paramedic runs. He makes pretty nice cash.
     
  6. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    tsp, can you be more specific? is he earning $50K/year? $80K? $100K? i know cops in big cities like miami can earn close to 100 grand a year with all the overtime, though most earn less. being a police chief or deputy chief is also highly lucrative. i have no knowledge of what firefighters make.
     
  7. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Around 70 once you factor in all his OT, it's a suburb of Cleveland. The burb's mayor is always fighting with the union over the OT, though. Still makes a decent penny without the OT. He's worked his way up from small-town firefighting, so it's like anything else, you don't make big bucks at the start.
     
  8. britwrit

    britwrit Well-Known Member

    I'd volunteer first. You're coming to the end of two years in grad school and at this point, I bet anything else looks good.
     
  9. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    ok, so $70's not bad. i bet the pension is sweet after 20 years.
     
  10. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    I volunteered for a year or so way back when. It was fun (and a lot of work), but it's not the same level as being in a city department.

    Don't do it for the money. If newspapering is a calling, firefighting is moreso. You either have to do it, or you shouldn't do it. I wouldn't want the guy following me into a burning building to be doing it just for the pension.
     
  11. Firefighting jobs are VERY tough to land. At most big cities, they're desperate for cop applicants, but they have to turn away dozens, maybe hundreds of firefighter applicants for every one they hire.

    The pay is good, benefits and pensions are great, unions are strong (perhaps THE strongest), plus there's the money you can make on the side (I've never met a fireman who didn't have something going on the side). Heck, you'd still have plenty of time to freelance or do whatever.

    If you can land one, go for it.

    (Obviously, I'm talking at the city level... small towns and rural departments that rely partly on volunteers are another story)
     
  12. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    See, I had the same thoughts on joining the fire department, but unlike you, it freaked me out when i realized, I COULD DIE!
    So, I'm still an underpaid and cowardly sports writer.
     
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