1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Pre-Employment Advice

    I am currently waiting to be hired by a fire department, and have been for almost a year. I'm on the list for one department to select from and continue the hiring process tests, but I am unsure when/ if I will be selected. I was trying to take a Firefighter/ EMT-I Diploma program, but because of family issues, work and attending a physical campus are not an option for me right now. I want to take an EMT-B or better online program that I can test out on a physical campus, but none I have found take the GI- Bill, and I didn't want to start a fire science degree and all the sudden be selected and taking my classes online as well as the department classes as well. Does anyone have any advice for what I can do to prepare while I'm waiting. I'm working out and trying to study material and textbooks I recieved while I was going through school, but I wanted to know if there are any programs out there that can show that I am working to become a firefighter, even on my dollar. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Arnold, MD


    I currently have an AAS in Fire Science Technology. If I can do it all over again, I would have gone for my EMT-P instead. But it sounds like that isn't really an option for you. In your situation, I would get my EMT-B and take the fire science courses. The only classes that'll coincide will be FFI and HAZMAT-OPS. I would wait on taking those classes with school and start taking the other classes in the curriculum. If you're ever picked up by a department, you can always transfer the FFI/HAZMAT-OPS credits to your school to obtain your degree.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    San Francisco Bay Area


    Do you need to be an EMT before hiring or do they included EMT in the academy?

    What steps are left in this hiring process if they call you forward??

    Concentrate on what places you at the best position between you and that badge. If you bite off going for a degree that could take awhile. If you had the chance to go to medic school that would open more doors if you don't move forward in this hiring process.

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:

    Fire "Captain Bob"


  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2001


    What state are you in

    Suggest wait till you get hired to work on a fire science degree unless a dept requires some college hours to apply

    Work on advancing the emt level

    You might check some ambulance services some will train you if you work for them

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    I would suggest not sitting and waiting for that one department to hire you. I hope it happens for you, but it may not, and then you've spent a lot of time waiting without advancing yourself. A lot of people, including myself, have made it through the final steps, and then the department doesn't have the budget to hire anyone, so don't depend on it happening. In the meantime, "where there's a will, there's a way". It sounds like things are hard for you right now, but try to at least get your EMT. If you want this bad enough, you will find a way to make it work. There are usually flexible schedules to choose from and financial aid from most community colleges. Please do not take an online program. EMT is hands-on....yes there is lecture...but a good program will include skills during every class. And so what if you start a class and then get hired - great for you if that happens - but education is never a waste of time!! Good luck!

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    north of San Francisco


    The advice above about taking lots of tests is right on. You have no idea if a particular department will even hire again. Budgets change, hiring freezes come out of nowhere; you have to keep your options open. Also taking multiple tests will help you get better at the testing process. I would test for every department you qualify for and then decide if you want to work there if they offer you a job.
    And being qualified is what you should concentrate on. Find out what certificate or class will qualify you to take the most tests the quickest. The more you take the better your chances and the better you will be at testing when you have your “Dream” department come up.
    You may not be aware, but prior military service is about the best thing you could have, other than already being a firefighter, in getting selected for a department. You understand how to work under pressure, have knowledge of the chain of command, know how to be yelled at for a mistake, and come with a maturity you cannot gain anywhere else. The challenge is to showcase it best in you interviews. The mistake I see most vets make is that they don’t want to brag about themselves. So they just mention they have served. But most can also talk about being trained to go overseas and be culturally sensitive, basic firefighting and medic training, being aware of flammable liquid and munitions hazards, having a national security clearance, as well as actually having been if other cultures.
    But the problem I see is you either can’t or don’t want to fully commit. You are not going to find anyone, no matter how long ago they were hired, that didn’t have to go through some hard times to get hired. But the investment you make now, will pay off many fold in the future. If you can’t us the G.I bill on this stuff, use it to get a degree after you are on a department.
    Whatever you have to go through now, you will look back on in the future as being minor compared to the benefit you will receive by having a career as a firefighter, I guarantee it.
    Good Luck, Capt Rob

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