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Thread: Seattle 2011

  1. #41
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    How does Seattle FD feel about tattoos?


  2. #42
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    It's a non issue really as long as it's not offensive or on your face or something like that. We have guys sleeved up. Haven't seen anyone with hand, neck or face though. Not sure that would fly.

  3. #43
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    Hey, just a reminder today (7 Jan) is the last day to sign up for the SFD written exam in Feb. Good luck to all.

  4. #44
    Forum Member BearTech's Avatar
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    Default Hope this helps

    Some inside info on Seattle hiring process. This is no secret, they just don't bother to publish it and it's like pulling teeth to get someone to actually say it. After your third interview you are put into one of three categories, "very suitable", "suitable", "less suitable". Those may not be the exact terms they use but that's the idea. Then someone (I was never able to nail down WHO) selects a number of those files to go to the chief for review. They then pick from those to select who goes to recruit school. Yep, your final "score" is never revealed to you and basically they just pick and choose anyway. Again, my words. I'm sure they would use much more HR positive terms for their process. Someone asked in an earlier message why they lose so many during a recruit class. IMHO they lose anywhere from 5-10 on average out of a class of 24 because they hire based on some sort of political criteria. I've never heard of another department having several people from each class leave because "this just isn't what I thought it would be". Are you kidding me? Out of the 2,000+ people who took their test, there are certainly 24 who are "very suitable" AND know exactly what they are getting into (previous experience, military, etc.). I guess the thing I don't like about Seattle's process is that it is based completely on "theoreticals". You can say pretty much anything you want during an interview as long as it hits the key words and points they are scoring on, and you present a professional front. I'm not saying they should only hire people with fire experience, just that I much prefer an interview process based on things you have actually DONE in your life. Real world answers.

    Seattle will almost always hire unless the budget is REALLY bad. They run about 40 positions short at any given time and run overtime to fill (remember we are talking about a 1,000 line-personnel dept.). Even in tough times you are going to have people retiring because they were smart with their money, retiring off the line because of disability, or dying from cancer. Yep that's right. Sadly many who were fighting fires in the 70's and 80's were probably exposed to nasty stuff and maybe didn't wear their SCBAs as much as we do now. I worked at HQ for only 3 years and saw 2 chiefs die from cancer before retirement. They had a string of cancer deaths where all of those who died had worked at station 31 at about the same time. Correlation is not causation, but they did do all sorts of testing and a remodeling to assuage any fears about the station.

    Seattle would be a great department to work for. Sadly their civil service process is your biggest enemy. Good luck and don't give up!

  5. #45
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    From reading all the info in regards to the testing process, am I correct to say that the written exam is pass/fail?

  6. #46
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    Yes, the exam is pass/fail. I think passing is 70%. Based on the workshop material, it has a significant memorization component to it. I didn't think it was overly difficult, but don't dismiss it either.

    I applied for the process, but I'm very apprehensive about the EMT requirement. I realize that's not a problem for many of you, but it is an issue for those of us who have full time careers.

    I'm hoping that they'll like me enough to send me to King County's EMT school. Given the travel and schedule of my current job, I can't make it to a community college to get EMT certified. I could quit, but I think it's irresponsible to do so when my wife and I are trying to save for a house and family - especially given it can take years to get hired.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeful_FF View Post
    Yes, the exam is pass/fail. I think passing is 70%. Based on the workshop material, it has a significant memorization component to it. I didn't think it was overly difficult, but don't dismiss it either.

    I applied for the process, but I'm very apprehensive about the EMT requirement. I realize that's not a problem for many of you, but it is an issue for those of us who have full time careers.

    I'm hoping that they'll like me enough to send me to King County's EMT school. Given the travel and schedule of my current job, I can't make it to a community college to get EMT certified. I could quit, but I think it's irresponsible to do so when my wife and I are trying to save for a house and family - especially given it can take years to get hired.
    Hate to say it, but most of the people in my EMT class also had full time jobs. If you want it bad enough, you'll do what you have to do to get it done.

  8. #48
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    Hopefull FF,

    I feel you man, its tough especially with a family and a fulltime job. I took an evening and all day Saturday EMT class - I have 2 young boys and a wife.

    The thing is, if you really want this job (firefighter) if you don't give it 100% of your attention and effort, it may be an extremely long road for you.

    I say this because there are thousands of us giving 110% everyday...EMT Cert., Medic License, Volunteer FF, Paid-Call FF... Those are the ones who will get the call.

    75-80% of calls are EMS not very many fires.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hewartson47 View Post
    Hate to say it, but most of the people in my EMT class also had full time jobs. If you want it bad enough, you'll do what you have to do to get it done.
    It's not just a full-time job...mine requires travel 1-2 weeks per month. It's impossible for me to attend classes and still fulfill my work obligations.

    Even if I managed to stay in town for 10 weeks, the drive from Redmond to Seattle by 5pm is a killer. I need a helicopter, or a class on the east side.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeful_FF View Post
    It's not just a full-time job...mine requires travel 1-2 weeks per month. It's impossible for me to attend classes and still fulfill my work obligations.

    Even if I managed to stay in town for 10 weeks, the drive from Redmond to Seattle by 5pm is a killer. I need a helicopter, or a class on the east side.
    Just remember, there are a lot of guys/gals that make major life changes just for a chance to apply at certain departments. Also, be careful what you imply in your posts. I went through 2 years of Paramedic school while working a full-time job and a part-time fire job. I guarantee you that there are many out here who've had it more difficult than that. Ultimately, you make the decisions you need to make.

    That said, nobody will hold it against you if you choose your current job over EMT training. Just realize that, in a highly competitive process like this, having a particular license or certification is likely to push a candidate ahead of one who does not.

  11. #51
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    In the past, if you are high up on the list, SFD has offered an accellerated EMT class. MikeyD may be able to clarify, but it is somewhere along the lines of a whole weekend for a month crammed down your gullet.

  12. #52
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    Thank you for the input all.

    I've gone over it repeatedly these last few days, but ultimately I know I need to get EMT certified. Rather than take a chance that I'm high enough to get picked for King County's class, I'm going to try making this work.

    We'll see how the idea goes over tomorrow at work!

  13. #53
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    I wont be goin for it this time.At least I know I mmade the very desirable group.Will be testing for Baltimore City next time round.Closer to home.Good luck to everyone.Quick tip to all those doing the written exams... STUDY with minimal breaks.You need the time to study.I studied my asse of and only got 70.2%...But made up for it in my interviews! 100 and 97.Seattle is a great city.

  14. #54
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    Anyone receive their notice for the written exam yet?

  15. #55
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    No notification yet, just logged in to check application status and it says "written exam", but no date yet.

  16. #56
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    The website says we should know by February 1 which testing date we have. If not, we have to call by February 4.

  17. #57
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    I checked today and I have a scheduled exam time. You can submit changes if necessary. All tests are conducted at the University of Washington, either February 26 or 27, and your options are 7:30 am or 1:30 pm.

    Good luck!

  18. #58
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    Just a bit more info that's not gospel from our "rumor mills". My buddy chatted with the Chief the other day and it sounds like the plan is 50-60 off of the list (so think 2 classes of 24-25 would be about right). It looks like HR and the budget will win out and the first class would be approx. Feb '12. Like I said, not gospel, but different than the Aug or Nov '11 earlier reported. Good luck on the written here at the end of the month.

  19. #59
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    Two drill classes? Rock and Roll....

  20. #60
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    Money dependent of course. Like I said, that's the "plan". Just follow the news on what Seattle's budget is doing and the FD will mirror. So far, the mayor has proven not to like to cut too much from PD and FD. Good luck in a few weeks.

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