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  • Overqualified????

    A little background on myself before I begin. I have been a firefighter/emt for just over 3 years with a year and a half of that being career. Ive been lucky enough to have the determination to get as much training as I could, and when I was a volly I had some fairly understanding employers. Because of this I have been able to obtain the following certs.
    IFSAC Firefighter I, OSHA Firefighter, SCEMT-B, NREMT-B, Hazmat Ops, Auto Extrication, Emergency Vehicle Driver Training, Pump Ops, Mobile Water Supply, Rope Rescue, Positive Pressure Ventilation, Flamable Liquids and Gas Firefighting, LP Gas Firefighting, Incident Command, Leadership I,II,and III, Managing Company Tactical Operations-Prep, S-130, S-190, S-205, I-100, Firefighting in Multifamily Dwellings, Principles of Building Construction, and I am also a Rescue Diver
    If a canidate walked in to place an application in your dept would you consider them over qualified? And if so why?
    After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

    Official Minister of Philosophy of the IACOJ

    IACOJ Probie Crusty of the year 2003

  • #2
    For the two departments I have worked for (Fairfax County, Virginia and Houston, Texas), I'd say their answer would be no.

    The only thing they will not 'reteach' is if you are a Paramedic. Everything else, they will teach you right along with the guy who was flipping burgers at McDonalds yesterday.
    Last edited by Kobersteen; 09-25-2003, 02:44 PM.
    Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

    "It's okay to to scared, just don't be chicken." - Clark

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    • #3
      There have been SO many discussions on the hiring process here that it would definitely benefit you to read up on every one. Certifications are terrific, and I give you a lot of credit for achieving many more than I have. However, certifications & credentials don't make the person. The chief & oral board want someone they can talk to, not some meatball in a suit who throws a stack of certs at 'em. It's the well-rounded individual that gets hired, from certs to speaking skills. Face it, we're in a very high visibility field, and the chief of any department wants the best public relations people on his (her) force. Driver training doesn't give any help to handling someone else's crisis in the living room. Best of luck!
      ~Kevin
      Firefighter/Paramedic
      --^v--^v--^v--^v--
      Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
      Dennis Miller

      Comment


      • #4
        Nope!

        I wouldn't consider you over qualified. But it's not what you have or don't have as far as credentials that can make the difference. It's how you present the package. And, if you can't present the package, you will never, ever see that badge.

        This From Steve Prziborowski, Fire Captain - Santa Clara County Fire Department:

        Do what you have to do be more marketable so you can take more tests and have something more to offer a department, but remember that it all comes down to that 15 to 30 minute oral interview. I've seen some awesome candidates with resumes packed full of accomplishments that couldn't sell them self in an interview to even make the top 50%.

        Check out postings down the forum including this one:
        http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sh...&threadid=51959

        You can find more interview articles in the career article section of this firehouse.com web site: http://cms.firehouse.com/content/co...r/bio.jsp?id=18

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

        Fire "Captain Bob"

        www.eatstress.com
        _____________________________________________

        "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


        • #5
          capt bob
          No offense intended but I really dont care much for the way you plug your service on this site, contribuitor or not. I've looked at your site and all in the past and while it may have a lot of good info the oral board has never been a problem for me. Ive gotten every job I have interviewed for, in and out of the fire service. My question was basicly addressed to the people on the review pannels who look over the apps. and decide which ones to call and which ones not to call. Ive known of a few depts that feel they will loose the person with all the certs. to the dept down the street that pays a little better.
          After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

