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Thread: Fire testing fees

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    Default Fire testing fees

    I'm really quite sick of hearing of FD's passing testing fees off to applicants. It's almost just as bad as the airlines. Does anyone know if police depts do this? Or heard of any other jobs laying all these fees?
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    No, but it seems like its become another form of revenue for departments with the economy the way it is. Sad....

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    that the way it is....departments are suffering financially and it is expensive to do a hiring test.....You have instructors and dept personnel that have to be present and they require pay for there time.....this all adds up...so when you can just go to a testing facility and pay 100 or so for a test that multiple dept will take then the benefit is saving the dept that cost....and in some cases you as the candidate only have to take one test so long as the dept your applying for accepts it......if you dont wanna pay thats fine...there are 1000's of people looking for a job that will pay it.....thats how the dept will look at it

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    that "one" test is only good for Pinellas County...so it's great if you only want to work there, and apply to dept's looking to hire 1-2 people usually. I'd rather expand my horizons, suck it up, and pay for multiple test's to take for many different dept's. I think the odd's are far better for hire. I think the odd's of being hired off the fireteam video/cpat are crap. Unless it's a large dept looking to pick up a lot of people.
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    Alot of other costs are associated with testing as well. Travel expenses, food, gas, lodging etc, time off work. Yea I agree there are thousands of smoes out there looking for jobs and WILL pay to take dozens of tests hoping to be in that 5 of 1000. Doesn't make it any more right. Being as this is the ONLY industry I know of to do that, after they have already gone through fire standards and become paramedics at there own expense which is pretty backwards from the rest of the country.

    Skills are taught, tests are studied for. Want to find REAL, GENUINE, good candidates? try doing a aptitude test like the military ASVAB, along with a good interview not a 5 question interview...

    Just my 2 cents, already got a job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quickstangsvt302 View Post
    that "one" test is only good for Pinellas County...so it's great if you only want to work there, and apply to dept's looking to hire 1-2 people usually. I'd rather expand my horizons, suck it up, and pay for multiple test's to take for many different dept's.
    I agree that the CPAT/FireTeam through NTN is mainly for Pinellas Cty now, but that should be changing as time goes by. I have heard that Tampa is going to it, Hillsborough County has already gone to it, and Chief Lanning (the man in charge of the program through PTEC) has been approaching larger departments all around Florida.

    When I was applying places, I applied everywhere within 2 hours, paid for gas, food, took time off of work, and I think it helped. I was a lot more prepared for the NTN cpat and written test when I took it. However, it was a major pain in the butt. I was so glad to be able to take one test and one CPAT and apply to a number of departments.

    Quote Originally Posted by quickstangsvt302 View Post
    I think the odd's are far better for hire. I think the odd's of being hired off the fireteam video/cpat are crap. Unless it's a large dept looking to pick up a lot of people.
    I don't agree with this, however. Obviously the odds differ depending on the person, but I think it was the best thing for me. I did pretty well on the test and got two different jobs from it. One was a small department (I was the only 1 hired out of 500) and the other was a medium sized department that I now work for. Also, I was in the top 58 in HCFR's process and scheduled to do an interview but removed my application when I got the job offer from the dept I'm with now.

    I also got two jobs the hard way, by taking time to do every step in each departments process. One was with a small department about 90 mins north of me, and the other was a job offer from Tampa which I turned down.

    Quote Originally Posted by flfirebuff86
    Being as this is the ONLY industry I know of to do that, after they have already gone through fire standards and become paramedics at there own expense which is pretty backwards from the rest of the country.
    It is definitely not the only industry to charge for job applicants, or the only industry to require you to get all of your certs before applying. It may be different from the rest of the country, but it does help set Florida apart from the rest of the country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flfirebuff86 View Post
    Alot of other costs are associated with testing as well. Travel expenses, food, gas, lodging etc, time off work. Yea I agree there are thousands of smoes out there looking for jobs and WILL pay to take dozens of tests hoping to be in that 5 of 1000. Doesn't make it any more right. Being as this is the ONLY industry I know of to do that, after they have already gone through fire standards and become paramedics at there own expense which is pretty backwards from the rest of the country.

