1. #1
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    Default Do Old Guys Have a Chance to Get Hired?

    Hi all, I am getting ready to take the test June 12th in Toledo. You have to be less than 35 years old the day of the test. I will be about 3 months from my 35th birthday on that day. Does this hurt my chances, or is it a non factor. Also, how many people are usually taking these tests, do they go by test score to select new recruits, will the fact I live 50 miles away hurt my chances? Does the fact I have no fire/safety work history hurt my chances...etc.

    Thanks.

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    Shouldnt make any difference pal.In fact you are at an advantage in someways.Most departments want life experience equally as much as anything else.Also, I am around that age( bit less) and I can with some degree of confidence say that I can smoke physically, most people 10 yrs my junior.Its all about staying in condition, strong and mentally ready.I think your chances are as good as anyone elses.You didnt say if you have your medic, but Im guessing No.Thats probably your only disadvantage.Although alot of departments still seriously will consider you without it.Good luck.
    Also, I dont consider myself "old", its all about your attitude.I have over 9 yrs total fire service experience including military service.Be positive and stay in shape, you may have to work harder than the next guy/gal to achieve that level of conditioning but it can still be done.Look at Mr P90X?...
    Last edited by jeeves1; 05-13-2011 at 05:34 PM. Reason: no reason

  3. #3
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    I'm 33 and I start in Aug. I am not the oldest guy in my recruit class. Only some dept's have age restrictions, MANY do not. Best person for the job...

    Hiring protocols ("the process") and experience requirements will vary between departments from none all the way to already a firefighter/medic.
    Last edited by egrus21; 05-13-2011 at 05:57 PM.

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    Your age won't be a problem at all. I just got hired at 31, and it seems most all of the people who got hired with me are around my age. Last year one of my friends got hired at 45, another at 39. If they want you, shouldn't matter.

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    If there are no requirements to apply except a high school diploma, and today's economy , you may be looking in the thousands Of people testing

    Where you live should not matter unless the city has a policy

    Working Normaly 24 on 48 off gives you plenty drive time some Firefighters live in other states and work for a city inanother state


    Some depts want a blank slate to indoctrinate

    Are you sure you do not have to be hired by the time you are 35 or is it as long as you do not turn 36 before you get hired?????

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    Thanks for the replies Fellas. The statement says no experience needed, and that you must not be 35 on the day of the test. I read that to mean I should be good on the age.

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    Cool

    Hi trekker!
    Well, put it this way- My husband was 40 when he got hired by Tucson Fire. So no, you are not too old! If anything, you have more life experience than people years younger and that will help when it comes time to interview.
    I'm also taking Toledo's test (33year old lol). I took it back in 2001 and there was maybe 1,200 people taking it. I came in 210 on the list, and had no fire or ems experience at the time. Just study, study, study! Also practice spelling. If you have any more questions let me know!
    Good luck!

    Nan

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    Quote Originally Posted by brownsquirrel View Post
    Hi trekker!
    Well, put it this way- My husband was 40 when he got hired by Tucson Fire. So no, you are not too old! If anything, you have more life experience than people years younger and that will help when it comes time to interview.
    I'm also taking Toledo's test (33year old lol). I took it back in 2001 and there was maybe 1,200 people taking it. I came in 210 on the list, and had no fire or ems experience at the time. Just study, study, study! Also practice spelling. If you have any more questions let me know!
    Good luck!

    Nan

    Thanks for the reply. I am really in the dark as what to expect, but am looking forward to the test. Was there much math on the test last time? I am very strong in math and spelling. I expect to lack somewhat in areas related to actual firefighting, atleast compared to those who actually have some fire/emt experience or schooling. This is kind of new turf for me as I have been at the same comfortable job since high school, and have had exactly one job interview in the last 16 years. That was for a railroad job that I was actually offered, but the great recession hit before I was to report for training, and they actually started laying off before I was to start.

    I had limited experience with the city of Toledo until March of 2010. My son was born 11 weeks early and spent 35 days at St. V's. We spent alot of time up there, and every 2 days or so I would jump in the Jeep (Toledo built) and take a spin around town to kill some time and relieve some stress. The city has that gritty, knock-around feel you find in most Great lake metro's. Strong people just trying to catch some luck. My kind of people.

    Sorry to bore you with the background.

    Good luck on the test. Hope you get it.

  9. #9
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    Holy ****... 35???

    Did you apply for social security, gramps?
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    I certainly hope so, I'm 38 and looking! Most of the departments in NYS do not have a maximum age so I got that going for me. Of course, most NYS departments are not hiring. :-/

    Quote Originally Posted by trekker View Post
    Was there much math on the test last time? I am very strong in math and spelling. I expect to lack somewhat in areas related to actual firefighting, atleast compared to those who actually have some fire/emt experience or schooling.
    I took the NYS test in March and it wasn't too difficult. There wasn't any complicated math and there were very few fire related questions. Certainly nothing that would require previous fire/ems training, more of the common sense variety. There were more physics (mechanical reasoning) and judgement/reading comprehension questions than straight up math questions.

