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  1. #1
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    Cool Prospective FDNY fireman (need help)

    Greetings,

    I am a 19 year old fire science student out of Chicago.

    As of right now, I just started my degree and am taking an EMT-B class (for experience and a better part-time job).

    Anyway... already obvious, im sure, is that it has been a dream to become a fireman. Especially for a big city... I dont have much of an interest in doing too much EMS work (most suburb FDs of Chicago require Paramedic as a minimum) and it seems working for one of the big cities is the best place to actually fight fires and focus more on that type of work. That being said, I recently (and disappointingly) found out that getting on with a city department is quite a long process. I visited one of the FDs in Chicago and was told that they hire very rarely (last was in 2006 and the trend is about once every 10 years). Also, it seems there is no way of distinguishing yourself in the application process. You basically take a test... and they give you a call depending on your score. Then you continue with other application stuff. In attempts of expanding my career options I started researching other departments like New York and Boston. It seems that they hire a bit more frequently. It also seems the NYFD guys actually focus on the firefighting side and only hold medical skills up to first responder... I like this. The website also states that the next test MAY be in 2011 which is also when I will be 21 and finish my degree. So im wondering...

    1.) To work with FDNY do you have to be a resident BEFORE appointment? Can I apply out of Chicago and then move when I get the call to further my application?

    2.) Whats the best way I can prepare for a career with FDNY? Get an A.A.S. in Applied Science? Work with an ambulance the next two years?

    3.) I recently started a fitness program to build up my strength and stamina. Does lifting weights 3 days a week and doing some running (the next 2 years) sound like enough physical prep for the CPAT and the job? I weigh 140lbs. Im not unfit/lazy (I can do more then 60 full pushups and jog for long distances) but im also not that strong yet. Should I focus on compound exercises?

    4.) I wear glasses to correct my nearsightedness. Never got a clear cut answer... will wearing glasses disqualify me from going to the academy? Wont they be a problem? Id need a custom SCBA mask.... what if I switch to contacts? And I dont want to get LASIK yet... im too young and id just have to get it again in 10 years.

    Sorry for the long post but im trying to get as much prep info as I can and the interest in FDNY is more recent. Ive read most of the website.... (for the record it didnt say you had to live in NY or its boroughs before getting appointed).

    Thanks!

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    CS,

    You are correct in the fact that the FDNY is only required to hold a first responder cert. If you truly are looking at a department that really only fights fire (although the fdny does respond on EMS but what they do at the scene would be limited.) then that department is it.

    Now, you're also correct on the application process. Basically for the FDNY, any cert, degree, this that means JACK ****. Take the test, get a high score, get hired (may sound simple but keep in mind you're applying and testing with 30,000 of your closets friends.)

    Also, you do NOT have to be a resident before you apply, only by the time of your appointment. Now, to answer your question on getting hired by the FDNY. All the things you mentioned to help you get higher, throw them out the window. Forget you even thought of them.

    The FDNY gives "bonus pts" on the written exam based on certain criteria. These bonus pts, ranging from 5-15, may not sound like a lot, but scoring a 100 on the test may put u 600th on the list (which would be a reasonable number to get hired) vs. scoring a 96 which could end your hopes right there. The problem is that you're testing with SO MANY PEOPLE, that one pt. up literally will bump your list number thousands of spots up.

    Recommendations on how to get on? MOVE TO NEW YORK. If you are a resident of one of the five boroughs of New York you will have a residency bonus pt of 5 pt.s on your written. THIS IS HUGE. Honestly the only way to get on the FDNY would be to have these, although in very rare cases scoring a 100 could prove otherwise. But listen, move to New York, and also if you are into the military thing, join up. You get another 5 pts for being a veteran. Having 10 pts on the written exam going in would almost guarantee you hire, granted on you not being able to pass a physical test (CPAT) designed for the weakest of links and that you have an IQ of a fifth grader.

    I'm sorry this is long but basically look. All your **** of certs this that doesnt mean **** to the FDNY. Its a civil service exam. It is open to the members of the public. This is what it is meant to do. Hire the public and give them a chance to be on the FDNY. So listen, if you really want it, you're gonna have to move to New York. In the meantime i'd consider joining the military although just having those 5 bonus pts on the test could get you hired granted you aren't an idiot on the exam and score well. Sorry this was long but thats basically it in a nutshell man.

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    Quickly read these 5177 posts, it should answer all your questions.