    Skills are taught, tests are studied for. Want to find REAL, GENUINE, good candidates? try doing a aptitude test like the military ASVAB, along with a good interview not a 5 question interview...

    Just my 2 cents, already got a job.
    I disagree, to an extent.

    Having people pay for tests and making them get their certifications does help weed out the men from the boys. It gives you candidates who have shown initiative and are determined to get the job. Many fire departments are strapped on cash, and many get hundreds and thousands of applications for a few spots. Therefore, why is the department going to spend all this money to let people test who don't really care?

    When I was going through hiring processes, I applied to everywhere within a 2 hour radius, and then every other "bigger" department outside of that radius. I paid for tests, I drove my car, I slept on couches and did whatever it took. I ended up getting 4 job offers all around the same time, and I had to stop the application process in a few more places once I chose where I wanted to go. I have friends of mine who have recently had to go back to Ocala to re-take their fire standards (its been 3 years) because they didn't want to pay to take a test here or drive with me to take a test there. Now they have to pay to go to Ocala to re-new their certification.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deluge059 View Post
    When I was going through hiring processes, I applied to everywhere within a 2 hour radius, and then every other "bigger" department outside of that radius. I paid for tests, I drove my car, I slept on couches and did whatever it took. I ended up getting 4 job offers all around the same time, and I had to stop the application process in a few more places once I chose where I wanted to go. I have friends of mine who have recently had to go back to Ocala to re-take their fire standards (its been 3 years) because they didn't want to pay to take a test here or drive with me to take a test there. Now they have to pay to go to Ocala to re-new their certification.
    That sounds exactly like me. I have friends calling me now asking what they need to know about the hiring processes of the different departments that I either got a job offer with or were high up on their list. Two years ago these same friends told me that they didn't want to apply to these places cause they didn't want to drive there, work there, etc. Now they're scrambling for any job they can get.

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    Just becaue you paid for standards, EMT, medic, travel, gas, etc does not mean anyone owes you a job....No dept or city/county government gives a crap how much it has cost you to get to this point...they only care about the cost to them...i agree it is a great way to weed out those that dont care....i would say that and the driving record would weed out the most.....if you dont wanna pay then dont...there is thousands who will....keep in mind just in central FL there are about 7 schools pumping out 20-30 students a class with day and night classes each semester...do the math...and thats just in the 6 central FL counties.....the problem is a little about actual positions available but more about the number of out of work candidates.....its basic supply and demand and the departments have the choices....doesn't help that if you can afford school your in with no care if you can complete it or not

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    Quote Originally Posted by e10pvmt View Post
    Just becaue you paid for standards, EMT, medic, travel, gas, etc does not mean anyone owes you a job....No dept or city/county government gives a crap how much it has cost you to get to this point...they only care about the cost to them
    100% true, hit the nail on the head.


    keep in mind just in central FL there are about 7 schools pumping out 20-30 students a class with day and night classes each semester...do the math...and thats just in the 6 central FL counties
    Add 4 for Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. And don't forget the 6-10 EMT and medic schools in our area pumping out as many people as they can. It's so bad here that even the private ambo's can afford to be picky and the few volly dept's are only picking up certified people.
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    If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deluge059 View Post
    I disagree, to an extent.
    Having people pay for tests and making them get their certifications does help weed out the men from the boys. It gives you candidates who have shown initiative and are determined to get the job.
    Sorry but that is not entirely true. What it does weed out those people with kids and families that can't afford to pay for the tests or take time off work to drive a few hundred miles to take them. I disagree with charging for testing because it limits a lot of the people that we want and leaves the door open for these kids who've only had a job at Publix and live with mommy and daddy and don't appreciate a thing. It also leaves the door open to another group of applicants who have done a great job destroying the fire service, fortunately it seems like it was a 10 or so year fad and appears to have ended.
    If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.

