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  • Trouble Getting Hired

    I know that getting a job in the Fire Service is extremely competitive and nearly impossible. I am looking for any and all help. ideas, assistance in the hiring process.
    Here is a little about me:
    I am 27 Year old white male

    -Graduated from LSC with an AAS in Fire Tech in 2005

    -Currently hold certs in:
    *ARFF
    *EMT B
    *HazMat Tech and OPS
    *Fire I & II
    *Water Rescue
    *High/Low angle rescue

    -I have an Excellent work record in which every job I have ever had, I was hired as entry level and moved up to the a high ranking management position.
    *I have worked security/cash delivery for banks, Retail Management, Construction/construction management.
    *There are no 'breaks in employment' from my first job over 12 years ago and I have never been fired or left a job on bad terms.

    -My driving/Criminal background is a bit of a mess:
    *DWI (2001)
    *Small amount Marijuana (2004)
    *5 speeding tickets (2000-2009)

    ------I have applied and tested for Fire Departments all over the USA, both paid and volunteer. I have made it into the final interview on 26 of the 28 departments I have tested for.
    *I HAVE NEVER BEEN HIRED*

    -Every department has told me that my past criminal history is the problem. The DWI on my record was from when I was a Minor (17) and it will be 10 years in January of 2011. The Small amount of Marijuana was a stupid mistake I made while in collage and my grades and work record both reflect the lifestyle changes I had made in 2004.

    --Eden Prairie, MN fire department is the most recent department that I applied for and they sent me a 'contingency offer'. EPFD is a volunteer department and upon getting the offer, I submitted my background info (the police department had this info for 2 months and said there was nothing on it that will disqualify me) and moved into EP (within 3 miles of the Station). once I moved in, I received an email stating that 'due to my criminal history, the EPFD has pursued another candidate'.


    Everyone tells me not to give up, but I am getting older, my certs are expiring, my schooling is over 5 years old and Volunteer departments won't even hire me!!!!!!

    Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get a position on a fire department?
    Any insight is much appreciated, Thanks!

    -Jake Rehberger
    Eden Prairie, MN
    Last edited by JakeCheez; 10-03-2010, 02:11 PM.

  • #2
    you do appear to have some good certs and work experience, but no department wants somebody who has been caught with drugs in the past even if it was in college.

    there are so many people out there who dont have a record anywhere near as bad as yours. even 5 speeding tickets could be a reason not to hire you if you didnt have the dwi and the drug charge, it shows you can be reckless. not saying you are, but thats the way it looks.

    you should be up front about anything in your past when you make your initial contact with someone doing the recriting and explain everything. it looks especially suspicious if the department doesnt find out about it until you turn over your background check from the pd like you were trying to hide it from them and hope it didnt come to light.

    best of luck man.

    Comment


    • #3
      The only thing I could suggest would be get your medic. You may not be able to get a job as a firefighter but you could probably find a job working as a medic making decent money...

      Other than that.. you seem like a nice enough guy but with that background... you just aren't hire-able when 99% of the people you are testing against have clean backgrounds.

      Sorry,

      Best of luck...

      Comment


      • #4
        Jakecheez,

        Your not to old. Theirs alot of people getting hired in their 30's and 40's. Departments tend to look at your maturity level. Like the others have said though, your background is not the most attracting, which may make it difficult to get hired. All I can say is, don't give up! If you want it bad enough, you can get it. Nothing is impossible. Good luck!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by nnfra200302 View Post
          Jakecheez,

          You're not to old. Theirs alot of people getting hired in their 30's and 40's. Departments tend to look at your maturity level. Like the others have said though, your background is not the most attracting, which may make it difficult to get hired. All I can say is, don't give up! If you want it bad enough, you can get it. Nothing is impossible. Good luck!
          Well said bruh...well said!!! He is right Jake! You're in a season right now, much like a fixer-upper house in a bad housing market; no body will touch you! The upside of fixer-uppers in a down housing market is that you have to just spend time making repairs, fixing and patching to give more curb appeal. That way when the season changes, you're one of the first to get snapped up.

          Your time will come; never, ever, ever give up! Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade and then subsequently lost every attempt at being elected to political office after that! Then one day..he was elected as Prime Minister of the UK and known as one of the greatest war time leaders and orators of his time! In short" there is a department out there that will give you a chance, it's just a matter of time.

