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    Default Interview question...questions...

    hi
    long time reader, first time poster.

    i have a question regarding interview questions. i have been reading alot on here and it seems that alot of people are mentioning the 30 basic questions (with variations) that are usually asked by a panel. please check my answer for one i read on here...

    "you smell booze on a fellow FF's breath, how would you handle this?"

    my answer would be that i would approach the ff and ask if he had been drinking, if he gives me a response that is improper, such as 'just go away' or 'its none of your buisiness', then i would approach my senior officer and advise him that i thought i smelled something on his breath, and when i asked him about it he gave me the forementioned responses.

    my thoughts on my response are that i am not accusing the FF of drinking by going and telling my capt that he was drinking, i didnt see the bottle in is hand, but that i know drinking on the job is wrong so i said something about it. the same would go for the questions about stealing etc. i would advise my superior officer of the incident, tell him what i saw and what was said, and leave it in his hands, thus not falsly accusing anyone, but at the same time making someone aware of what seemed to be an inappropriate action.

    please let me know what you think

    mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9secfirebird View Post
    hi
    long time reader, first time poster.

    i have a question regarding interview questions. i have been reading alot on here and it seems that alot of people are mentioning the 30 basic questions (with variations) that are usually asked by a panel. please check my answer for one i read on here...

    "you smell booze on a fellow FF's breath, how would you handle this?"

    my answer would be that i would approach the ff and ask if he had been drinking, if he gives me a response that is improper, such as 'just go away' or 'its none of your buisiness', then i would approach my senior officer and advise him that i thought i smelled something on his breath, and when i asked him about it he gave me the forementioned responses.

    my thoughts on my response are that i am not accusing the FF of drinking by going and telling my capt that he was drinking, i didnt see the bottle in is hand, but that i know drinking on the job is wrong so i said something about it. the same would go for the questions about stealing etc. i would advise my superior officer of the incident, tell him what i saw and what was said, and leave it in his hands, thus not falsly accusing anyone, but at the same time making someone aware of what seemed to be an inappropriate action.

    please let me know what you think

    mike
    I got a variation on this question during an interview for my last EMS job. The question involved my partner and knowing that he was drunk.

    My answer was that I pulled my partner aside, told him he was drunk and that he had one opportunity to bang out sick and slide out the side door. I would even take him home. If he refused, I was going to go straight to the boss and let him know what was going on. I certainly am not going to put my cert, his cert. and possibly my job on the line because he was drunk.

    Chief told me later that was exactly the answer they were looking for. What they were not looking for is someone who would knowingly work with a drunk partner to protect him. They also were not looking for someone who would run right to the Chief.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    interesting answer, would my response be considered 'running right to the chief' so to speak? as a firefighter, is it my job to tell him to call in sick and go home? or should i let my Lt or Capt do that?

    i feel my answer shows that i am not ok with him working, just not sure if its my place to take care of him or not.

    thanks so much

    mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9secfirebird View Post
    interesting answer, would my response be considered 'running right to the chief' so to speak? as a firefighter, is it my job to tell him to call in sick and go home? or should i let my Lt or Capt do that?

    i feel my answer shows that i am not ok with him working, just not sure if its my place to take care of him or not.

    thanks so much

    mike
    It's your place to take care of him. Unless he tells you that he doesn't want to be taken care of. Then you have to do what you have to do.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    so its better to pull him asside and try to tell him to go home or get help, and if he refuses, to take it to the next step? what about stealing? like if you find someone taking something out of another ff bag, like money or jewlery?

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    Default ...

    The general consensus on these questions seems to be something in the middle of running straigh to the chief and doing nothing.

    The idea seems to be that we wan't someone who is willing to take care of his "brother" by not running directly to the LT/CPT/whoever... But what we don't want is someone who's going to let a FF or ANYONE else give the Dept. A bad name. Hence what you have to do is take care of the problem without letting the man lose his job if it's a mistake, or a one time thing. I belive the idea is that by giving him an out, so to speak, we correct the problem (no drunk men on the road) and allow FF. Smith to keep his job (he's our brother and we want to help him... not F*$k over his life... even though he was the ballbag who decided to come to work drunk)... I've given this answer on a few interviews now and that is what the panel has liked to hear. MORE IMPORTANTLY it's what I would ACTUALLY do.

