I got a conditional offer of employment for Chesterfield County Va; I am looking for how long recruit school is, where is a good place to live and what to expect physically? This way I can be in the right physical condition prior to the start of school.
Expect the hardest thing you have ever done in your life and prepare for it. This shouldn't even be a question in your mind. I'm from the other coast but I can't imaging being anything but in peak physical condition when starting a career in the fire service anywhere.
Originally Posted by firewacker49
I understand it is going to be one of the toughest things i ever do. What I'm looking for is; should I be able to run 3 or 5 miles without stopping, be able to do 30 or 50 pushups, that kind of thing. This way I can better prepare for whats ahead.
A conditional offer is just that; conditional. What conditions to you have to complete before the final offer? Is there a psych, poly, and medical?
Originally Posted by firewacker49
Don’t even think about moving until you get the conditional offer removed and the invitation in writing in your hot little hand that you have the job. You can get in shape where you live now.
A candidate is invited to the chief’s oral. He just knows they want him. He gives notice at his job, his apartment and finds a new apartment for the city he is being considered for. He starts packing. After the chief’s interview he gets a conditional offer to complete the medical, psych, given the date for the academy, uniform fitting. He flies down to complete these items in two days. He goes by with his wife to check on the new apartment, flies home and waits for the mover to show up the next day.
Don’t touch that dial. There is something wrong with the psych interview. It comes back inconclusive. They want him to retake the psych. But the movers are on their way. He can taste that badge. I know they want me.
If you have a conditional with Chesterfield, that means that you did outstanding on the written and CPAT. I expect that if you have prior service and certifications that was a boost for you as well.
The next process is going through the interviews, background and medical evaluation.
Good luck as Chesterfield is similar to the Marines; they are looking for a few GOOD people. Seldom ever do they take second best.
Prepare yourself for a very rigorous PT program each and every day while in recruit class of I believe is about 20 to 24 weeks.
They are place to rent if you get hired. Maybe you and a couple other recruits can go in and rent a place and save on expenses, once you know that you have a job.
This is a chapter taken from my book, The Aspiring Firefighters Two Year plan. I believe it will answer most of your questions. Congratulations on your success thus far. Now the real work begins
The following was written by an anonymous rookie firefighter shortly after
being hired by a major Southern California fire department.
I recently graduated from a tower this past spring/summer where 50 started
but only 30 graduated. This is almost a 50% failure rate. I can only share my
experiences of what I saw. If you talk to other people, they may have keyed
into different things.
1. Igmrís (I got mine) Ė if you have this mind set the instructors will quickly
identify you as someone who is not a team player.
2. Be a listener, not a teacher. If you know something, share it with your
classmates during lunchtime. Donít suggest something to an instructor
about a trick you learned as a fire explorer or as a firefighter from
another fire department. Remember, you are trying to pass the tests
(manipulative and academic) the ďtowerĒ way, not the ďfieldĒ way.
3. Keep your ears open and your mouth shut. Only chitchat with your
buddies at lunchtime. Donít join into conversations that shouldnít be
going on in the first place.
4. Donít talk badly about your instructors or your fellow cadets.
5. Donít make excuses. If you screw up, donít apologize; just move on.
Most importantly donít make the same mistake twice.
6. Donít go out with your buddies on weekends to ďtake a break,Ē because
thatís how people get into trouble. DUIís, fights and public intoxication
are a sure way to get dismissed from the academy.
7. Do not brown nose your instructor. They are not your friends, nor will
they ever want to be. Show respect and you will do fine.
8. Remember you are there for a badge, not to gain friends. Keep the
non-essential talk for after you leave the drill tower grounds.
9. Support your fellow cadets as much as you would want to be supported.
You will not make it through without their help and vice versa.
The first three weeks were the most difficult. It appeared they wanted to
weed out the weaker candidates. We had 13 people quit in the first week and
a half, many of these in the first two days.