    Firefighter/Paramedic

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    Some jobs need collge degree to get them

    Some jobs you have to wear a suit everyday

    Some jobs require tech training to get them

    So it is not specific to the fire dept

    A person will take the steps and effort and sacrifice to get a job they really desire

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    Well, Tulsa, OK did it too. Though they give those on welfare an exemption.

    http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/artic...A1_Citype33137

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    Guess if you are unemployed but not on welfare you have to pay the full ride



    Maybe skip the hiring and academy and just put them on the job
    Last edited by fire49; 04-26-2011 at 04:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemedic 61 View Post
    Sorry but that is not entirely true. What it does weed out those people with kids and families that can't afford to pay for the tests or take time off work to drive a few hundred miles to take them. I disagree with charging for testing because it limits a lot of the people that we want and leaves the door open for these kids who've only had a job at Publix and live with mommy and daddy and don't appreciate a thing. It also leaves the door open to another group of applicants who have done a great job destroying the fire service, fortunately it seems like it was a 10 or so year fad and appears to have ended.
    Actually it is true.
    Being on the job means you're away from your family, kids, pets, etc. for at least 24 hours, maybe even 36 or sometimes 48. So saying that someone cannot take time off their family to go test, but then they are willing to work 24 - 48 hours is stupid.

    Not being able to afford tests? Show me a test that costs more than $100 and i'll agree with you (not factoring gas or food). Food and gas can be cheap if you bring your own or ride with friends. You can always sleep in your car, etc.

    Taking time off work? I also disagree, unless you're in the military or work on a crab boat. There is always a way.

    Why does someone having a job, family and kids automatically make them " the people that we want?" I know a lot of guys who worked jobs before and have a wife and kids and they use the firehouse as a hotel and don't do a thing. I also know guys who "who've only had a job at Publix and live with mommy and daddy and don't appreciate a thing" that work their butts off and are very eager to learn and be a good firefighter.

    Honestly, you sound like some salty old timer who sits at the table and just talks loudly. If someone REALLY wants this job and is "the best man for the job" then they will do whatever it takes to get the job.
    Paying for a test or not paying for a test, there will still be slugs who get on and there will still be true jakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deluge059 View Post
    Actually it is true.
    Being on the job means you're away from your family, kids, pets, etc. for at least 24 hours, maybe even 36 or sometimes 48. So saying that someone cannot take time off their family to go test, but then they are willing to work 24 - 48 hours is stupid.

    Not being able to afford tests? Show me a test that costs more than $100 and i'll agree with you (not factoring gas or food). Food and gas can be cheap if you bring your own or ride with friends. You can always sleep in your car, etc.

    Taking time off work? I also disagree, unless you're in the military or work on a crab boat. There is always a way.

    Why does someone having a job, family and kids automatically make them " the people that we want?" I know a lot of guys who worked jobs before and have a wife and kids and they use the firehouse as a hotel and don't do a thing. I also know guys who "who've only had a job at Publix and live with mommy and daddy and don't appreciate a thing" that work their butts off and are very eager to learn and be a good firefighter.

    Honestly, you sound like some salty old timer who sits at the table and just talks loudly. If someone REALLY wants this job and is "the best man for the job" then they will do whatever it takes to get the job.
    Paying for a test or not paying for a test, there will still be slugs who get on and there will still be true jakes.



    Deluge...there's a differenence between saying u can't take off from ur family to go test and being at work for 24 or 48 hours....a big difference...its called GETTING PAID TO BE THERE. Quite frankly, I also think its BS....most tests in central FL are around 150 dollars. And yes I know of atleast one test that a friend of mine is taking that is upwards of ALMOST 500 DOLLARS....AND ITS ONLY GOOD FOR THAT DEPARTMENT...go look up st petes testing for info on that one..

    While my FD did not charge to test, I feel for those that do have to pay, especially if the test is only good for one department....I mean come on guys, its easy for us on the job to say tough luck, but let's get real here...

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    Quote Originally Posted by VESmedic View Post
    Quite frankly, I also think its BS....most tests in central FL are around 150 dollars. And yes I know of atleast one test that a friend of mine is taking that is upwards of ALMOST 500 DOLLARS....AND ITS ONLY GOOD FOR THAT DEPARTMENT...go look up st petes testing for info on that one..
    St. Pete doesn't charge $500 for their test and the test that they do accept is through the National Testing Network so it's good for about 15 depts right now. NTN charges $125 for the CPAT and $40 for the Fireteam written.

