1. #1
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    Default Big Question On My Mind......

    Hello all, I am still new to the site and I think that this is where I should post this question. I am wanting to be a firefighter and I am currently going to school to get my Fire Science degree, but I have a bad mark following me. In March of 2007 I got a DUI. I'm really nervous that it is going to kill me on being hired. Anyone have any futher information on this, I understand that every state is different but I still would like to know if I even have chance of being hired. Another thing is that my DUI was a misdemeanor so on applications does that count as a crimal offence?

    I know that DUI's are looked down very much in this field, I am very ashamed of what happened.

    Any help is appreciated, Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Most people are gonna tell you that the more time you put between yourself and the incident the better your chances are going to be of ever getting hired. Every fire department has their own regulations when it comes to this sort of thing. You should do your homework for wherever you plan on working in the future and find out exactly what can and cannot disqualify you.

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    Default Dui

    DUI's aren't a good thing, that's for sure. A lot of people are going to tell you not to give up on your dream, and they're right. Just because you have a DUI doesn't mean you can't get into a house. What it does me is that you have to stay on the VERY straight and narrow for the rest of your time. I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that your DUI won't make a difference. There are instances where that DUI (within a certain time frame) will remove you from the process. This is by no means All or even most cases, but it might happen. Be ready to explain yourself, and not in the "I was drinking and then went out driving" way. What I'm saying is you're going to have to demonstrate to the board that you've grown up, and learned from a bad mistake. No speeding, no tickets, no other trouble with the law. And, most places know that their FF's drink. They're not looking for saints, just people who won't be trouble.
    In the end, a while from now, it will get off your record (you might have to hire a lawyer or pay for it... but it can be done). No matter what, the one thing you DO NOT WANT TO DO is lie about it. If it says anything about arrests, DUI'S or anything, just mention it. They WILL find out about it. No matter what. Fire departments hire people who's entire expertise is finding out about your legal past. Again, don't freak out, just be honest, divulge, and demonstrate growth and a trip through the maturation process and you'll be fine.

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    Default Thanks

    Thank you for your help. I know that any department that I apply for will look into my history, and I am ready to explain it when it comes time.

    Thanks again for the help.

  5. #5
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    Default Dui

    Quote Originally Posted by Whattha85 View Post
    Thank you for your help. I know that any department that I apply for will look into my history, and I am ready to explain it when it comes time. .
    All too often I get a call from a candidate like this with this big questions. I cringe hoping it's not a DUI.

    No department wants one of their firefighters cited with a DUI. If you have already had a DUI, it's really difficult but not impossible to get hired. Most departments probably won't look at you for at least 5 years after your DUI.

    Candidates who have been cited with wet and reckless (less than a DUI) can also have problems getting hired. A candidate who seldom drinks was stopped after his wedding reception. He was cited for wet/reckless. Even though nothing happened before this incident, over one year later, he is still having problems getting hired.

    You could try and get the record expunged. But anymore departments ask you in many ways in the background packet "Have you ever?" Even if it was expunged they want to know what it was. Computers donít forget. If you were arrested Your Department of Justice (DOJ) file will show it. If you donít put it down they find it you're immediately eliminated from the hiring process.

    For some they are clouded and domed before they ever take their first step because of something in their past, job history, criminal record, credit, driving record or domestic violence. They still believe though that they have a shot.

    They have convinced themselves by the four inches between their ears that they have an explanation about what has happened in the past that will convince those in the hiring process theyíre the right candidate. So, they pack on all kinds of credentials, degrees, experience, academy, paramedic, etc. thinking this will erase the problems of the past. Then, they don't face it until it's staring them in the face when they start testing or at the next step in the hiring process.

    Those in the hiring process have heard all the stories. What are you going to say that could keep you in the hiring process since you had not one but two underage drinking citations and have 100 other candidates who don't? You probably did it a 100 times before you were caught. How about other drugs?

    Where this can really play out is in the psych evaluation where up to 40% of candidates fail. With problems in your past the doc will ask you some difficult questions that could take the wheels off your wagon. The doctor could DQ you because he might feel (I have actually seen this written on a report from a psychologist) because of the pressures of the job; you could end up drinking more.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

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    I know of two people who have DUI's who have cleared background investigations. One is in a tower right now and the other will be soon. In both instances, the DUI's happened 6-7 years ago.

    On another hand, I know the Chief of another (smaller) department very well. He says he would never hire anyone with a DUI regardless of when it happened since there are plenty of qualified applicants who have clean records.

    Point is - stick with it, but don't be in a hurry. You really have to keep your nose absolutely sterile for the next few years before you have a realistic chance (according to what I've seen). It won't be easy but it's definitely possible.

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    Default It Won't Be Easy, But It'll Be Worth It.

    "Captain" Bob is right. It's going to take a bare minimum of five years before any career department will even look at you, let alone hire you, so you're going to have to be patient. If you want a department to look past your DUI, find a branch of the military that will accept you as soon as possible. It's the only way. Also, start volunteering for M.A.D.D. or any other organization that fights against drunk driving right now and continue until the day you get hired to make up for what you did. Finish your fire science degree, become a paramedic, and consider doing a Bachelor's Degree as well because you're going to have plenty of time. Don't quit wherever you're working (or get fired) because you're going to need at least one long-term reference too. Last of all, stay on the straight-and-narrow just like everyone else is telling you; that's a must. You have your work cut out for you, but if you truly want that badge, take my advise and you'll achieve your dream in time.
    Until you've been on a Harley-Davidson, you haven't been on a motorcycle

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    Default Thanks

    Hey thanks for all the info guys. That was my plan, i am going to finish my degree and keep on with school and even try to go for paramedic cert. I have been working at my job for several years now and I am not planning on leaving the place since they are paying for my school. I'm 23 now and my ultimate goal was to be hired by the time I was 30. Also I like th idea of helping with M.A.D.D., I will look into doing that.

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    Default Dui

    I know of multiple people who have gotten hired on with DUIs in their past.

    However, it took them longer. There are some departments that won't touch you. Don't take it personally. Every "no", gets you closer to a "yes".

    You need to have your sh*t wired tight from here on out. Dead squared away. Your actions, should you decide to continue, will demonstrate you aren't a liability, and really want this career.

    Good luck - the juice is worth the squeeze!

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    Pro-

    It can be done. Seen it done by ONE person. Prior to the DUI, he got his BS. After the DUI, he joined a department as an Intern and totally busted his hump and shined striaght for atleast a year. The Chief of the FD took all in all the history and progress and hired the guy. Hes been doing well ever since. This is the only example I know of. The guy now works in the Sacramento, CA area.

    The thing is I helped him out during his journey.

    Con-

    Please understand people like me have kept their noses clean for a long time to prepare for this job. My credit is perfect, I own a home, highly educated, very good letters of recoomendation and I havent even smoked a joint/cig in my whole life.

    I am no Saint, but always want to be a Firefighter and played the game in and after high school. So when someone like you wants to come up to the line that I worked hard to get to and ask/compete for the same badge, you might get some resistance from someone like me.

    I played the game by the rules and you didnt. Its just human nature. As stated above, be total Mr. Clean forever now and squared away. We all have make mistakes and I will bet I have made more than most in here. Just get on track and show progress.

    Good luck.

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