February 22nd, 2008 08:45 PM
From FD to PD. Should I???
Guys I've got a problem. I've been in the fire service for about 7 years now (3 professionally). I always thought this was the career path I wanted, but lately have had a strong pull towards the "FORCE". I'm 26/married/ in good physical shape and everything in my life is going great right now. for the cops out there lemme give you a run down of all the perks of being a fireman so you'll realize just how hard of a decision this is going to be.
Work schedule - Probably the best part about the job. we work 24/48's w/a kelly day (day off) every 8th shift. w/out overtime I only work 96 days a year <-- thats ridiculous! 26% of the time i'm at work, the other 74% is spent at the range j/k We can also trade time/ trade kelly days/mark off sick w/out being hassled as long as we've got sick time. it's nothing for guys to trade time and be off for an entire hunting season. you get the jist , i basically never work.
Life @ the firehouse - When i am at work, its a laid back atmosphere the guys usually take several siestas in a recliner, play x box , basketball, watch movies etc. waitin' on the big one.
Salary - I work in Charleston WV and we're the highest paid dept. in the state and basically have pairity with charleston pd. so what i'm trying to say is that i wouldn't be making more or less money by switching occupations.
Marriage - there is no strain or stress in my marriage right now, the wifey isn't exactly thrilled about the thought of me switching careers but isn't opposed to it. I mention this because i hear there is an insane amount of divorces with police officers.
Ok, theres one side of the coin - But lately I've really had a strong desire to get into Law Enforcement. I feel like puttin away BG's would be more gratifying for me. I don't know whether i should possibly pursue City PD or Deputy sherriff in my county. not opposed to moving out of state either, as long as the pay is well worth.
Now i'd love to hear from LEO's to hear their side of the story. NO B/S, other than getting married, biggest decision of my life here people!!! I no the job isn't like the show cops but if you could tell me about your daily routines and whether 10 yrs or more later your still happy with what you do. are you counting down the days to retirement or would you do it forever if they'd let you. It's time to get real here. Lay it out straight for me no holdin back. I truly appreciate any and all comments you have to give Thank you in advance.
If guns kill people then Spoons made Rosie O'donnell Fat & pencils mispell words.
February 22nd, 2008 08:59 PM
After 20 years I couldn't wait to get out. The politics are awful. I always envied the FD guys when I stopped in to take a break. When you work, you work hard. The rest of the time is watching the ambulance guys or goofing off. As a rookie, you'll get the worst shifts in the worst parts of town until you can work your way up, and that can take a while! Forget weekends off for years.
Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.
February 22nd, 2008 09:05 PM
I can speak for my brother who like 99% of the guys that when from PD to FD. Did you fall down and BANG your head? You have the best part time gig in the world. Here is NYC I think that they could hold your job for 1yr to jump back to you wanted to. Check that out first. Yes there is that 1% that goes from FD to PD.
February 22nd, 2008 09:15 PM
There is your answer!
Originally Posted by nokspliter
February 22nd, 2008 09:38 PM
I've done both.
Fight the dragon, my friend.
"Deine Papieren bitte?" or "ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ !"
(Choose only one)
NRA Endowment Member
"I bark at no man's bid. I will never come and go, and fetch and carry, at the whistle of the great man in the White House no matter who he is." -- David Crockett
February 22nd, 2008 09:46 PM
Originally Posted by cphilip
Agreed! I'm a LEO Sergeant and my brother is a FD Battalion Chief. He spent his time as a young firefighter in that recliner hitting the books and got ahead. As a LEO, I didn't have that time. Running the roads is fun but it does get old. The constant hypervigilance also takes it's toll over time. I wouldn't trade what I got but if I were you I'd stick with what you know and stay FD. If you like investigating then work towards an Arson gig.
Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.
February 22nd, 2008 09:54 PM
I'm not a fireman or LEO, but my dad was CFR in the Air Force, and became a LEO once he got out, and my half brother is a pretty senior member of one of the local FDs back home.
This is one my my favorite anecdote conversations I had with my father.
My dad came home from a bad day at work, I could tell he was tired, ticked off, and just generally upset. I asked him what was wrong, and this was the reply I got.
I didn't do either, I still work with both LEO and Fire, and quite personally, wouldn't want to be either one.
