1. #1
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    Arrow When to give up hope?

    I've taken many many civil service test and have yet to crack the top few needed to get a position. I've had a couple interviews but both have been on lists that I am in the top "1,000" some and never got a number on what position I was. I don't want to say I am running out of hope but I've read book after book on taking civil service test and taking the practice questions in those book and it has really gotten me nowhere. Just looking for what you all keep going for. I cant think of any other job I'd want to do besides being a firefighter/paramedic. I've applied for just paramedic jobs in ED's and that still is a far cry from doing EMS. Also a little caviot to my story, because of my wife's position with her current job (which pays really well) we cannot move from where we currently live (northeast Ohio) but there are quite a few full time depts here and they all seem to test every couple years but I'm just running low on confidence I'd guess.
    Firefighter, EMT-P, CICP, EMSI, HazMat Tech

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    Keep up hope man, keep applying, eventually you will get something. I just recently started applying for big cities(last year) and have taken one test(Dallas) so far. 1st road block already came up(getting transcripts sent on time) After I take Columbus and Dayton tests if I don't get hired on I'm going to go to school and get fire/emt certs and start applying for the smaller departments.
    If I were you, next year apply for all the wildland fire jobs you can on usajobs.com.
    You will defiantly get called. I got like 10-15 calls, and all I have is vet status but had to decline them all because baby is on the way and I would be out of state working when it's born. Also, I'd be unemployed when I came back from the fire season, and if I don't make enough in that 5-8 months, I'd be screwed..next year though I'm going to reapply if I don't get on a department, and if no fed agencies hire me before then.

    You have options!
    Last edited by zack_kcaz; 04-03-2011 at 11:48 AM.

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    I know that life lite or maybe it was metro was hiring for ground crews to run there squads so you might wanna give that a shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffmedicmatt View Post
    I've taken many many civil service test and have yet to crack the top few needed to get a position. I've had a couple interviews but both have been on lists that I am in the top "1,000" some and never got a number on what position I was. I don't want to say I am running out of hope but I've read book after book on taking civil service test and taking the practice questions in those book and it has really gotten me nowhere. Just looking for what you all keep going for. I cant think of any other job I'd want to do besides being a firefighter/paramedic. I've applied for just paramedic jobs in ED's and that still is a far cry from doing EMS. Also a little caviot to my story, because of my wife's position with her current job (which pays really well) we cannot move from where we currently live (northeast Ohio) but there are quite a few full time depts here and they all seem to test every couple years but I'm just running low on confidence I'd guess.
    A Mega roadblock for you is not being able to move. Applying for the same few depts over and over wont cut it. The guys on the panel have probably seen you before and know you. If you haven't made any drastic changes IE education/Certs and improved your interview skills their not going to look at you.

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    have you also looked farther out?

    If you work say every third day, a little more of a drive will not hurt, when you only make it evry third day. or whatever the schedule is

    compared to five days a week job

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    You are only 24...have you given the Military a thought?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Don't give up!!! Find out what the schedules are like for further cities like Pittsburgh. I know guys who drive 4 hours one way for their shift, but a lot of departments are going to a 48/96 shift, which means you only need to make that drive once every 6 days. I second the military if that's an option for you. Keep taking your local tests - they may notice that you're persistant, which will sell big time in your orals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TL678 View Post
    A Mega roadblock for you is not being able to move. Applying for the same few depts over and over wont cut it. The guys on the panel have probably seen you before and know you. If you haven't made any drastic changes IE education/Certs and improved your interview skills their not going to look at you.
    Paramedic, ACLS, PALS, ITLS, BLS instructor, 240-hour firefighter, HazMat Technician...not that many other certifications to get but I am going to do some rope rescue classes when I can.

    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    have you also looked farther out?

    If you work say every third day, a little more of a drive will not hurt, when you only make it evry third day. or whatever the schedule is

    compared to five days a week job
    yeah. I have thought about that. I am starting to expand my boundaries.

    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    You are only 24...have you given the Military a thought?
    yeah I have. I've even talked to one of my buddies that works for the Army. I'd work as a civilian firefighter but I'm not the military type.



    I'm not sure how my interview skills are but I have only had 2 interviews. My problem lies with written testing. I have done many of the civil service test books but have still come up on the short end when it comes to the written testing. I agree that not being able to move is a hindrance but I've taken 14 tests in a little over a year and nothing. Best effort I have to show is 41st on a test where they took the top 30 for polygraphs.

