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Thread: The process

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    Default The process

    I have recently made the decision that firefighting is the path I want to take in my life and have been reading posts trying to figure out exactly what steps need to be taken and the order to take them in, but have some confusion and I'm hoping someone can lay it out clearly for me.
    Starting with some background info about myself, I am 25, live in Dallas TX, have a Bachelors degree from OU, and would like to work in dallas or a surrounding city as soon as possible.
    I am seeing a lot of posts about local and national exams, training, and different certifications but have no idea how to start all this. When i go to the dallas information page, all i see is the minimum requirements.
    Do i apply and THEN go to fire academy once accepted, or the other way around? Also, when does the EMT training come into play? I really want to make this happen as soon as possible, so please someone point me in the right direction.
    Thanks in advance


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    Well. I can assure you it is not going to happen soon. You say you want to work in Dallas or the surrounding cities. First, you need to decide where you actually want to work because they all have different requirements. Unfortunately, the degree is going to help you minimally, most likely none at all. If you are not familiar with civil service I can explain it to you.

    Dallas will not be testing again until maybe March, and then it takes at least 6 months to be hired. This is your best bet with no training, they send you to fire academy, emt, and then paramedic school. Training with Dallas takes about 2 years, but you are getting paid. Good department if you want to be busy.

    Ft. Worth is also an option with no certs, but who knows when they will be testing again.

    If you want to work in the suburbs, look into getting your paramedic, that takes between 1 and 2 years to finish. There are a few schools around DFW that offer it. Then you have to wait until someone has openings. It takes many years to get hired for 99% of applicants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jman8484 View Post
    I have recently made the decision that firefighting is the path I want to take in my life and have been reading posts trying to figure out exactly what steps need to be taken and the order to take them in, but have some confusion and I'm hoping someone can lay it out clearly for me.
    Starting with some background info about myself, I am 25, live in Dallas TX, have a Bachelors degree from OU, and would like to work in dallas or a surrounding city as soon as possible.
    I am seeing a lot of posts about local and national exams, training, and different certifications but have no idea how to start all this. When i go to the dallas information page, all i see is the minimum requirements.
    Do i apply and THEN go to fire academy once accepted, or the other way around? Also, when does the EMT training come into play? I really want to make this happen as soon as possible, so please someone point me in the right direction.
    Thanks in advance
    lol o geeze. You got a long road ahead of you. Just get this main point through your head: There is no "signing up," "joining up," or "putting an app. in with credentials," to get into a fire academy. This isn't like applying for a college or university. Its a complete 180. If you really don't know how civil service exams work you need to do a little more research. If you still can't figure it out we'll help you out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TechGuy View Post
    Well. I can assure you it is not going to happen soon. You say you want to work in Dallas or the surrounding cities. First, you need to decide where you actually want to work because they all have different requirements. Unfortunately, the degree is going to help you minimally, most likely none at all. If you are not familiar with civil service I can explain it to you.

    Dallas will not be testing again until maybe March, and then it takes at least 6 months to be hired. This is your best bet with no training, they send you to fire academy, emt, and then paramedic school. Training with Dallas takes about 2 years, but you are getting paid. Good department if you want to be busy.

    Ft. Worth is also an option with no certs, but who knows when they will be testing again.

    If you want to work in the suburbs, look into getting your paramedic, that takes between 1 and 2 years to finish. There are a few schools around DFW that offer it. Then you have to wait until someone has openings. It takes many years to get hired for 99% of applicants.
    Thank you for your response. Yes this is all very foreign to me. The job process in my past has always been the standard interview and acceptance within a week. So let me ask some follow up questions...

    1) I want to give myself every possible advantage before I test this coming year. What can I do to get ahead- are there classes I can take? certifications to have an edge?

    2) Why would it take 6 months to get hired after testing?

    3) Assuming this could take years, what kind of work experience could I do until tha time that would transition into being a firefighter? ie What kind of work experience is valuable on a resume that I could actually start doing relatively soon? EMT? or is that just as difficult to start?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jman8484 View Post
    Thank you for your response. Yes this is all very foreign to me. The job process in my past has always been the standard interview and acceptance within a week. So let me ask some follow up questions...

    1) I want to give myself every possible advantage before I test this coming year. What can I do to get ahead- are there classes I can take? certifications to have an edge?


    2) Why would it take 6 months to get hired after testing?


    3) Assuming this could take years, what kind of work experience could I do until tha time that would transition into being a firefighter? ie What kind of work experience is valuable on a resume that I could actually start doing relatively soon? EMT? or is that just as difficult to start?
    1. ++++ No classes you can take, besides college courses towards a degree, which some depts may look at that as a plus to have even an associates. Getting your certs wont do a bit of good for almost ALL major cities, i.e. Dallas, Miami, LA, Detroit....etc... they all do their own academies and training. If you DID get your fire certs in your own state and you wanted to apply to say a suburb, well then youd have to go through the process of transferring your certs to the other state... which CAN be a pain in the a**..... EMT and Medic will usually transfer just fine though, IF your on National Registry, which is the nationally recognized training.

