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  • Will DUI prevent me from becoming a Firefighter?

    I'm hoping to become a Firefighter. I have a BA in Sociology and am about to begin my Fire Technology course work. I also have 6 years professional experience in the business world.

    Unfortunately I got a DUI last year and I'm worried that it might prevent me from getting a job. I have no other marks on my record.

    What do you think? Will this pursuit be a waste of my time?

    Regards,
    ~AF

  • #2
    Let me start out by saying I am sorry...not for your DUI but for what I am about to say.

    I have always wanted to be a fire figher also. I have trained with the local volunteer dept. and was all set to go to college to a good fire science program. I even got a job with the fighting wildland fire. then I had an accidnet that left me disabled. I dont think that you should be permitted to get a job in the fire service any how. I dont think that you have the honor to uphold. Fire fighting has been in my blood a long time and because on a simple accident I am not permitted to do what I love. Guess this is just what I think.....of course you can always try!
    D. Hager
    Paramedic

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    • #3
      [quote]Originally posted by hagerff/emti:
      I dont think that you should be permitted to get a job in the fire service any how. I dont think that you have the honor to uphold. Fire fighting has been in my blood a long time and because on a simple accident I am not permitted to do what I love.


      I might be reading into this too much, but it makes it sound like you don't think he should be a firefighter for reasons other than the DUI.


      Aspiring: It could hinder you, but then again just having a DUI doesn't mean you are automatically disqualified (usually). If it was a one-time mistake and you are honest with the employer, it might not even be a big issue. It is not like it is a felony. Everyone makes mistakes, Lord knows I have made a few. If anyone tries to take the pious, holier-than-thou approach because they made a mistake then they are full of it. Your mistake was around a year ago, still a fresh wound, but by the time you are ready to go on it will be farther behind you. Excel in your Fire Technology course work and show that you are able to move on from your mistakes.

      [ 12-12-2001: Message edited by: Adze ]

      IACOJ Agitator
      Fightin' Da Man Since '78!

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      • #4
        Most departments won't catagorically deny you employment based on a DUI, but it may make it a whole helluva lot tougher. I don't know your department's or state's policy, but be honest! Don't just randomly bring it up in the middle of an interview, but they WILL find out in the background check, there's probably a question regarding something of that nature on the application, and you don't really want it to be a surprise. They WILL catagorically deny your employment if you in any way, shape, or form lie about it. Be honest and pray!
        "...you're such a gentle soul, it's killing me to know, when will i see your face?" -Vince Gill

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        • #5
          Don't listen to Mr Holier-Than-Thou, hagerff/emti. Everyone makes mistakes and hopefully learns from them. This will affect your hiring prospects. It depends upon the citeria the local jurisdiction utilizes and how they weight offenses. If your conviction was a felony, then hang it up, you're unemployable as a FF at least here in TX. The next issue is what driving restrictions are you under? Your driving can not be encumbered if you ever hope to make it thur the hiring process. If your on probation you need to wait till you've completed it to apply. The longer since the offence the better as it shows your not habitual. Finally, like our philosopher friend from CaliTech saud, don't lie. The backgroud will pick this up, yours and the criminal check too. Any lie is grounds to pass you over. Good luck
          "It's not surprising, but it's a shame"


          "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts"
          -A. Einstein

          "The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."
          - Plato -

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          • #6
            like you, i have a dui and i got hired by a fire dept. be absolutely honest in your application and background because they will find out. my dui was one year before i got hired. they want to know if this was an ongoing problem or if it was just a life mistake. i got mine after minimal beers and leaving a bachelor party. now i put away the keys if im going to drink. remember nobody is perfect and we all have skeletons in the closet, especially firefighters! j/k keep your hopes up and yes you will face rejection with some depts. just keep plugging away and time will be on your side. good luck and please learn from your mistake. i sure did.

