1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default I want to do really well on probation

    Hey guys, my first day as a probie is in two weeks. I've looked over some other 'how to guides' for probies but have a few more questions as I'm really nervous. The dept hired me and another guy.

    -I have to memorize 250 streets in the first 3months. When would be an appropriate time to study for this, after 5? I don't know if it would be appropriate to be sitting down reading during shift time.

    -when I get there in the morning after i get my gear set up and make coffee then what? Should I sit and chat with the guys during shift change or start busying myself out in the bay. I want to learn but at the same time don't want an unsocial wierdo?

    -I'm only 21 so maybe my maturity level/humor isn't on the same level the place I'm at now/leaving seems to like me enough to prank me every other hour. So I figure it would be best to...not talk.

    Any advice really that you may choose to pass forward would be appreciated!


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    CaptOldTimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post

    I did search, just wondering if anyone had more to add.

    Old man

  4. #4
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    "Your success is in your silence."

    One of our now-retired, highly respected members used to tell every rookie that was assigned to him this statement, and it still rings true. Don't worry about being some weirdo unsocial guy...be more worried about joining into the conversation too early into your career.

    Our rookies don't even start drivers training until they've been in the station for about 6 months, so memorizing the streets is a little different for us since they've already been in the station for a while. However, that being said, I expect my rookies to have their noses in the SOP and map books during the day - unless there's company training, apparatus checks, house work, or other company functions going on. I'd like to see some studying after 1700 as well...

    Use time that you're in the district on calls, getting meals, public service matters to take a copy of the map book with you to help you learn all those streets in a compressed time frame.

    A good company officer will sit you down on the first day and provide you with his/her expectations. This is your time to ask questions about when and what you should be doing throughout the day. Take the time to learn the apparatus, SOP's, district, and other things that will help you in your initial time in the station.

    Remember to bring with you on your first day:
    • Linens
    • An extra blanket
    • Toiletries
    • At least one complete change of clothes (uniforms)
    • Enough ice cream for everyone on the shift
    • Humility
    Good luck in your assignment!
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer

    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    I think Boxalarm has a pretty good list. The best quote told by me when I started on the job was : "make sure to "knock with your elbows" when you arrive"

    meaning...your hands should be full so when you come in.

    Basically it doesn't hurt to bring in some coffee and bagels (but firefighters also love ice cream)...if you do go the breakfast route, make sure you have enough for the guys coming off shift too...besides that just be quiet and be ready to learn. Your reputation that you earn your first year, can stick with you your entire career. So if you show that your are a worker, then the guys will treat you like one.

    Good luck and stay safe

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Los Alamos, NM


    look, be on top of other things first. know your apparatus and the station then take out the trash, do the dishes, put away any med supplies/station supplies, clean the heads, sweep up, clean the kitchen/dining table. when the general **** is done don't go to your rack... that is when you need to sit at the table and hit the maps/books. when you need a break, go fill O2 cylinders or look over the trucks again.

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    Here's some I got (and still dish out)...

    Eyes open, mouth shut.
    Keep your hands out of your pockets.
    Try to look busy, even if you're not.
    Never say "I know," even if you do. Listen and be reminded again.
    Don't worry about anyone else. If someone's screwing around, the brothers will see it. Don't let it bother you.

    Listen to your senior man. He'll show you the ropes.
    Good luck. You attitude already tells us (here on the forum) how you'll do.

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