1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Central Florida

    Default New probie is about to start training and needs some help

    Hello, I am a new member here. I have been searching thru the site daily for a few weeks now, however I still have a few questions.

    Short about me:
    I finally got picked up with a department really close to me after applying everywhere for the last year. I am really excited and cannot wait to start!

    Dont know if it makes a difference, but my department is in Florida. It's a smaller department with 3 stations, each station has a rescue and a engine.

    My questions:
    1, I am going to be training mon-fri for the first 4 weeks starting next monday , my question is, since I assume that I will be training with different shift on different stations, should I be bringing in donuts, cake and all the good stuff everyday for next 4 weeks? Or once everytime I'm with a new crew?

    2, Once I have my first 24hr shift with my new crew is it a good or bad idea to bring in and make them a nice dinner, such as steak, salad, baked potatoe etc? I'm not trying to brown nose everyone but at the same time I am the new guy that is coming in to their house.

    3, Once on shift, is there a general probie rule about working out on shift? I asked a FF on my department about it and he said that after 5pm we can workout as much as we want to.
    I know that as a probie I need to make sure that I am staying busy and obvisouly finish all my chores and the extra things for that matter. Would it look bad if I workout on shift (after 5pm and everything is taken care of) ?

    Thats my questions for now and I would really appreciate all answers. If you have any tips or suggestions for my traning or/and my first weeks on shift please let me know.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by FFlindholm; 02-23-2012 at 12:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    I just recently started my job in my career department after working contract and volly for 8 years so I can share my experience.
    1. Did you get hired alone or with other people? I got hired with 2 other guys and we rotated who brought in bagels/donuts/etc each day for the month. You can feel it out if you are the only one noone will expect you to buy something EVERY single day, maybe just that first week.
    2. As far as the first shift I would just reccomend bringing in donuts/bagels/etc and some ice cream. You never know how the new crew is, some people eat together and others don't. Definetly offer to help out and cook if asked to. The crew I'm with have rotated each guy having to take care of a certain day and went all out for that meal...other than that most days not everyone eats together. BUT each station, each shift, each day are different so you'll find out quickly what the guys like.
    3. That depends on your department's policies. I would reccomend working out on shift if you choose, but be aware that it will most likely get inturrupted. I think most departments would encourage working out and noone would get upset at you for doing so when you have personal time. Our department allows you to workout at anytime throughout the day, and most LTs are cool with it as long as there isn't a big day planned.

    Most likely you'll get a sit down with your officer when you first start and you can hammer all of this out. If you have questions make sure to ask and most guys should be helpful and willing to answer but do remember you have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason. My LT is really cool and our crew gets along really well. The whole department has made us new guys feel like we've been here forever as we were never treated like dirt. Everyone was always willing to show us something or share their experience with tools/calls. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    San Francisco Bay Area


    Big clue. Be all ears and no mouth.

    Bring something nice to each station on the first day. Home made is best. If ice cream make it the round stuff not the square. Gormet coffee is always accepted.

    Don't volunteer to cook until you're asked. Yes, that would be brown nosing.

    Here's more:

    What you do when you first start out will set your reputation and follow you throughout your career. If you don't start out on the right foot, they will show you the door. The crew already knows more about you before you show up than you think.

    You're a snotty nose rookie. Keep your mouth shut. Be cordial, friendly and humble. You have no time or opinion until you earn it. You can't force it. That will come with a lot of calls and a few fires.

    Cel phones are causing problems for rookies. This will not get you off on the right foot. Big clue here. Leave the electronic leashes off and in your vehicle along with your piercings until a time where all your duties are complete. No matter what you might think and how friendly everyone seems to be, you are being watched! It could hurt you big time.

    If you have an emergency situation, ask your officer if you can carry your phone because you are expecting an emergency call.

    Call your new captain before your first shift and ask if he wants you to bring anything in. Bring a peace offering of donuts and desert your first day. Home made is best. Arrive early and ask the off going firefighter what you should know at that station. Your new captain should meet with you to outline his expectations. If not, ask him.

    Unless you're told differently, put up and don't forget to take down the flag. If the phone or the doorbell rings, make sure you're the first one running to answer it. There will be certain duties on each day of the week. Tuesday could be laundry day, Saturday yards. Keep track. Stay busy around the station. Always be in a clean proper uniform. Always be ready to get on the rig and respond.

    Check out the gear on the rig each morning. Make sure the 02 gage and the reserve bottle shows enough to handle a long EMS call.

    Firefighters usually have "Their" place to sit at the table and in front of the TV. Don't hog the newspaper. The off going shift has the first crack at the newspaper. You probably have probation tests. Don't park yourself in front of the T.V., you have a test coming up. Stay busy. Know matter what the atmosphere is, you're being watched. "Just because you're paranoid . . . doesn't mean there not after you."

    Though you might be a good cook, don't volunteer to cook until asked or rotated in. Make sure your meals are on time. The old adage "Keep them waiting long enough and they will eat anything" doesn't apply here. Be the last one to serve your plate. Don't load up your plate the first time around. Wait to go for seconds.

    Always have your hands in the sink doing the dishes after a meal. Be moving out with the garbage and mopping the kitchen floor after each meal.

    Learn how to help the officer doing response reports.

    Don't tell jokes until you're accepted.
    Don't gossip.
    Don't play "Your" music on the radio. Don't be a stupid generation Y'er or C generation and always ask why when told to do something. Help others' with their assignments when you finish yours.

    Ask how you're doing. Volunteer for assignments. Keep track of these to present at your evaluations.

    Don't start pulling hose and other equipment at a scene until the captain tells you.

    Always get off the rig before it backs up. Stand to the rear side to guide the rig. Never turn your back on the backing up rig.

    It's not uncommon to move to one or more stations during your probation. At your new station, don't act like you already have time. Unfortunately, you have to start all over again as the new rookie.

    You will have an elated feeling rolling out on your first calls. There is nothing like it. It could last your whole career. Enjoy and saver it. You earned it. You're the last of Americas Heroes.

    I miss it.

    "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
    Nov 2010


    Holy smokes CaptBob! Nicely put. If I could add:

    Always be early for your shift,

    Clean, Clean, Clean! If you think you know how to, you don't. You will be shown how to do it properly.

    Some departments have preferences for healthier snacks, fresh fruit might be a better option,

    Train, Train, Train!

    Carry a small notebook and take notes, don't take notes in your cell-it may look like texting,

    Keep your ears and eyes open, you will learn quickly who wants to be there and who just enjoys the paycheck,

    But most importantly, understand that you are an outsider there. You have to earn everything. It doesn't matter if you've been a volunteer for 10 years, you're a probie and you should appreciate that.

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    San Francisco Bay Area


    Great additions.

    You're right you have to earn everything.

    "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"


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