1. #1

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    Default Florida hiring regs concerning a DUI.

    I came across this site today and found some really good information. However, I've not found an answer to the question i'm really sweating over. I'm living in Broward County and just about to start a degree in EMS, after which I'm going to be applying to one of the fire academy's in thre area and hopefully get a position as a firefighter in either Broward, Palm Beach or Miami-Dade counties. The problem is, about a year ago I was arrested for a DUI. I'm now 31 years old and this is my first and only ever conviction/arrest. I've never even had a speeding ticket. Will this DUI affect my chances of being hired? Obviously by the time I finish all my schooling it will have been 3 or more years since the arrest. If there is anyone out the who could give me some advice, I would be extremely greatful. Maybe there are more courses I could do to give me an advantage if this will help? It's not something I would give up on easily.

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    Not sure if this helps but I've been told that tickets/DUI and past convictions can be a problem when going for a job, I would call the academy that your looking to go to, or call the Florida State Fire College or the counties fire headquarters (Broward, Palm ect) they should have the info on what to do.

    I wish you the best of luck!

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    Here is the answer and your not going to like it, basically your f*cked and should look for a different profession. Here is why:

    1. You're 31 and your DUI was last year, if it was when you were 18 it may be a different story. Your DUI at age 30 shows your ADULT decision making process.

    2. There are THOUSANDS of people in Dade, Broward and here in Palm Beach County who are certified FF/EMT or EMT-P that you will have to compete against for a job, many with squeaky clean records. That means dept's have to sift through stacks of applications looking for people to test and interview. Your DUI will assure your app. gets a one way trip to the garbage, along with anyone else that has a criminal record.

    3. Even if you were a FF/PM and dept's were desperate for medics you would still be on the bottom of the list. That is because if you ever got into an accident that was your fault the media would have your driving record posted on the web and TV before the accident scene was even cleaned up. That never looks good for a dept.

    I don't even know if you could get a job at one of the private ambulance companies right now because they too are being flooded with applications. Hate to be a buzz kill but seriously you need to look into some other line of work. I think any other guys on here who are on the job will tell you the exact same thing.
    If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.

    Firefighter/Paramedic

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulalcock78 View Post
    I came across this site today and found some really good information. However, I've not found an answer to the question i'm really sweating over. I'm living in Broward County and just about to start a degree in EMS, after which I'm going to be applying to one of the fire academy's in thre area and hopefully get a position as a firefighter in either Broward, Palm Beach or Miami-Dade counties. The problem is, about a year ago I was arrested for a DUI. I'm now 31 years old and this is my first and only ever conviction/arrest. I've never even had a speeding ticket. Will this DUI affect my chances of being hired? Obviously by the time I finish all my schooling it will have been 3 or more years since the arrest. If there is anyone out the who could give me some advice, I would be extremely greatful. Maybe there are more courses I could do to give me an advantage if this will help? It's not something I would give up on easily.

    I am having to agree with Firemedic61. You seriously need to look for another profession. The number of certified firefighters and paramedics are through the roof right now and all I hear is that people with the cleanest of records are struggling to find a job. I know a paramedic who is just now hitting 5 years after receiving a DUI and that private ambulance companies wouldnt even look at his applications until at least 5 years and he was let go from Rural Metro when it happened.

    Fire Departments are paramilitary. They look for the BEST possible candidates and like Firemedic61 said, if you were 18 it MIGHT be a different story but at age 31 if your still not able to control yourself, they will pass you on VERY easily. Also, DUI's are not good because remember...we are a PUBLIC servant and our records are open to the public to see. If you are ever involved in something negative, it doesn't even have to be a wreck, just news worthy, then your record is pulled and EVERYONE will know about it.

    Sorry to bust your bubble, but we are professionals and I really don't see it working out for you...

    Best of Luck.

  5. #5

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    Thanks very much for the replies. Not being one to give up easily especially on the word of 2 people. I decided to do a little more investigation and actually call fire departments and the florida bureau of fire standards and training. I did get very positive feedback from ALL of the fire departments in the area. I realise that it isn't going to be easy for me to find work and I will need to go above and beyond the standards to make myself stand out.

    Everyone I have spoken to has told me not to give up because of one mistake in an otherwise squeeky clean record. As for my records being available, PUBLIC servant or not, EVERYONE'S record is available for public viewing unless it has been sealed by the court.

    I will continue with my degree and training and try to find a position once I am qualified, after all, if I was to quit before I had even started just because its not going to be easy, what kind of firefighter would I be anyway!!

    Thanks again for your input guys, I really do appreciate it. I'm sure it wasn't your aim, but your advice has made me even more determined to succeed.

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    I agree with previous postings. DUI is a major "RED FLAG". With the economy the way it is these days and possibly for the next year or so, candidates applying for this profession are gonna have to be "Saints" to get hired. Background checks to the MAX!!!

    I knew someone that I went the fire academy with had suspended license in his past, speeding tickets, etc. and had trouble getting a job in the fire service. How he got accepted into the academy with that driving record is beyond me. He volunteered for a couple of years, went to medic school hoping it will help his chances and it didn't because of his driving record. Last I heard of him, he's is somewhere in the Middle East working as a contracted civilian firefighter.

    I wish you luck.

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