    Don't lie. If this isn't something you could see yourself doing... answer honestly. If you're the kind of person who would go straight to the higher ups say that... I personally wouldn't, but maybe that's my lapse in judgment not yours...

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    that makes sense, i guess i didnt think of it that way. your right though. as far as drinking goes, after approaching him appropriately, and suggesting he take the day off or something to that nature, and offering him help, then if it becomes a more than once occurance, taking it to the higher ups.

    what about something like stealing, do you ask him if he has permission and he says **** off, then do you suggest he put it back and wait until you catch him doing it again to say something?

    granted, drinking on the job is wrong, but it could be a fluke thing, stealing is pretty bad, seems like its on that 'no way' side of the line, would this be an instance to go right up to someone?

    mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9secfirebird View Post
    that makes sense, i guess i didnt think of it that way. your right though. as far as drinking goes, after approaching him appropriately, and suggesting he take the day off or something to that nature, and offering him help, then if it becomes a more than once occurance, taking it to the higher ups.

    what about something like stealing, do you ask him if he has permission and he says **** off, then do you suggest he put it back and wait until you catch him doing it again to say something?

    granted, drinking on the job is wrong, but it could be a fluke thing, stealing is pretty bad, seems like its on that 'no way' side of the line, would this be an instance to go right up to someone?

    mike
    Stealing is different. Stealing can be handled by a heart-to-heart talk with the rest of the crew in the parking lot behind the station. Better bring band aids.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    so it seems like the common occurance in all of these situations is to try to handle the problem between the crew, and leave the higher ups out of it until it happens again.

    something illegal like stealing etc, once confirmed, should be handled with more than one person, something personal, like drinking, could be handled one on one...correct? then upon the second offence of anything, the officer should be made aware of both?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9secfirebird View Post
    so it seems like the common occurance in all of these situations is to try to handle the problem between the crew, and leave the higher ups out of it until it happens again.

    something illegal like stealing etc, once confirmed, should be handled with more than one person, something personal, like drinking, could be handled one on one...correct? then upon the second offence of anything, the officer should be made aware of both?
    How old are you?
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    ...23...

    i have never had any of these situations happen in my firehouse before, curious on the different answers people are giving

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9secfirebird View Post
    ...23...

    i have never had any of these situations happen in my firehouse before, curious on the different answers people are giving
    Some of these answers are common sense.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    If youíre not scoring high enough after your oral boards to go forward in the hiring process you have to start asking yourself why.

    You get to choose which way you want to answer these scenario type based questions.

    Consider this: Is showing up after drinking against department policy and compromising the integrity of the crew?

    With ethical issues like drinking, you ask appropriate questions to determine what you suspect (have you been drinking?). If true, as a sworn officer you don't deviate . . you go straight up to a supervisor (or why donít we go to our officer). Itís not your job to have them call in sick, send them home in a cab, arrange a trade, or get someone to counseling. That indeed is creating a soap opera answer instead of directly answering the oral board panelís question. What do you think your officer would do if they found out you interfered with their authority when someone violated department policy?

    Why do you want to take it up to your officer? For drinking, stealing or any of the other scenario ethical situations, are they tolerated, against the law, violation of department policy? Yes. The biggest issue here is the violation of public trust. Your officer will decide what action and direction to take.

    These are scenario-based questions. More on scenario questions here: http://www.eatstress.com/scenario.htm

    "Captain Bob"

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    Thumbs up Good points

    There are several good points being made here. I had a oral board today and had alot of questions seen on these forums before. I had a twist in one of the drinking questions though, one of the chiefs asked me, "What would you do if your partner was found drunk at the beginning of the shift"? I went on to say that I would incourage him to go home sick. The twist was "What would I do if a cardiac arrest gets toned out before he had the chance to leave 2 blocks away"? I still stuck to my guns about not going on a call with him in the condition that he was in. I said that if a supervisor had to get involved then thats what had to happen. No reason to risk mine, his or any citizens life. Hope that was the right answer. Again good points here as well as in these forums. I found good stuff in Capt. Bob's posting's and especially Batallion Chief Lepore. Just wish I would of taken more time to review and to get more confident. One stumper for me was they asked if I wanted to add anything about myself at the end. Anyways, I hope I did well. Thanks to all.

