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  • PaulC.
    replied
    SFA-

    I've been there. Don't quit. Read this story about it on my blog: http://www.gethiredbyfire.com/?p=83

    Then take a week or so to chill out and figure out some more about where you're going to make some money. I know its stressful when you don't know exactly how or where your going to make ends meet.

    Then read this: http://www.gethiredbyfire.com/?p=21.

    When you're in a place where you're getting a regular paycheck...start following that advice. You can be working as an EMT in a matter of months. After that, EMTP while you're testing. Its not easy...Its not for everyone...but its ALL WORTH IT when you've achieved it.

    In life...You get what you settle for...

    Email me a month before your next oral board exam and i'll SEND YOU THE ORAL BOARD SECTION of the guide i'm working on for free. No obligation for anything...I'll just give it to you...Just don't quit.

    Paul C.

    Leave a comment:


  • ffmedicmatt
    replied
    I'm holding out hope for Nashville Fire and then I have 3 more test upcoming. After the 3, I'll be at a grand total of 12 in a year...and nothing to show for it yet. Just gotta keep telling myself that...yet

    Leave a comment:


  • Truckie3215
    replied
    I decided I wanted to be a career firefighter in high school, and when I graduated I took my first test.

    Since then I went through Firefighter 1 & 2, EMT-B, and completed my Bachelor's Degree. I continued to volunteer even while in college and working full time. I not only enjoyed doing it, but it gave me the experience I needed to stand out as well as set me up with a number of mentors in the fire service who helped me along the way.

    I learned pretty quickly that I would have to move to another state if I wanted to increase my chances of landing my dream job (you NJ guys know what I mean). My fiancee and I got an apartment and I took a pretty crappy sales job, some weeks making only $150-$200. I continued to test and it seemed like every weekend I was traveling for different tests, interviews, backgrounds, etc.

    Finally, after taking part in somewhere between 10-20 different hiring processes and spending untold amounts of time and money along the way, I got the letter in the mail that I was waiting for. Out of over 3000 people that tested, I made the top 24. I start the academy in two weeks.

    I can't tell you how many times I felt like throwing in the towel, especially recently when I started feeling it financially. I was actually only a few weeks away from enlisting. Thank god I stuck with it, because someone would have taken my spot as soon as I gave up. Once you get it though it's the greatest feeling in the world.

    Leave a comment:


  • sfd1992
    replied
    10 tests in 20 months isn't a large number. Are you being picky, or are there just that few opportunities in your area?

    If you're being picky, stop.

    If there are that few opportunities in your area, expand your area.

    I took 20+ tests in a 16 month period before I got hired, including taking 2 writtens and a physical agility in one weekend once. I could have taken more if not for tests conflicting with each other, work conflicts, etc.

    If you want the job, get serious and take more than 5 tests a year.
    Last edited by sfd1992; 02-12-2011, 07:37 PM.

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  • EgressOne
    replied
    FyredUp-
    I am from the Milwaukee area also, so I know the hiring requirements for most departments in the area. Yes, getting certs and furthering your education shows initiative to wanting the job, even while applying to those with only general requirements, although with only a few. Take the City of Milwaukee for example...there are plenty of people whom got on just by pure luck, and ironically passed with flying colors past the people with certs and the initiative of actually WANTING the job bad. Especially to serve their community and the citizens. I'm sure you could relate knowing how many of those lucky people which got the job doesn't take the EMS side as serious as those whom were qualified and got passed up.

    Even with the smaller depts who do require some ff knowledge and schooling it's becoming alot harder because everyone has the same thing, as long as they put the time and effort in it. It's all how you present yourself.

    All I'm trying to get at is that SFA simply was only applying to departments like Milwaukee, and didn't feel that certs were all that necessary. Maybe he is "new" to the game and has yet to take the route of education. Maybe he was silently looking for guidance and help from us, his fellow "brothers", to see what his next step should be. There is nothing to ridicule him about, saying he shouldn't be in this line of business, instead we should be helping him.

