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    Default How to make it easier to get hired?

    Im 17 and I attend a Career technical school in northwest ohio. I'm enrolled in Fire Science/ EMT-Basic. When I graduate I will hold my Firefighter 2 and EMT-Basic certifications. I dont know how much this will help me get ahead of others wanting to be hired for a career posistion. I guess Im posting this to see what I need to do to better myself and get ahead as much as I can.

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    Quite a number of departments have no base requirements, other than 18 and healthy. Others may require some certifications ahead of time. Having EMT-B will help you more on that front than FF certs, as an academy is fairly standard at full time departments and they'll teach you all that there.

    The best thing to do is stay in shape, get good at the written exams, and apply to a bunch of departments. There's a lot of people who want to be a firefighter, and unfortunately not very many open slots in this economy. Throw the net far and wide, and don't be afraid to fail a few times. Each failure is a learning experience.

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    Thanks for the advice.....That is one thing I need to work on is staying in shape

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    If the departments you want to hire you are paramedic level services get your paramedic license. I guarantee you that will put you head and shoulders above the rest that don't have that.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    99.9% of Depts in Ohio hire at FF2/MEDIC. There are only a handful of departments anymore that don't want you to be a medic.

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    As discussed in another thread under career FD, don't visible tattoo up.
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

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    Some of the area depts want ff2 and emt basic. Does anyone know any depts hiring next spring/summer

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    I'm from Ohio, and even with my Paramedic certification, I still found it very difficult to get a job. Ohio is loaded with Paramedics because there are a lot of places to obtain the certification, particularly in Columbus and Akron. Getting a job in Ohio right now is tough, tougher than a lot of states. I got a job in Virginia, but I was hired because I'm a medic, even though I have no experience.

    Get a Medic card and you are gold, that is if you are willing to move out of state. Places like Atlanta Georgia, and other cities down south are in a shortage of Medics. Good luck man, keep working hard, you'll get where you want to be if you want it bad enough

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    Default How Young?

    My friend Brent is an assistant chief for a large Ohio department. His nephew Neil admired Brent and from an early age and wanted to follow in his uncles foot steps as a firefighter. Since Brent only had daughters he referred to Neil as his son.

    While Neil was growing up he became a fire explorer, volunteer, EMT, and right out of high school set off to medic school. By the time he could take his first test he had completed an academy and was an experienced street savvy medic.

    Neil didn’t make the cut on the first 2 tests. What’s up with this? Brent asked if I could talk to him before his next dream department testin Ohio. Like most candidates Neil had some great stuff he just didn’t know how to present it. One of the major errors he was making was using a lot of irritating pause fillers i.e. “You know” over and over. Neil sounded like an immature valley girl. As soon as he was aware of this mistake he immediately made the correction.

    I talked to Neil a few days later after he had practiced with a voice recorder and you would have never known this was the same candidate. He was beyond his years just turning age 21. Neil mention that his passion for get a firefighter badge was so focused that he had his high school year book picture taken wearing his volunteer turn outs. You with me here? Although we are cautious about taking pictures into an entry level oral board this was a natural exception if the opportunity came up.

    Neil was one of many candidates going in for one job. By game day his confidence was back. During his oral board, none of the questions stumped him. Towards the end of the interview the HR panel member asked him why he hadn’t gone to college. Neil told him that from an early age he knew he wanted to be a firefighter. He felt the best way to reach his goal and be an asset was from the EMS side. As Neil picked up his high school year book to the page with his picture he said, “As a matter of fact I wanted this job so bad that I had my high school year book picture taken wearing my volunteer turn outs.” As the raters looked at the picture the room went silent. Like in the stands when a batter hits the ball and you don't know if it's going out of the park. Next question please.

    From Neil: I just wanted to again thank you for all your time and efforts in helping me with the oral interview process. My interview went great, I could not have planned it any better. I just turned 21 and only had taken a few tests. The other day I received a call from the Chief and was offered a full time position. I start will be sworn in next week!!! I could not have done this without your guidance. Thank you again for everything. Firefighter Neil

    Reply: Welcome to the fire service Neil.

    It doesn’t get much better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    .
    To save time I've editted Capt Spam's advice down to the parts worth reading.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    TT I am going to give you advice that worked for me. My background, I was a fire explorer, became an emt and ff2 when I was 17. Started working part-time when I was 18. Was offered 3 full time jobs when I turned 21 (age requirement) and have been offered a total of 6 full time jobs. All in Ohio.