    2. +++++ It would take atleast 6 months because, usually first, there is a written exam.... then if they offer the CPAT, theres that next, (some depts require you have it already), then there is usually the oral board interview, then phsyc test, then maybe a final interview, then finally the conditional job offer... Keep in mind all of these things dont happen in two weeks, there is usually a month or two in between each event.

    3. ++++++ Do you have any volunteer, or paid on call depts by you? That would be great work exp. on your resume. Also, if you did get your EMT or Medic, you could work with a private ambulance company, which is also great exp. since 80% of the calls with a dept. ARE infact medical calls.

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    That sums it up pretty well. Just to drive home the point though, especially for Dallas and Fort Worth. Having a PHD will not help you more in the hiring process. It is all based off that first written exam. Everything after that is pass/fail. If you rank 8th on the list, and pass everything else, you will be hired if they go passed 8 slots. All cities offer extra points for vets and some offer extra points for medic. That is where your advantage comes in. There was prob 1500 to 2000 applicants for the last Dallas process.

    Second, most people not familiar with the fire service don't understand the difference between an EMT and Medic. And EMT is the very basic level of care you can provide, while medic is much more in depth and requires a great deal of schooling. If you want to work in the suburbs you will not (generally) even be considered without your medic patch. Yes, there are exceptions, but that is the general rule of thumb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TechGuy View Post
    Well. I can assure you it is not going to happen soon. You say you want to work in Dallas or the surrounding cities. First, you need to decide where you actually want to work because they all have different requirements. Unfortunately, the degree is going to help you minimally, most likely none at all. If you are not familiar with civil service I can explain it to you.

    Dallas will not be testing again until maybe March, and then it takes at least 6 months to be hired. This is your best bet with no training, they send you to fire academy, emt, and then paramedic school. Training with Dallas takes about 2 years, but you are getting paid. Good department if you want to be busy.

    Ft. Worth is also an option with no certs, but who knows when they will be testing again.

    If you want to work in the suburbs, look into getting your paramedic, that takes between 1 and 2 years to finish. There are a few schools around DFW that offer it. Then you have to wait until someone has openings. It takes many years to get hired for 99% of applicants.

    Hi, you seem to know a lot about the Dallas Fire Department. You said it takes about 6 months to get hired from DFD, I'm guessing that's if you score top of the list?
    Also, I've heard from people posting on here as well as some guys from my department that talk about how Dallas FD is a good department, very busy, and doesn't take years to get on? They said even if you score top 80% or so you can usually get hired in a year.. is this true? And is Dallas FD busy?

    Thanks

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    Well, if the top 80% made it that would be over a 1000 for this year, so no, it is not that much. They usually hire between 50-100 per list. Yes, very busy.. especially the medic units. You do have to like the rescue to work for Dallas. (which is pretty much everywhere now) One of the best retirements in the country and plenty of opportunity for OT.

    The only cities around here that don't run ambulances are Ft. Worth and Arlington.

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    Quote Originally Posted by csvt18 View Post
    1. ++++ No classes you can take, besides college courses towards a degree, which some depts may look at that as a plus to have even an associates. Getting your certs wont do a bit of good for almost ALL major cities, i.e. Dallas, Miami, LA, Detroit....etc... they all do their own academies and training. If you DID get your fire certs in your own state and you wanted to apply to say a suburb, well then youd have to go through the process of transferring your certs to the other state... which CAN be a pain in the a**..... EMT and Medic will usually transfer just fine though, IF your on National Registry, which is the nationally recognized training.
    Yes, it is true that all major cities run very strict civil service testing requirements.

    Although, in Texas MOST departments hire certified firefighter/EMT/paramedics. You can enroll in an academy/EMT class and get started now. I highly recommend that.

    It may take 6 months to get hired from the date of the civil service examination. This is not really accurate time line though. For instance, a city like Austin hasn't ran a hiring test since 2008. Sure, the first academy from the list started 6 months from the testing date.... But, it may be years before you get a chance. My recommendation is to take an EMT class. You will have plenty of chances to learn about the emergency services.

    This is coming from a guy who recently got hired and has been a volley/student since 2007.
    Last edited by FireEeyore; 10-15-2009 at 03:51 PM.

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    im a little confused about these exams...If training begins after your hired, what kind of material are they testing you on? personality? I would really like to study something to increase my odds.

    another thing im concerned about is the polygraph... I smoked weed a few weeks ago and have smoked a bit in my past. Not a big deal to me, i dont mind giving it up but if the dallas testing is in march, thats only 6 months of being drug free and I know they would grill me on that. i'd be pretty upset if thats the only reason i wouldnt get hired cause this is what i really want to do. any suggestions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jman8484 View Post
    im a little confused about these exams...If training begins after your hired, what kind of material are they testing you on? personality? I would really like to study something to increase my odds.

    another thing im concerned about is the polygraph... I smoked weed a few weeks ago and have smoked a bit in my past. Not a big deal to me, i dont mind giving it up but if the dallas testing is in march, thats only 6 months of being drug free and I know they would grill me on that. i'd be pretty upset if thats the only reason i wouldnt get hired cause this is what i really want to do. any suggestions?
    Umm.. stop smoking weed would be a good start. Or doing any drugs for that matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFD17 View Post
    Umm.. stop smoking weed would be a good start. Or doing any drugs for that matter.
    Theres a BIG no no.

