1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default probie question!

    So i just got hired full time at the dept ive been working as a Paid-on-call. Everyone knows me and knows my strengths and weakness's. My question is, what can i do to really impress the guys durring my probation? I want them to know just cause ive been working there doesnt mean im gonna slack off durring probation.


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    CaptOldTimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999


    Do your job, keep the bragging down and when the tones hit, go to the apparatus that you are assign to ride, suit up get in and sit down, buckle up.

    Don't try to impress the members. Do what your officer tells you to do. Give two hours or more a day studying material that may be on you final proby exam.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Default New Rookie

    Just because you were POC doesn’t mean you have any time or rank. Leave that time and rank in your POC locker. You have to begin at square one.

    What you do when you first start out will set your reputation and follow you throughout your career. If you don’t start out on the right foot, they will show you the door. The crew already knows more about you before you show up than you think.

    You’re a snott nose rookie. Keep your mouth shut. Be cordial, friendly and humble. You have no time or opinion until you earn it. You can’t force it. That will come with a lot of calls and a few fires.

    Rookies are carrying their cell phones on duty. Their phone rings, they answer it and go right into cell yell with their friends and relatives. Wives, girl friends and dysfunctional others call all day long with important stuff and to do pillow talk. Cell phones are ringing in locker rooms. Some try to be cool by putting their cell phones on vibrate or stun. Even though they might not answer them when they go off, they still pick them up to check the caller ID or the text message. Then when they think no one is looking, they slip off and return the call or are constantly texting. THIS IS DUMB! These are not part of your emergency issue.

    This will not get you off on the right foot. Big clue here. Leave the electronic leashes off and in your vehicle, along with your piercings, until a time where all your duties are complete. No matter what you might think and how friendly everyone seems to be because you were POC, you are being watched! It could hurt you big time.

    If you have an emergency situation, ask your officer if you can carry your phone because you are expecting an emergency call.

    Call your new captain before your first shift and ask if he wants you to bring anything in. Bring a peace offering of donuts, gourmet coffee or desert your first day. Homemade is best. Arrive early and ask the off-going firefighter what you should know at that station. Your new captain should meet with you to outline his expectations. If not, ask him.

    Unless you’re told differently, put up and don’t forget to take down the flag. If the phone or the doorbell rings make sure you’re the first one running to answer it. There will be certain duties on each day of the week. Tuesday could be laundry day, Saturday yards. Keep track. Stay busy around the station. Always be in a clean proper uniform. Always be ready to get on the rig and respond.

    Check out the gear on the rig each morning. Make sure the O2 gauge and the reserve bottle shows enough to handle a long EMS call.

    Firefighters usually have “Their” place to sit at the table and in front of the TV. Don’t hog the newspaper. The off-going shift has the first crack at the newspaper. You probably have probation tests. Don’t park yourself in front of the TV; you have a test coming up. Stay busy. No matter what the atmosphere, you’re being watched.

    Although you might be a good cook, don’t volunteer to cook until asked or rotated in. Make sure your meals are on time. The old adage “Keep them waiting long enough and they will eat anything” doesn’t apply here. Be the last one to serve your plate. Don’t load up your plate the first time around. Wait to go for seconds.

    Always have your hands in the sink doing the dishes after a meal. Be moving out with the garbage and mopping the kitchen floor after each meal.
    Learn how to help the officer complete response reports.

    Don’t tell jokes until you’re accepted.

    Don’t gossip.

    Don’t play “Your” music on the radio. Don’t be a stupid generation X’er or Y’er and always ask why when told to do something. Help others’ with their assignments when you finish yours.

    Ask how you’re doing. Volunteer for assignments. Keep track of these to present at your evaluations.

    Don’t start pulling hose and other equipment at a scene until the captain tells you.

    Always get off the rig before it backs up. Stand to the rear side to guide the rig. Never turn your back on the backing up rig.

    It’s not uncommon to move to one or more stations during your probation. At your new station, don’t act like you already have time. Unfortunately, you have to start all over again as the new rookie.

    You will have an elated feeling rolling out on your first calls. There is nothing like it. It could last your whole career. Enjoy and savor it. You earned it. You’re the last of America’s Heroes.

    I miss it.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 08-20-2009 at 04:34 PM.

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

    More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:

    Fire "Captain Bob"


  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2009


    Thanks for the responses guys! Sept 1 is my start date. I'm ecstatic!

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    sweetpete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    Holy Crap Bob!!! I'm glad my department was a little more accepting than yours!! Sheez. I mean, the advice is pretty good, but today's probie is a little more educated than the guys who got hired right out of HS. I think we can give this kid a little more credit than that.

    JMHO. Pete

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Akron, Ohio


    CaptBobs post sounds exactly like my department

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Chatsworth and Kennesaw, GA


    1. Keep your nose clean
    2. Respect EVERYONE (yes, even the station a**hole)
    3. Don't act like you know it all (cause you don't)...nothing worse than not only a "FireGod," but a probie "FireGod." Sometimes I just wanna slap the **** out of them.
    4. There is no job that you are too "good" to perform. Do it all and do it well. (I'm way past my probie period, but my butt still does whatever has to be done)
    5. Have a good time. I mean hell to most of us this job is more than a career, its a lifelong passion.
    MCFD Station 1- "The Second-Due Saviors."
    ***My views and/or opinions on this site are those of myself and not my department.***

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2009



    As a pretty new guy myself, all I can tell you is to LISTEN!!! Although I did not volunteer in my town before getting on, my father is on the same job, so I already new a lot of guys personally. This was good and bad. It can be very easy to get too comfortable especially if your dept is like mine and is not very busy with fires.

    Dont get complacent!!! At the same time, be confident, not cocky. You may know, but you don't know. CaptBob has it right (and thats prob why he has Cap in his name!!!), showing off is not the way. Do what you are told and do it right. Thats how to earn respect of the senior guys in your house. Dont look for thanks, if they give it, take it but thats it.

    Thats my advice as a new guy to a new guy.

    Good Luck!!! Stay Safe.

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