Age in the Fire Service. Is it a Factor?
Yes, age is a factor to some extent. Most departments require a person to be at least 18 years of age. Typically the ideal age over 21 because the candidate is more mature and has probably finished some college course work to acquire a FF-I cert. and/or EMT cert.
How about candidates in their 30's, 40's and early 50's? It is not uncommon to see candidates in their late 30's and early 40's hired, especially Paramedics. When interviewing at these ages focus on personal life experiences during your oral board interview. Candidates over 30 have life experiences younger candidates can’t compare! When any candidate answers questions incorporating experiences and demonstrating actual skills, they separate themselves from the less experienced, and often younger candidates. Keep in mind; these experiences and wisdom do not necessarily have to be related to the fire service or EMS field. Although if applicable try to incorporate such experience as often as possible.
As mentioned above, older candidates can increase their likely hood of being hired with a Paramedic Cert. Paramedics are in short supply. As more fire departments try to consolidate, and increase revenue the demand is fare greater than supply. Also, the education and experience required can not be achieved by younger candidates because of time constraints.
Be aware, some states such as Texas do have age limits of 35 so consider other locations.
Courtesy of Bryan Hurley @ FireCareerAssistance.com ©1998
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