    Your going to be respected member of a civil service. You think drugs wont be that big of a deelio?

    If you want suburb you need paramedic. You need to register for an EMT class in a community college.... you may end up deciding its not for you. Trust me... sitting in your first EMT class is a huge gut check. You need to realize that you will be doing something that has little to do with being a "fireman" for a few years. And dont forget EMT is only the beginning... EMT and Medic is like night and day. Your going to really have to be into EMS or have insane determination to be an FF to stick it out.

    Not a big deal for a highschool graduate... but you need to really look into if your serious to make such a "sacrifice."

    If you want the big city do something with your degree (if you can)... make $$$ and all that fun stuff and wait for the test in your dream city/cities. As someone above said big city FDs will put you through their own stuff regardless of past experience.
    Last edited by csBlaZe97; 10-19-2009 at 11:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jman8484 View Post
    i'd be pretty upset if thats the only reason i wouldnt get hired cause this is what i really want to do. any suggestions?
    No, it's not really what you want to do or you wouldn't have smoked a couple of weeks ago. I know plenty of people that have been cut for far less. This thing takes YEARS of dedication. Waking up one morning at 25 knowing you want to be a firefighter is fine, but it sounds like you have a long road ahead of you. You are going to be DQ'd from Dallas.

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    Ok some useless hating, and some constructive advise. I did say I quit, and i did so for this reason...anyways, I don't really feel like Im getting a clear cut answer or if there even is one to give.
    I made the decision that I want to be a firefighter and i need to know if I'm chasing a dream that is absolutely NOT going to happen based on the fact that I used to smoke pot. Apart from that, I have all the confidence in the world in my other testing whether it be physical, oral, written, ect.
    The question is:
    Will their awareness that i have smoked pot in the past definitely disqualify me for FF employment, or is this a dream still worth pursuing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jman8484 View Post
    Ok some useless hating, and some constructive advise. I did say I quit, and i did so for this reason...anyways, I don't really feel like Im getting a clear cut answer or if there even is one to give.
    I made the decision that I want to be a firefighter and i need to know if I'm chasing a dream that is absolutely NOT going to happen based on the fact that I used to smoke pot. Apart from that, I have all the confidence in the world in my other testing whether it be physical, oral, written, ect.
    The question is:
    Will their awareness that i have smoked pot in the past definitely disqualify me for FF employment, or is this a dream still worth pursuing?
    You need to give us more information. If this was something that you did habitually or on on a weekly basis for a long period of time I would advise that you look elsewhere.

    Just to put it blunt ( pun intended), you need to be off it for at least 6 months to a year before applying. Even then, the fact that you smoked weed on your own volition for an extended amount of time might be an automatic dis-qualifier. You have to remember you are competing for a very competitive spot and there will be thousands of other people with squeaky clean records.

    Also, having done certain drugs will disqualify you as well. Buying, selling or smuggling will get you too.

    Polygraph is no joke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jman8484 View Post
    Ok some useless hating, and some constructive advise. I did say I quit, and i did so for this reason...anyways, I don't really feel like Im getting a clear cut answer or if there even is one to give.
    I made the decision that I want to be a firefighter and i need to know if I'm chasing a dream that is absolutely NOT going to happen based on the fact that I used to smoke pot. Apart from that, I have all the confidence in the world in my other testing whether it be physical, oral, written, ect.
    The question is:
    Will their awareness that i have smoked pot in the past definitely disqualify me for FF employment, or is this a dream still worth pursuing?
    There was no hating... in fact.... when we give advice that is a form of support. Believe me... youd know if someone was being a "hater."

    Just trying to make it CLEAR that drugs and getting a fireman job cannot coexist.

    Good on ya for quitting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jman8484 View Post
    Ok some useless hating, and some constructive advise. I did say I quit, and i did so for this reason...anyways, I don't really feel like Im getting a clear cut answer or if there even is one to give.
    I made the decision that I want to be a firefighter and i need to know if I'm chasing a dream that is absolutely NOT going to happen based on the fact that I used to smoke pot. Apart from that, I have all the confidence in the world in my other testing whether it be physical, oral, written, ect.
    The question is:
    Will their awareness that i have smoked pot in the past definitely disqualify me for FF employment, or is this a dream still worth pursuing?
    Becoming a firefighter isn't something you just decide to do, like someone else mentioned above me, it takes years of preparation, planning, thinking and much more. It's more of a calling. And it's anything but a quick process to get onto a department.

    The drugs will probably DQ you from most departments.

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