    It's just a big kick in the crotch every time I get a letter in the mail from whatever city saying thanks but you're no good. Of course it is worded better than that.
    Firefighter, EMT-P, CICP, EMSI, HazMat Tech

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffmedicmatt View Post
    My problem lies with written testing. I have done many of the civil service test books but have still come up on the short end when it comes to the written testing. I agree that not being able to move is a hindrance but I've taken 14 tests in a little over a year and nothing. Best effort I have to show is 41st on a test where they took the top 30 for polygraphs.
    There's probably a lot of guys testing against you that would love to see you quit, then one of them can get the job.

    If you can't pass the written with a high enough score, then figure out exactly which part gives you trouble, and focus on that. Get a math tutor, english tutor, etc if you have to.

    14 tests is not enough to be talking about giving up.

    One year is not nearly long enough to be talking about giving up.

    I was 16-18 months in, and had taken over 20 tests by the time I got hired. A number of my classmates in the academy had been at it longer, and taken more tests.

    It's hard to get on the job, for good reason. If you're ready to give up hope so soon, maybe the job isn't for you.

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    i've taken that many tests in the past year and I'm using that timeline with school. In the past 3 years I'm well over 30 test. I used to live in Northwest Ohio and there were less tests due to less full time depts. Also not having my paramedic excluded a lot of test. Im not really ready to give up completely. Im just kind of stuck in a rut is a good way to put it. I also was on a combo dept for 4 years so I have some experiance...which doesnt seem to help any
    Firefighter, EMT-P, CICP, EMSI, HazMat Tech

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    Default The Number One Problem in Getting Hired!

    How many opportunities have you wasted?

    The number one problem I’ve seen in getting a badge is candidates don’t learn how to take a firefighter oral board interview that is like no other. The oral is usually 100% of your score to be hired. No matter what your credentials or experience it you can present the package at the interview you will be stuck in the process and never see a badge.

    Most candidates who score low on the oral attempt to go back and pack on more credentials thinking that will get them over the hump. They think that they have to finish their degree, certificates or get through academy training first before reapplying. While these are sound strategies to improving your résumé, they do little to improve the skills needed for the oral board.

    You have to have a prepared presentation going into your oral that is going to stun the panel into giving you the badge over the other candidates.

    For all of the candidates out there that don't believe this, try passing and ranking #1 on orals with a stuttering problem . . . I did. -- Dave
    Last edited by CaptBob; 04-03-2011 at 11:18 PM.
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    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

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    My first test was 9 years ago. Since then I've been testing at every department within 100 miles of my home, and still at it.

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    I agree CaptBob

    I hate doing oral boards

    I have only had to do three oral boards, and was bad at all three, but some how got a two jobs out of three

    I also have seen applicants at oral boards,
    one I remember he comes in leans back in the chair and thought he was doing the board a favor being there.

    Then there is the ones that give a two sentence answer to what should be at least a three minute answer.

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    This is the guy who wanted to "backdoor" his way into a paid fire job. And now he wants sunshine blown up his ***? Either keep trying to get a job or give up and be a paramedic for the rest of your life. Either way, no one wants to hear your and the other 10 sob stories on here everyday about how no one will hire you.

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    Toledo is taking apps...

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    Cleveland Heights FD is gonna take apps next week

    APPLICATION AVAILABLE: Monday, April 11, 2011 through Friday, April 15, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the City of Cleveland Heights City Hall, 40 Severance Circle, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118. The number of applications distributed will not be limited, however, the receipt of applications will be limited to the first 50 filed.

    should be close to home, right???... you can't ever stop trying...

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    Fostoria, OH is also taking apps this week... there, 3 reasons not to give up hope... I don't wanna hear any more of it either mister...

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    50 bucks says you're doing some things right...and many more things wrong, and that is why you're not making it high enough on lists to come within a whiff of getting a job.

    If you were in my neck of the woods I'd be happy to sit down over a cup of coffee and figure out what's going on...but we're 2000 miles apart, so that is a no go.

    If you haven't already, I would suggest you find a good mentor locally. Someone who is HIRED, and was hired semi recently (with ample experience testing - no one shot wonders) to give you tips on how to master today's testing environment.

    Abraham Lincoln was arguably the greatest President in American History. He lost EVERY election he competed in, except once. It only takes one opportunity.

    Ask yourself this: when you're 80 years old, sitting in your rocking chair...how do you want to look back on your life and what you've accomplished?

    The difference between an all-star candidate and a chump is not as far as you believe. A little education and some brutal honesty from someone who knows how to master the game would help you a ton.
    Last edited by powerhourcoug; 04-04-2011 at 12:51 AM.

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    Don't give up hope man, I have taken 8 tests so far, I am 22 years old and I am going to do anything in my power to get a job. Does anyone know if you can get the fostoria App online?!

