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    Default Need some advice

    I'd like to pursue a career as a ff but not sure where to start? I have a few options that I can see, one is just to apply to houses that don't require a lot of certs and hope to get on. Two, join on as a volunteer to get my foot in the door and to get some experience. Third, is to start going to school part time to get all my certs such as ff2 and emt-p but where? What are the best places to go, I read that loyola and trinity are the only accredit schools in IL, does that mean that the local community college (in Joliet IL) is not good enough? And my last option would be to get in the air force reserves as a FF and later down the road try to get into the public sector, and I did send a request to a recruiter to contact me and got not response! believe that? I know I'm asking a lot but I really want to pursue a career as a FF/EMT and Id like to get some input from those that have been in my shoes before. If you have any advice what so ever, please don't hesitate, just don't tell me to look through other forms unless you have a specific one. Thanks in advance

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    Oh, heck, I'll give you my 2 cents worth, for whatever that might be worth.
    If you want a full time job, you'll have to test at full time departments. Some want you to be a FFII/EMT before they will hire you. Others will send you to their certification training and pay for your EMT schooling. It's not easy getting hired, a lot of competition out there. Be physically fit, start taking some classes, maybe EMT/B to start with. You won't be able to test for FFII until you get on a department so you might consider joining your local volunteer department, doing FFII online or at a local school that offers it. There's several in Illinois, not only the 2 you mentioned. Some departments will teach it inhouse, too.
    What would I do? Maybe what my boy did - join a volunteer department, go to FFII classes, pass the OSFM tests for certification, and test, test, test for a full time gig. It'll happen eventually. Good luck and be prepared to wait for what you want. Oh yeah, get a full time job in the meantime, too.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

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    One of the big ones that is becoming an ever present requirement to get hired is to have your paramedic (EMT-P) license. This is often in addition to your FFII. If you're hell bent on getting on the job, and you really want to increase your odds, I suggest:

    1.) Joining a volunteer department to get as much free training as you can. Our guys can come out with all the firefighting certs they want and EMT-B.

    2.) Test every test you can, even if you don't have much chance. This gives you practice for the ones that really can count for you.

    3.) Enroll in an EMT-P course if at all possible. This is a big committment, so be prepared, but a lot of the full time departments are starting to make this a requirement to even test.

    4.) Learn how to interview well, however you can. Oral boards are a big part of how you're perceived, and if you aren't comfortable being in the "hot seat" in front of a small group of people, then find a way to become comfortable. Never, ever, show up to an interview in anything but a suit.

    5.) Get in shape. Be in good enough shape that the agility test should be a minor challenge, not an @ss kicker. Not all agility tests are the same, so make sure you cover all the bases you could potentially have to deal with. The CPAT is different from what Macomb, IL does, as is the physical test for Belvidere, Elgin, Rockford etc. Some require bench presses, some swimming, some running, some repetetive task analysis, climbing an aerial, etc.

    I lucked out to be on the job a short while and wouldn't change it for the world. I managed to test well, pass my agility, and make it through the oral boards and a psych test. Good luck...
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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    Guys thanks, I know us newbies can be a pain, but you don't how much help a few words of wisdom are when you don' t know jack! A few things about me, I'm 26, in relatively goods shape, got myself an education, just not in the right field (business) and I'm not afraid of hard work. I'm trying to get on as a volunteer at one of the local houses and like you said, try to get some free training. If that doesn't work I might just start going to school part time to get all my certs, but that'll take some time and I'm eager to get a career going. I do have a pretty good full time gig at AT@T as a splicer but it's not what I want to do, and from the research I've done, this is it. Thanks again for the input, if you think of anything else, please don't hesitate.
    jboczek, how long did it take your son before he landed a full time gig?

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    Actually I am in your shoes right now. I wasn't to sure of where to start either. So I asked a friend on a VFD and joined with him. That was one of the best decisions I made in a while. Then I went to the local community college here and got my EMT-IV and in the process of applying for paramedic school. You will definately need your EMT-P or at the least EMT-B, and your FF-2 would be a real good idea. But joining a VFD like I did will help you get hands on expierence and will help you learn a lot of useful things. Also try to do a little homework everynight and read all kinds of firefighting sights and try to learn as much as you can...more knowledge, the better you will be. Good luck.
    Knowledge is the difference between KNOWING and GUESSING

    "You guys are good, but you'll never invent anything-it's all been done before."

