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  1. #1
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    Default Application process?

    Just trying to clarify a couple things. I keep reading about people passing test or taking test and then going to the academy. Is this just an exam to see if you are qualified to be a ff? I'm starting emt school in january and then doing firefighter 1 and 2 in June-December (night school). Is there additional training you go through once you get hired on with a department. Thanks for the help. Sorry for the newbie questions. Oh and I'm in Florida don't know if the process is different across the country.


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    It completely depends on the department and their procedures. Most departements have an application process to determine who out of the very numerous number of applicants they will allow into their academy or some other conditional hiring or just straight up getting hired. There is usually a physical agility test of some sort, a written exam and then a series of interviews usually ending with an interview with the Cheif. Some written exams have nothing to do with firefighting and you can get on a department without any training what so ever. Most bigger departments put new hires through their own academy regardless of how much training you have. Others look to have new members ready to work shortly after being hired. Best way to determine this is to look at the departments you are looking to apply to and see what they do. Find websites for them or talk to firefighters at their stations. Every department is different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Engineer mtl View Post
    It completely depends on the department and their procedures. Most departements have an application process to determine who out of the very numerous number of applicants they will allow into their academy or some other conditional hiring or just straight up getting hired. There is usually a physical agility test of some sort, a written exam and then a series of interviews usually ending with an interview with the Cheif. Some written exams have nothing to do with firefighting and you can get on a department without any training what so ever. Most bigger departments put new hires through their own academy regardless of how much training you have. Others look to have new members ready to work shortly after being hired. Best way to determine this is to look at the departments you are looking to apply to and see what they do. Find websites for them or talk to firefighters at their stations. Every department is different.
    Ok makes sense. I think Florida is somewhat different. Seems like most people here go through emt and ff course at a local college and then start applying for jobs. Most of the jobs descriptions I've read say that they require emt/firefighter "certs" or paramedic/ff "certs" prior to you applying.

    Another question I thought of and this may be be just getting inside my own head. But I won't be done with all the classes until the end of next year (december) My birthday is in January. I'm 25 now I'll be 26 in a few months and won't be hired until I'm 27 at the earliest. Does that seems too old to get started. I wish I had done all this when I was 18.

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    Yes, we have some departments around here that require firefighter 1 and EMT and sometimes even college credits or degree. I have some friends from Florida so I have heard that before.

    As for the age, if you are fit enought to pass all their tests and have all the certs and pass all the exams I don't see why not. I got restarted after moving states at about 30 years old and I was never asked or felt like I was to old. I look at it as usually some more life experience and maturity, not always true with some folks but that is my positive spin. Once again check with your departments but I would not think at your age their is even a double look at it.

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    Go to the nearest fire station set down and ask what is required in your state

    This way you know what is needed and you will not be wasting your time in classes you do not need to get hired

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engineer mtl View Post
    Yes, we have some departments around here that require firefighter 1 and EMT and sometimes even college credits or degree. I have some friends from Florida so I have heard that before.

    As for the age, if you are fit enought to pass all their tests and have all the certs and pass all the exams I don't see why not. I got restarted after moving states at about 30 years old and I was never asked or felt like I was to old. I look at it as usually some more life experience and maturity, not always true with some folks but that is my positive spin. Once again check with your departments but I would not think at your age their is even a double look at it.
    That's what I was thinking. I've been out of highschool for 7 years and bascially came to the conclusion that I needed to change career. I'm married and own a house just wish I had gotten out of my office jobs years ago but I kept thinking it would get better.
    I'm in pretty good shape I've worked out since I was in high school. Once I decided to go into ff I've started doing alot more running. Trying to build up for when I start classes in June.

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    I was pretty much the same. I wish I would have gotten into firefighting years ago. I love my profession I have a degree in but it has changed in just the few years and the job stinks. It is all big business now. I grew up with a dad that was a firefighter and should have followed earlier. Good luck buddy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Engineer mtl View Post
    I was pretty much the same. I wish I would have gotten into firefighting years ago. I love my profession I have a degree in but it has changed in just the few years and the job stinks. It is all big business now. I grew up with a dad that was a firefighter and should have followed earlier. Good luck buddy.
    I just don't know why I didn't do it. I guess it's just having the balls to finally man up and go to night school for a year.

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    I'm right there with you guys. I have spent the last 5 years doing something that I get no fulfillment out of. It's just a job that I go to everyday and wish it was the weekend. It's nice to see there are others out there like me. It's hard to leave a career and start all over. I start EMT-B in January also. Good luck to you guys.

  10. #10
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    Same boat as you guys! I've been in a cubicle working for a mega corporation since I graduated college seven years ago. I get all types of sideways looks when I say I want to leave the last 11 years (college and work) to go off and be a firefighter.

    I got my EMT-B last year, just about to get out of my rookie year from the volly FD I'm at...it's a great feeling to find something that you absolutely love to do. Even after working 9 hour days in the office, I have a huge smile on my face as I leave to go pull an overnight shift.

    Next step is to make this my career, not just my obsession (as my wife calls it).

