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  • Exam score

    Hello everyone. I recently took the MA firefighter exam and scored a 91%. I've been hearing that in order to get looked at you need to have scored higher. Mind you 100% is the highest you can get. People I know who have taken the test said you had to get 95 or higher to have better chances. I'm feeling a little discouraged by this. It is my dream to become a career firefighter for my town. I have residency preference as well as my EMT and have a couple months left till I graduate from medic school. I was just wondering if anybody (even outside of MA) has been in the same boat before and ended up getting hired when they thought they had no chance.

  • #2
    Several factors will determine how much a score will weigh. 1. The # of candidates on the list. 2. The range of scores (ranks) on the list. 3. The # of positions open or opening over the next 4 or so years.
    The more names on the list, the more competition for the spots. (pretty self explanitory) More importantly is that if there are alot of names in higher scoring ranks, (105's,100's,95's) a score of 90 may not be a reachable score. ( at least not for a long time) Keep in mind that candidates with military points make the top score a 105. If departments hire alot of positions over the next few years, you may be reachable. You will have a better idea of all this when the eligibility list is established.
    My best advice is to continue taking tests wherever you can. The more tests you take the better you may score. Study and learn tips and tricks on taking written exams. Many great resources can be found in this forum. Lastly, BE PATIENT. Hiring processes can be lengthy and frustrating. Keep your eye on the prize and take it one step at a time. Good luck my friend.

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    • #3
      RMD25, you still have a very good chance. It depends on what town you have residency in and what their financial situation is like. Do you know if they require EMT-B or Paramedic at time of hire as many towns do. The moment you get your medic card, you need to update your record with HRD so that you get Paramedic tagged next to your name on the list. The city I'm from sometimes only pulls Paramedics or EMT-B's from the list when they've had openings that require those certifications. You'll see when the list comes out that when you take everyone out that isn't a medic, the list gets pretty short. Also several non civil service towns require paramedic at time of hire. Lexington and Sharon come to mind but there are others if you research it. They run their own testing process so you would have to send them your resume and pay attention to when they plan on testing.

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      • #4
        RMD-

        Are you at 91% after the written? If so, there is still a long way to go. Don't get down as you've got alot going for you with the work you're doing. I'm going to tell you to do two things though without fail:

        1. Broaden your test range! Don't just stick with where you're at now. It may be your number one, but life will get a whole heck of a lot different once you have a badge and you can always test there when working somewhere else if you just miss it too much... Go find a range of departments where you think you'd most like to go if not this one and make a plan to test for them.

        2. After you're done with medic school and are working as a medic, put yourself in "fire test school". 91% is a good score and you're not too far from a great score. There are probably very few things that are keeping you down. Figure out what those are and you'll crush your next one.

        Best of Luck and Preparation,

        Paul C.
        LVFR EMTP since '98
        PaulC
        FF/EMTP
        City of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
        gethiredbyfire.com & The Fire Jobs App

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        • #5
          PChandler27- My city runs a BLS ambulance so I would imagine that having your EMT at time of hire is required. My friend who I went to EMT school with was on the reserve list for quite sometime I believe and once he got his EMT he got hired 2 months after in my city. I Have residency in Woburn and the last graduating class they had 4 guys come out of it.

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          • #6
            A lot of places disabled vets can add 10 points (so a score of 110 is possible) .... yikes.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by owenscott View Post
              A lot of places disabled vets can add 10 points (so a score of 110 is possible) .... yikes.
              A lot of places also give 5 points for residency in addition to 10 points for Disabled Vets, total score of 115 possible.. even more yikes!

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              • #8
                I was born and raised in Massachusetts, and I eventually "threw in the towel" with the whole civil service test up there. I was a white male so I was already at an disadvantage...in a nut shell I've taken the civil service test three times there. My name was on three separate list's for a total of six years. I would eventually get my EMT-B, complete several fire science courses, volunteer firefighter, serve my country for four years, and I also had residency preference in my home town. The last test I scored in the 98-99% range, and never even heard a peep from anyone even with all of the above under my belt. It was a very discouraging time for me. I'm not trying to discourage you having the medic cert will help, but it's a crap shoot. Keep all the options open.

                I decided to stay where I was last stationed in the military, and have put myself through EMT-B, FF I-II, and have knocked out one semester of medic school now in just under two years. I'm in the process of being hired on with a large FD in Florida, and I have accomplished so much more of pursing my dream in 1/4 of the time. Don't give up if it's your dream, but don't dwell on the "what if" about everything! If all else fail's you can always give another state a shot, or another city/town. Best of luck!
                FireMedic

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