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BPAD in a few days, what will I encounter?

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  • BPAD in a few days, what will I encounter?

    Curious as to what I will encounter on the BPAD.
    I only know generally what it's about.
    What kind of scenerios are likely to pop up?
    What are the board members looking for?
    Thanks for any help.


  • #2

    In B-pad, you will be presented with a video that shows many situations. You will be recorded by another video to view how you respond. At the end of each situation, you will be given an opportunity to pick one of several answers or tell what you would do.

    B-pad is designed to see how you would react in situations if you were a firefighter. If you already had your answers in place, you would get high scores for an oral board, members of a city council hiring committee, B-pad or any other interview. The problem is most candidates don't have their script down to audition for the job of a firefighter.

    We teach candidates to prepare like an actor does for a part in a play. Once they are in that part you only see their personal script on becoming a firefighter. This works especially well in the B-pad where you would want to act as if you were already a firefighter. Nothing short of this will do. It's show time. The bright lights of Broadway. It's time to grab your top hat, cane and step it out.

    Key in B-pad is to listen and identify the issue, catching more than one issue, deciding the correct thing to do and using to total time you are given to answer each segment.

    You can find out more on this process on the Internet by using the key search word: B-pad.

    Here are four sample scenerios used in B-Pad:

    Comforting a trapped child
    Aiding an elderly and ill citizen
    Responding to conflicting orders
    Confronting a coworker's substance abuse

    For more, check out: www.bpad.com and www.fireteamtest.com

    Previous posting testimony:

    I took a B-Pad about 4 months ago for a firefighter job.

    My advice to you would be to remain calm and relaxed through the process. They will give you 45 seconds-1 minute to answer. If you feel that you answered to the best of your ability and you have extra time, sit there and DO NOT FIDGET and move around.

    Sit still and wait for that scenario to end. Part of the evaluation is watching how you react after you answer. I think I had 8 scenario's that I had to provide answers for. To be honest, they are all common sense. Don't make more out of it than it is. Above all....remain CALM and COLLECTED. After all, if you can't do that in front of the camera, how are you going to do it on real calls. Good Luck!!

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

    More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:

    Fire "Captain Bob"



    • #3
      prepare or you will be in for a shock. speaking from experience. theres tons of prep material out there and its worth the cash


      • #4
        jettofunk - What department are you taking it for?

        ajg - I know there is prep material for Fireteam, but Ive never seen it for BPAD...


        • #5
          Another thing is to treat the BPAD just as you would an actual interview...meaning wear the suit...don't show up in jeans, t-shirt etc.

          A couple scenario types I had were...you come on scene of a domestic dispute...the husbands looks at you and says we didn't call you...no one is hurt here....then respond.

          Another is you are in an ambulance and your partner just got lunch...a call comes in for a frequent flyer and he looks at you and says I'm going to finish lunch first...then respond.
          So yeah....practice up...run scenarios like that in your head, or better look up the test material. Oh try to limit the ahhs and ummms. easy to say..not easy to do.
          The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.


          • #6
            Orange county.
            I have a fire prep book but I left it in FL on accident.
            Is there anything I can print up and read?
            I'll pay if I have to but from what it looks like, everything is on DVD/online.
            Do they offer anything I could download and take with me on the plane?
            I'm in Vancouver, WA right now. I catch my plane tomorrow morning.
            Last edited by JettoFunk; 02-09-2007, 05:53 PM.


            • #7
              O and do you guys recommend studying before the test day on this stuff?
              Not sure if this takes the same rules as a written test


              • #8
                Originally posted by JettoFunk View Post
                Orange county.
                I have a fire prep book but I left it in FL on accident.
                Is there anything I can print up and read?
                I'll pay if I have to but from what it looks like, everything is on DVD/online.
                Do they offer anything I could download and take with me on the plane?
                I'm in Vancouver, WA right now. I catch my plane tomorrow morning.
                yea I'm taking theirs too. I have mine Monday at 8am.


                • #9
                  Below are some top scoring stratigies that will increase your score when taking a B-Pad exam. Good luck !!

