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Thread: KCMO Fire Hiring Process

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    Default KCMO Fire Hiring Process

    I noticed that KCMO is hiring both Firefighters and Paramedics. I know in the past, you had to be a Resident of Kansas City to apply. This time it says that preference will be given to Residents, Paramedics, and Military Applicants. Is it worth testing for if you are not a resident? I am will hopefully have my Medic in the next couple of months and I am Military right now with a DD 214 as well. I know there is a thread started about the last time they had an application period.

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    You should most certainly apply. Do not hold out on a big dept that runs a ton of EMS/FIRE just because you are not a resident.

    Preference doesn't mean that's all they are looking for. IF they are like other dept's, they are going to take the best candidates, and if that fills their additional needs than great.

    In my experience some depts are willing to work w/ you being a student and some are not. You will only find out by going through the process and asking. If nothing else it will be a great experience and help you develop your interview skills. The big dept's told me no while the smaller one's loved the idea they wouldn't have to put one through medic school on their dime/time.

    Much has changed for KCMO's process this time from what KCFD forum members on here have said and what the firefighters I know have told me. It is evident that they made some big changes this time, which may be an indication they are not getting the applicant's they believe they can get if they expand their nets. Removing the residency to apply will certainly draw many more applicants.

    They newscast in the area said they were looking to hire 30+... take that with a grain of salt, just like the advice you will get on a forum.

    For those reading this interested:
    GO to www.KCMO.org

    Minimum requirements:
    Between 19-30 years old by Feb 15th.
    HS grad or GED
    Valid license at application time

    Only hard copies of applications will be accepted Info on kcmo website as well.

    Preference to Paramedics, Veterans, and KCMO residents Also bolded is minorities, women, and AD military.

    Hope this helps and good luck to all!

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    I was just looking at their rules for applying, I am to old by 12 days to apply. FML!

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    That stinks... Stupid rule

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armyfire245 View Post
    I was just looking at their rules for applying, I am to old by 12 days to apply. FML!
    Same here bro, I am to old by 19 days. I called to see if they subtract military time from total age and they don't do that either. It's a shame, always wanted to test there but previously it was for residents only.

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    I'm sure its frustrating to miss a cut-off by a matter of days. Given the job market and the desirability of this job, I sympathize. The rule is in place because we have an actual pension, not a "retirement
    plan" or a tax-deferred savings account, but a real, true pension, which makes it necessary to enforce an age requirement to protect the health of the fund. Many major metropolitan departments have age and residency restrictions.

    If your age is borderline, I encourage you to reread the rules carefully to ensure that you are certain you do not qualify.

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    I totally understand the whole age requirement thing, that's no problem with me. I have applied at many places with age requirements, I have just never heard of one at 30 years old. It's kinda weird that you can join the Military at age 42 but you can't be a firefighter with some departments if you are 30 or older.

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    Ok, I am an idiot haha, I just reread the requirements, I can apply because I turn 30 on February 27th, and it states that you can't apply if you turn 30 prior to the 15th. So I guess my hat is going into the ring!

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    Would you say kcfd pension is different than kp&f pension? Not sure if you know enough about both to compare them and share the difference. Just curious as,most of the ks side don't have this rule but do get a pension.

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    Do you also have a year time frame to move to KCMO?

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    Re: Pension

    I'm not that familiar with KP/F. I do know it is a defined benefit (aka, "true") pension, which is an excellent and increasingly rare benefit to have, especially in a state with the political climate of Kansas. I have no idea what the health of the fund is, but I'm pretty sure that the reason it doesn't have an age requirement is that it takes 15 years of service to get vested (which means you are guaranteed a set monthly benefit based upon your years of service, as long as you have at least 15) and that there are penalties for "early" retirement at any age under 55, unless you have maxed out at 32 years and 80%.

    KCFD's pension vests in 10 years and has no minimum retirement age, as long as you have 25 years of service.

    Both are fairly modest, not so-called "Cadillac Pensions", and KCFD's at least is fairly healthy as a fund (in no small part due to the age requirement). Kansas' pension is always in graver danger of attack from the state legislature, but unfortunately public-sector pension attacks from politicians are beginning to be the new normal everywhere.


