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  1. #1
    Forum Member sweetpete's Avatar
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    Default If you really want to succeed as a Firefighter, here's an idea

    Hey Guys,

    First of all, I realize that many of you are probably young and still getting through school (whether it's junior high or high school) and I'm impressed that many here are already taking steps to get into the fire service, right out of school.

    That's fantastic!! Really, I mean that.

    But here's a little pointer that as a firefighter and, specifically as an EMT, I don't believe can be overstated that will greatly increase your marketability as such: Learn to spell and use appropriate punctuation.

    I know it's a dying art, but whether you are on this website or e-mailing someone, get in the habit of using whole words and correct punctuation. (texting is exempt, because I shorten words all the time, just because it's easier and faster) But seriously, I can't help but notice how bad the spelling is, specifically in this forum.

    As a career firefighter/EMT, incorrect spelling is the number 1 (or at least 2) killer for any job applicant. It's right up there with lying on your application or not reading directions correctly.

    If you don't know how to write or type correctly, very few departments will take you seriously as an applicant, and the ones that do let you continue, probably aren't worth working for.

    So, I've vented enough. You guys are great. Keep up the hard work and keep your noses in the books. I promise, if you apply what I'm saying, you'll greatly increase your chances of being hired. At the very least, you'll come out of school with the reputation of somebody who's serious about what they're trying to accomplish.

    Take care guys!!
    Pete


  2. #2
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    I second this. Before I was in the fire department I was responsible for hiring people at my job. If I found a resume with spelling, grammar and formatting errors, it went to the bottom of the pile AFTER I marked it up with a red pen and comments about the spelling. If for some reason they ended up getting an interview, I would leave it on the table after I seated them and excuse myself for a minute or two so they could peek at my notes. None ever ended up getting hired. It's a first impression that tells someone that you don't care enough to use spellcheck or have people look over your resume and provide feedback.

    Remember that application, resume or interest card is your first impression. Take your time and make it right! Good luck.

  3. #3
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Default

    And for those of you young kids who like to spout off "that spelling and grammar are not important in the fire service".........well......Using my (apparently now very popular) byline......You deserve a swift kick in the balls!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  4. #4
    Forum Member CGITCH's Avatar
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    Do departments use software to check spelling and automatically throw applicants out? I've heard of this being used in the business world. They don't care what your qualifications are, if you don't care enough to check your work, or you aren't humble enough to have someone else check it, they throw it out.

  5. #5
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Spelling and proper grammar is a must in the fire service.

    There are many reports you have to or may write. Not saying filling out EMS forms that has to be read by Doctors and Nurses.

    Get in the habit of writing correctly today and not when you decide to become a firefighter.

    Some of the responses and threads by the younger folks make me wonder what are they teaching in school these days.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  6. #6
    Forum Member CGITCH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    Some of the responses and threads by the younger folks make me wonder what are they teaching in school these days.
    They teach me very little these days.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGITCH View Post
    Do departments use software to check spelling and automatically throw applicants out? I've heard of this being used in the business world. They don't care what your qualifications are, if you don't care enough to check your work, or you aren't humble enough to have someone else check it, they throw it out.
    I don't know if they check for spelling and grammer, but I know the Department of Defense uses a computer to read all resumes before they are even seen by a person.

  8. #8
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VincentEng2 View Post
    I don't know if they check for spelling and grammer, but I know the Department of Defense uses a computer to read all resumes before they are even seen by a person.
    It's a little more complex than that... Much like your view of drug tests and background checks.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Tipys's Avatar
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    Oh great I am screwed.









    I have always sucked at spelling and grammar. Only thing that has help me is spending time on the internet of forums. Just increasing the amount of writing I do which has help a lot. You should have tried to read stuff I tried to write 3 years ago.

    But seriously I may not be the greatest speller in the world I still take the time to make sure everything is spelling right on a job application and resume. If I can do it anyone else can.
    RIP Hela

    "You have to do better then your best."
    BUD's instuctor Class 234


    "A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."
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  10. #10
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    Totally agree with you sweetpete and I'm glad that the majority on here feel the same, however I do think that there is a bit of a learning curve that applies to this forum vs others out there.

    If you are on any other forums regularly you quickly realize that firehouse's is in the minority for preferring spelling and punctuations to be correct. We don't even use that much shorthand (you may see PPV here and there, but otherwise everything is spelled out) which may be the complete opposite of other forums that these younger guys/gals might be part of.

    As far a resumes, apps or official documents there is no question that those should be in good order. Spell check 'em or have someone who's competent check it, or if they are hand written type them out into word find the mistakes and then hand write them on the application. You will get no argument from me on that.

    I'm just saying that there are unwritten rules that are in place on this site that new members might not know about or think matter, sorta like in a firehouse.

    I appreciate you keeping it positive and I think it was worth bringing up. Maybe this is a good place to practice.

    All this from a guy that even texts with proper grammar and spelling. It does drive me crazy to read some of the mistakes on here though.

    Here's a great place to start if you have trouble:
    Click here

    Stay safe everyone!

  11. #11
    Forum Member sweetpete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yjbrody64 View Post
    I appreciate you keeping it positive and I think it was worth bringing up. Maybe this is a good place to practice.

