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  • American Sign Language

    Hello:
    I recently started taking American Sign Language classes at my local college, and was wondering if anyone has any insight as to whether this will be beneficial in my pursuit to getting hired. I understand that being bilingual is a huge advantage these days, and that there is a high demand for spanish speaking individuals, but I have heard very little about the demand for American Sign Language. My thinking is that it will make me stand out as a valuable asset to a department, because not very many people know ASL but we still respond to deaf patients who we need to communicate with. Any thoughts? Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by KHawke View Post
    Hello:
    I recently started taking American Sign Language classes at my local college, and was wondering if anyone has any insight as to whether this will be beneficial in my pursuit to getting hired. I understand that being bilingual is a huge advantage these days, and that there is a high demand for spanish speaking individuals, but I have heard very little about the demand for American Sign Language. My thinking is that it will make me stand out as a valuable asset to a department, because not very many people know ASL but we still respond to deaf patients who we need to communicate with. Any thoughts? Thanks
    I know here in Colorado, Denver FD, ASL counts as a second language and gives you preference points...I'm in the middle of learning it also.

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    • #3
      Sure it can't hurt...paramedic certification might be better but the more you know the better
      Firefighter, EMT-P, CICP, EMSI, HazMat Tech

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      • #4
        You can use sign language and a second language to your advantage for your oral board question “What have you done to prepare for the position.” As you’re answering this question you start using sign language along with your words. As part of your answer you start speaking another language. Then you translate what you just said. Both are convincing proof you have the skill.

        Case in Point: Mark’s family is from Russia. They spoke Russian at home when he was growing up. He wanted to work for a big city fire department in another state that had a Russian speaking population. He targeted this department as he brushed up on his Russian.

        During his oral board Mark started speaking fluent Russian while answering the question what had he done to prepare for the position, One of the BC panel members from this department asked him where he was from in fluent Russian. Mark answers back speaking Russian. The panel member said, “Good to have you here (in Russian).”

        A few weeks later Mark gets the call. It’s the BC panel member offering him the job speaking Russian.

        The point here is start writing down your special unique qualities that will give you that competitive advantage on your oral board game day that will inspire the board to say we want to hire this person. It can happen just that fast (like Mark) when you know what it is for you.

        “Try? There is no Try. There is only do or not do.”—Joda Robot Star Wars
        _____________________________________________

        "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

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        • #5
          American Sign Language

          Thank you all for your insight. I have been in class for 1 month now and am picking it up pretty easily. It is amazing how quickly you can learn something when it is interesting and fun to do! I will definitely be incorporating my ASL skills into oral interviews, and will be researching the local deaf population so I can referance how many deaf people are in the district and would benefit from me learning ASL.

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