    RE: time frame

    I THINK you are required to move into city limits (which, it bears noting, are huge, and include everything from dense urban environments to brand new suburban developments to actual rural farmland) within 9 months of date of hire and then maintain residency for the rest of your career as a condition of employment, but you should probably check with the city about the actual timeframe.
    Last edited by chingon; 01-21-2013 at 01:35 PM.
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    Navy (corpsman) vet here, looking forward to this testing process. Live up in Minneapolis where it is a warm -9 degrees right now. Does anyone know what kind of process they have? Is it written/CPAT/etc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chingon View Post
    Re: Pension

    I'm not that familiar with KP/F. I do know it is a defined benefit (aka, "true") pension, which is an excellent and increasingly rare benefit to have, especially in a state with the political climate of Kansas. I have no idea what the health of the fund is, but I'm pretty sure that the reason it doesn't have an age requirement is that it takes 15 years of service to get vested (which means you are guaranteed a set monthly benefit based upon your years of service, as long as you have at least 15) and that there are penalties for "early" retirement at any age under 55, unless you have maxed out at 32 years and 80%.

    KCFD's pension vests in 10 years and has no minimum retirement age, as long as you have 25 years of service.

    Both are fairly modest, not so-called "Cadillac Pensions", and KCFD's at least is fairly healthy as a fund (in no small part due to the age requirement). Kansas' pension is always in graver danger of attack from the state legislature, but unfortunately public-sector pension attacks from politicians are beginning to be the new normal everywhere.
    Thanks for taking the time to share. I think this helps those looking at both sides of the KC metro area for job hunting. Being vested in 10 vs the 15 is a huge benefit. I am aware of the KP&F to an extent, but thought by asking it would bring out more info on the KCMO side for candidates. I don't know if KP&F has the penalties you've mention for under 55y/o, as I've known quite a few guys to leave before 55 and no mention of this.

    As far as time frame, the application states you have 9 months to move to KCMO city limits. Chingon... what do the true KCMO city limits consist of? What we refer to is probably different than what the city deems official. I have a few friends who are applying and they are curious for residency where they could potentially live and be out of the tough areas.

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    Would love to apply to this! I just finished the process for the Paramedic hire, still waiting on the results. Seems like it is taking longer than expected. Does anyone know how the process works as far as written/agility? Louisville KY allowed people from a certain distance to test the agility and written the same day.

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    A few things:

    Even if you are on the Paramedic only list, you can still apply for a dual-role position if you meet the age requirement.

    There is no physical agility test. There will be some combination of a written/computer based civil service exam and at least 2 interviews. Cadets are hired into KCFD academy and are given 2 months to prepare for and complete a standardized CPAT. During that 2 month period cadets receive EMT-B level training. Upon successful completion of the CPAT, cadets enter a 2 month hands-on fire academy. Failure to complete the CPAT results in dismissal from the academy and termination.

    The KCMO city limits are enormous. 314 square miles. As I said, there is an urban core about the same size as most older midwestern cities, 70 square miles of densely populated neighborhoods, both very nice and very poor. There are 2 upscale 2 high rise and condo districts, and multiple nice walkable urban neighborhoods with small apartments and single family homes. KC's urban core is comparable in population and density (as well as poverty and crime) to cities like St Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, etc.

    Unlike those cities, KC proper also has a vast and spread out suburban area north of the Missouri River, as well as some smaller suburban areas surrounding the core south of the River. About half of the total 314 square miles of KC is totally undeveloped rural farmland. That land is prohibitively expensive, so its not realistic to expect to buy a farm in city limits on a firemans salary, but it is possible. Small acreages of 10 acres are readily available in the exurban fringes of KC. KC is served by several school district, ranging from very poor to excellent, if that's a concern.

    Most of KC firefighting staff live in the suburban Northland or in the extreme eastern part of the city. I live in the core, have lived in the core long before I got on the fire department, and frankly I wouldn't live anywhere else in this city (or any other), but many people have different preferences. The good news is that KC's city limits can literally provide any lifestyle choice you might want, with the exception of hyper-dense urban living of the kind you might find in NYC or Philly or Chicago or San Francisco.

    Here is map, and some VERY BROAD generalizations:

    NW/NE: mid-century to brand new suburbia. Generally older the farther south you get, including some working class 40-60's era suburbia.