The physical ability test is not even close to the exertion you will go through
in the tower. If you barely pass the ability test, you are in trouble. Each day
you will go home sore, bruised and strained. Due to the fast pace, your body
does not have a chance to recover from one day to the next. The better your
physical condition, the greater the chance your body can adapt to the rigorous
training. It is imperative to be in the best shape possible. If you arenít, you are
going to get hurt.
After the first four weeks of our 14-week academy, it started sinking in that
we were going to be here for a while. Itís mentally draining. You have to stay
focused or you will never make it.
It is extremely stressful to prepare for a manipulative exam knowing that
if you donít perform you will lose your job. Everyone in the academy had to
perform an evolution a second time knowing that this was his or her last and
final opportunity. I guarantee it will happen to anyone who enters an academy.
Being able to perform under pressure is critical. Remember, you are your own
You will be exposed to information about a myriad of different topics while
in the academy. You are expected to know every piece of information that has
been presented. You will be tested on it weekly, sometimes daily.
People failed out of my academy for a variety of reasons. Probably the main
reason was poor physical conditioning. Even those who survived the first 10
days had physical conditioning issues. It was apparent who was struggling.
When you are tired and run down, you donít think clearly. This leads to mistakes,
which in turn lead to bringing attention to yourself. Ultimately, you find yourself
fighting for your job.
There are many things you can do to enhance your opportunity for success
in the academy. First and foremost, maintain top physical conditioning. The
better shape you are in, the better your chances of avoiding injury and making
Secondly, put yourself through a fire academy at the local community
college. The more familiar you are with ladders, hose and SCBAís, the better
your chances of being successful in the academy.
The academy is extremely fast-paced. Those who did not have previous
experience to draw from definitely had a more difficult time. Fortunately I
had been through a basic fire academy. I have to admit that the academy at
the community college, although at the time seemed hard, was like a day at
Disneyland compared to the fire departmentís academy.
Learn how to study before you enter the academy. Find a place where you
can sit down and get away from the world and immerse yourself in the books.
Set it up beforehand; donít wait until you start the academy to figure out where
you are going to study.
Form study groups early. Take a look around and try to identify who appears
to be focused on making it through. There is no doubt that there is a benefit
to having someone to bounce questions off. He or she may interpret the
reading material differently than you and key into something you may have
isinterpreted. In addition, he or she will pick you up when you are struggling
and vice versa.
Take fire science courses prior to entering the academy. The more
background and exposure you have to the fire service, the better you will
fare. Remember, each night you will be assigned a ton of reading. You are
physically exhausted after being on the grinder all day long. It is difficult to
maintain concentration to sit and study for a written exam the next day. The
more information you have before entering the academy, the easier the material
is to digest in a shorter time frame.
Completing the academy is one of the most challenging things you will
ever go through. The more you can stack the deck in your favor, the better the
chances of making it through. Donít take it lightly. The work is just beginning.
It is conditional on my medical stress test that will be preformed prior to the start of recruit school. They also gave me a date for uniform fitting. I have completed all the other steps
Originally Posted by CaptBob
You might see if they will give you a class roster to contact others about housing
Are you single ???
If you cannot hook up with someone look at short term lease, say for duration of class
Did you see the link about bmi?
Yes I saw the link for the bmi.
Originally Posted by fire5555
Congrats on the offer, I live in chesterfield and work with the City of Richmond, alot of places in chesterfield are pricey so start looking now!! I live in the town of chester in a townhome complex where i pay 725 for a 2 bed 1 bath nice place, PM me for more info and help around the area. again congrats, don't ever give up, the academy will push you to the limits mentally, physically , and emotionally but you need to stay focused as it is only 20-24 weeks. I have heard they run a very strenuous pt program but then again its all in your head, you have to put your mind to it to accomplish it. I have been to the academy while they had a class going on and they use a mix of cardio ,strength training, team workout and crossfit PT. PM me for any help you need again congrats and good luck!!!
Thank you for the information