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=97154

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    thanojon...

    Thanks a ton for the message. I needed to hear it from someone who obviously knows what their talking about. Im going to visit FDNY next summer to see if its somewhere id want to live. If it is... ill move.

    BTW... Im not sure if I understood a specific part right but I didnt say I couldnt pass the CPAT (if thats what you meant). I havent taken it yet.

    Calmb4Storm...

    Believe me. Im working on it. Hahahaha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by csBlaZe97 View Post
    thanojon...

    Thanks a ton for the message. I needed to hear it from someone who obviously knows what their talking about. Im going to visit FDNY next summer to see if its somewhere id want to live. If it is... ill move.

    BTW... Im not sure if I understood a specific part right but I didnt say I couldnt pass the CPAT (if thats what you meant). I havent taken it yet.

    Calmb4Storm...

    Believe me. Im working on it. Hahahaha.
    If you want it bad enough move to New York. Also keep in mind that the cut off age limit is 29. With the FDNY testing once every 4 years (average), you really have only one shot, two shots (if you're lucky enough) to even TEST with the department. You live once man, gotta make that decision. And also, what i meant on the CPAT part was a bit misread. What i meant by that was that the CPAT is the easiest physical test a fire department could offer. It's extremely watered down and as long as your cardio is up and have a decent amount of strength its NOTHING to worry about. Good luck.

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    Don't move to NY for the possibility of getting this job. Move to NY when you get this job.
    Plenty of members were from out of state and few moved here prior to being sworn in.

    The next test will not be for a few years, in the mean time, get some college under your belt and test for some of the other big cities, Chicago, Detroit, Boston......

    There are plenty of guys playing for the Cubs, White Sox, Tigers and Red Sox who are pretty happy. Sure, they didn't make the Yankees but not everyone can be a part of the best......but they're still in the major league.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalmB4Storm View Post
    There are plenty of guys playing for the Cubs, White Sox, Tigers and Red Sox who are pretty happy. Sure, they didn't make the Yankees but not everyone can be a part of the best......but they're still in the major league.
    Unless your on the Mets....Then you are not really in the majors your just in AAA

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalmB4Storm View Post
    Don't move to NY for the possibility of getting this job. Move to NY when you get this job.
    Plenty of members were from out of state and few moved here prior to being sworn in.

    The next test will not be for a few years, in the mean time, get some college under your belt and test for some of the other big cities, Chicago, Detroit, Boston......

    There are plenty of guys playing for the Cubs, White Sox, Tigers and Red Sox who are pretty happy. Sure, they didn't make the Yankees but not everyone can be a part of the best......but they're still in the major league.
    Right now im a student... so making a move isnt that huge of a deal (except for finances). I dont have any obligations where I live now. I would live and miss a few friends and that would be it. But I know what you mean... whatever is more practical.

    For the record, Chicago hires alot less then FDNY... from what ive HEARD. Theyve hired twice in the last 14 years but I may be surprised and they may start hiring when I take the 2011 FDNY test (but I dislike Chicago for the most part). Id really only take the job in Chicago if I COULDNT move and they hire in the next 2 years, because ill be gone after that.

    Im 19 and this is my dream job... I think ill make it. It seems alot of people applying are older and have another career so they literally have one chance. Ill have 2... hopefully it wont take that long!

    Oh... isnt there a mile and a half run? Under 12 minutes? If so ill have to do some running. No big.

    Again thanks for the advice. Ill have to visit when I go to NY (I assume you guys work for the dept?).

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    do some research and read posts here. worry about taking the test before you worry about what comes after..

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    Quote Originally Posted by csBlaZe97 View Post

    Again thanks for the advice. Ill have to visit when I go to NY (I assume you guys work for the dept?).

    Not anymore.

    If you want to visit you better check the golf course or under a palm tree somewhere.

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    Default 2nd that

    Quote Originally Posted by Irish6019 View Post
    do some research and read posts here. worry about taking the test before you worry about what comes after..
    I'm not as familiar with NY as others posting here, but Irish6019's advise is right on no matter where you test.

    Too many focus on their certs or worry about the poly and psych before they even take the written test and get knocked out because they didn't prepare for it. Not that those things don't matter, but take each step at a time and prepare yourself for each as best you can.

    You said it yourself...

    Quote Originally Posted by csBlaZe97 View Post
    Also, it seems there is no way of distinguishing yourself in the application process. You basically take a test... and they give you a call depending on your score.
    That right there *IS* how you distinguish yourself (at least for that step).