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    awesome, i would have given a similar answer!

    as far as anything to add...what did you say?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9secfirebird View Post
    awesome, i would have given a similar answer!

    as far as anything to add...what did you say?
    I CHOKED. I didn't think of anything! Hopefully that didn't cost me the job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kramerfl View Post
    There are several good points being made here. I had a oral board today and had alot of questions seen on these forums before. I had a twist in one of the drinking questions though, one of the chiefs asked me, "What would you do if your partner was found drunk at the beginning of the shift"? I went on to say that I would incourage him to go home sick. The twist was "What would I do if a cardiac arrest gets toned out before he had the chance to leave 2 blocks away"? I still stuck to my guns about not going on a call with him in the condition that he was in. I said that if a supervisor had to get involved then thats what had to happen. No reason to risk mine, his or any citizens life. Hope that was the right answer. Again good points here as well as in these forums. I found good stuff in Capt. Bob's posting's and especially Batallion Chief Lepore. Just wish I would of taken more time to review and to get more confident. One stumper for me was they asked if I wanted to add anything about myself at the end. Anyways, I hope I did well. Thanks to all.
    Just remember, Chief Lepore never encouraged anyone to lie or cheat to get the badge.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kramerfl View Post
    One stumper for me was they asked if I wanted to add anything about myself at the end. Anyways, I hope I did well. Thanks to all.
    This was your chance to give a closing statement.

    Closing Statement

    The closing and the opening question tell us a little about yourself aren't usually scored. But if you say something good or bad in your closing it could cause the panel to go back to a section that is scored and change it.

    There are those who would tell you to raise the flag and beat the drum with a lot of fanfare in your closing statement. Yes, this is the last time the panel will hear from you. But please spare us this part. Understand, if you haven't done it in the body of your oral presentation, you're not going to make it up in the closing. REPEATING, IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE IT IN THE BODY OF YOUR ORAL PRESENTATION, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO MAKE IT UP IN THE CLOSING! We had a candidate who tried to show us all his certificates during his closing. McFly?

    If a candidate is asked only a few questions or the questions they are asked did not cover the great answers they had for: Why do you want to be a firefighter? What have you done to prepare for the position? Why do you want to work for this department or agency? Youíre missing out here by not taking advantage of a great opportunity to deliver one or more of those answers in a condensed matter to maximize your presentation to gain a few extra points.

    Don't forget that the closing part of an interview is where you call on the emotions of the interviewers to give you the job. Don't reiterate or try to do repair work. Use only the key points not already covered in your script. Without being boring or lengthily, tell the interviews why you really want the job and, with your qualifications, hope to be considered for the position.

    Then shut up and get out of the building. Or, you will say something stupid. We had a guy one day ace his oral. After his closing, he said, "Well, if I don't get this job I can always fall back on that part time painters job." The panel couldn't believe what this guy just said after acing his oral. Did it hurt his score? Enough to keep him from getting a shot at a badge. Last time I heard, he was still painting.
    _____________________________________________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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    Lightbulb

    Thanks Capt. Bob for your response. I am still racking my brain trying to figure out their questions and my responses. Like I said before there is good stuff in your threads/ website as well as others. I guess I will find out tomorrow when I get the phone call.

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    Helmet on ....cup in place.....
    IACOJ Membership 2002
    {15}

    Mike IAFF

    The beatings will continue until the morale improves

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    This was your chance to give a closing statement.

    blah, blah, blah
    Be wary of advice from a person who openly advocates cheating and deceit to get the job.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    9Secfirebird (original poster),
    Your answer is pretty much right on the money. Acouple of things to keep in mind. We expect the candidate to do the right thing. That means that when a firefighter shows up DRUNK to work and is unable to perform his duties, you are expected to do the right thing.

    Here is where the debate comes in. What's the right thing? The right thing is to bring it to the Captain's attention. Ideally, you can talk him into going to the Captain. You can even offer to go with him. Either way, the buck stops with you. Where I come from anything short of this does not demonstrate a strong answer.

    Allowing a firefighter to go home sick is enabling the situation. Not to mention it's an abuse of sick leave. (For those taking a promotional exam make a note of this). The "old" days of turning your head and allowing this to go on are long gone.

