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  • CaptBob
    replied
    Fire Academy

    Good work! Here are some tips:

    It’s not just the physical part. You have to pass every segment of the academy including the final test to demonstrate you can function in the field. It’s not uncommon to have a group of candidates let go in the final two weeks of the academy because they can’t master ladder throws, repel or operate the equipment. More than one candidate has been let go because they couldn’t start the chain saw, operate the jaws or struggled on the drill ground in the final test.

    Nothing will **** of the training staff more than you telling them a better way to do something. How you did it in your FF1 academy, reserve or other department. The only task you need to focus on is how they do it in this department. Training divisions are their own kingdoms. This is not a democracy! You have no time or opinion.

    It is devastating to be let go, especially if you have already been through a college fire academy. You have been dropped as your classmates are getting dressed up in their class A uniforms (about the only time they will ever wear it, except for funerals) heading for their badge ceremony.

    It starts with instructors from the academy taking you aside and pointing out the problems you are having. If you don’t improve, they will meet you again with other members of the training staff and document the meeting. The writing is on the wall if things don’t improve.

    Candidates that get to this point start to panic. This can affect their other skills. Things they already know and have mastered become difficult. Instead of dropping back and taking a different mindset, they start to panic and withdraw. Too many candidates in this situation would rather go below and fall on their sword before they will ask for help. This is the time to ask for help, extra training, and check in with those who have gone before them. I usually get the call after they have taken the option to resign instead of being fired. My first question is why didn’t you call me earlier? Well, I didn’t think it was that bad.

    Here are some of the incidents where candidates were let go:

    A candidate shows up at an academy overweight even though he knows they will run 3 miles a day, he can’t. Result. They run him into the ground the first week.

    Another candidate is given an order to get a Philips screwdriver from the toolbox. After several minutes at the toolbox, he admits he doesn’t know what a Philips screwdriver is. Hard to believe. Oh, I forgot, they have dropped the mechanical aptitude from the written and added in psych questions. Result: Lack of mechanical ability cost this candidate a badge.

    Even though this candidate had been through two academies, he starts having trouble with ladder throws. He has done this successfully 100’s of times. But, now he starts doing a mind screw on himself. It gets worse. He is counseled. Then again. Result: Booted from the academy. The good news is we worked with this candidate, regrouped, he got in better shape, worked out a reasonable explanation, accepting the blame, why it happened and would never happen again. He was picked up by another agency and is wearing a badge.

    Another recruit knew he had to lose weight for the academy. He did not reach his goal. His weight caught up with him trying to hump hose up the tower with a SCBA. Result: Got his marching orders because he didn’t have the wind to complete this tough academy. Good news again. Regrouped, lost the weight and convinced a department with an easier academy he would be an asset.

    Trying to come back and rejoin this candidate’s academy too early after a drill tower accident only made the injury worse. When the recruit could not keep up and refused to accept the opportunity to go through the next academy was let go. Another one of those, why didn’t you call me first beauties. Even a lawsuit did not regain a chance at a badge.

    A candidate did call me when he was having problems repelling off the tower. He would get upside down just before the net. A little mind drill exercise corrected the problem.

    “The worst mistake is to have the best ladder at the wrong wall.” Donald Rumsfeld

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  • fire49
    replied
    Good luck all around


    Watch out for the Georgia mafia

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  • breese2
    replied
    Got hired with DeKalb County! Start next week in the academy. Thanks everybody for the advice. I'll be leaving my significant other back for a couple of months while things are getting settled down. It will be tough, but I think it will work. Any other advice is appreciated. Thanks alot.

    Leave a comment:


  • sweetpete
    replied
    I've been down this road also. I grew up and raised a family in Cleveland. I was part-time/paid on Wadsworth FD. I tested here in Texas and was offered a job.

    My wife and I sold basically everything we couldn't fit in the trailer we used to move. We also sold our home and we gave up alot of family support to move down here where we knew nobody, other than her brother and his wife and kids.

    But I'll say this, it was the best move I could've made. Now, my wife doesn't have to work, we have a steady income with benefits, and we are living a simple but happy life.

    However, as has been mentioned, DO NOT MOVE until you have a job offer. Repeat: DO NOT MOVE until you have a JOB OFFER!!!

    If you have any questions, let me know. Take care.
    Pete

    Leave a comment:


  • JoshMM
    replied
    All very good information in here. Do not even worry about the logistics of moving until you are offered the job IMO. Also listen to Capt. Bob. Very good advice.

    BTW Bob! I graduate a week from this Friday!