          Use this time to improve yourself and do personal development. Consider paramedic training as one previous poster suggested. Go back to school while you're testing and maintain your certs as current. Have you thought about community service? What do you think an oral board would think, if during your interview, you told of how you've been going around to high school students and talking to them about making better choices? Talking to them about your own experiences and how those choices affect your ability to be considered for a job? I think it's a great angle and one I think an oral board would have to do a double take on!! At the same time, you're not having a pity party and feeling sorry for yourself but improving your community. Just a thought!

          "The Axeman"
          _____________
          "Purpose, Truth and Passion Yields POWER AND DOMINION IN ACTION!!!"

          Comment


          • #6
            Some cities will put there criminal activity criteria on the announcement

            Do it may say no dwi or no dwi within do many years


            Would say keep applying get hired someplace and get a good history and then apply other places if you want
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

            Comment


            • #7
              No fire chief or department wants one of their firefighters cited with a DUI. If you have already had a DUI, it's really difficult get hired. There are few exceptions.

              For some they are clouded and domed before they ever take their first step because of something in their past, job history, criminal record, credit, driving record, DUI or domestic violence. They still believe though that they have a shot.

              They have convinced themselves by the four inches between their ears that they have an explanation about what has happened in the past that will convince those in the hiring process they’re the right candidate. So, they pack on all kinds of credentials, degrees, experience, academy, paramedic, etc. ( like some will encourage you to do) thinking this will erase the problems of the past. They will even move to an area of possible hire thinking that would improve their position.

              Those in the hiring process have heard all the stories. What are you going to say that could keep you in the hiring process when 100 other candidates who don't?

              Where this can really play out is in the psych evaluation where up to 40% of candidates fail. With problems in your past the doc will ask you some difficult questions that could take the wheels off your wagon. The doctor could DQ you because he might feel (I have actually seen this written on a report from a psychologist) because of the pressures of the job; you could end up drinking more. That's probably not true or fair but they are the gate keepers.
              _____________________________________________

              "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

              More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
              http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


              Fire "Captain Bob"

              www.eatstress.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JakeCheez View Post
                -My driving/Criminal background is a bit of a mess:
                *DWI (2001)
                *Small amount Marijuana (2004)
                *5 speeding tickets (2000-2009)

                Any one of those offenses could be enough to prevent you from getting hired all by themselves. The clincher is that they show a pattern of infractions that has followed you through your entire adult life -- right up until last year. What possible reason would a prospective employer have to think you're ever going to change?

                IMHO, the only way you'd even qualify for consideration would be to put all infractions behind you by at least 5 years to show some indication that you've settled down and changed your ways.
                "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                sigpic
                The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JakeCheez View Post
                  I know that getting a job in the Fire Service is extremely competitive and nearly impossible. I am looking for any and all help. ideas, assistance in the hiring process.
                  Here is a little about me:
                  I am 27 Year old white male

                  -Graduated from LSC with an AAS in Fire Tech in 2005

                  -Currently hold certs in:
                  *ARFF
                  *EMT B
                  *HazMat Tech and OPS
                  *Fire I & II
                  *Water Rescue
                  *High/Low angle rescue

                  -I have an Excellent work record in which every job I have ever had, I was hired as entry level and moved up to the a high ranking management position.
                  *I have worked security/cash delivery for banks, Retail Management, Construction/construction management.
                  *There are no 'breaks in employment' from my first job over 12 years ago and I have never been fired or left a job on bad terms.

                  -My driving/Criminal background is a bit of a mess:
                  *DWI (2001)
                  *Small amount Marijuana (2004)
                  *5 speeding tickets (2000-2009)

                  ------I have applied and tested for Fire Departments all over the USA, both paid and volunteer. I have made it into the final interview on 26 of the 28 departments I have tested for.
                  *I HAVE NEVER BEEN HIRED*

                  -Every department has told me that my past criminal history is the problem. The DWI on my record was from when I was a Minor (17) and it will be 10 years in January of 2011. The Small amount of Marijuana was a stupid mistake I made while in collage and my grades and work record both reflect the lifestyle changes I had made in 2004.

                  --Eden Prairie, MN fire department is the most recent department that I applied for and they sent me a 'contingency offer'. EPFD is a volunteer department and upon getting the offer, I submitted my background info (the police department had this info for 2 months and said there was nothing on it that will disqualify me) and moved into EP (within 3 miles of the Station). once I moved in, I received an email stating that 'due to my criminal history, the EPFD has pursued another candidate'.


