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I'd like information on supporting my firefighter

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  • I'd like information on supporting my firefighter

    Thank you so much for this amazing forum. What a wealth of information here! However, I am the partner of a recruit - and I am looking for support myself, and info as to how I can best support my husband.

    I have several questions about the hiring process, and how to make the most of this task. I'd love to chat with some other fire spouses or firefighters about your experiences.

    My first question would be - Is this the best place to do this? Are their partners on this forum or is it mostly for actual firefighters?

    edited to add - maybe recruit isnt the right word..."looking for a job" I dont have all the terminology down yet. LOL.
    Last edited by beekeeper; 07-25-2010, 06:28 PM.

  • #2
    There are a few spouses/sig others on here, but mostly firefighters. However, we're happy to help out and contribute however we can. You'll probably be able to find a lot of answers using the search button in the top right... a wide variety of topics have been discussed. Feel free to jump in and ask a question in the thread. Or you can always start a thread and ask the question. Let us know how we can help!


    • #3
      Thank you.

      Actually, it would probably be fantastic to hear from firefighters AND so's on this topic. Great perspective.

      We are in the process of him finding his first fire job. (And what a process it is! wow! I'd be lying if I told you i was prepared for this.) He has been searching locally and within a couple of states for about 8 months. We are going to need to move soon, and I wondered if it makes sense to settle into a location where you want to work and live, or if you move based on getting a job/good odds for a job as a firefighter?

      I have heard it takes 2 years to get a job...I have heard 5...I am not really getting a good handle on the reality of it. Obviously it could vary quite a bit but how long did it take YOU - and what affects the variables?

      Is it important to keep getting new certs and more education during the searching process?

      I am already stretched to the limit with his current work, finances, raising our (little) children, keeping up with it all - but I wonder if I need to step up my game and get behind him more on whatever he needs to do to accomplish this dream.

      What did your spouse/gf/boyfriend do that really helped you during the process of hiring?

      I think I just need to gain some perspective because I truly love my husband and my family and I want to be the best wife and mother I can be. I need to grow and learn a little bit right now because this is so different than anything I have ever experienced.

      I will be searching around on the forums for sure.

      Thank you all for what you do everyday.
      Last edited by beekeeper; 07-25-2010, 11:06 AM.


      • #4
        Yes, the FD hiring process is unlike any other civilian job. It's highly competitive. Many well qualified candidates can take years to get hired, and others will get hired their first try out. I was one of the lucky ones and got hired fairly quickly, in less than a year. Getting hired is kind of like a race. You can be an excellent candidate, but depending on the competition you may place highly in one test and in the middle of the pack the next time. On most tests, everything is Pass/Fail until you get to the oral interview. This is usually 100% of your placement on the list. Make sure he prepares extremely well for this part. It is not like a civilian interview.

        If you guys are both open to relocating to where he eventually gets a job, I'd keep a temporary place in an area that currently suits your needs. Most depts will have a residency requirement and he will have to live within a neighboring county or so many miles/minutes of the dept.

        Depending on the area you are looking to get hired will depend on the certs you need. For example, many depts in CA will require you to have FF1, FF2, EMT-B and possibly Paramedic before you can even apply. However, other areas may not necessarily care about your certs and will send you through their academy regardless of your previous experience.

        The hiring process can be stressful, but now is the time he needs to be spending time with his family (obviously making sure to keep time for the process). Once he gets hired, he will be extremely busy the first 6-12 months especially. Academy and probationary duties will consume his life.

        For you, be understanding of his dreams and support him, but be able to be honest with him. Practice his oral interviews with him and at the end be brutal (you stuttered too much, used 'um' a lot, etc.). Remember that once he is hired, you guys will have a new extended family.

        What area is he trying to get hired?
        What have been the results of any processes he's been in so far?
        What is he doing to prepare for the oral boards? <--- very important to do this now!


        • #5
          Thank you.

          I'd say his interview skills are very strong.

          He has done physical and written testing with half a dozen departments, and polygraph with a few. I am trying to remember if he has made it to orals with anyone other then just one of them.


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