                  Positive Behaviors

                  • Use statements that complete express thoughts – not splintered or “Oh yeah, I forgot to say this…”

                  • Use appropriate grammar and vocabulary – no slang words, use proper English

                  • If you feel that the answer you have given to a scenario is complete, just stop and wait for the next scenario. Do not try to “fill time.”

                  More Positive Behaviors

                  • Demonstrate an organized pattern when speaking. Think about what you want to say before you speak – don’t ramble to fill time. Organize your thoughts; even if the tape is playing, you can wait 2-3 seconds to get your thoughts together. You need to make sure you are making an appropriate response and not just shooting from the hip.

                  • Use appropriate facial expression or gestures – don’t have a deadpan look. Have a meaningful expression on your face when you need to. In some scenes, your partner will be looking at you for a response – use eye contact back. If you need to use your hands or body language to make a point, go ahead as long as you don’t overdo it and be too dramatic. Don’t touch your face, mumble, lick your lips, put your hands on your face, play with your hair or other distracting gestures.

                  • Speak at an appropriate volume and speak slowly and distinctly. Do not mumble or speak so softly that your response will be difficult to understand. When people are nervous they tend to speak quickly, so make an effort to slow down. Know your tendencies and adjust accordingly.

                  • Try to address key issues and bring about a good resolution to the problem.

                  • Try to demonstrate the appropriate emotion for the given situation, show empathy where appropriate.

                  Negative Behaviors
                  • Interrupt – start talking before the presentation is done
                  • Use too many “ah’s”, “uh’s”, and “um’s”
                  • Repeatedly use phrases like “you know,” “right,” “okay,” or “you know what I mean”
                  • Do not attempt to use words you are not familiar with
                  • Mumble
                  • Ramble – talked too much or repeated yourself
                  • Use slang or jargon
                  • Use abusive language
                  • Make distracting hand movements
                  • Tap, pound, jiggle in a distracting manner
                  • Snap, pop, or chew gum

                  Solving the Problem

                  • Identify the root problem

                  • Organize before you speak – don’t jump right in unless you are ready. If you need to pause for 2-3 seconds to organize your thoughts before you speak, do so. It is better to have an organized thought process before you speak than to immediately jump in and not know what you are going to say in an unorganized fashion.

                  • Work towards a solution

                  • Emphasize trust and confidence – show that you care. Empathy!

                  Presentation Language
                  • Be simple
                  • Be concrete
                  • Be personal
                  • Be purposeful
                  • Be adaptable

                  • It’s not what you say, but how you say it – very important!
                  • …and what you are doing while you say it

                  o Eye contact – look at the camera and not at the proctor unless the person is standing next to the picture.

                  o Facial expression – When you need to show emotion, empathy for someone, or when you need to display firmness (keeping citizens back at a fire, someone harassing you) – show it!

                  o Posture – sit up straight!

                  o Hand movements – Don’t pull at your hair, scratch your chin – no nervous gestures! Be natural as if you were in the scenario.

                  • Speak at an appropriate speed
                  • Speak distinctly
                  • Use inflection – show emotion in your voice
                  • Be relaxed but show you care! Don’t look tense! Take deep breaths before you begin to sit down and watch the scenario. This will limit your anxiety and nervousness.

                  Preparation Strategy

                  • Videotape, if possible – very important! Have someone videotape you or speak into a mirror or use a tape recorder to listen to how you sound. This way, you will be able to tell how you sound and, if you are using a video camera, you will also be able to see what your facial expressions are, what your hand gestures are – you will be very surprised what you look like when you review the videotape or listen to the tape recorder! It is in reviewing the tape that you can make your corrections. Be sure to use a video camera and the practice lines we have supplied for you to check your facial expressions.
                  • Critique
                  o Self
                  o Friend (offers specific suggestions for improvement)
                  • Visualize success
                  • Importance of repetition – keep practicing over and over!

                  Since 1950, Don McNea Fire School has prepared over 40,000 fire applicants with our entry level seminars and products. Fireprep.com has over 250 pages of FREE information and career articles to help you reach your goal of becoming a firefighter.

                  Go to www.fireprep.com and register for our free fireprep e-mail newsletter that currently has over 24,000 subscribers.


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