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  1. #1
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    Default In a Predicament and Could Use Some Advice

    Hey Guys,

    Let me preface this by saying I'm in the good kind of predicament and count myself extremely lucky to be so. I was just hoping to get a little feedback and advice from those with years of experience and know-how.

    I have recently been scheduled to take a fitness eval and medical exam with a department I would love to work for (lets call them Dept A). They've even gone so far as to already schedule a time to go in for PPE and uniform fitting, which makes me feel like there is a good chance of this working out. The predicament is that I have recently begun backgrounds with my dream department (Dept B) that, for numerous reasons, is an opportunity I just couldn't pass up. I know the numbers they took to backgrounds and the number they're hiring and feel pretty good about my chances. They have a projected academy date of mid-May and should be alerting candidates about the background results the beginning of March. Now, I don't know the time frame for Dept A's academy, but I have to assume it's going to be before that.

    Assuming I pass through backgrounds with Dept B, I'm a little stumped on how to proceed. First of all, I'm going to have to alert my Dept B investigator of the update to my situation with Dept A, right? Do you think this may have any effect on their background decision? Would a department pass on a candidate in my position to avoid stepping on toes, or to pick a candidate that wasn't in such a good spot? Could it be seen as a lack of commitment to their department that I'm so close to a spot with someone else?

    Secondly, I would hate to start anything official (though sizing PPE and uniforms is getting there) with a department only to leave shortly thereafter. This is especially so if the academy were to have started. I wouldn't want to leave with any hard feelings, or worse, leave them in a tough spot with numbers. But I also wouldn't want to make mention of it to Dept A until it is actually a reality with Dept B, or very close to it. I guess the advice I'm seeking is the way to go about the situation with the most tact and respect to both organizations while still ending up with a career in the end. Any advice would be highly appreciated. Sorry for being so long winded!


  2. #2
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    Let me just add that Dept B is about 370 miles away, so attending any subsequent portions (medical, psych, etc) wouldn't really be feasible if an academy with Dept A had started.

  3. #3
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    Default

    You are correct, this is a great predicament to have. My mentor used to tell me that the one constant in all of this is that, YOU ARE NEVER IN UNTIL YOU ARE IN. This is especially good advice when you consider today's tough economic times including budget cuts etc. Additionally, you still have to complete a background check and I assume medical exam, psych etc.

    My advice is to follow each road and see where they lead. Ideally in the end you get to choose which department is the best fit for you and for your family. Until then, YOU ARE NEVER........

    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
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    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  4. #4
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    Default

    A little different scenario than normally asked

    1. Would say make the decision at the very last moment before dept A spends money on uniforms

    By that time you may have a better time line for both depts

    Our dept requires you to list anyone you are or have tested for, and will ask where you are at in the hiring process

    During the initial phases we do lose people to other depts and understand that

    You do not want to start on a dept and quit before probation is up

    Maybe start with dept A and after two years start testing with the dream dept

    You may find dept A is the actual dream dept

  5. #5
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    Default

    Both of the past 2 post are solid. I would not turn down a position with dept A because you are in the process for dept B. Let it play out. Dept B could suddenly have a hiring freeze or you could simply not get the position. Maybe dept A moves its start date back and you get an offer from dept B in enough time to take that positon instead. Like Chief Lepore said, see where each road leads.

  6. #6
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    Default

    Nice problem to have. Congrats on doing so well with both hiring processes.

    I have never been in the same situation, but always told myself that I would complete each process as far as I could take them and go with the first dept to give me the chance. As always things can change at the last minute like others have mentioned. At one dept I was testing with, I was just outside of the bubble with their final academy (or so I thought) and then they extended the list for another half year which is unheard of around here. You just never know, so see where it takes you.

    I think people end up where they do for a reason.

    Good luck going forward with each.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

  7. #7
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    without reading the responces in full and just skimming what you put...go with what you get first. I wish I was in your spot. Make my life a whole hell of a lot easier. I'm sitting 3rd (after starting 10th and seeing 6 get hired so far) for a department I'm willing to say is my "dream department" now and all I am doing is playing the hurry up and wait game. Waiting for my call to get my physical done and then appointment call. Just waiting on DROP retirements...but good for you man, take whatever comes first.

  8. #8
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    First of all, nice job on getting to where you are. That is a nice problem to have. I agree with everyone else in that you go down each road until you actually get an official offer. Only then do you really have a choice to make. With that being said, you know what they say about a "bird in the hand"

  9. #9
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    I agree to follow up on every step of the hiring process until you get a written offer in your hot hands. You never know what will happened in the process.

    Then make your decision on what would be the best choice for you.

    Some agencies will allow you to pass 2 or more times when called and still remain on the list.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 02-09-2012 at 11:46 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Let me guess are you in the Atlanta area? I'm in the exact same predicament. I have two offers and need to make a choice.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rrrrfire View Post
    Let me guess are you in the Atlanta area? I'm in the exact same predicament. I have two offers and need to make a choice.
    Haha, no I'm actually in California with one department being in the south, the other in the north. But congrats to you too...like I initially said, not a bad place to be in at all.

  12. #12
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    I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that has thrown in their input. It's nice that there seems to be a pretty clear consensus on how to do it. At this point I'll just ride it out and make the tough decision when it actually needs to be made.

    I've only been registered for a short time, and this is my first time posting, but I've been reading these forums for a long time. Its awesome that there are so many people on here that take the time just for the sake of helping another FF or hopeful FF succeed. Even those that have had a job for a good long while. It's the type of thing that got me into this career path in the first place, so good on all of you.

    Special thanks to Chief Lepore. I have your books and have actually read your interview guide at least 4 times. Not having any firefighting history in my family, I've had to research a lot about the career (culture, expectations, day-to-day, etc.) on my own and your books have been a huge help. I attribute a lot of my success in the oral interviews to you, so thanks again. So glad I passed on law school!
    Last edited by NKMK; 02-10-2012 at 02:58 PM.

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