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Some advice for cadets/juniors/explorers

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  • ElectricHoser
    replied
    Heads up, you younger guys. Here is my long story on the topic. Be warned, but also take hope.

    I was arrested for impersonating an officer when I was 18. Now, what I did to get arrested for this was enormously stupid - but it wasn't really an act of impersonation as much as it was an erroneous assumption by a third party which I deliberately opted to not correct. Dumb. Stupid.

    The arresting officers pegged me as a fool but did not agree with the decision to arrest me. However, they were overridden by the duty LT on that night. Prior to my arraignment, the county prosecutor also disagreed with the duty LT and dropped all charges.

    Still, there it was. No prior record except for three minor traffic tickets, and now this arrest for a felony offense was on my record even without the trial or conviction.

    Since there was no conviction, I figured no big deal. I joined my first FD - a relatively good sized combo paid/vol outfit with 65 members at the age of 21, no problem, served just over three years. I moved and served on another, much smaller VFD for another two years, and also applied to serve with the Sheriff's Office Rescue Squad. To my surprise, I was denied by the Squad because of my arrest six years prior (which I had thought was erased), but figured since it was a branch of LE they were more stringent and blew it off. I also applied to some career FDs, made some lists, and even got called up to the Chief's interview for one dept. I had to move again for family, though, and had to turn it down.

    After that move and recent near-successes with career FDs, I was confident that my experience, good FD references and clean record without even a parking ticket since my arrest eight years prior would make getting on an FD no problem. I was wrong, the next FD I applied to - an all volunteer outfit - turned me down outright. Some FDs can afford to be picky, and I was trimmed from the list. It was then ten years since my arrest, and yet there it was to haunt me.

    Ultimately I moved yet again and was able to get into a VFD again, my 3rd outfit. This time I worked up the ranks to Training Officer. I moved once more - I'm officially now SICK of moving - and even though I have good years of experience since 1993 including low-grade white helmet experience, I still had to wonder about that arrest from SIXTEEN years ago.

    Sigh of relief, I was accepted to my 4th outfit - largest yet with five stations, and will start within a week or so. I am grateful I can still contribute, but my story is proof that stuff haunts you for years - forever actually - and it sure would be nice if I didn't have that kind of thing hanging over me for my whole life.

    Straighten up and fly right, young brothers and sisters. Do not let a few minutes of indescretion cost you your future.

    Leave a comment:


  • MontvilleFire39
    replied
    Originally posted by summermist21FD View Post
    that is the same exact reason
    why I never took a hit of a joint, a drink of a beer, or any other of that stupid ****.
    While ohters maay harrass you or place the ever infamous "peer pressure" upon you just relax. It will be a great feeling when you roll up in the engine to buy meals for the shift, and the party animals you attended high school with are ringing you out.

    Leave a comment:


  • FireDemon618
    replied
    Thanks

    I Really thank you for this post great advice man..

    Leave a comment:


  • summermist21FD
    replied
    that is the same exact reason
    why I never took a hit of a joint, a drink of a beer, or any other of that stupid ****.

    Leave a comment:


  • LVFRExplorer9
    replied
    Thanks man...that put a lot of things in persepective for me...i appreciate your post...

    Leave a comment:


  • MontvilleFire39
    started a topic Some advice for cadets/juniors/explorers

    Some advice for cadets/juniors/explorers

    Hello,

    I want to take this opportunity to provide some advice for the cadets/juniors/explorers on the board.

    I was reading a thread in the hiring forum, and felt it would be worthwhile for you guys to read. I quote the original post below:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tested for a large local fire department recently, finished top 10 on the final eligibility list, pretty much a walk-on for a job when the next batch of hires came on.

    After passing the written/physical, I went in and filled out pre-employment paperwork and agreed to take the polygraph test

    Took the polygraph, and several weeks later recieved a letter saying: due to information recieved since initial application, you have been stricken from the list. (the problem was not a data mismatch, the intial application was very short).

    During the orientation in the beginning of the testing process, the civil service commission stated offenses that would automatically eliminate candidates from eligibility of employement. I carefully listened and documented every word, and none of the problems I had fell under any of the criteria they mentioned.

    That being said, what is d/q'ing me is information I submitted during the polygraph. I don't plan to get too in depth, but several things happened to me in the past. One involved two misdemeanor arrests (theft at age of 17), (drinking at age of 19). Supervision on both, but polygraph examiner said they are considered convictions anyhow. Currently Age 23, with no problems recently (since arrest at age of 19). Tried mirijuana 5 times in high school. Was fired from 2 jobs in high school, but they were typical highschool jobs. One was for the theft at age 17, and the other was for not showing up for a store visit I had to do. I have had 4 other jobs with nothing but positive experience since. 3 of them I am currently working.

    I recieved the letter and thought long and hard thinking of how I messed up. I did find out that some people that I know that took the same test I did, passed, that had done worse acts than I in the past. One even had problems that should have automatically D/Q'ed him, but didn't.

    Anyway, one ff I spoke with said there is a way to dispute this with the city civil service commission. I figured what is done is done, but with other candidates sneaking by that should be eliminated, does this give me a chance to subpoena their decision some how and have a chance to fight for a job?

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Mike
    The message here is that the past follows you. FD's understand that you are teenagers. There are urges, desires, and pressure that every teen faces. However, being a firefighter/ems worker is a highly desired job. There are literaly thousands of candidates out there. One seemingly minor indiscretion can cost you your dream job. So while you are out there living your life you must think to yourself, "will I want to explain this to a polygraph investigator and/or an oral board".

    Keep up the good work. Being a cadet is a great opportunity. It helped me get what I have today, the experience was truly invaluable.

    Cheers,

    Ben

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