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            • #7
              I know of several people that have gotten hired after getting a DUI. Go for it man one mistake shouldnt screw up your entire life and most departments see that. many departments however will not hire you if the conviction was anytime soon. One fire department in the area the policy is not more than one conviction and it cant be in the past 5 years. but that varys greatly from place to place.

              dont worry, i am afraid of polygraphs. i havent been an angel either.

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              • #8
                It may make it tougher, but you still have to try... let them tell you "no" rather than not trying at all...
                Hey, it's MY opinion, not that of my department or peers.

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                • #9
                  What everyone is telling you is prety much on the ball.
                  In my dept. we recently had a candidate who was tied for the job (score wise), And he had a dui and the other guy didn't so naturaly they took the other guy. but I think it was because of the tie. So keep your head up and be honest, but don't make a big deal out of it either. If your whole interview revolves around the one mistake you made then that's all they will remember you by.
                  IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

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                  • #10
                    Our city has a policy that will terminate your employment with the city if you are convicted of a DUI while employed by the city. The city requires you to have a valid drivers license as a term of employment.

                    I think that others that have posted on your topic are on the right track of telling you to be up front about the DUI and honest.

                    I don't think the past should matter if you're honest about it. How long ago was the conviction? What does your current driving record look like?

                    On the other hand, looking only at the city that employs me as a firefighter I see a potential problem with your conviction. If a firefighter employed by our city gets a DUI conviction while employed here he or she is terminated. So, in a way it's like you're asking for an exception or exemption to the city's rule.

                    I do not know of anyone hired here with a DUI conviction. I do remember hearing of a candidate rejected during the interview process for admission of a DUI conviction.

                    Be honest, and up front about it and good luck!
                    joejoe33

                    Comments and opinions are mine and do not represent the agency or IAFF local that I am affiliated with.

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                    • #11
                      I have heard of guys losing their jobs from getting one, but we haven't had anyone get one in my dept. I do know some departments that it isn't an automatic disqualifying reason. However, they will have you sign a form that explains that you will have random drug/alcohol testing during your probation period. If they find any amount of alcohol/drugs in your system. You are immediately dismissed. I knew a guy that had to do that and the dumbass had a beer the night before he went to work for a night shift, and they found a trace in his urine, and he is now a landscaper.

                      Be honest like everyone said. You have a 50/50 chance, and it could make it harder. The fact is yes we all make mistakes. However, we also all have choices. You made the choice that led to your DUI, all you can do is live with it and learn. In my experience and opinion, you will have a better chance in a large department who does mass hirings, compared to a smaller dept where they may interview 3 candidates for one position. Its those type of situations where every little detail counts. I wish you the best of luck in your future. More so on the side of you do not make the wrong decision again...and that you get the career you seem very compassionate about.

                      -------------------------------------------------
                      The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.

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                      • #12
                        It sounds to me like you know you made a mistake and you owned up to it. So no I don't think one DUI should stop you from becoming a Firefighter. Sure the review board is going to look at it and may even mention it but you know what you did and I'm sure you paid dearly for it. I'm not saying DUI is right...It isn't and you should have known better than to get behinfd the wheel. It's a good thing you were stopped and charged before it got worse and somebody got hurt. ~ I hope that you get hired and I wish you luck in your venture. As I said you were man enough to admit it and to admit it here...is pretty noble {Considering the way some peole on these forums mis-constru things and the brutal way they reply}

                        Good luck in getting the job....Go for it !
                        ***The Opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect those of the Department to which I am a Member ! ***

                        Stratford Fire Co. # 1.."Any Job ~ Any Place ~ Any Time"

                        Check us Out www.stratfordfire.com

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                        • #13
                          A friend of mine works for a Dept. that just hired a person with a DUI on his record. I believe whether you get hired or not depends on you. Was this a flook one time thing? Or do you actively party and finally get caught? Be responsible, stay driven and good things will happen.
                          Trust me I've rolled the dice more then once myself, then I realized how much being a Firefighter ment to me.

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