    CW: the heart of our urban core, both very high-end urban neighborhoods, funky urban neighborhoods and working/lower class urban neighborhoods.

    CE: the East Side, KC's roughest and poorest urban neighborhoods. The extreme eastern part of that district, the one that is separated from the rest on the map, is a solid middle class suburban zone, where a lot of cops and firemen live.

    SW: middle and some working class single family neighborhoods, ranging from urban bungalow belt neighborhoods on the north end to 70s suburbia on the south end.

    SE: A 1950's-60's era working class suburban area that has grown increasingly poor, rough and forlorn in the last 20 years. The extreme southern and eastern parts of that zone, however are mostly undeveloped rural land with a smattering of nice, brand new suburban developments.

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    Last edited by chingon; 01-21-2013 at 05:09 PM.

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    chingon,

    So if you are applying for position of Firefighter, you will not even do the CPAT until hired and into the academy? I worked as an EMT on an ambulance in AZ for a year before joining the Navy as a corpsman for 6 years. I appreciate how the FD is encouraging vets to apply. I have my EMTB still, and I am in a paramedic degree program now. Will the DEPT help with trying to obtain paramedic at some point?

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    So if you are a Paramedic and you apply for Firefighter, can they hire you as just a Paramedic since they are in such a need for medics? Are the Paramedic getting hire right now as just Paramedic going to be cross trained if they want after so many years on the department, or are they stuck as a Paramedic only?

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    SB2203,

    Correct. CPAT 2 months after hire.

    The department has been sending suppression personnel and some EMT-B's to paramedic's school, through a seniority based bid process, but that's a fairly new program. So far I think almost everyone who has been interested has been sent.

    I would think having a current paramedic license or being near completion would be a highly sought after asset and I would definitely mention that in the interview process, but I honestly don't know how they would work it if you were partially through paramedic school then had to drop out to move to KC or whatever. The good news is lists are usually good for 2 years, so even if you applied now, it is entirely possible you might finish medic school before being hired.
    Last edited by chingon; 01-23-2013 at 05:21 PM.
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    Armyfire,

    If you apply for the firefighter job posting, you will be considered for and hired as a dual-trained FIRE/EMS employee. How you get assigned depends entirely on impossible to predict factors, though you would be able to bid any position, Fire Truck or Ambulance when you have enough seniority to win a bid.

    There is a special hiring process right now for Paramedics that has no age requirement, and people hired via that process are not eligible to crosstrain. They would have to apply for a suppression position through HR, as though they did not already work for the department, meet all the requirements, and then go to academy.

    Clear as mud?

    Its a big transition, and the Department is dealing with a lot of new and hard to understand hiring situations right now, but hopefully that helps.
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    chingon, you mentioned a written/computer based test, is that test taken on the same day or separate?

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    It's just one test. The city has used a computer-based civil service exam for a few years. You get an appointment time, take a pass/fail exam on a computer. If you pass, the city will notify you of interviews. There are usually 2 separate interviews: a scenario-based recorded interview which is graded by an outside entity that I THINK is pass/fail, then an interview with department and city personnel which I THINK determines your rank. At some point preference points for residency and veteran status get added in. That is new, so I have no idea how it will work. I'm just a rank and file employee, with no special knowledge of how things work.

    It is normal for the process to take several months before a list is established and you are given your results. BE PATIENT. City government moves at a very slow pace, especially in cities the size of KC and larger.

    CAVEAT: the process can change, it is a lot different now than when I took it and it is subject to change at the whims of the city, the department and the courts.
    Last edited by chingon; 01-23-2013 at 07:57 PM.

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    Thanks chingon for the reply.

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    Bumping this up for the KC brothers to see and share info. Hope you KCFD guys are all safe with the accident at JJ's and all this snow we're getting pounded with right now.

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    still havent heard from the Medic process yet... anyone that went through it know anything? Is there a list or has anyone been hired?

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    Chingon
    I see that preference is given to medics, residents, and vets, if you are both a vet and medic do you think this will "double" your preference points and move you up higher on the list? Just curious as to how this may work out for me. I know you probably don't work in human resources and can't answer that question, but I though it was worth a shot. I'd appreciate your opinion on the matter.

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