    Leave a comment:


  • emt-pack_mule
    replied
    Depends on how bad you want it. I moved from New Jersey to Virginia for the job, with no regrets. The academy part was tough, expect at least five days a week with long hours, plus study time. EMS classes can even be up to six days a week with clinical times and ride alongs.
    There are guys that are single and guys with families that both did really well in the academy. Also, dont get me wrong, I love home and all, but a stranger in the north and a stranger in the south are two totally different situations.
    Every dept. is different, but after every 3rd shift, we get 4 days off, which is great if you ever had to go back home to stay in touch with family.

    Leave a comment:


  • breese2
    replied
    Also very good advice. I dont think you should ever move away unless you had a job offer. Just tryin to get an idea what its like

    Leave a comment:


  • CaptBob
    replied
    Shall I move my family to the area I want to test for?

    Do yourself and your family a big favor. Don’t even think about moving until you get the invitation in writing that you have the job. Never move away from family, friends, support and established connections thinking that will improve your chances of getting a badge.

    This is not the first time I've seen this question. A candidate is invited to the chief’s oral. He just knows they want him. He gives notice at his job, his apartment and finds a new apartment for the city he is being considered for. He starts packing. After the chief’s interview he is notified to complete the medical, given the date for the academy, uniform fitting and then the psych. He flies down to complete these items in two days. He goes by with his wife to check on the new apartment, flies home and waits for the mover to show up the next day.

    Don’t touch that dial. There is something wrong with the psych interview. It comes back inconclusive. They want him to retake the psych. But the movers are on their way. I can taste that badge. I know they want me.

    A medic candidate moved his family from southern California to Seattle, so he could be in position for the next test. Although he made the list, he was going to have to wait until they got down to him. In the mean time the pressures built up at home, he lost his house in California to foreclosure, and got in a heated argument with his wife. The police arrived and arrested him for domestic violence. This at a time when he was in background for the next academy. Everything came to a full halt. Fortunately, in the state of Washington, if you complete the counseling and probation program and it’s your first offense, you can appeal the court to remove the charge. Now a year later, this has been done. The Seattle list he was on expired. Now it’s back to square one.

    “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence. It’s just as hard to crew, you have to water it too, it’s just different grass.”

    Leave a comment:


  • fire49
    replied
    Good part is she is five and if not in school yet will be, so she will meet people ,and will girlfriend can work during those hours

    May be a good move in that you three will hopeful relie on each other more

    Leave a comment:


  • breese2
    replied
    Thanks for the info.
    I have tested for all of those departments. Some are looking more promising than others. Thanks for the advice Capt

    Leave a comment:


  • CaptOldTimer
    replied
    Originally posted by breese2 View Post
    I have recently been applying and testing for positions out of the state of Ohio. There are so many firefighter medics in this state it is hard to even get a job when the economy is not bad.
    As said I have applied for a few metro departments and they seem to be moving the process along very quickly. I have a girlfriend who also has a 5 year old daughter that will be moving along if I go. She is pretty worried about moving away from her family and even mine, as she will know nobody, and moving her daughter somewhere completely different. Basically she is worried it will be hard to raise her daughter by ourselves (babysitting, and work conflicts, etc.) I completely understand her point, but if anybody has some insight on this.

    Also, metro fire academies- DeKalb, Nashville, D.C, Fairfax County- Any info on what its like would be great.


    Read the thread topics herein this section.

    Fairfax County just finished exams and is getting ready to hire.

    DCFD classes start next week.

    Nashville has already tested.

    DeKalb has already tested I think.

    Norfolks VA, Cheasapeake, VA, Chesterfield, VA have given exams as well.

    You have to get an application in a department. You have to take their exams. You have to get hired. You have to pass their proby school.

    Once this is done maybe you, girlfriend and baby[s] can all be together and happy. It is tough moving families around. But getting a good jon may be worth the move or moves.



    Look around in this thread section and see who is taking applications.

    You new fire company is family too. The members have children too. The members associated pretty much as one big family. She will meet these folks and feel accepted.

    Leave a comment:


  • breese2
    started a topic Moving to a different state/ and the academy

    Moving to a different state/ and the academy

    I have recently been applying and testing for positions out of the state of Ohio. There are so many firefighter medics in this state it is hard to even get a job when the economy is not bad.
    As said I have applied for a few metro departments and they seem to be moving the process along very quickly. I have a girlfriend who also has a 5 year old daughter that will be moving along if I go. She is pretty worried about moving away from her family and even mine, as she will know nobody, and moving her daughter somewhere completely different. Basically she is worried it will be hard to raise her daughter by ourselves (babysitting, and work conflicts, etc.) I completely understand her point, but if anybody has some insight on this.

    Also, metro fire academies- DeKalb, Nashville, D.C, Fairfax County- Any info on what its like would be great.

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