Public safety isn't a bad gig--the best parts are the pension and days off. Full-time firefighters can start between $35K-$45K (northern states with strong IAFF local unions) and work only ten 24-hour days a month. Promotable positions, while highly competitive and few in number, can bump the salaries up to $70K-85K base salary (again, depending on jurisdictions and collective bargaining agreements).
Most states have defined benefit pension plans that consist of 25 years of service with 50-60% of pay. Some have an age requirement, some don't. Many firefighters work second jobs on their days off--I know some guys who gross well over $100K/year by being a firefighter and holding a second job.
And none of it requires a college education. A paramedic license helps, though, and entry-level jobs, like promotable positions, are highly competitive.
'Course, one has to go into burning buildings to do one's job. And the EMS work has the potential to expose one to blood-borne pathogens like HIV and hepatitis, as well as illnesses that include TB, SARS, bird flu, and meningitis.
But the benefits are good and the pay is decent. Tell me again why I'm giving it up to go to law school...