    Remember, the issue is that any firefighter who shows up to work intoxicated has a real problem. He needs help. You are the first step in getting him help. Just as important is the liability to the fire department of having an intoxicated firefighter. No Fire Chief wants to incur this liability.


    Here is a similar question. It's actually the second question in my book, Smoke Your Firefighter Interview.

    You are a rookie firefighter who is assigned to vacuuming the dormitory.
    As you are performing your duties, you notice a bottle of alcohol under the
    engineerís bed. You know that alcohol is strictly forbidden on fire department
    premises.

    What would you do and why?
    Answer:
    The first thing I would do is gather the facts. Since alcohol on the
    premises is such a violation of our policy, my first thought would be that
    this is some kind of test. I would approach the engineer and
    ask him about the bottle under his bed.

    Keeping in mind that there are three different shifts that use the bed, I would keep an open mind since the bottle may have been left by one of the members on the other shift.

    My response would be dictated by the engineerís reactions. If he tells me
    he knows nothing about the bottle, I would take it to the captain myself. I would
    expect the captain to launch his own investigation. At this point, I would feel
    that I have handled the situation to the best of my ability.

    If the engineer is evasive or tells me to mind my own business, I will make
    it clear that the captain needs to be made aware of the bottle of alcohol under
    his bed. This would be uncomfortable for me, but I would not be willing to let it
    pass without taking the proper action. My objective would be to let the engineer
    know the value of bringing this violation to the captainís attention.

    I know it will make the engineer look better in the eyes of the captain if he
    comes forward with the information on his own. If he is unwilling to come
    forward, I have no alternative but to tell the captain myself. Lastly, doing so will
    make it much easier on my relationships with my fellow firefighters.
    Situational
    Questions
    The engineer says he is sorry and tells you that he will take the bottle out to his truck. What would you do and why?

    I would once again explain to the engineer that the captain needs to be
    informed. The issue of having a bottle of alcohol is such a violation of the
    policies and procedures that I would be unwilling to jeopardize my job or
    compromise the fire department by remaining silent. I would make another
    attempt to try to convince him to go to the captain. If he were unwilling to do
    so, I would tell the captain myself.

    The engineer tells you that he had a small drink this morning and he is
    sorry, he made a mistake. He reminds you that he has known you for a long time, even before you came on the fire department. He has helped you get through your first two probationary exams.

    What would you do and why?
    I would thank him for his help thus far in my career. I would then redirect
    him to the issue at hand. It has now become apparent that he has been drinking
    on duty. This is even more serious than just having a bottle of alcohol on the
    premises. The captain must be notified immediately and the company must be
    put out of service. There is no way I would allow this engineer to drive.

    The engineer says that he is not feeling well. His solution is to tell the
    captain that he wants to go home sick.
    What would you do and why?

    This would not be an acceptable solution. I would tell him that I am not
    willing to go along with his plan or be a party to a cover up. In addition to his
    drinking on duty, he is would be making matters worse by getting into his car
    and driving home. There is just no way I would allow that to happen.
    The engineer agrees to go to the captain but says that the captain is in a meeting with the battalion chief. He wants to wait until he is finished with his meeting.

    How would this affect your actions?
    I would tell him that this was important enough to interrupt the meeting
    immediately. If he is more comfortable with me accompanying him, I will do so.
    I would make sure this issue was taken care of immediately.


    Reasoning:
    Initially the question dealt solely with a bottle of alcohol under the engineerís bed. It is important for a candidate not to assume it belongs to a particular member just because it is under his bed. It is significant to note that there are several other firefighters that use the same bed, one on each of the other shifts. Since there are a total of three firefighters that use the bed, there is a 2/3 chance that it belongs to one of the other engineers.

    The first step is to approach the individual and gather the facts. If you approach the engineer and he tells you e doesnít know anything about the bottle, you can then take the bottle to the captain and wash your hands of the situation. He or she will launch an investigation and you are out of the loop.

    If, on the other hand, the engineer becomes evasive, tells you to mind your own business, or owns up to it you now have to take appropriate action.

    The appropriate action would be to take the bottle to the captain and have the engineer be accountable for his actions. There is a series of follow up questions that try to lure the candidate into delaying or not going to the captain at all.

    The engineer has tried a series of tactics to get the candidate to compromise his or her values and to weaken his stance on notifying the captain.