    Just my 2 cents.

    Best of luck to you.

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    You are all very wise... hahaha

    Im sure this is all over the forums... ill commence a search now... but is there any specific prep book/website I should be looking at with regards to the FDNY test? Like you guys said... thats all I should worry about at the moment!

    Im printing this thread.

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    It is much more difficult now to get hired then in years past. For example I scored over 100% on the test and i was over 1,000+ on the list.

    Don't worry about the 1.5 mile run now if your lucky, and take the next test and do well, you will do that run in 4 years. Study for the test.

    You get out what you put in if you move to the city/join the military it gives you an advantage, but if thats not for you then it might not be to be. The ball is in your court, read the other thread for all other info

    Any ?'s PM me

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    The military is a HUGE plus. I'm not going to tell you to run out and enlist, but it does have many advantages. Like some guys said, it's 5 points vets credit (provided you serve during a conflict which obviously, there is one). I can only speak for myself here, but I feel like I had an easier time at the academy simply because I know how to deal with being yelled at. You also get up to 6 years added to the age limit for hire, which is 29. You're 19 now, but if you had to wait 10 years to get hired (and some have) that military time can keep you in the running. Like I said, I would never tell anyone to enlist first then pursue FDNY, but it helped me alot.

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    Im going to meet up with a recuiter today...

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    Quote Originally Posted by csBlaZe97 View Post
    Im going to meet up with a recuiter today...
    Military time is highly respected on the job. It gives you extra points that nobody dares to question. The instructors love vets as do the companies.

    DCAS will accommodate you for testing, and deferring if you are deployed. Finally, few regret serving their country during wartime and you will build a brotherhood prior to joining a brotherhood.

    It is, by no means, an easy way in the door of the FDNY but certainly one of the noblest ways in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by csBlaZe97 View Post
    Im going to meet up with a recuiter today...
    I will say this bro. Being in the military is a huge commitment, especially during wartime. So, like joining the fire department, DO IT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO, NOT BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO!!! I have been fortunate not to get deployed yet, but it is always a possibility so be prepared and know what you want to do. BTW there are firefighters in the military, especially the Air Force. Those jobs are hard to come by though. Just thought I'd let you know. Good luck man.

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    Well actually... just to fill you guys in... I know quite a bit about the Air Force.

    I participated in Civil Air Patrol for about a year (did an encampment) and prior to my interest in firefighting was a die-hard AF fighter pilot piper dreamer. Know all about ROTC/USAFA/Officer stuff.

    I dont know alot about enlistment... but ive got the basics of what its like to drill, work in a system, etc. etc.

    AF Firefighting is exactly what im looking at....

    Tomorrow I will tell the recruiter its firefighter or nothing (along those lines) and see what happens.

    Ive always had an interest in serving my country and think I would be better suited to getting some real world experience and making my own money... dealing with college myself.. as opposed to living with the parents and going to a community college for a degree FDNY doesnt care about initially. Ill end up testing just like anyone else with nothing extra to show and no personal experience... ill be on the waiting list for a couple of years and wonder why I didnt try the Air Force.

    I know there is a nice thread on these forums regarding AF firefighting but I need some help. Its all about getting the recruiter to put it on paper... how do I do that? How do I show the recruiter im worth the USAF's worthwhile to be trained and serve as a firefighter?

    Already have a bit of an idea of the job and I must say... regardless if its lots of fires or barely any fires at least I will get to train hard- do something useful. Id rather be cleaning apparatus/watching the tv with my AF buddies then sitting in my room contemplating what its like to actually mean something to the world.

    Thats good the FDNY accommodates military personnel for test taking... I was wondering that.

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    csBlaZe97-

    I know you said in your original post how you are not too fond of EMS work. But may I suggest an option here that might be worth putting up with 2-3 years on FDNY EMS?

    It's known as the Promotion to Firefighter. Here's how it works. You join FDNY EMS as an EMT or Paramedic, this is "fairly" easy to do and extremely easy when you compare it to joining FDNY Fire. So you should be able to get hired fairly easy being your working towards your EMT Certification currently. So you get onto FDNY EMS and do your time, usually around 2-3 years. Then every 2 years the FDNY gives a Promotional Exam to FDNY EMS members to promote to Firefighter. You can take this promotional exam which is exactly the same as the FDNY Open Comp. exam and if you pass (70+) and pass the CPAT along with the Psych, medical, etc. you have a guaranteed spot in an upcoming Academy.

