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  • PTSD/Psych medication disqualified from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

    Hello I'm Paul Guevara and I'm from Alexandria, VA.I have a question regarding an issue with my recent disqualification from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue. I served in the Marine Corps as an 0311 Infantryman for 4 years and got out in 2006 after serving 2 tours in Iraq. Upon returning home, I was diagnosed with PTSD and taking psychiatric medications. I tried out for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue in Virginia. I Passed the written and the CPAT and when I got to my medical exam, they disqualified me due to my PTSD and psychiatric medications mostly for mood stabilization and for sleep. All they gave me was a disqualification letter and sent me on my way! I was very upset. I spent 7 months in the process attending the CPAT Practices and waiting around for calls for the next step in the process. All I had was the polygraph left to be done. I even had a slot in the next Fire Academy (granted I passed the medical exam). I'm wondering if the PTSD/ psych medicine disqualification is different for each County or is it a nationwide Fire Department SOP that those are disqualifiers? If you would give me some insight I would greatly appreciate it. Something is telling me to try out other counties but I want to know if it's worth it only for a possible disqualification again in the end. I won't be off the meds anytime soon but I still have a strong desire to be a firefighter. I'm only 25 years old so I'm still very young and I won't be on the medication forever. Is this thing one of those where you have to keep a secret from the occupational health center or was it a good idea that I told them about my condition anyway? Thanks guys I greatly appreciate it!

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    • Speaking of how much you get paid.....does Fairfax offer an educational incentive for having an Associates or Bachelors degree?

      Do any of the other area departments offer this? (DCFD, arlington, prince william, ect? )

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      • Originally posted by donedeal View Post
        Speaking of how much you get paid.....does Fairfax offer an educational incentive for having an Associates or Bachelors degree?

        Do any of the other area departments offer this? (DCFD, arlington, prince william, ect? )
        Points on a promotional exam, but no increase in salary, is my understanding. I can't speak of other departments.
        "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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        • Originally posted by edpmedic View Post
          I wasn't there personally, but I know the proctor, and he's a reliable source. He was quite disappointed with the poor showing. Come to think of it, when I took the CPAT, I witnessed quite a few failures myself. Quite a few females died on the dummy drag, and the stepmill was too much for many others. We had a female volly come to our station for CPAT help with three weeks out. We tortured her pretty good, did our best to help her prepare, and she passed with less than 10 seconds to spare. I think candidates frequently hear that the CPAT is "watered down", or "a joke", and don't take it seriously.
          When I took the CPAT I also noted more than a few failures, many were right at the stair master. Others were people who gave it their all and fell short or very short in some cases, but they completed the course.

          The one out of forty could be accurate. If you're not in any kind of shape, this not only isn't a career for you... but the CPAT will weed out some of the people. One of the FFX guys at the test noted they had many more people these days that were not passing the CPAT than in years past. Writing between the lines is people are looking for work IMO. No joke, guy sitting by me in the written test walked out because he realized he was afraid of heights and wasn't aware he'd have to be in situations with ladders, etc. Funny... but not.

          I forget my time on the CPAT exactly, but I went right through it as fast as one possibly can w/out running. I enjoy being and staying in shape... which is one thing that really makes this career something I really want among other good reasons. I need to touch base with Annie... I am in the waiting for the medical and poly stage.

          Thanks for the continued updates from those in the department.

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          • i just got the call a few weeks ago for med and poly for next month, anyone know how many they are going to hire or usually hire?

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            • With talking to the Capt. they are letting applicants go with the medical and poly but only a select few that pass will make it to the psyc exam unless you are a medic. Talking with people i know on the dept they want medics but might take a few firefighter/emts sometime next year. Do yourself a favor and keep your head clean and thinking positive. Good luck with your med and poly. I have compleated everything im just waiting for goodnews.

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              • after psych what is left? and how hard is psych?

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                • The Psych was so much as hard but it was def a brain teaser and that is the whole point, it tests your mental state. I was told that only a select few move onto this part due to the cost. Not sure how far along you are but good luck and like i said before keep your head clean!

                  be safe

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                  • Originally posted by firemanmatt08 View Post
                    after psych what is left? and how hard is psych?
                    Standard psych test, there should be entire threads devoted to this. There's a short IQ test, and a long personality test with such questions as "I love my father", "I prefer to work alone", I often hear voices inside my head", and "I would like to be a soldier", with a response from strongly agree to strongly disagree. If you passed the poly and medical prior, there shouldn't be anything left to do.
                    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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                    • ok well when is the oral interview?

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                      • did they start the 125th class yet?

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                        • Originally posted by firemanmatt08 View Post
                          ok well when is the oral interview?
                          There isn't one at the moment, unless things changed.
                          "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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                          • Originally posted by firemanmatt08 View Post
                            did they start the 125th class yet?
                            Yes, in March '08.
                            "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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                            • Originally posted by edpmedic View Post
                              Yes, in March '08.
                              hahaha! I thought 125th passed already. :P

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                              • Ok...I just got done with the psych. Didn't see the recruiting Captain though. My brains are fried. I guess I'll find out next year if I made it! Took me over 1 year to finish with everything, now I have to wait another 2 years to see what's up! Awesome!

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