If all goes well I will be hired and starting an academy in a couple months. I am trying to prepare for the next step - the academy.
I have a lot of academic firefighting knowledge from my fire tech classes, but no hands on experience. I do crossfit at a decent level, so I'm not overly concerned about the physical aspect. What can I do now, learn now, study now to make my academy experience smoother/easier/better?
Drop every idea that you have, that you are in some way possessing 'a lot of academic fire fighting knowledge', and start to convince yourself of the notion that you are in no way shape or form physically or mentally prepared for the academy.
Are you just doing firefighting or emt also???
Prepare your self to give 200% from day one till you graduate
Stay out of trouble
So if I take that to heart and believe that I am not now ready in any way - how can I become ready? That was the point of my OP.
Originally Posted by peterbound
Originally Posted by fire49
The academy is for fire. I already have EMT training. I am absolutely ready to give my all and WILL graduate. Failure is not an option. Is there some skill, reading or other preparation steps that I can take NOW that will make my way smoother?
It sounds like you are ready
You work out already
You have been in classes, so you should know how to study
Sounds like mental prep is left, convince yourself you will listen and do what you are told, will study non stop, prep for tests, etc
The Academy will push you to the limits. It's going to be the Instructors Game for the next XX weeks. Buckle up, shut up, and enjoy the ride. Their goal is to prepare you for the field, and to push your limits to see what you're made of. They want to see if they can trust you next to them in a fire, or any situation where the ****'s on. So they'll push your physical and mental limits daily. Just keep in mind the end goal, and you'll be fine.
If you pay attention, do as you're told, and put the time and effort into it, it'll fly by, and you'll be in the field in no time. Good luck!
It’s not just the physical part. You have to pass every segment of the academy including the final test to demonstrate you can function in the field. It’s not uncommon to have a group of candidates let go in the final two weeks of the academy because they can’t master ladder throws, repel or operate the equipment. More than one candidate has been let go because they couldn’t start the chain saw, operate the jaws or struggled on the drill ground in the final test.
Nothing will **** of the training staff more than you telling them a better way to do something. How you did it in your FF1 academy, reserve or other department. The only task you need to focus on is how they do it in this department. Training divisions are their own kingdoms. This is not a democracy! You have no time or opinion.
It is devastating to be let go, especially if you have already been through a college fire academy. You have been dropped as your classmates are getting dressed up in their class A uniforms (about the only time they will ever wear it, except for funerals) heading for their badge ceremony.
It starts with instructors from the academy taking you aside and pointing out the problems you are having. If you don’t improve, they will meet you again with other members of the training staff and document the meeting. The writing is on the wall if things don’t improve. Candidates that get to this point start to panic. This can affect their other skills. Things they already know and have mastered become difficult. Instead of dropping back and taking a different mindset, they start to panic and withdraw. Too many candidates in this situation would rather go below and fall on their sword before they will ask for help. This is the time to ask for help, extra training, and check in with those who have gone before them. I usually get the call after they have taken the option to resign instead of being fired. My first question is why didn’t you call me earlier? Well, I didn’t think it was that bad.
“The worst mistake is to have the best ladder at the wrong wall.” Donald Rumsfeld
I just graduated from my fire academy last week. I did crossfit at a "decent" level. That was still no way near ready for the physical fitness we did.
Also as far as academics you're either book smart or you're not so start studying.
As for the skills, and training you learn on the fire ground...PAY ATTENTION
As has been previously mentioned you need to be n TOP physical condition. Being in adequate shape MAY get you through, but don't leave it to chance. You are smart to look a few months out and ask how to prepare. This is a great recipe for success!
A basic fire academy is not a great barometer for your level of fitness or for the degree of difficulty of what to expect. The standards for a department are much more difficult as they are not regulated by the school. Junior college academies are regulated by the college and instructors are pressured by the school to make certain people pass. The same is not true by the department.
It's also important to note that the physical agility times are set by the City, not by the department. This means the times are much more candidate friendly. The testing agency gives a list of eligible names to the fire department of who they can hire. Many of us spend the first week weeding out those who are not in great physical shape. This is important because if we don't do this the lesser fit group will drop out in the middle or toward the end of the academy. Another possibility is they will do something when they become hypoxia ( low on oxygen related to poor conditioning) that will cause them or someone else to get hurt.
So you can expect heavy physical fitness, especially in the beginning.
Other things you can do is to speak to someone who went through the last academy. Find out the text book that was used. Ideally you can get a copy of it and prestudy. It it's a large department they may have internal policies and procedures. If possible get a CD of them and make a copy. Study these. Find out what they recommend as they are your best source of information.
Take care of the logistics such as finding a place to stay and taking care of the little time wasters such as dental appointments and car maintenance. You cannot have any distractions from your study time.
Best of luck to you! Keep in ,ind that the training staff sincerely wants you to make it through and to have a successful career. Having said this, there are no free rides.