    First you are light years ahead of most people because of how young you are so use this to your advantage. You will probably find it difficult at first to get hired full time because some departments have age requirements for full-time positions and some just don't want to risk hiring someone that may be immature due to age. It is what it is. At one time I was in 10 full time processes when I was 20 and didn't get offered any of the jobs. Because of my age, perhaps, but I think I figured out what it was I was doing wrong that was more important than my age.

    Alas, the interview. In a lot of fire departments your interview is your golden ticket so to speak. If you can interview well and by that I mean, be calm, not stutter, say your answers like you're having a comfortable conversation, not appear nervous, no pause fillers (uh, um, well) this is the FIRST step to a good interview. But here in my opinion is where most applicants fail. A lot of people are going to tell you to become a paramedic, which I agree with, do that as soon as you possibly can. Don't wait to be a good emt, enroll and become a paramedic tomorrow if possible. But after applicants become a paramedic they basically stop progressing. As if paramedic was the only thing they ever wanted to do and then do nothing else until they get a full time job. I will explain.

    Most jobs will require you to be a paramedic to apply, so that gives you no edge over the others. Where you need to give yourself an edge is by staying focused on PROGRESSING your career even BEFORE you become a full-time firefighter. At 17 I am going to assume you live at home and don't have large financial responsibilities. Therefore, you can focus on progressing and even spending your own money to do it....I did. So what can you do, well you can go to Haz-mat training, advanced rescue training (rope, confined space, so on) any training, GO TO COLLEGE, obtaining instructor certifications, and so on. Besides College most people ignore doing these things, all of which benefit you and your future employer. Now here is the secret to your interview.

    When they ask you the question where do you see yourself in 5 years, or what are your goals. Your answer isn't just going to be, become a full-time firefighter. You're answer is going to be all of the things I have listed that you have accomplished and all the things you will do, REGARDLESS IF YOU ARE HIRED FULL TIME OR NOT. First this shows the interview panel that you have direction, you have vision of what you are doing and where you are going, regardless if they hire you or they don't. Second, because you are younger it will make you seem very wise and advanced for your age, probably wiser and more advanced than your older competition. This is where in your interview you will be different, you will stand out and they will remember you. Plus by hiring you, you probably have more credentials than most people do. Remember getting hired before you are 23 in Ohio, you will have to put in extra time before you can retire. So the sooner you get hired the higher your pension will be in the long run.

    I hope this makes sense. The important thing for you is to take every test you can so you can start scoring better, improving your interviews and so on. I was terrible at interviewing at first but after 10 interviews I felt like they were a piece of cake. There was no question they could ask that I didn't already know what I was going to say. If you follow these steps, stay out of trouble, and I agree don't get visible tattoos, you will have no problems.

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    Joining the Military Active Duty/Enlisted with a Honorable Discharge will give you 5 vets points on your final score for almost any Fire Department in the US! 5 points doesn't sound like much, but it can make a huge difference on where you fall on the list.
    Also being in the military will build you up physically, mentally and it always looks great on the record! Plus you can get free college money which you can use to get your Paramedic while your in or after you get out. I sound like a damn recruiter haha

    Just my 2 cents.

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    Yes, lately I have been thinking about the military. Thinking about being a firefighter in the airforce.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    To save time I've editted Capt Spam's advice down to the parts worth reading.
    And what do you mean by this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ttexplorer48 View Post
    Yes, lately I have been thinking about the military. Thinking about being a firefighter in the airforce.
    If you want Firefighting in the Military go Air Force man, they are considered the leaders in Military Firefighting by many. Walk in and tell the AF recruiter you want Fire Protection or nothing, if he says he can't guarantee that or they're full walk out. If he is anything like my recruiter he'll stop you before you hit the door and will "work things out."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ttexplorer48 View Post
    Yes, lately I have been thinking about the military. Thinking about being a firefighter in the airforce.
    I’ve been in the military. I often hear from candidates asking if going into the military to become a firefighter is a good idea. They’ve heard you can gain training, experience, extra military points on the test, free education, it will great to put on their resume and talk about in their oral. The ones that decide to go into the military I seldom hear from again. What seems to happen is they don’t get the job specialty, low pay, station assignment, get trapped with bills, get married, have kids and a slug of other diversions.

    I recently heard from a guy from Penn, who wanted to be a firefighter, thought he was too young and went into the Airforce thinking it would help. Nine years later this Sergeant is stationed at a B-1 Bomber base in bum Egypt ND trying to keep his family of four together while he tries to test back home.

