Firefighter/Parent PS please read and comment

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jpuckett163
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:50 pm

Firefighter/Parent PS please read and comment

Postby jpuckett163 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:07 pm

The first thing I notice is the heat as I force the door open and stare into the darkness. I drop to my knees, put on my mask and inch forward into the smoke filled abyss. I can see the fire now or at least the tell tale glow of it that every firefighter immediately recognizes. A few more feet then I open the nozzle directing hundreds of gallons of water directly at the seat of the fire as my fellow firefighters take out the windows allowing smoke and heat to escape. As the fire subsides and the smoke pours from the building I am able to see things as they truly are what had just moments before been a dark fiery abyss was now a kitchen the smoke filled unknown was a hallway. On the way back to the station hours later I find myself thinking of the parallel between that fairly routine fire and the rest of my life. Often times in life I have peered into the fiery abyss or fought my way inch by inch through the unknown only to realize that when the smoke lifts or the fire is extinguished what I am faced with is not some impossible situation but instead a manageable obstacle

Like a lot of people I went to college immediately after graduating from high school and although I did not realize it at the time I was there for all of the wrong reasons. During my sophomore year my son was born and my life changed forever. As a new father I had to reevaluate my life and make my son my priority working part time and working toward a degree that I never planned to use was no longer an option. Shortly after Collin was born I decided to enroll in an EMT course at the local community college and I knew right away that this was would be my career. As an EMT I developed the skills that would eventually allow me to return to school and be a successful student, things like critical thinking, the ability to lead a team during a high stress situation and most importantly real compassion for others. I worked for five years as an EMT for a private company and during that time I decided that what I really wanted was to work as a full time Firefighter/EMT. The selection process for firefighters in Rhode Island is very rigorous and I knew plenty of people who had been trying for years to land this dream job. I was not going to let this stop me though and the harder I worked the more the “smoke cleared” and I am proud to say I have worked as a fulltime Firefighter/EMT for the last six years. Those skills I started to develop as an EMT grew exponentially as a firefighter and everyday I am expected to make crucial decisions, to think critically and clearly under pressure and often times to lead firefighters in life or death situations. Although I love my job as a firefighter I would often think about the two years I spent in school and I started to tell myself I would eventually go back to school part time and finish my degree. Two seemingly unrelated events changed my plans and led me to return to school full time with the intent of pursuing a career in law.

In 2005 Collin was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome a form of high functioning autism and in 2009 the bargaining committee I was on failed to successfully negotiate a collective bargaining agreement for the 84 firefighters we represented. As I said earlier two unrelated events somehow converged and here I sit writing a personal statement for admission to law school. When Collin entered the first grade I had my first experience with the law and more specifically education law. I sent my son to school knowing that while he excelled in all things academic as a child with autism he struggled in many other areas. I naively thought that once we informed the school that Collin was autistic he would receive the appropriate special education service without question but that was not the case. He eventually received the services he needed and although we did not have to wage a legal battle to on his behalf we had certainly prepared to and that experience was my first real interaction with the law. In 2009 as an elected member of the executive board of the International Association of Firefighters Local 1651 I along with six of my co-workers entered into contract negotiations with the town. Despite months of back and forth these negotiations eventually fell apart and the union declared impasse leading to interest arbitration. A very experienced labor attorney represented the town throughout the process while nine firefighters with no legal experience handled the arbitration for the local. Over the course of four months we prepared exhibits, questioned witnesses, offered testimony and wrote a brief in support of our case. The arbitration panel in its decision awarded two of the town’s proposals the town won the right to change the date physically written on the collective bargaining agreement to reflect the correct year and the panel decided the town could require new hires to pay an additional five percent medical co-pay the local had defeated the shift scheduling and manning cuts that led us to interest arbitration.

These two experiences and particularly my involvement in the arbitration solidified my decision to become an attorney. I have faced challenges and the path has not always been straight but with hard work and determination I have been able to achieve my goals. Returning to school full time while working full time and raising three children, raising an autistic child and fighting for the 84 men and women who elected me to represent them these have all been my fiery abyss, my smoke filled unknown but each time I have met the challenge head on and persevered.