    Hey Yj: I completely understand what you're saying. I wanted to keep the tone positive so that it didn't sound like I was being condescending or just an all out d**k.

    I know the younger crowd is being attacked by the "take the path of least resistance" work ethic, but I'm also glad that a majority of the guys agree with my feelings about good spelling and grammar.

    I've learned ALOT from so many of the guys on here, that I just wanted to offer something worth mentioning to the next generation of firefighters.

    I love this job and I really like this site. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and opinions.

    Take care,
    Pete

  12. #12
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetpete View Post
    I've learned ALOT from so many of the guys on here, that I just wanted to offer something worth mentioning to the next generation of firefighters.
    That's a great point. Well put Pete. That passdown of info is what the fire service has been built upon and what makes this the greatest job.

    Stay safe brother...

  13. #13
    Forum Member RS1606's Avatar
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    Default just for the fun of it :p

    hey! you left out "dont be a RS1606"

    just had to throw that in for fun.
    Firefighters need not fear fire, but give it all their respect.

  14. #14
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    For those that are self-proclaimed horrible writers and grammar failures...

    Begin your project early. Write your answers. Come back the next day and review it. Even better = have someone else look at it.

    If you're using a web-based program, copy your response to Word and spell check it before you submit.

    Also, learn the difference between your and you're AND they're, there and their.

  15. #15
    Forum Member Beaver52's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post

    There are many reports you have to or may write. Not saying filling out EMS forms that has to be read by Doctors and Nurses.
    They can also be considered a legal document and it may represent you in court one day. Want all of your "credibility" throw out the window in about 3 seconds? Misspell and use bad grammar.
    Kyle
    Upper Macungie Township Station 56, Allentown, PA
    Vigilant Hose Company #1, Shippensburg, PA

    The things I post do not reflect the views of the affiliations I belong to.

  16. #16
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    I think there is more of any issue of people not paying attention to what they are doing or simply getting excited about the post they want to display.

    Young people, us older people are not perfect. We have spelling and grammar errors as well, but for the majority of the time, how we avoid these issues is to review and edit what we are wanting to post. That is what you are missing. Before hitting that "Post Reply" button, go back and reread what you have just typed. Listen to what you are typing, does it sound right? Read it out loud if needed. I always read out loud what I have typed, especially if it is for a project, presentation, official report or something going to one of my bosses. I type quickly and in broken sentences a lot just so I can get my ideas and thoughts down before I lose them, but then I always go over my thoughts multiple times before submission.

    Someone is correct above, grammar is not taught today. I am always on my kids to go back and redo their work because of these issues and they say the same thing, "We were never taught that."

    As for spell check.......

    Spell check only verifies the word is spelled correctly. Rarely will the grammar check ever work. For example, if you should have typed "worked" and you only typed "work" spell check will not catch anything.

    Go ahead and use these forums to increase your grammmar skills, but please do no get offended when your errors are pointed out.

    As for me, I would neither hire nor would I even interview someone with more than one or two spelling or grammar errors. There are thousands of people needing jobs out there. And not matter what your parents told you, there is nothing special about you that makes someone want to hire you. You must convince them to hire you. That all starts with spelling and grammar skills.

  17. #17
    Forum Member Theaxemancometh's Avatar
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    Part of writing, spelling and speaking well, comes from reading well! By this, i mean reading things that are well written. While many of us are not english majors, there are a "plethora" (ok that 50 cent word is the extent of my public education) of publications, articles and books written by firefighters about firefighters and firefighting. This is a great opportunity to learn something about our profession, broaden speaking points for conversation AND ORAL INTERVIEWS (There's a novel idea). Know the current and changing trends in our profession, and you'll sound like someone whose both engaged and well read about "the job!"

    Secondly, many young people don't even like reading the newspaper anymore OR going to web sites about current events. Enrich yourselves by staying up to date with what's going on in the world and at the same time ; reading grammatically correct and spelled sentences and words while expanding your vocabulary. If you don't know what something means, don't just gloss over it....LOOK IT UP!! (Online if it's easier) By expanding your vocabulary and use of words, you will come across as more articulate during your oral interviews.

    These are just a couple things you can do to work on grammar and spelling. READ....READ...READ!!! And my hats off to Mr. Sweetpete!! He speaks wisdom!!

    The Axeman

    "Purpose, Truth and Passion Yields Power and Dominion IN ACTION!!!"

  18. #18
    Forum Member sweetpete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theaxemancometh View Post
    And my hats off to Mr. Sweetpete!! He speaks wisdom!!
    Hey Axeman...thank you very much, sir. I think everyone's really added to the passion of this discussion. I know we all want to help the "younger" generation as much as possible. I don't have much to offer, but I figured this might help somebody.

    Excellent points from you also, Axe.

    Take care everybody,
    Pete

  19. #19
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    It is necessary to go to school, it is not important as you study, all the same all is postponed.
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    Last edited by juli888; 07-12-2010 at 08:13 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    And for those of you young kids who like to spout off "that spelling and grammar are not important in the fire service".........well......Using my (apparently now very popular) byline......You deserve a swift kick in the balls!
    Would if they dont have any?

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