    We all know how hard it is and how much competition there is. I'm not saying departments should hand out the jobs freely or just because somebody "knows someone", its just depressing seeing how actual QUALIFIED people are getting passed up by people simply looking for a paycheck.

    Leave a comment:


  • R100
    replied
    Originally posted by SFAlumberjack View Post
    Good reading jackass...10 tests in 2 years. And don't pretend to know my situation and tell me what I could or could not have done. I HAVE been working bullsh*t crappy jobs, and all this travel has taken away from funds that could have gone to certs/emt. That is why I only tested departments that didn't require it...obviously. Thanks for ur input though.
    good riddance.
    Last edited by R100; 02-13-2011, 02:53 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    In the area I am a career firefighter in, metro and suburban Milwaukee, the requirements to get hired vary widely.

    Milwaukee officially doesn't care if you know anything, they will train you there where. Yet I know many guys that got hired there with all kinds of training, volly experience, and certs.

    The suburban FD's are another story, where I work officially requires FF1 and EMT-B. Paramedic is like the Golden Ticket to be brutally honest. More FF certs and an Associate Degree in Fire Science certainly help too.

    The City of Brookfield is taking applications right now and their requirements are FF2, 60 college credits, and I don;t remember if it was emt or paramedic.

    Others have varying requirements based on their local wants and needs. ALL require some sort of pre-employment training.

    As far as the subtle and not so subtle insults or degrading remarks about volunteer FDs...pure ignorance. Of course there are hick, more social club than FD volunteer FDs. But then again there are some with higher training requirements and specialization than some career FDs. AND there are some career FDs that are so far behind in tactics and training as to be a huge embarassment. And then again there are some career FDs that are always truly on the cutting edge of training, techniques, and tactics and equipment.

    The problem with the broad stroke commentary about any group of people is most of the time while you paint them you slop on yourself.

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    Originally posted by EgressOne View Post
    Although, in majority "big city" departments the qualifications are just needing a GED and 18 years of age. I can see where the feeling of hopelessness comes into play where MANY people get the job out of luck. I can guranatee alot of people who did get on just went for the paycheck and "status" of being a hero. Many people don't deserve the position they have recieved.

    FyredUp-
    Yes getting certs and schooling improves chances of being hired, but only to those departments that make them their requirments. From what I understand he has only applied to those which didn't require any, whereas the certs wouldn't mean squat diddly!
    Funny thing is both FD's I have been career with had very minimal requirements one was the generic firefighting experience and the other was FF1 and EMT. Guess what happened to me at both interviews? They had looked over my resume and applications and noticed my extensive certs, training and AD in Fire Science and commented postiviely about my desire to educate myself. I believe 100% that those certs and degree helped get me hired on both departments. Were they required? Nope. Were they a benefit that showed my initiative to make myself more hirable? Absolutely.

    Leave a comment:


  • ffmedicmatt
    replied
    Originally posted by truckedup133 View Post
    Im a 3rd generation truckie and my old man wouldnt even let me sniff the door of a volly department.
    That right there. No respect for guys who do training and gain experience for only a few dollars a year or none at all. I've heard it from plenty of guys (especially coming from a combination department) that the vollie guys don't do it as much as the "professional guys" and that the vollie guys just show up when they want.

    Sorry if I took it the wrong way but it seemed to me that most of the comments were directed in a way that said any experience from a vollie department was nothing to brag about.

    And as for my own personal gains, yes I do not have a full time job yet. Is it due to me talking about my past experiences? doubtful. Is it due to not being number 2 on a list? partially. I have taken numerous tests, I have a bunch of certifications, I work for a private ambulance company, as you know this process is competitive and a few points or questions or anything can make the difference between first and being first on the list for the "next" class. I'm busting my a-s-s to get on a full time dept and I am a firm believer (being told from numerous current full time guys) that you need to make yourself marketable and the less certification training a fire dept needs to put in to you the less it will cost them in turn making the budget better.