    What I find hard to believe is that Orlando gives the same CPAT, but they won't accept one from a certified testing center like NTN.

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    Deluge I want to say right off the bat that I think our locations have a lot to do with our difference in opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deluge059 View Post
    Actually it is true.
    Being on the job means you're away from your family, kids, pets, etc. for at least 24 hours, maybe even 36 or sometimes 48. So saying that someone cannot take time off their family to go test, but then they are willing to work 24 - 48 hours is stupid.
    Yes you're 100% right, but the key words are "being on the job" which means your getting paid and not trying to take off your current job. I think that you missed my point about being away from the family. Add the time you need to take off work to the time you may have to make up at work and then try to squeeze in everything else you need to do, help out at home etc. There is a huge difference between the two as VES stated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deluge059 View Post
    Not being able to afford tests? Show me a test that costs more than $100 and I'll agree with you (not factoring gas or food). Food and gas can be cheap if you bring your own or ride with friends. You can always sleep in your car, etc.
    I haven't heard of one over a $100 bucks but add in the incidentals. Most places require a doctor to sign you off prior($), then you add in the fuel(costs me $100 to go from Palm Beach to Orlando and back) and a hotel room($) because you need to not look like you slept in your car. Now multiply that by the number of tests you have to take and it adds up quick. Great if you can split it with other people but I have to tell you that just $100 is a huge amount of money to a lot of people right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deluge059 View Post
    Taking time off work? I also disagree, unless you're in the military or work on a crab boat. There is always a way.
    Some people may have an employer that will let them. One of my brothers is a mechanic and works 6 days a week. It is next to impossible for him to get 1 day off. I can't imagine if he was trying to do this job and needed to take multiple days to take multiple tests, it wouldn't happen. No different with construction or other private sector jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deluge059 View Post
    Why does someone having a job, family and kids automatically make them " the people that we want?" I know a lot of guys who worked jobs before and have a wife and kids and they use the firehouse as a hotel and don't do a thing. I also know guys who "who've only had a job at Publix and live with mommy and daddy and don't appreciate a thing" that work their butts off and are very eager to learn and be a good firefighter.
    This must be a difference between your location and mine. Yes I do know there are exceptions and generalizations are unfair, I apologize for that. I'll bet the younger FF's you reference were probably involved with an Explorers, juniors or volunteer organization and this is what they live for. The "family" guys who use the station as a "hotel", let me ask you, are they the "mid-life crisis firefighters"? The ones that I know of are. And if you have not had the opportunity to supervise the younger people, you know the "entitlement generation" then good luck when you do. Yes some are outstanding employees, but the majority are lazy, whiners who spend more time trying to get out of doing work than it would actually take them to do. I know this is not the case all over the state and will admit that it may very well be a local problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deluge059 View Post
    Honestly, you sound like some salty old timer who sits at the table and just talks loudly. If someone REALLY wants this job and is "the best man for the job" then they will do whatever it takes to get the job.
    Paying for a test or not paying for a test, there will still be slugs who get on and there will still be true jakes.
    Wow, I have never been called a salty old timer. I defiantly don't sit around the table and flap my gums either. If I'm not studying or training then I'm helping out. I have always been the first volunteer to assist new people, make positive suggestions and pursue career advancement. I think you are confusing "telling it like it is" to complaining which I too have been guilty of.

    I think that this is a great topic for discussion and I would really like to hear what the other guys that are on the job have to say. Deluge, I think we can have a good debate on this and I look forward to your response. Again, I am fully aware that it may be 100% different where you live, diversity and demographics play a HUGE part on the type of employees that you have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyrfytr4 View Post
    St. Pete doesn't charge $500 for their test and the test that they do accept is through the National Testing Network so it's good for about 15 depts right now. NTN charges $125 for the CPAT and $40 for the Fireteam written.