    Best of luck all, it's a long process but every step puts you that much closer!

  11. #11
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    Popular and common question asked on this forum! Dude..you're a kid compared to the majority of people that ask if they're too old. You're actually the perfect age. I haven't heard of too many departments that "age out" at 30, 35 or 40. In fact, in my department, for the last several years the average age of recruits in the academy was 36 years of age. The oldest cat I know of that recently went through, was one of our mechanics that decided he wanted to be a firefighter. He was 50 and in great shape! That was three years ago. He's now a firefighter/paramedic working one of our busiest squads. So to answer your question; you're still a baby in diapers compared to many who start later in life!

    "The Axeman"
    ___________

    "Purpose, Truth and Passion YIELDS POWER AND DOMINION IN ACTION!!!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by CodyK View Post
    I just don't know why I didn't do it. I guess it's just having the balls to finally man up and go to night school for a year.
    I was brought up with the impression that you had to do good in school, go to college, and get a good paying job doing some business stuff or something. So I did as that was what was expected of me, though everytime my dad would get a call I would get excited, all the time I spent at his station growing up helping clean hose, roll hose, take part in PR events and just being around the other firefighters felt like at home. Everyone has their calling and some may not see it or get it till a little later in life, but no reason not to try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ljm View Post
    Same boat as you guys! I've been in a cubicle working for a mega corporation since I graduated college seven years ago. I get all types of sideways looks when I say I want to leave the last 11 years (college and work) to go off and be a firefighter.

    I got my EMT-B last year, just about to get out of my rookie year from the volly FD I'm at...it's a great feeling to find something that you absolutely love to do. Even after working 9 hour days in the office, I have a huge smile on my face as I leave to go pull an overnight shift.

    Next step is to make this my career, not just my obsession (as my wife calls it).

    Best of luck all, it's a long process but every step puts you that much closer!
    HAHA sounds like my house, but my wife calls the fire department my mistress since I slip off to go be there at all hours. I flipped the order and got my rookie school out of the way, got my first responder and I am about 3 months from my EMT-IV or intermediate with a mix of everything else inbetween. I love the volunteer stuff but I am working towards getting on that career department too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theaxemancometh View Post
    Popular and common question asked on this forum! Dude..you're a kid compared to the majority of people that ask if they're too old. You're actually the perfect age. I haven't heard of too many departments that "age out" at 30, 35 or 40. In fact, in my department, for the last several years the average age of recruits in the academy was 36 years of age. The oldest cat I know of that recently went through, was one of our mechanics that decided he wanted to be a firefighter. He was 50 and in great shape! That was three years ago. He's now a firefighter/paramedic working one of our busiest squads. So to answer your question; you're still a baby in diapers compared to many who start later in life!

    "The Axeman"
    ___________

    "Purpose, Truth and Passion YIELDS POWER AND DOMINION IN ACTION!!!"
    Good to hear man. I know I'm not going to be the oldest by far I just wish I had started earlier. If I get hired at 27 once I've got 20 years in I'll still only be 47 which is still pretty young.

    Quote Originally Posted by Engineer mtl View Post
    I was brought up with the impression that you had to do good in school, go to college, and get a good paying job doing some business stuff or something. So I did as that was what was expected of me, though everytime my dad would get a call I would get excited, all the time I spent at his station growing up helping clean hose, roll hose, take part in PR events and just being around the other firefighters felt like at home. Everyone has their calling and some may not see it or get it till a little later in life, but no reason not to try.
    Good to hear other people feel the same way. I'm just not cut out for office work. I sit down at my desk and look at the clock and say how many more hours left in the day. But I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel now. Hopefully I'll be able to get out this desk job as soon as possible.

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    Let me see if I can help out with your question. The testing process is the first step. You will go through a series of tests; written, physical agility and oral interview (these will vary from department to department). These tests are designed to determine if you have the MINIMUM competency to do the job. They are also used to rank the candidates in a hiring order.

    Once you score on the top of the list and there is an opening, you will most likely be called in for a Chief's interview. This is where you sit down with me or my peers and we see if you are the right fit for our department.
    You will then be sent for a background check. We will contact your friends, teachers, employers, and coworkers and see if you are what we want representing our fire department.

    Once you pass the background you will be sent through some type of training. It may be a full time 14 week academy as is most common with larger departments, or it may involve a lesser time frame of training.

    Since there was a question regarding age, I am attaching a chapter from my book The Aspiring Firefighter's Two Year Plan. I think this will answer most of the age related questions. Good luck, it's a long journey to get hired but well worth it when you do!
    Age
    Everyone has an opinion of age when it comes to hiring new firefighters.
    Some people feel that a younger candidate has a better chance of getting
    hired because, after all, the fire departments are looking to hire a candidate
    for the next 30 years.

    If a fire department hires a 21 or 22-year-old, the department can train the
    recruit before he or she has a chance to develop “bad” habits. Furthermore,
    since the agency wants to get the most money for its training dollars, hiring a
    firefighter at a young age ensures that it will get at least 30 years of service
    out of him or her.

