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I am going to be graduating high school in a couple of weeks. I am 6'3 about 200 pounds and i have always played sports but all the logistics of becoming a firefighter are very unknown to me. I will be attending Texas A&M, a 4-year college, in the fall and am not sure what to do about becoming a firefighter after i graduate. I am looking for any information i can get on how I should persue my dream of becoming a firefighter. It has always been a fascinating career for me because it represents everything i believe in: being a part of a team, helping out my community in a large way, and being physcially active. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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Bradlee, It is wonderful that you want to pursue this wonderful rewarding career. I do now know where you live or if it is possible but a great way to get your foot in the door is to join the local volunteer fire dept. Thats what i did and now i work for a respectable career department. Good Luck
If you're in Texas, I highly recommend getting certified as fire, emt, and paramedic as part of your college. Except for the bigger cities, most places in Texas require it, either officially or not.

Robby's suggestion of volunteering if you can is a good one. Being precertified and some volunteer experience will definitely put you a few steps ahead. The only other thing is being military. I'm not sure if reserves get the same points, but most cities give military folks 5 points on their entrance testing, and that's a really big deal. So big a deal that for many cities it's awfully hard for non military to score high enough to get in.

Good luck.
If you are going to be attending A&M in College Station, your in the #1 fire school in the country. You can receive all your training right there. I'm sure you can even coordinate receiving your firefighter/paramedic certification within your four year degree.
Check out http://firerecruitment.net for more information on firefighter qualifications and the hiring process
Good on you for deciding to be part of the best job in the world. Just being recently hired i know exactly what it is like to be in you shoes. Rest assured that if you want to get on the job in the worst way and everything you do is towards that goal, it will happen for you. Like Brandon said you are at one of the best fire schools in the world and you should take full advantage of that. Im jealous!! The advice I will give you is simple. Maintain a peak state of physical fitness, treat everyday like a job interview (im sure alot of your instructors at a&m know people and it would be in your best intrest to impress them), obtain atleast you EMT cert if not your medic, and take every test that comes up. Do not be picky about working at this place or that because most of the people who do that never get on the job, you have to take every oppertunity that comes your way. PM me if you have any more questions..
look into student-firefighter live in programs. Several colleges/departments offer them across the U.S. and it is an awesome opportunity that lets you continue your academics during the day and go to fires at night.

www.cpvfd.org
Being from the federal side, there is always the army and airforce reserve. Each have firefighter units that server our country and allows of student assistance.

Dave Stacy said:
look into student-firefighter live in programs. Several colleges/departments offer them across the U.S. and it is an awesome opportunity that lets you continue your academics during the day and go to fires at night. www.cpvfd.org
-The simplest route is to contact the fire department in the municipality in which you would like to live and work. This can even be done via the internet simply by visiting their web page which usually contains hiring info.
-Review the requirements for employment and move forward in meeting them.
-I know many people will encourage you in your educational pursuits, as do I. However, many larger municipal FD's do not take college or even Fire Science degrees in to consideration for employment. I say that because many candidates erroneously believe a diploma, especially in fire science, will help their chances for employment in larger departments. Usually the larger FD's require High School and an EMT license at a minimum. This is done to create the fairest testing standards in a broad spectrum sense for those living within the very municipality.
-Lastly, remember to think about living within the community in which you would like to work. Can you afford to live there? Do you actually want to live there? Can you afford to live there?
-It is always best to live within the community in which you work and many municipalities have residency requirements.
-Lastly, remember that you can apply and test with many different FD's.
I just recently followed a path similar to yours. 4 year college, Live- in student firefighter program while at school as an EMT. I worked full time State fire in the summers. Immediately after graduation went to paramedic school, worked as a paramedic for 1 year and was hired as a FF-PEMT after taking only 3 tests as a paramedic. I live in the Bay Area, CA and Paramedics are highly desired so this is the route I took. I believe I could have skipped the 4 year degree and got to the same place 4 years earlier, but I believe there are intangible assets that a 4 year degree provides that you can not get anywhere else that will only help you as a firefighter. An online degree later on will not replace that education. Good luck. Be patient.

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