    What I find hard to believe is that Orlando gives the same CPAT, but they won't accept one from a certified testing center like NTN.
    I'm telling you man, my buddy gave me the rundown list of everything he had to pay for, I think you're leaving 1 or 2 things out, but EITHER WAY, i KNOW it was close to 400 bucks, and that was BEFORE you could even pick up an application. Which, I guess, depending on how you look at it, could be a good thing for a candidate or not. Then you add the gas, the food, the hotel etc. I'm sorry, but that definetly DOES factor into the "price of testing". Sometimes, you can't always "ride with a friend". What if you are the only person you know taking it?

    Are you referring to the Orlando Fire department? If so, OFD doesn't use the CPAT, or anything close to it. Orange County Fire/Rescue does however, and I believe they DO except your CPAT if you have taken it within the last 6 months or a year, whatever there standard is.


    Firemedic61, you said what I was thinking brilliantly, but just didn't have the patience to type.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemedic 61 View Post
    Deluge I want to say right off the bat that I think our locations have a lot to do with our difference in opinion.
    Im from South Florida and tested all throughout Florida and even recently in the upper northeast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firemedic 61 View Post
    Yes you're 100% right, but the key words are "being on the job" which means your getting paid and not trying to take off your current job. I think that you missed my point about being away from the family. Add the time you need to take off work to the time you may have to make up at work and then try to squeeze in everything else you need to do, help out at home etc. There is a huge difference between the two as VES stated.
    I read what VES said and I do agree with you guys, that being gone for 24-28 hours and getting paid is different from being gone for 24-48 hours and driving around the state to take a test. However, I don't think someone should compare the time and money utilized to go take a test to the actual cost of the test. There will always be guys who live down the street and then there will be those that live across the country.


    Quote Originally Posted by Firemedic 61 View Post
    I haven't heard of one over a $100 bucks but add in the incidentals. Most places require a doctor to sign you off prior($), then you add in the fuel(costs me $100 to go from Palm Beach to Orlando and back) and a hotel room($) because you need to not look like you slept in your car. Now multiply that by the number of tests you have to take and it adds up quick. Great if you can split it with other people but I have to tell you that just $100 is a huge amount of money to a lot of people right now.
    As I stated before, I know that the process sometimes does cost money. They require driving records, doctors sign offs, notaries, copies, polygraphs, etc. However, that is part of the game, depending on where you apply. If I apply to BSO, it will cost me a whopping $3 for gas. I applied in the upper northeast and after plane ticket, room, food, etc it cost me around $750 (I wont even include the trades I had to do at work).

    In regards to sleeping in ones car, that is subjective. I have slept in my car and I came out wearing a pressed suit and brushed my teeth and did my hair in a gas station. I slept on the streets of the city of miami for 3 days to apply and I had a suit and everything in my car a mile walk away (didnt end up needing it, but it was there).
    I have woken up at 3AM to drive to a 9AM test and show up freshly shaved with shined shoes etc.
    It is very possible, one just has to want the job and want to succeede.


    Quote Originally Posted by Firemedic 61 View Post
    Some people may have an employer that will let them. One of my brothers is a mechanic and works 6 days a week. It is next to impossible for him to get 1 day off. I can't imagine if he was trying to do this job and needed to take multiple days to take multiple tests, it wouldn't happen. No different with construction or other private sector jobs.
    Like I said, there ARE jobs that you will have a hard time, but where there is a will there is a way. One can always offer to work a trade or a double for a day off. One can call in "sick" or even at the end, being honest with your employer can help as well. Even on the job you sometimes have to make sacrifices to get what you want. I was working christmas day, and I wanted to spend it with my family and I had a guy cover 8 hours for me. I told him I would return the favor with a 24 hour shift. Sucks? Yes. But we have to be able to make sacrifices for the things we want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firemedic 61 View Post
    This must be a difference between your location and mine. Yes I do know there are exceptions and generalizations are unfair, I apologize for that. I'll bet the younger FF's you reference were probably involved with an Explorers, juniors or volunteer organization and this is what they live for. The "family" guys who use the station as a "hotel", let me ask you, are they the "mid-life crisis firefighters"? The ones that I know of are. And if you have not had the opportunity to supervise the younger people, you know the "entitlement generation" then good luck when you do. Yes some are outstanding employees, but the majority are lazy, whiners who spend more time trying to get out of doing work than it would actually take them to do. I know this is not the case all over the state and will admit that it may very well be a local problem.
    Out of the last few classes in my department, only one guy out of close to 40 has been an explorer. Some of the "hotel guests" are mid-life crisis firefighters, but then there are those who have been on and have families and kids and were military before and are still slugs. Then there are guys with no kids who have been on for awhile who still bust their ***.
    I DO AGREE that there are many "new guys" who feel entitled and who are most likely on the job for all the wrong reasons. I see it with my generation (being the younger guys) but I also see the other side of the coin, being young, motivated guys who want to learn everything, take classes and work their butts off. As you can see from what I wrote earlier about what I did to get this job, you can probably imagine that I am working just as hard to learn and be good at the job. But, there still are many who clear probation and you'll never see them lift a finger again, which can be easily changed by good officers.


