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    Default What was the hardest or been the hardest part for you to get into a Department?

    Just like it says

    What was the hardest or been the hardest part for you to get into a Department?

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    Let's talk fire trucks!
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    Not sure exactly what you're asking...career or volunteer department?
    Career Fire Captain
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    Career sorry BoxAlarm187.

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    The hardest part is probably the competitiveness of the process. Thousands applying for less than 10 positions isn't unusual.
    Career Fire Captain
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    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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    K. Thanks BoxAlarm187 just wondering because I just got in to really looking in to departments and starting to test more and more hopefully. Just got some EMS experience and some long time ago FireFighting experience have to brush up on all that. Thanks anyone else got input go ahead and post. THanks everyone

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    Ratamata-

    There is no one thing that is overwhelmingly hard in the process of becoming a firefighter. The hardest part is managing the process itself. There are several steps to getting hired, and each step provides either the opportunity to move up/on or start over. I have a 12 step process to becoming a firefighter that I've been told over and over is really helpful. You can get it free for now at the site below.

    Best Of Luck & Preparation,

    Paul
    PaulC
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    City of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
    gethiredbyfire.com & The Fire Jobs App

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    Thanks everyone who's been posting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratamata View Post
    Just like it says

    What was the hardest or been the hardest part for you to get into a Department?
    The oral board! Which is usually 100% of your score to be hired. The other steps are usually pass/fail.

    You can find lots of tips on oral boards in this thread:
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117336 (Interview Questions HELP!)
    _____________________________________________

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    Everyone else that has posted has great suggestions.

    For me it's staying positive and keep plugging. I've been at this for a while and it's competitive like you wouldn't believe. It takes time, money, persistence, but mostly a positive attitude to continue on when you didn't do as well as you wanted to or just didn't make the cut. Sometimes you feel like quitting... but you can't because it's not who you are. I was just there 2 days ago (ready to quit), but now I'm ready to move on and learn from my failure and try again.

    This is by far the hardest test/challenge that I've had in my life, but it's gonna happen for me. Your failures along the way don't define you, it's what you do after failing that defines you.

    “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."

    Best of luck in your testing. Keep at it!
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    The hardest part is probably the competitiveness of the process. Thousands applying for less than 10 positions isn't unusual.
    As my distinguished colleague has said others trying for that position which you want.

    Years ago it wasn't like it is now. You applied, took a general written test. If you passed and were certified to the fire department, you were given an appointment with meet with the Assistant Fire Chief and you both had a one on one for maybe 30 minutes or so. He asked why you wanted to be a firefighter and you told him. I was asked and I said, "I needed a job and I would work hard to prove I was worthy of being hired". He looked at me and said, if you passed the medical and background, you will be appointed.

    I did and I was. That was many moons ago.

    Never give up. Be competitive in every respect that you can be. I was and moved up the promotion ladder over the years.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    100% agree with everybody. The hardest part are the inevitable rejections and how you deal with it, as YJ pointed out.

    The skills of test taking, oral boards, physical tests are all skills you can train on (and great tools are available - things like Capt Bob's oral board study guides, 'smoke your written firefighter exam' book by BC Lepore, etc), but that mental ability to handle the rejection, to take the high of getting on a list with one department and getting shut out from further processing at another...or finding out the list you are on just expired...they make for the HARDEST part in my experience thus far.

    Realize that it will happen, sulk for a bit, but make it solid in your mind that you are not going to quit until you are in an academy and you will most likely be prepared for the road ahead. Good luck.
    Last edited by ljm; 03-08-2012 at 12:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ljm View Post
    100% agree with everybody. The hardest part are the inevitable rejections and how you deal with it, as YJ pointed out.
    .
    "not dead, cant quit" just keep going at it.

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    Thanks everyone for all your post. Thanks any others are welcome.

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    Ok here is my 2c, I think what everyone on here has said is right on, it is hard with the competition and is hard to just stay positive. Im is a little different boat as where I am currently a full timer and love every second of it, but I had to move away from all of my family and friends and move to the middle of no where to do it. Do i regret? Never, best risk of my life and appreciate it everyday. But i put in my 3 years and am now ready to try and get on back home, and this is where i get frustrated the most. Im attempting entry still and the far a between laterals, but when I go to the test all I see are little kids for the most part(besides the folks like us) that are just too lazy to go to college and looking for a quick fix career, not knowing what they are getting into and if they will even like it, but for some reason this kids all seem to be smarter than me unfortunatly and or I seem to be choking on the tests. I just think that half if not more of the people testing arent even sure if they will like the profession, and i know that Me and all the others on here LOVEEE the profession. Just a tad bit unfair or something I guess, not sure if this is just me and im getting grumpy at the fact that i am having so much trouble getting home, anyways thats for letting me vent lol, ill shut up and be appreciative that I do have my dream job! Safe fighting yall

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    I never worried about the competition in my path. think about the larger tests that you take. 5000 people for 25 positions is one i remember and ive seen 1000 for 3 positions. When you look at it that way, you're already setting yourself up for failure. I am 1 person looking for 1 position...simple. If you are smart enough to pass the written, those 5000 people just got cut down to 800 (example), then 800 down to 300 after agility test, and so forth. If you focus on yourself and not others, the competition doesnt matter.

