1. #1

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    Default firefighter background checks

    Im new to the firehouse forums but i heard through a friend that its great. So i have a question for you guys, what types of convictions do depts look for in the criminal background check. I live in southern california. Like drugs, theft, sex offender, and like dui's and stuff. Or what convictions would stop me from becoming a firefighter. Please be specific if you can it would really help alot. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by kkeil87 View Post
    drugs, theft, sex offender, and like dui's and stuff.
    Yes, all of the above and then some.

    Each state is different, some more strict than others, and each department is different in those states as to what is a for sure "no go." Some states have mandatory requirements like no felony convictions or something close. I can tell you in WI it is for sure no felony convictions. Our department does not accept convicted felons, sex offenders, drug related things, or thieves. Basically anything more than an OWI for my department and you can forget it.

    We take each person on a case by case basis and allow the applicant a chance to explain things or contest a denial if they wish, then the officers and the police and fire commission will vote on it. We have a requirement that you must have and maintain a valid WI driver's license to be eligible for employment. Do something to lose your license and you are suspended from the department until you correct that problem. Get it revoked and you could be terminated, again, on a case by case basis.

    We also use common sense as well. Juvenile convictions are considered and reviewed differently. If there is a pattern or multiple offenses, could be a hint as to a habitual offender. If someone was convicted of retail theft when they were 13 and no other problems, maybe not a big deal.

    What you should do is check with your desired department and ask them their own requirements. Some places don't care either.

    Good luck!
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
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