  20. #20
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    I don't mean to over simplify this but it's very straight forward. You are going to get out what you put in. I don't mean to say you aren't putting in effort but are you sure you are putting it in the right places?

    Are you able to apply at every dept. you want to? If not, what are you missing? Go get it.

    Do you pass 100% of your written tests? Or are you failing most of them? If you aren't passing the written don't keep doing the same thing... go get a tutor, take some classes, and go become an expert in everything that could appear on the written.

    If you are passing your written exams, then you better become an expert at orals. It's not what you say, it's how you say it. Don't just take Capt Bob's class, take them all! There are plenty of people out there getting jobs that are way less qualified then you.

    My point is this... focus on your weak spots starting from the first step in the process. Every process is a learning experience and if you make the most out of each one I guarantee you will reach your goals.

    If you are considering giving up hope already, if the thought is even crossing your mind, you might be looking at the wrong career. I promise you... it will get MUCH more difficult.
    Last edited by egrus21; 04-04-2011 at 02:25 AM.

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    powerhourcoug?

    are you from the northwest?

    I wouldnt mind meeting with someone recently hired and could have a few tips for me!


    Sorry dont mean to thread jack

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    I'm originally from NE OH (Cleveland) and was in the same boat a you. Tested with everyone multiple times w/o luck. Eventually after about 5 years of testing 4 of those as a medic I started working for Cleveland EMS also worked part time for a short while w/ a part time department but decided that wasn't where I wanted to be at the end of my career. Cleveland fire wasn't testing in the near future so I moved (I know that's not an option for you). First AZ (Phoenix) for 3 years and am currently in TX (Fort Worth) area for the last 2. I'm working for a local department but am still testing because I don't feel fully satisfied. I'm 30 and took my first test at 18. I've been a certified fire/medic for a decade and do well (top 25 or better regularly) on tests and still see guys w/o experience getting jobs on their first test. People will say you need this that and the other you do also you do need to interview and test well. One thing people don't like to mention is make friends with working guys it helps a lot a foot in the door is important. Also no job (part-time or volly) is bad you'll meet people. I'll keep testing and educating myself till I'm with a department I feel satisfied with or I'm to old to test. Remember you may think you've been at it a long time but there's probably someone else whose been grinding just as long and hard if not more so. Your time will come but if it doesn't be satisfied that you did everything you could.
    Last edited by schmidthouse7; 04-04-2011 at 10:32 AM.

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    Don't sweat it.
    You're 24 years old.
    I've spoken to multiple high ranking individuals in the fire service who say that the chances of getting hired in your early 20s are slim. Yes, it does happen but wait until you're 27-30 and if you keep at it and stay sharp I am sure you'll get the job. Use this time to study for the written exams and become comfortable with anything the oral board might toss you.

    I am 23. Have an academy, work as an EMT and have volunteer experience(fire/non-fire). And will test pretty much anywhere in CA and will go out of state for the bigger departments at this point in time. Does it suck being told that I most likely won't be hired for 4+ years? Absolutely. I have a feeling this job is worth the wait though.....

    Stay sharp. Your time will come.

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    Now I'm not here to get a sob story. I can care less if you think I'm looking for a pat on the back. I'm not. I'm looking for answers from guys who have been there and guys who are currently going through what I am. I know there are guys out there in the same boat as I am. Am I seriously thinking of giving up testing? No. I'm going to keep doing it until I'm 93 if I have to. I've put time in both educational side and working side. Could I use more of both? Yeah who couldn't? I am simply saying on the scale of feeling good about testing I'm about as low as can go.

    to those who have interjected with help, thanks. I have passed some written and some I have not. most of the ones I have not passed I got a good score just not high enough on the list. case in point, 97%, 87%, and 94% on my 3 tests but due to others having military points or residency points have resulted in not being high enough. Again I know I'm behind the eight ball not being able to move. I understand that. I'm simply trying to do what I can but doing what I can apparently isn't good enough. I have some good friends who are on some depts but just like someone posted previously they were the one shot wonders. I've put my name and resume and application in to a few fire depts, emailed the chiefs, called some to "check the status of my application" all with no good. I just feel as if I have a solid resume and basically just need a chance to prove my worth which I know most guys say the same thing.
    Firefighter, EMT-P, CICP, EMSI, HazMat Tech

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    Ok,
    So the Columbus FD is still accepting applications thru April the 10th. The written is pass/fail and it means nothing to your ranking on the list. You just have to pass it. You then have to pass the CPAT (pass/fail) and it is not difficult. You then have a video / situational session in which you are finally ranked for the list. This has nothing to do with your testing smarts or whatever. It is based upon what some other fire chiefs think of you when in certain situations.
    I would highly suggest you try this one on for size.

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