                  Everyone tells me not to give up, but I am getting older, my certs are expiring, my schooling is over 5 years old and Volunteer departments won't even hire me!!!!!!

                  Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get a position on a fire department?
                  Any insight is much appreciated, Thanks!

                  -Jake Rehberger
                  Eden Prairie, MN


                  How and in what state did you received all these certs??

                  Are you or where you member in a fire department when you took and received these?

                  In Virginia and Maryland, you have to be a member of a fire department to take and be certified of these certs you have.

                  Just wanting to take a fire related course doesn't cut it here.

                  With your backgroud, you would probably not be a hireable employee either.

                  Too many guys who have never had anything against them are so far ahead of you and would be hired long before you would.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jonnee View Post
                    How and in what state did you received all these certs??

                    Are you or where you member in a fire department when you took and received these?

                    In Virginia and Maryland, you have to be a member of a fire department to take and be certified of these certs you have.

                    Just wanting to take a fire related course doesn't cut it here.

                    With your backgroud, you would probably not be a hireable employee either.

                    Too many guys who have never had anything against them are so far ahead of you and would be hired long before you would.
                    I went to Lake Superior College in Duluth, MN when I was certified. They are national testers and National certifications- so yes- if I came to Maryland, these certs would in fact be as valid as they are here in MN. As would my recent C-PAT.

                    Also, I have never withheld information from ANY fire department. During the initial application process, I make the department aware of my background. The hiring process has lasted anywhere from 3-14 months and costs me a LOT of money and time. EVERY SINGLE TIME I make it to the final interview before they tell me my past is unacceptable.

                    This is something I don't understand.

                    Thanks for the insight, the push and the criticism. I was never looking for pity- only assistance, as my goal is a paid position on a fire department.

                    -Jake

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JakeCheez View Post
                      This is something I don't understand.
                      What is there not to understand? You've shown a consistent pattern of red flag behavior throughout your adult life. Do yourself a favor and get your act together and go at least a few years without those behaviors to prove it before you waste any more time testing.
                      "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                      sigpic
                      The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Cheez,
                        I'm usually a soft hand when it comes to the 'bad background' threads. But even I'll tell you that you may have a little too much of a past to get a job right now.

                        The tickets are excessive... most people understand that on occasion you are going to get pulled over, and on occasion you are going to get a ticket. But 5? excessive

                        The DUI is a killer from the get go. I have no sympathy for drunk driving. Nor do i feel that that type of behavior should be tolerated in anyone in the fire services, or seeking to get a job in the fire service. Although, sadly enough, most of the old hats here will look on alcohol abuse in a much kinder light than that of smoking weed.

                        The weed thing is no good either, and the fact that you were caught doing it is your undoing. Fire may not be a good fit for you, and i'm surprised these issues didn't' come up during the 'academy' that you went through.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Try to check dept policy for deal killers, you might even once you see an opening call and try to have a sit down while they are still taking applications to see if you have deal killers with the dept


                          Our city publishes deal killers up front it seems to only make sense so every ones time is not wasted


                          Keep on applying
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=JakeCheez;1212113]I went to Lake Superior College in Duluth, MN when I was certified. They are national testers and National certifications- so yes- if I came to Maryland, these certs would in fact be as valid as they are here in MN. As would my recent C-PAT.

                            Your national certs wont matter much if you get on the job. Most departments are going to put you through their academy anyway and you will have to do everything again. As for your backround, it is a very tough pill for a dept. to swallow with so many candidates out there with clean records.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Somebody once posted on here that, statistically speaking, it's easier to get into Harvard than it is to get hired on a paid department.

                              With that being said, your background needs time to be put to bed. You need to give yourself about 5-7 years for those tickets to go away. As for the DUI and weed, our department wouldn't even give you a second look.

                              Like has been said, your certs don't really matter either. Alot of departments DON'T want a guy with all the certs. They prefer a "clean" board that they can mold the way they want. So in some ways, the certs actually hurt a person.

                              Sorry you're having a hard time. Go get your medic, get hired on a private ambulance and get some EMS experience over the next few years. Keep that job and keep applying. Maybe someone will give you a shot.

                              Just understand that the competition is FIERCE for these jobs.

                              Take care,
                              Pete

                              Comment

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