    Now granted someone who has every single certification does not make a good firefighter. Trust me, I've seen plenty of toolbags that have that and then some and think they are the stuff.

    I'm just kind of taken aback at the thought process of experience/certifications can hurt you in a job. Sorry if i rubbed ya the wrong way.

    Leave a comment:


  • BoxAlarm187
    replied
    Originally posted by ffmedicmatt View Post
    So let me get this straight...no experience is better than experience and no certifications are better than certifications?
    In some departments, yes.

    Goes to show that Vollie guys don't get the respect they deserve from the quote "professional firefighters"
    What goes to show that? Because you've talked about your volunteer experience during several interviews and you haven't gotten the job yet? Not being a smart ***, just trying to see where you're coming from with that statement...

    Leave a comment:


  • ffmedicmatt
    replied
    So let me get this straight...no experience is better than experience and no certifications are better than certifications? If your goal is to get on Big City Metro Fire Department then maybe but if you just want to get a full time gig someplace certifications make a HUGE difference. Many tests are requiring you to be a Paramedic to even sit for the test. Now on to the Vollie dept issue. There are a lot of podunk Vollie depts that teach you nothing but how to run fast with a red light on your car but there are a lot more depts that are Vollie that have some damn good guys with training in everything. I'd even be willing to say some are better than some full time firefighters. its all about your own mindset and what you take away. I've been to a few different interviews and I talk up my experience and that I've learned life lessons from being on a fire dept. it doesn't have to be all about I pulled a kid from a burning building and did it all on my day off cause I'm a Vollie. Goes to show that Vollie guys don't get the respect they deserve from the quote "professional firefighters"

    Leave a comment:


  • SFAlumberjack
    replied
    Originally posted by truckedup133 View Post
    Perhaps I am wrong to say this, but one thing that helped me was not having anything that fryedup is selling. (no offense bro) My Chief (130+member Metro Career) told me that they prefer clean slates that they can write on what they want, not try to erase podunks way of firefighting. His words, not mine. (but I surely agree) What I did do was take multiple public speaking courses which helped me big time in all my oral boards. I also would go home and write down any and all questions from the written tests...So after 2 years I was able to study over actual test material to prepare. Helped me. Im not saying maybe being a EMT or Paramedic wouldnt certainly help, but I might be careful showing up with every cert in the book, a pager on your hip, and a volly shirt on your back. You can imagine being chief.....hire the self proclaimed fire god, or the clueless, willing to learn newbie with a shirt and a tie?.......Just trying to look at both sides of the aisle here.
    trucked.
    TRUCKED, thank u for ur input. I was told early on the same thing; certain departments want to train you themselves, without any bad habits.

    Leave a comment:


  • jtucker1384
    replied
    Originally posted by truckedup133 View Post
    Yep, Im the idiot. Lol I reread and understand. Hopefully SFA gets our point.
    No problem

    Leave a comment:


  • truckedup133
    replied
    Originally posted by jtucker1384 View Post
    I have a full time position now. I also have the academy and my EMT. I was just making a statement to the people saying you are better off have no certs I was just giving a perspective from my area. I also agree I love my job everyday to and would not give it up for anything.
    Yep, Im the idiot. Lol I reread and understand. Hopefully SFA gets our point.

    Leave a comment:


  • jtucker1384
    replied
    Originally posted by truckedup133 View Post
    Perhaps another area then? Or do what you must to make yourself the best candidate for whichever department you want to work for. But if thats the case, stick to what fyredup was saying and forget what I was saying. If you needs certs and EMT to be considered, then go get em'. Keep your head up. Each day I step off the rig I love my job. Everybody should have a shot at that.
    I have a full time position now. I also have the academy and my EMT. I was just making a statement to the people saying you are better off have no certs I was just giving a perspective from my area. I also agree I love my job everyday to and would not give it up for anything.

    Leave a comment:

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