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WannaGo
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:12 pm

Re: Firefighter/Parent PS please read and comment

Postby WannaGo » Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:15 am

You have a lot of really good material to write about I think there's a better way to showcase these elements. I would recommend a pretty thorough revise. A few things:

1. Your first paragraph, while descriptive, needs to be tightened up.
2. You need to work on the structure. You have a lot of different, unrelated stories that you're trying to cram into your essay. Without a thoughtful transition that packages them all together throughout the PS, it feels like you're rambling a bit.
3. I would considering writing an addendum about your son's birth and remove it from your PS - then expand on the firefighter experiences and develop a clearer connection with why law school.
4. Focus your topic...remember, you have incredibly limited space to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. Each sentence needs to sell you as the best candidate for law school, if it's not, take it out.
5. Expand on how all of this makes you want to be a lawyer. You have a complicated story and you mention that you want to go to law school but you need to sell the reader specifically on why law school is the only logical step.

jpuckett163 wrote:The first thing I notice is the heat as I force the door open and stare into the darkness. I drop to my knees, put on my mask and inch forward into the smoke filled abyss. I can see the fire now or at least the tell tale glow of it that every firefighter immediately recognizes.A few more feet then I open the nozzle directing hundreds of gallons of water directly at the seat of the fire as my fellow firefighters take out the windows allowing smoke and heat to escape.As the fire subsides and the smoke pours from the building I am able to see things as they truly are what had just moments before been a dark fiery abysswas now a kitchen the smoke filled unknown was a hallway. On the way back to the station hours laterI find myself thinking of the parallel between that fairlyroutine fire and the rest of my life. Often times in life I have peered into the fiery abyss or fought my way inch by inch through the unknown only to realize that when the smoke lifts or the fire is extinguished what I am faced with is not some impossible situation but instead a manageable obstacle.

Like a lot of people I went to college immediately after graduating from high school and although I did not realize it at the time I was there for all of the wrong reasons.During my sophomore year of college, my son was born and my life changed forever. As a new [/s](age) father I left college to pursue a career that would provide for my newly created family.[s]had to reevaluate my life and make my son my priority working part time and working toward a degree that I never planned to use was no longer an option. Shortly after Collin was born I decided to enroll in an EMT course at the local community college and I knew right away that this was would be my career. As an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) I developed the skills that would eventually allow me to return to school and be a successful student, things likecritical thinking, the ability to lead a team during a high stress situations and most importantly realcompassion for others are absolute musts. I worked forAfter five years as an EMT for a private company and during that timeI decided that what I really wanted was to work as a full time I challenged myself to advance my career as a Firefighter/EMT. The selection process for firefighters in Rhode Island is very rigorous and I knew plenty of people who had been trying for years to land this dream job. Undeterred, I was not going to let this stop me though and the harder I worked the more the “smoke cleared” and I am honored to be a six year veteran of the ____ Fire Department proud to say I have worked as a fulltime Firefighter/EMT for the last six years. Those skills I started to develop as an EMT grew exponentiallyAs a firefighter and everydayI am expected tomake crucial decisions, tothink critically and clearlyunder pressure and often times tolead firefighters in life or death situations everyday. Although I love my job as a firefighter I would often think about the two years I spent in school and I started to tell myself I would eventually go back to school part time and finish my degree. Two seemingly unrelated events changed my plans and led me to return to school full time with the intent of pursuing a career in law.

In 2005 Collin was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome a form of high functioning autism and in 2009 the bargaining committee I was on failed to successfully negotiate a collective bargaining agreement for the 84 firefighters we represented. Separate...lead with the collective bargaining agreement and move your son's matters in a new paragraph below.

....need a transition and then...In 2009

As
an elected member of the executive board of the International Association of Firefighters Local 1651 I along with six of my co-workers entered into contract negotiations with the town. Despite months of back and forth these negotiations eventually fell apart and the union declared impasse leading to interest arbitration. A very experienced labor attorney represented the town throughout the process while nine firefighters with no legal experience handled the arbitration for the local. Over the course of four months we prepared exhibits, questioned witnesses, offered testimony and wrote a brief in support of our case. The arbitration panel in its decision awarded two of the town’s proposals the town won the right to change the date physically written on the collective bargaining agreement to reflect the correct year and the panel decided the town could require new hires to pay an additional five percent medical co-paythe local had defeated the shift scheduling and manning cuts that led us tointerestarbitration.

As I said earlier two unrelated events somehow converged and here I sit writing a personal statement for admission to law school.Similiarly, when my son entered the first grade I had my first experience with the law and more specifically education law. I sent my son to school knowing that while he excelled in all things academic as a child with autism he struggled in many other areas. I naively thought that once we informed the school that Collin was autistic he would receive the appropriate special education services he needed without questionbut that was not the case. He eventually received the services he needed andAlthough we did not have to wage a legal battle to on his behalfwe had certainly prepared to and that experience was my first real interaction with the law. I had to inform myself and prepare to fight for my son's educational rights.

These twoMy experiences and particularly myinvolvement in the arbitration solidified my decision to become an attorney. I have faced challenges and the path has not always been straight but with hard work and determination I have been able to achieve my goals. Returning to school full time while working full time and raising three children, raising an autistic child and fighting for the 84 men and women who elected me to represent them thesehave all been my fiery abyss, my smoke filled unknown but each time I have met the challenge head on and persevered.




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