    Imagine for a moment a candidate who allows the engineer to put the bottle back into his truck and does nothing further. The follow-up is that if a candidate does not address the issue, a fire call could come in and the engineer could crash the rig, The same thing could happen if the candidate allows the engineer to go home ďsick.Ē

    It is important to note that an engineer who leaves the station in his own private vehicle and drives home is still a liability for the fire agency. Imagine if he has an accident on the way home and injures a citizen. If. During the subsequent police investigation it is determined that he has been drinking, it stands to reason that the fire department allowed him to drive home. It could be argued that the department should have recognized he had been drinking. If it comes out that you knew this to be true, your job will be in jeopardy. At a minimum. It would be considered bad judgment on your part. Think what a monumental liability you have just incurred for the agency. All of this could have been prevented, but you did not want to intervene when you should have because you did not want to be a snitch.

    The fire service is looking for individuals who have the intestinal fortitude to handle uncomfortable situations. You cannot sweep this under the carpet. This is a serious offense. This goes against everything that we stand for in the fire service. We are looking for individuals who are not afraid to stick up for what they believe in.

    In this situation, the path of least resistance would be to turn your head and take no action. Unfortunately, although this would be much easier, it is not acceptable. There are hundreds of people interested in becoming a firefighter. It takes a special person with a certain conviction to become one.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    Chief. I agree with everything you said except for one thing. Every person sitting around that interview table is also interested in a two-way street called loyalty. The question does not specify whether this is a one-time incident or a pattern. If it is a one-time thing, if the interviewers were real FFor EMT's, they would have shown the same loyalty to their partner. Getting to go home sick one time is not enabling. It's loyalty. Getting him to go home multiple times is enabling.

    The bottom line is, as you said, to do the right thing. For everybody.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Hey George,
    I agree with you about taking care of our guys, however, it's not up to the PROBATIONARY employee to determine if there is a pattern. Remember, this is a probationary employee who is being put in this situation.

    Also, it's important to remember that the people who are putting together the "right" answers to the questions are the Human Resources staff. At minimum, it's the Fire Administration. There is a city, or county regulatory guide to discipline that applies to ALL employees.

    While we like to think we are special (we know we are), Fire is just another city department. The rules that apply to the employees who work for PD, sanitation, public works, tree trimmers, etc. also apply to the fire department.

    I do agree that we need to take care of our own. When we have a member in need, we work trades to keep his benefits and paycheck rolling in. It's understood that you will not ask for the day in return. We can also donate our sick leave to another member. Lastly, we open an account at the firefighter's credit union to help members who have been suspended. I have done all three in recent history.

    I am a HUGE believer in taking care of our members. There is nothing like the camraderie in the fire station. However, it's important to look at these, and all of the other interview questions through the eyes of the people writing the answer key. Additionally, if it's what they want to hear, maybe we need to reevaluate our practices? Times are changing. The fire service is the last to change. I encourage the candidates to look at this, and all of the questions, through a different set of glasses.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    Hey George,
    I agree with you about taking care of our guys, however, it's not up to the PROBATIONARY employee to determine if there is a pattern. Remember, this is a probationary employee who is being put in this situation.

    Also, it's important to remember that the people who are putting together the "right" answers to the questions are the Human Resources staff. At minimum, it's the Fire Administration. There is a city, or county regulatory guide to discipline that applies to ALL employees.

    While we like to think we are special (we know we are), Fire is just another city department. The rules that apply to the employees who work for PD, sanitation, public works, tree trimmers, etc. also apply to the fire department.

    I do agree that we need to take care of our own. When we have a member in need, we work trades to keep his benefits and paycheck rolling in. It's understood that you will not ask for the day in return. We can also donate our sick leave to another member. Lastly, we open an account at the firefighter's credit union to help members who have been suspended. I have done all three in recent history.

    I am a HUGE believer in taking care of our members. There is nothing like the camraderie in the fire station. However, it's important to look at these, and all of the other interview questions through the eyes of the people writing the answer key. Additionally, if it's what they want to hear, maybe we need to reevaluate our practices? Times are changing. The fire service is the last to change. I encourage the candidates to look at this, and all of the questions, through a different set of glasses.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Do you think the questions are based on what a fire fighter would do, or a probationary fire fighter would do? Seems kind of silly to interview someone for their views on what they would do for 1/25th of their career.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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