    My hardest part was when I would score well enough to pass the interview but just miss the advancing spot. Either the first interview and then the 2nd interview. I would make it to the chiefs multiple times (before becoming a medic) and get the thanks but no thanks. Hardest part was staying determined and dedicated to get the job when all of my friends gave up.

    There will be an interview that everything you have to offer just CLICKS, you finally understand what to say about yourself and show you are the guy to be hired. You can get the interview materials, questions, study guides, etc but it wont matter until you look back at who you are and what you have done to get the job.

    When it finally clicked for me I was offered 4 positions within a month. I was able to hand pick who i wanted to work for. 60-70 tests, 40 or so interviews, 9 chiefs interview.....dont ever give up!

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    @Jason6368 You hit it exactly.........I was hired from the first test I took, and that's precisely the attitude I had. 500 tested for what ended up to be 6 positions. I went in not caring about the others because I knew the preparation I had done and the dedication I had to getting hired by this particular department immediately gave me an advantage over 99% of the other candidates. I scored #1.

    Moral of the story is, don't worry about the other candidates or how many you are going up against. Prepare yourself in the best way possible to succeed. If you get a perfect score, it doesn't matter if you test against 1 other person, or 10,000. Dedication and preparation are the keys to getting what you want in life, including the badge.

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    Remember when you test:

    You're absolutely NOT competing with the 500-17,000 that applied...You're competing with the 10 percent of the field (or less) that prepared. Spend the money to get coaching if you're not getting Chief's interviews and beyond.

    I was the same...Once it "clicked"...I got multiple offers within a short period of time, as well.

    Best,

    Paul
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    gethiredbyfire.com & The Fire Jobs App

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    1. pure volume of candidates and getting a shot at the process.
    2. Ahole federal judges that cry discrimination and freeze established lists with hard working qualified candidates on them.

    (I worked my *** off to finish the 9+ month long process after waiting 2.5 years for the chance at it just to have my academy cancelled and list frozen a week before academy letters were to be sent out... oh and Im a veteran. nice right..)
    FDNY Exam 6019 List# 14XX.
    Lawsuit Victim: Completed process, cancelled academy.

    FDNY Exam 2000 List# 6XX.

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    Just know that there is no sure thing. You can have all the confidence in the world you are going to get hired, and then for some reason out of the blue, you dont. It's highly frustrating as I have been at this "only" for 2 years, and I have been so close that I thought for sure I would get hired. Even told my employer that I would most likely get hired and would be leaving soon. Then here I sit, looking to see what test I can take next.

    Good thing I'm still young and have about another 6 years to get hired on before I'm "too old".

    Not getting in when you know that you have done everything you can is very humbling. You have to take a step back, gather yourself up, and keep plugging along. I know I will get there one day. Those who keep at it get the badge.

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    Going through the process, only to find out that the department has no money to put through an academy.
    It's not that piece of metal on the chest that makes the person, it's the person who makes that piece of metal.

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    Patience patience

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    Quote Originally Posted by nightowl75 View Post
    1. pure volume of candidates and getting a shot at the process.
    2. Ahole federal judges that cry discrimination and freeze established lists with hard working qualified candidates on them.

    (I worked my *** off to finish the 9+ month long process after waiting 2.5 years for the chance at it just to have my academy cancelled and list frozen a week before academy letters were to be sent out... oh and Im a veteran. nice right..)
    Yeah, there's perseverance and then there's PERSEVERANCE. The guys on 6019 have the latter. Can't imagine going through what you guys have had to go through.

    Best of luck with what's going on out east.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    These are all reasons to test early...test often. No one test is any guarantee...I hate it that these things happen to good people, but it is what it is...None of us holds the power to change it. I suffered it when I was going through. Just don't quit. Use your anger to be more prepared, more loyal to the department that gives you your shot, and maybe get yourself in a position someday where these things don't get visited upon highly motivated individuals.

    Remember...In the end, no one really cares why you can't...They just remember you didn't.

    Don't stop working at it...It'll come.

    Paul
    PaulC
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    gethiredbyfire.com & The Fire Jobs App

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    to answer the OP: my white skin.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Learning how to stand out in your oral board and interview is key. You have to be able to impress, but not come across as cocky, or a know it all. Be humble and give them your take on their questions with a spin that makes them remember you. I have tested many places with thousands of people. If you earn the chance for an oral board /interview keep in mind the panel may see 100 people or more, so you have be prepared if you want to leave a memorable impression.

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