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    I don't think there is any math if it's the same test format as in 2001. There are 3 parts of the test. The first is based on that booklet we got. They don't use all of the passages, maybe about half so some of the stuff you will never be tested on.
    The second is where they read a passage to you about a firefighting-related topic. You must take notes and then can use them to answer the test questions, so practice listening and taking notes.
    Third is spelling and grammar.
    You don't need any fire/ems experience, just memorize what's in the book. I know it seems kind of overwhelming but just keep reading it over and over.
    I was born there and lived just over the state line for 25 years. I love the area, it's really made a comeback. There's a really great zoo, minor leauge baseball team. hockey team, tons of good restaurants...
    On test day (I'm in room c) don't let the number of people there discourage you. Just focus on the test and you'll do fine!
    If you have any more questions let me know. I also have a friend who just got on the department so if I don't know something, he should. Take care!

    Nan

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    It is dependent on the city or county which you desire to be hired. Some does have an upper age limit to be hired, since they have a retirement age too.

    Let's say you are 30 and make 25, the minimum to retire, to 30 years with one of these departments that have a 60 year old age retirement. This gives you the time in service to get full benefits.

    Coming on, let's say at 40 and retiring at 60 only gives you 20 creditable years and may reduce you pension and benefits.

    Each City and or County in the United States are different.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    You are not too old. I just completed the academy in Toledo. There were several people in our class that were 30+ and a couple that were 35-37. As long as you are not 35 before the test date you are ok.

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    So you went to the academy with Aaron? Cool I used to work with him at the newspaper.

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    Thanks for all the info folks.

    Another question I have is how do they pick who gets interviewed. Do they just put you on a list with the highest exam score at #1 and the next 25 get invites, or will they interview 40-70 (or whatever number) and pick from that list?

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    You are given a rank based on your test score. They then do background checks on a certain number of candidates from number one on the test to whatever number they think they need. Those that pass backgrounds are then interviewed. So your test rank determines whether or not you go through the background check and as long as your background is clean you will interview. If you score in the top 125 and have a good background I would be willing to bet you will get an interview for the first class of 25 they want to hire.

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    http://www.firerescue1.com/Firefight...medium=twitterPosting from my phone so not sure if it will go thru.
    In this article it states the age of the recruits ranges from 25-44.

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    Background check could be a problem. I've got 2 tickets in the last year. 1 speed, and 1 stop sign. Other than that I'm good.

    Will the 2 tickets disqualify me?

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    Quote Originally Posted by trekker View Post
    Background check could be a problem. I've got 2 tickets in the last year. 1 speed, and 1 stop sign. Other than that I'm good.

    Will the 2 tickets disqualify me?
    It could be an issue. Both within the last 12 months. And there're bound to be candidates without any. Depends on the others and the department.

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    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

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    i agree to a point Lepore.However I would disagree with the Physical fitness, strength side.Yes there are couch potoatoes out there but there are also young guys that are couch potatoes! I am 36 and am in the best physical conditioning of my life.Yes, I have to work twice as hard to maintain it but I am up there with someone 10 yrs my junor.I also constantly try and convince my existing shft to eat healthy and get in shape but it goes on deaf ears.Its the old, " I want to die fat and happy" mentality.You can only try so many times before giving up on that one!
    I for one have been in the fire service for over 11 yrs if you include military firefightng and I can say for sure that having an experienced guy or girl can be an advantage.But it just depends on the individual and their attitude to want to learn and change for the better.
    My 2 cents..

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    I got hired with two 40 year olds and a 35 year old.

    2/3 were studs.

    Lots of "older" guys that get hired.

    And never underestimate old man strength.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffbam24 View Post
    It could be an issue. Both within the last 12 months. And there're bound to be candidates without any. Depends on the others and the department.

    I was wrong. I got one in April of 2010 and the other in October of 2010. Still not good, but atleast only 1 was in the last 12 months.

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    Those two tickets should not hurt you the way Toledo does it. It is pass/fail or fail and win an appeal. If those two tickets are the only thing they find...you will be fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 419tfrd View Post
    You are given a rank based on your test score. They then do background checks on a certain number of candidates from number one on the test to whatever number they think they need. Those that pass backgrounds are then interviewed. So your test rank determines whether or not you go through the background check and as long as your background is clean you will interview. If you score in the top 125 and have a good background I would be willing to bet you will get an interview for the first class of 25 they want to hire.

    Thanks for the info.

    I went to the practice test today. I'm a little more confident now. It didn't seem as hard as I thought it would be. I was definately the oldest in the room, except one of the 2 instructors.

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