    I don’t believe it’s all about the certs, experience, military, or where ever life has led you. I really believe that where you make the cut or not has everything to do with if you learned how to take a firefighter oral board interview that is like no other.

    I think staying home and getting your medic certification and savvy street time on the box you will be able to take more tests. Then, as long as you prepare for every step of the hiring process before you show up you can maximize your opportunities and put you ahead of the “clone” pack candidates even if they have the extra 5+ military points.

    Do the math. With most tests the oral board is usually 100% of your score to get hired. Everything else is pass/fail. So candidates go in and get an average oral board score of 80 - 85+ including military points. If you prepare yourself properly to take a firefighter interview you could end up with a score of 90+ to place you at the top of the list going to the chief’s oral to get a real shot at that infamous badge!

    I've seen candidates with great credentials. They had degrees, certificates, paramedic, volunteer, experience and every other merit badge you could imagine. But they couldn’t present the package at the interview. And, if you can't present the package, you don't get the job . . . Period! Never! Ever!
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    Very good point Capt.Bob but for some departments the Oral Board isn't included in the testing process, that's more of the "interview" when they do call you to make a conditional job offer, at least that's how most departments are here in the Midwest.
    You take a Written exam, and Physical test get placed on a list. Then they call from that list, make you a conditional offer, give you a psych, physical, etc. and then the job!

    I'm not trying to bash you here, all I'm saying is this Oral Board stuff doesn't exactly apply everywhere. Here, you need as many points on your final score to get you high up on that list and get the call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF173 View Post
    Very good point Capt.Bob but for some departments the Oral Board isn't included in the testing process, that's more of the "interview" when they do call you to make a conditional job offer, at least that's how most departments are here in the Midwest.

    I'm not trying to bash you here, all I'm saying is this Oral Board stuff doesn't exactly apply everywhere. Here, you need as many points on your final score tyo get you high up on that list and get the call.
    The midwest is a large area. Could you be more specific where you're experiencing these steps in the hiring process?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    The midwest is a large area. Could you be more specific where you're experiencing these steps in the hiring process?
    Mostly Minnesota, but I've also seen this in departments in Wisconsin, Iowa, North/South Dakota area.

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    Take your high-school yearbook photo in your volunteer turnouts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deluge059 View Post
    Take your high-school yearbook photo in your volunteer turnouts.
    wrong discussion. my mistake

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF173 View Post
    Mostly Minnesota, but I've also seen this in departments in Wisconsin, Iowa, North/South Dakota area.
    I've talked to a few friends who are in touch with the mid west testing and don't share your opinion that the oral board comes once you get the job offer. What cities are you referring too in these states?

    There are some areas like MI and WI, etc. who are setting the bar higher with written scores and requiring some college credits to cull the heard because HR doesn’t want to spend the money to test and there are few jobs available there now. Look at the recent postings for Flint, MI: http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...=114897&page=3 (Flint, MI 2010)
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    I've talked to a few friends who are in touch with the mid west testing and don't share your opinion that the oral board comes once you get the job offer. What cities are you referring too in these states?

    There are some areas like MI and WI, etc. who are setting the bar higher with written scores and requiring some college credits to cull the heard because HR doesn’t want to spend the money to test and there are few jobs available there now. Look at the recent postings for Flint, MI: http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...=114897&page=3 (Flint, MI 2010)
    The main cities I'm referring to are St. Paul and Minneapolis. St. Paul of which is currently in the middle of a hiring process.

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    With the certifications you will hold upon graduation you are well on your way. There are several steps you should take next. The most overlooked one is to get your Associates degree. Fire Science would be good, but it does not really matter what you get it in. This will put you ahead of the competition and it shows us that you are serious about education. Next, you should consider earning a bachelors degree.
    Additional plans should include getting time as a volunteer firefighter, preferably with a company that runs a lot of calls. Next, you may consider getting experience as an EMT on an ambulance.
    Lastly, but most importantly is to maintain a clean background. Do not do anything to scar your reputation in the way of doing drugs, poor driving, or bad credit history.
    Good luck in your endeavors!
    Paul Lepore
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    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

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    I agree with some others about joining the military. Go Air Force for firefighting, or check out some other AFSC's. I couldn't put my life on hold any longer waiting on firefighter civil service list's and enlisted. I served my four year's active duty, and decided to get out and pursue my dream of being a firefighter. Since leaving active duty i've obtained my FF1-2, EMT-B, and now currently enrolled in medic all for free with my G.I. Bill. It always looks great on a resume...last but not least stay out of trouble with the law it will come back to haunt you!

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