"I should have been a fireman, EVERYONE loves to see the firemen, they're saving your home, saving your life, taking cats out of trees. When people see that big red truck coming, it's "THANK GOD, IT'S THE FIRE DEPT!"
No one likes to see the police, you got robbed, beat up, your kid's in trouble, or you're going to jail. You get drunks in puking in the squad car, you got irate parents, people that aren't even doing anything wrong will say "Watch out man, IT'S THE COPS!"
Don't be a Police officer."
Hat's off to you gents.
February 23rd, 2008 12:24 AM
Why do people who have perfectly good and happy lives always possess this burning desire to completely destroy what they have?
If you really must sample the crappy job of being a police officer, keep your FD job and get on as a reserve police officer somewhere. Don't throw away your perfectly good life without knowing what you are getting into.
The reality of police work is far different from what you think it is. If you think you would enjoy putting up with slimy politics, clueless administrators, liberal cop-bashing reporters, being second-guessed at everything you do, and dealing with the scum of society every single day....then be my guest. Don't say you weren't warned.
Read your post again. You know how good you've got it. Don't throw away an awesome job and a wonderful family life because you are bored....because I think that's what the problem is. Find something else to focus your energies on.
I'm not counting down to retirement, but I don't really look forward to going to work, either. I'd just as soon do something else for a living, but this is what I sorta fell into, and it pays pretty well. If it wasn't for the good money, I probably would have found something else a few years ago, but I've got too much time on to do that now. It is stable, and I'm not gonna get laid off, so the job does have its good points. But nothing like your FD position.
Unless you HATE your job, you'd be a fool to leave.
Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.
February 23rd, 2008 07:32 AM
I forgot to mention that FD now has a higher CDI factor than PD. That's reason enough isn't it?
Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.
February 23rd, 2008 08:25 AM
To JD your father was a wise man. Horay the fire department is here!!! or Aw shoot what does the cop want?
February 23rd, 2008 10:06 AM
I agree with Metro 40. Become a reserve to fill that desire.
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"You may know where you are. God may know where you are. If you don't tell your dispatcher where you are, you'd better be on speaking terms with God!"
February 23rd, 2008 04:47 PM
Cops and Firefighters
You do know what Cops and Firefighters have in common, right?
They both want to be Firefighters.
As for me, I did a bunch of stuff I was unhappy with before I started with the FD, and I love it. If you're unhappy, truly unhappy, then change. I'm glad I'm not selling shoes anymore. Will you lose much seniority or will you be able to move over at the same level? here in FL, we are facing a round of budget cuts so I would hate to be near the bottom seniority-wise should layoffs come down.
Kelly days...I wish!
February 23rd, 2008 06:02 PM
Nothing against law enforcement; but, have you talked to a psych about this? Seriously though, it's a tough decision that only you can make. I was too old for for most law enforcement departments when I became a Corrections Officer. I work dayshift only and make more money without O.T. than any Police Officer in the State that I know of other than the State Police. I do work about 207 days a year though. Good luck in this decision. P.S. Don't forget that you'll be starting at the bottom again.
Les Baer 45
N.R.A. Patron Life Member
February 23rd, 2008 06:42 PM
Before I went reserve, I went full time PD. It almost killed my marriage, as the job can take you over if you let it (and sometimes no matter how strong you are you can't break away from it). I tried for 5 years to leave work at work and I couldn't seem to do it. The job was fun in the beginning, with all the new things I ran into everyday.
With all this being said, I absolutely love reserving. I have a totally different life now, and I am still able to fill my desire. As many of the other people have already said, you know how good you have it. Stick with your job if you love it and do a ride-a-long on occasion.
February 23rd, 2008 07:57 PM
I spent my first years as a paid paramedic who worked for a hospital based ground unit and a rotor wing unit that had both pre-hop and I-hop roles. I had the same itch you did and traded my veni-caths for a pistol and M4. It was the right choice for me. I loved being a medic but I like being a cop more. Just my preference.
It sounds like you have a great schedule and that It allows you to have a whole lot of time out of the work place. Gonna have kids some day?
Is there a possibility that you could go to the academy and get a part time or reserve PD job to see if you like it?
Make sure you include your sig other in the decision process. Add it all up and follow you heart. Good luck.
"The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization." Sigmund Freud
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