          Official Minister of Philosophy of the IACOJ

          IACOJ Probie Crusty of the year 2003

          Comment


          • #6
            12TruckIrons,

            I like your last answer. No, you're not overqualified. I'd say that if you pass the written exam and physical requirements, you would probably get to the oral interview. All your information will be seen in one form or another by the powers that be i.e. your application and/or resume. Unless asked to go into detail in an oral board just present yourself in the best light possible. If you present yourself in the manner they expect, the certifications will just be icing on the cake. Although, it will depend on the department your applying for too. Is it in the same state? If not are your certs transferable in regards to the department your applying for in that state? Larger departments tend to want to train you their way (you may have to take the courses again) but you've also shown the ability to obtain the certs. Smaller departments would more than likely be much more likely to accept your certifications as they are unless you haven't met the minimum qualifications as set forth by that department or state. Most departments large and small will usually still want you to attend the academy of their choice. Another question I'd ask is do you presently have FFII or was your OSHA considered as a FFII qualification in the state in which your applying? Some states won't accept certs from others and some will, it all depends. Even with these variables, like I said, at least you've shown the initiative and ability to gain those certs and that can't hurt.
            Last edited by FireLt1951; 09-29-2003, 06:53 PM.

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            • #7
              firelt

              Im glad you like my previous answer, I've been waiting for somebody to have a reason to do that and I guess my number came up first. In reguards to the Osha firefighter no that is not a FFII cert. its the very basic firefightning class that will allow you to go interior in SC. Its been awhile since I took it and if I am not mistaken its an 80 hour course covering the basics. Then add a few prereqs. comes FFI (IFSAC FFI or NFPA FFI which ever you choose to call it.) After a few more prereqs you con take FFII. Only thing I am lacking for that is the actual FFII class. Training rarely happens in my county so it takes awhile for that class to come around.
              After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

              Official Minister of Philosophy of the IACOJ

              IACOJ Probie Crusty of the year 2003

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 12TruckIrons
                firelt

                Im glad you like my previous answer, I've been waiting for somebody to have a reason to do that and I guess my number came up first. In reguards to the Osha firefighter no that is not a FFII cert. its the very basic firefightning class that will allow you to go interior in SC. Its been awhile since I took it and if I am not mistaken its an 80 hour course covering the basics. Then add a few prereqs. comes FFI (IFSAC FFI or NFPA FFI which ever you choose to call it.) After a few more prereqs you con take FFII. Only thing I am lacking for that is the actual FFII class. Training rarely happens in my county so it takes awhile for that class to come around.
                Dont shoot me for playing devils advocate here but in some circles you would be overqualified. Let me explain.. The departments that I have seen that "claim" that, have a some right. they are usually smaller departments next to big cities, and they get alot of Over-educated, Over-Certified people with no Paid Firefighting experience. They will use the department as a stepping stone, get in, get more certs, get experience, and go on to the big city.. Usually these are the people that claim in the orals, they love the small town, have always wanted to work for this city because it is where my great-grandads ex-neighbor who was a bully, had a sister who date the milkman from your fair city. Then within a month of starting work, they are already shooting apps out everywhere for that "next step" in their career.

                Not many departments will use the over-qualified bit unless, they have had a rash of it before, or your resume/application shows that is what you do in the past. 5 different FF jobs in 2 years with ending each because of better pay, or career advancement.. they may assume you are gonna make them #6 on your resume and not want to waste the time.


                Also, they sometimes pull the Over-Qual gambit when you show up for the oral interview, and for every question you get asked, you answer is based on a certification you hold.

                Example: You are crew leader, responding to a Structure Fire what do you do? Answer: As I was trained in Fire Officer I and II, I will do blah blah blah unless there is a methlab involved which we covered under Hazardous materials, which I am a technician and Scene commander by the way, well the meth lab was covered by the clandestine drug labs class I just recently certified in.


                In MOST oral interviews, they will have seen your resume or application, they will have seen your certs and classes taken. Impress them with YOU, If they ask about certs then bring them up otherwise use them REAL Sparingly.

                Gerard
                FF I/II, FO I, F. Insp I/II, Inst I w/ FLAG cert, Driver Pump/ARFF/MWS/Wildland, NWCG FF II, HM A/O/T/IC,ISO, 1st Resp, ex EMT-B, ex-EMT-I
                And I can go thru about 3 times as much due to state/federal/out of state and overseas certs. (but see how boring that is when it does not have anything to do with the question..

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