    Quote Originally Posted by Firemedic 61 View Post
    Wow, I have never been called a salty old timer. I defiantly don't sit around the table and flap my gums either. If I'm not studying or training then I'm helping out. I have always been the first volunteer to assist new people, make positive suggestions and pursue career advancement. I think you are confusing "telling it like it is" to complaining which I too have been guilty of.
    Never said you were, just said you sound like! I never saw your post as complaining, but more as just a guy at the table talking loudly about things he may be misinformed about. You know it happens just as well as I do. Im glad that you take your time to do all that and I feel the same way you do, I guess I we just misunderstood each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firemedic 61 View Post
    I think that this is a great topic for discussion and I would really like to hear what the other guys that are on the job have to say. Deluge, I think we can have a good debate on this and I look forward to your response. Again, I am fully aware that it may be 100% different where you live, diversity and demographics play a HUGE part on the type of employees that you have.
    We can debate all day, I dont mind.
    I would just like to put in my opinion that it shouldnt matter what your background, where you came from, what color you are, etc. to be able to do this job. None of those will also have an effect on how well you will do the job. Granted, there are things that prepare you (military experience, volly experience, etc) but that too doesn't mean youre going to be a great fireman or even fit in at the firehouse.
    I also have noticed that the guys who complain how hard it is to get the job and who complain about other factors pertaining to the job usually are the ones who, once they get hired, just keep complaining. That is why I said if a department wants to charge you to test, you find ways to pay it. If they ask you to do a handstand for 30 seconds, you do it. When its 3 am and your officer tells you to go vent a roof, you find a way to do it and you do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VESmedic View Post
    I'm telling you man, my buddy gave me the rundown list of everything he had to pay for, I think you're leaving 1 or 2 things out, but EITHER WAY, i KNOW it was close to 400 bucks, and that was BEFORE you could even pick up an application. Which, I guess, depending on how you look at it, could be a good thing for a candidate or not. Then you add the gas, the food, the hotel etc. I'm sorry, but that definetly DOES factor into the "price of testing". Sometimes, you can't always "ride with a friend". What if you are the only person you know taking it?

    Are you referring to the Orlando Fire department? If so, OFD doesn't use the CPAT, or anything close to it. Orange County Fire/Rescue does however, and I believe they DO except your CPAT if you have taken it within the last 6 months or a year, whatever there standard is.


    Firemedic61, you said what I was thinking brilliantly, but just didn't have the patience to type.
    Can you get a copy of that list or at least try to think about the major things on it?
    If what you said is true, I do see that as ridiculous. Charging people close to $400 to just turn in an application WILL turn away good candidates.

    You also have to remember, most places in Florida require you to be Fire certified and a Medic these days, which is all money out of pocket in tuition, books, taking time off work etc. So what is an extra $100 - $300 in the grand scheme of things to get the job you want when you've already worked so hard and invested so much money?
    KTung954 likes this.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deluge059 View Post

    We can debate all day, I dont mind.
    I would just like to put in my opinion that it shouldnt matter what your background, where you came from, what color you are, etc. to be able to do this job.
    Hey that's cool. I'm sending you a PM and look forward to conversing with you again on other topics.
    KTung954 likes this.
    If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.

    Firefighter/Paramedic

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