    FF/EMT-IV (medic in training)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tnff320 View Post
    Actually I am in your shoes right now. I wasn't to sure of where to start either. So I asked a friend on a VFD and joined with him. That was one of the best decisions I made in a while. Then I went to the local community college here and got my EMT-IV and in the process of applying for paramedic school. You will definately need your EMT-P or at the least EMT-B, and your FF-2 would be a real good idea. But joining a VFD like I did will help you get hands on expierence and will help you learn a lot of useful things. Also try to do a little homework everynight and read all kinds of firefighting sights and try to learn as much as you can...more knowledge, the better you will be. Good luck.
    Thanks man, you have a good plan going, I'll probably do something very similiar. I don't know what it is, but I'm hooked, I'm on this site all the time and I can't wait to be on the other side of the table. Best of luck to you as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter0505 View Post
    jboczek, how long did it take your son before he landed a full time gig?
    It took him (me) about 2 years of testing. I got lucky that it happened that fast though. A lot of guys test for years and never get anywhere. Its a competitive field out there. Make yourself as appealing to fire departments as you can. Get your FFII, EMT-B minimum, medic if you can swing it. And then test test test test test. Test before you have ANY certs. Practice makes perfect.
    DJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter0505 View Post
    Thanks man, you have a good plan going, I'll probably do something very similiar. I don't know what it is, but I'm hooked, I'm on this site all the time and I can't wait to be on the other side of the table. Best of luck to you as well.
    You want some better advice and not have to listen to all the bull crap that goes on here? Look to www.iacoj.com and get registered. If they let you on, you'll be appreciated a whole lot more.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
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    Quote Originally Posted by jboczek View Post
    You want some better advice and not have to listen to all the bull crap that goes on here? Look to www.iacoj.com and get registered. If they let you on, you'll be appreciated a whole lot more.
    Everything is restricted, so its hard to make out what it is? I applied, so put in a good word,
    Last edited by Scooter0505; 06-06-2008 at 06:54 PM.

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    How exactly does the testing work, do you get extra points for having a FFII or emt when compared to a guy like me who doesnt have anything? Also, is it all based on how high you score or is there other factors that play in?

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    Certain places do it differently. You may get points for having those certs. right off the bat. Other places will just give you increased score in the interview section for having them. In some cases (more and more everyday) you need certain certifications to test or be hired.

    Most physical tests are pass/fail.

    Most written tests are scored and they will take the top few percentage to move on to the next round of testing. However, with some smaller departments, the written test is pass/fail also. I THINK ours was pass/fail, but it's been 4 years since I've seen that test, so I don't really remember.
    DJ

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    Make sure you do a little research in the department and city your testing for. You never know when you'll get the call and have to make a decision.

    Depending where you are, Mt. Vernon is testing this year...supposedly.

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    How do things usually go as a volunteer in regards to landing a fulltime gig? The local house here, Troy Township, has 40 volunteers, but I can't imagine they are all on the same level. How is it in your houses, are the guys who bust *** usually move on or is it just a matter of testing well?

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    If you're in an all volunteer department, just try to learn all you can about the business of fire. Work hard, do what's expected of you and show up for every training session you can make. It's a committment, not just something you get to talk to your friends about. You can test for full time departments at any time, just work hard at learning while you're a volunteer. I tend to "promote" the guys that show up for calls, training, and have a good attitude. Work hard, study hard, get along with everybody and you'll get somewhere in the fire service.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    I guess I'm going to have to change my ways soon Chief...I don't want to get promoted any further! I'm not joining Johnny on the truck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jboczek View Post
    If you're in an all volunteer department, just try to learn all you can about the business of fire. Work hard, do what's expected of you and show up for every training session you can make. It's a committment, not just something you get to talk to your friends about. You can test for full time departments at any time, just work hard at learning while you're a volunteer. I tend to "promote" the guys that show up for calls, training, and have a good attitude. Work hard, study hard, get along with everybody and you'll get somewhere in the fire service.
    I really appreciate the input, you seem like a really good guy to work for, its just too bad that Dubois is a half a days drive away from me otherwise I would try hitting you up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhughey View Post
    I guess I'm going to have to change my ways soon Chief...I don't want to get promoted any further! I'm not joining Johnny on the truck!
    Josh, you'd better NOT change your ways! As long as Johnny's staying on the truck somebody's got to do the dirty work.

    Scooter, you'd have to actually live in my district so it wouldn't be a 1/2 day drive. Good luck in whatever you end up in. Sounds like you're interested in the fire service. Make the commitment and live up to it. You'll never regret it.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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