    Here's how the FDNY website put its, "FDNY members who are working as permanent civil service paramedics and EMTs have the opportunity to file the promotion to firefighter examination during the filing period. Those who pass both the written and physical portions of the exam, as well as the medical and psychological assessments, will be placed on a promotion list.
    Members on the promotion to firefighter list are called before the general open-competitive list.
    Qualification requirements may be found in the Notice of Examination and on the DCAS Web site under Archives-Open Competitive."

    If you have any questions, comments, concerns, etc. about this feel free to ask on this forum, I'd be more than happy to help you out with this option if your interested! I myself am a really young guy like yourself and plan to use this option in the future.

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    SPFD17,

    That sounds like an excellent option. In fact it sounds like the most practical and smart thing to do

    I know its an insanely tough job but my ultimate goal is to get into FDNY... 2/3 years on an ambulance is no big deal.

    It looks like its a full-time job too... so ill get my NREMT-B... call FDNY up and tell them i'm interesting in transferring my EMT. Assuming everything goes well and they want me... BOOM... I got a job that pays $27,000/yr... which is probably not alot for the amount of work... but its alot BETTER then living with the parents and sitting around waiting for community college classes.

    Looked it all up on the FDNY website and you are correct. The only slight concern is getting on the civil service list. Apparently thats competitive.

    Yeah... the AF thing didnt go anywhere... btw... recruiter isnt going to sign me on as a firefighter.

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    Don't forget that you can also backdoor your way into CFD (Chicago) by becoming a paramedic for the city. I believe this will get you around the 10 year testing bull****. Also you will have an EMT-P certification as opposed to the EMT-B that CFD gives you. You will have to obtain the EMT-P from an outside program though as they will not hire you without it. This allows you to move to a higher payscale than the EMT-B FF's, and as backwards as this sounds, the EMT-P FF's spend less time on the ambulance (3-5 days per year) than the EMT-B FF's (26 days per year). I don't know why it works this way, but if you want to be more involved with fire, then this is the way to go. Just an FYI

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    Harrynuts,

    You are very correct... I would take that advice... only issue is I dont really like/want to stay in Chicago (or Illinois for that matter)... :P

    Again... ill be honest... EMS is fine and all... i'm enjoying the EMT-B class, but if I didnt need it- I wouldnt do it. Not lazy... not unappreciative... I just want to be a firefighter. NYFD is the closest you can get.. it looks like...

    Im sure things will change... requirements will go up... but at least starting as an EMT and working on that ambulance can only put me in the right direction. Maybe one day ill get that paramedic license... and say suddenly all departments required it... well... if its to attain my dream... so be it.

    On a different note, I have high respect for those who work in the EMS field (whether basic or medic)... toughest job in the world... and probably the most important.

    Ill be working with you guys someday, FDNY!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrynuts View Post
    Don't forget that you can also backdoor your way into CFD (Chicago) by becoming a paramedic for the city. I believe this will get you around the 10 year testing bull****. Also you will have an EMT-P certification as opposed to the EMT-B that CFD gives you. You will have to obtain the EMT-P from an outside program though as they will not hire you without it. This allows you to move to a higher payscale than the EMT-B FF's, and as backwards as this sounds, the EMT-P FF's spend less time on the ambulance (3-5 days per year) than the EMT-B FF's (26 days per year). I don't know why it works this way, but if you want to be more involved with fire, then this is the way to go. Just an FYI
    Harrynuts, I was wondering if you could elaborate on this backdoor way into CFD, more information would be great! I have always had an interest in CFD as well as FDNY. CFD is nice because its a rather short drive to my hometown of St. Paul, MN as opposed to FDNY. So family and friends wouldn't be nearly as far away. Also CFD is an amazing department, and no offense blaze, but I love Chicago! Such a clean city with a great history both on CFD as well as in the City itself!
    Any information will help! LINKS WOULD BE GREAT!

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFD17 View Post
    csBlaZe97-

    I know you said in your original post how you are not too fond of EMS work. But may I suggest an option here that might be worth putting up with 2-3 years on FDNY EMS?

    It's known as the Promotion to Firefighter.
    It's also known as a great way to make a lot of enemies in a hurry.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    It's also known as a great way to make a lot of enemies in a hurry.
    Elaborate...

    And SPFD17... No offense taken.

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