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    Default Psych Exam - Fear of Fire?

    A question for you seasoned veterans on the job...

    So, one of the questions on the psych exam asks if I am afraid of fire - true/false. Considering that I'm seeking a career in the fire service, I was genuinely stumped on how to respond. But I answered 'false.' Now I'm wondering if I just blew it with this one question. Someone I spoke to said that not having a fear of fire may indicate recklessness or indifference to fire.

    Do I have an overwhelming phobia of fire? No, I suppose not. But do I feel that I am impervious to fire? Certainly, not! So I have a healthy respect of fire's power, usefulness, and potential danger. Is that a TRUE or FALSE?

    To me, being 'afraid' of fire in the general sense is like a police officer being afraid of firearms or a park ranger being afraid of snakes. Are firearms and snakes potentially dangerous and even deadly? Of course. Can it be frightening to confront a gun or potentially poisenous snake? You bet! But being afraid of these items would interfere with performing the duties of a cop/park ranger.

    Anyway, some feedback would be greatly appreciated in case the shrink wants to probe a little further.

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    I have a healthy educated fear of fire

    Plus read the replies to same post down the line

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    I have a healthy educated fear of fire

    Plus read the replies to same post down the line
    I would say a "healthy respect for fire" is a better way to put it. Most of those so-called questions are pretty stupid.

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    I have a fear of no fires.

    If they hold you out because of that one question, that department needs it's own psyche evaluation. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that your answer is right in line with 99% of the other applicants that were given the same question.
    IAFF

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    Yeah, I wouldn't lose sleep over that one question. A lot of the stuff they ask on a psych exam as true/false or yes/no type questions can't necessarily be appropriately answered in a black/white style.

    When I took mine, one of the questions was something to the effect of "Do you feel like someone is out to get you?" The obvious translation of the question for the lay person is "Are you paranoid?" and being paranoid equals not good on a pysch exam. At the time, the true answer to the question was "yes", but it wasn't a matter of being "paranoid". I was going thru a period at the (small) EMS agency I was working at then where the crew I relieved everyday (one of which was a shift supervisor) was frequently leaving the unit in a less than ready state. For the most part, I didn't sweat the small stuff if that was all that was wrong that day. However, if there were more important issues like being out of O2, dead batteries in the monitor, no tourniquets in the house bag, misssing/expired drugs, then I would document everything that was out of order. I did a fair bit of documentation on the matter.

    They got a little mad about being written up (even though it was justified and their own fault) and started retaliating. Some of it was just childish things like grossly overstocking the house bag with items that had been understocked. Some wasn't.

    So, I did feel like "somebody was out to get me", because that appeared to be my reality at the time. So, do I answer truthfully and say "yes" and risk that "red flag" or just say "no" because that would seem to be the more "mentally stable" answer? At this point, I don't remember what my answer was, but it never came up again.

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    That's gonna come back to bite you. The correct answer was to scratch out True/False and write 'I fight what you fear.' Nuff said.

    I always got the impression from my experiences that these were just ways to get you to start talking about stuff later on during your psych interview when they follow up on your answers. I answered a similar question and then started over analyzing it once I left the testing site, but in the followup interview with the psych dr. she brought it up and I explained why I answered the way that I did and it wasn't a big deal. Like the others have said, I think you're good.

    Good luck with your process.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    everyone knows that snowball is out to get me- he wants my body.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    everyone knows that snowball is out to get me- he wants my body.
    I don't think you heard him quite correctly. If I remember correctly he was expressing a concern with the disposal of your body.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Yeah, I wouldn't lose sleep over that one question. A lot of the stuff they ask on a psych exam as true/false or yes/no type questions can't necessarily be appropriately answered in a black/white style.
    What color are your wife's/girlfriend's eyes? Answer yes or no.

    Like yjbrody suggests, the question could just be a way of getting you thinking. Or it could be a rather boneheaded question written by some ivory tower type.

    I'll go along with don't sweat the small stuff.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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