    Younger candidates generally have fewer personal and financial obligations
    and are more likely to have the free time to pursue relevant education and
    training prior to being hired. This is highly prized by many departments, as
    they do not have to pay for it.

    Younger firefighters are generally in better physical condition. They will do
    well in high impact areas of the community where the job is very physically
    demanding. In addition, they will usually work out in the station, which can be
    contagious to the other firefighters. Ultimately they may be the cause of the
    entire shift working out together.

    Younger firefighters are often very concerned about eating properly and
    are more educated about nutrition. Quite commonly, older firefighters pay
    little attention to healthy eating in the fire station. A younger firefighter may
    educate the crew about eating turkey burgers instead of ground beef, or on
    the importance of taking vitamins.

    Additionally, hiring younger firefighters minimizes the chances of hiring an
    employee with a pre-existing injury. It is true that a pre-employment medical
    exam will identify many of these injuries; however, with the implementation of
    the Americans With Disabilities Act, agencies are not failing nearly as many
    candidates as in years past. Since many candidates have successfully litigated
    and won a job, medical disqualifications have become less frequent.
    The converse to these potential benefits is the fact that a younger candidate
    has spent the majority of his or her life at home with minimal responsibilities.
    Predictably, this will not be well received in a fire station. This is especially
    true since it is expected that the rookie is the one who makes sure all of the
    little things are done around the station. These are the same things that mom
    did at home for him or her.

    Another factor when dealing with “younger” candidates is the fact that they
    are going to be living and working with mature (relatively speaking) adults.
    It can be difficult for a younger person to fit in with a group of older adults,
    especially firefighters.
    Fitting in is difficult to begin with, especially when you consider that a
    respected member of the crew may have been moved to another station
    to make room for the new firefighter. The displaced crewmember probably
    contributed to the chemistry and cohesiveness of the crew and now an
    “outsider” has been assigned.

    Maturity is an important quality for a young firefighter. Since he or she has
    usually led a sheltered life while in college or living at mom and dad’s, it is
    likely that the rookie simply does not have extensive life experience. Imagine
    what you were like five years ago. How about 10 years ago? How much have
    your values and work ethic changed? I guarantee you are a different person.
    You have matured by virtue of your life experiences.

    An older applicant, on the other hand, will usually fit in much better than
    a younger one. He or she has spent years in the work force learning what it
    takes to get along and has learned acceptable social behavior through “life
    experience.”

    Many departments prefer “older” candidates to younger ones. Since
    these departments are looking to hire firefighters with life experience, older
    candidates fit the bill. An older candidate will do whatever it takes to earn (and
    keep) the job. A candidate with more work experience may have a greater
    appreciation of his or her new job on the fire department.
    tributes
    Many older candidates have worked in a variety of difficult jobs. These
    range from roofing, carpentry, plastering or working behind a desk in corporate
    America. All of these jobs may include long hours, inadequate pay, little or no
    medical benefits, minimal flexibility, poor job security and, oftentimes, minimal
    job satisfaction. A career in the fire service offers good pay and benefits, job security and retirement as well as job satisfaction. Hiring a more mature firefighter gives you
    a rookie who feels like he or she got a new lease on his or her employment
    life.

    Older firefighters usually bring a lot to the job. If they have spent their
    lives working in the trades, they bring knowledge of plumbing, electrical and
    carpentry, as well as the skills of using various hand and power tools.
    Most importantly, older firefighters generally fit in with the crew more easily
    than younger firefighters. Their life experience gives them a strong platform
    on which to base their career.

    A candidate who is considering leaving an established job has a lot to lose.
    Add a mortgage payment, a spouse and a couple of children to the equation
    and this candidate has a lot on the line. The candidate is taking a pay cut,
    losing benefits and most importantly, losing job security. It is not likely that an
    employer will give an employee back his or her job after leaving it. People who
    have a lot at stake make terrific employees. It doesn’t matter how hard things
    get, he or she is going to have the drive to succeed. There is just too much to lose.
    As you can see, there are benefits to hiring both younger and older
    candidates in the fire service. My personal belief is that most fire departments
    prefer to hire rookie firefighters who are in their late twenties to early thirties.
    Being married and owning a home strengthens their profile. Having a couple
    of children completes the equation.

    This is not to say that candidates in their early 20’s or early 40’s will
    not be considered; they will simply have to demonstrate that they are the
    exception to the rule. It’s up to the candidates to demonstrate that their
    personality traits, maturity and experience make them the best choice for
    the job. A fire department will consider much more than age when making
    a hiring decision.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

  16. #16
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    I believe Florida is somewhat different than most over states. The biggest thing I've seen here is they want you to have your emt or p-medic cert as well as already having gone through firefighter school. You don't get hired and then sent to class. So the hiring process is somewhat different. I'm ok with my age I don't think it will be an issue I will have just turned 27 when I finish school and start applying for jobs. Would I rather be 21-22 ... yes but can't really do anything about it at this point other than just be in the best shape I can be in to keep up with the guys a couple years younger

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