Ladies and Gentlemen!
I am in a bindÖ and well, Iím asking for your quick, late night assistance. Consider this the LUTL pager going off and me begging for you to volunteer your time and respond to these questions. Wonít you help me?
I recently signed up for college and Iím facing the end of my first semester at Kaplan University. Http://www.Kaplan.edu. Iím completing a BS in Fire and Emergency Management through their online campus. I must say that Iíve really been enjoying it. Iíve had two excellent instructors thus far, and I canít speak highly enough of them.
HoweverÖ as my regular readers know, my schedule has been flipped turned upside down by one of my jobs and I am now facing a deadline of 0000hrs CST to have an ďInterview with a fire service professionalĒ completed and done.
And no, I canít interview myself. Even with my multiple personalities firing on full cylindersÖ I just canít do that in good consciousness.
So, Iím asking yíall, my (really nice, handsome/pretty, and intelligent) audience to answer me a few questions before 9/8 0000hrs CST! Hurry!
Three of these are easy questionsÖ one of them is hard as heck and is sure to be controversial, actually. I wouldnít have it any other way.
Thanks for helping. Please leave your answers in comment form, or you can e-mail them to the blog e-mail at ProEMS1@yahoo.com
- What is your name, rank, and department? (Or general area of the country and type of service if you prefer)
- How long have you been a member of this department?
- Do you hold multiple jobs in the Fire Service/EMS? Care to share?
- Where did you work previouslyÖ the abridged version?
- What training or education did you undergo in order to get the job you have now?
And hereís the hard one:
First, go read THIS ARTICLE FROM FIREGEEZER.COM WRITTEN BY FOSSILMEDIC about Uniontown, PA scrapping their paid FD for a volunteer/POC department.
Then, go read THIS ARTICLE FROM PETER CANNING (and the subsequent article from the New York Times that he links to) about Fire Departments charging hundreds of dollars for all responses.
Now, answer me this:
With local governments all across the nation facing financial crises and the fire service not being immune to the budgetary axeÖ do you think that the full-time, paid, professional fire service will continue to be as much as a desirable career goal, in terms of pay and benefits, in five years. How about ten years, or 15 or 20 years?
Consider this as well:
People line up and submit themselves to grueling testing processes for one or two openings in full-time fire departments. Hundreds of people compete for one or two open slots in some cases. This is an example of supply and demand being askewÖ its simple math. Obviously thereís something that drives these people to submit to that process with little hope of getting the few available jobs. Do you really think that will last?
No offense intended to my brethren in the fire service. This is something Iíve seriously considered and Iíll bet Iím not the only one who has. The question has been asked. Letís see what answers we get.
(and thanks for helping me with my homeworkÖ Iím really going to transpose your answers and turn it in as a paper)