Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 13 of 13
Like Tree8Likes
  • 4 Post By BrianP37
  • 1 Post By 45gggh
  • 1 Post By kvucinic
  • 1 Post By yjbrody
  • 1 Post By aturcotte0310

Thread: How I got the job

  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Youngstown-Warren Ohio
    Posts
    18

    Post How I got the job

    I am finishing up my first month as a CAREER firefighter-paramedic. I was finally hired full-time last month after a long LONG journey. Over 4 years and 1 month I took 30 civil service examinations around Ohio and ended up six blocks from where I grew up, and always wanted to work. I have been on this site and a ton of others for years and I wanted to share some of what I did to get myself into this position. I feel like I took a little something from every post I read and eventually it paid off.

    First of all I think it really helped that I wanted to be a firefighter all my life. When times got tough, I was able to look back at how much the job meant to me. I think that is the whole "in your blood" feeling.

    Second, I dedicated myself to the field. I kept my nose clean and was never in any trouble. I noticed not many people could say that. I became a volunteer firefighter. I paid for my Level II Firefighter certification. The volunteer department paid for my EMT-Basic and Fire Safety Inspector. I studied and trained in an attempt to make everything "second-nature." It was exhausting but I spent every waking minute thinking, learning and researching for this job. From volunteer, I went part-time as a FF/EMT for several departments and eventually made enough money to put myself through paramedic school. One thing I noticed on every interview I ever had was how impressed they were that I went out and got certifications beyond the standard Firefighter II/EMT/Paramedic that are required for the job. They knew I was dedicated to bettering myself.

    Third, I networked like crazy. I was networking before I even knew what networking meant. I called and emailed chiefs, visited fire stations and made friends with firefighters and others in my position. In high school, I job shadowed at 3 different fire departments. I went to college for fire protection technology and networked more with fellow students and professors from all over Ohio. As I became a volunteer and then part-time I networked with people that had already achieved my goal. Every person I ever met helped me out along the way. In the end, networking was one of my best friends.

    Fourth, Testing. Like a lot of people, I tested all over. I love Ohio so I never left the state to test. As I said, I took 30 exams. I kept a database of every fire department I was eligible to test for. I always applied the day the application opened and made sure I had all the required paperwork (license, certification copies, blank checks). I kept a testing kit in my car at all times (2 #2 pencils, a sharpener, a calculator, copies of certifications, transcripts, etc.). After testing, I went out to my car and wrote down every question I could remember. You may be surprised, but a lot of the same answers came up. In the beginning, tests never seemed to be similar, but as I continued testing I noticed the similarities. I took one test for three different cities and after the third time, ended up 5th on a list. Eventually I was a pro at testing. While the kid next to me sighed and groaned I sat there cool and calm. I think this helped when I took the national registry for paramedic also, while everyone panicked, I remained calm and passed it on the first try.

    Finally, never EVER give up. Anyone who has been through anything difficult can tell you that if you want something bad enough, you can get whatever you want. I had a 2.6 GPA in high school. Went to college for fire science and had a 3.9 GPA. Passed the FF2 state test with an 88%, passed the EMT-Basic test first try after it shut off at 70 q's (people say that means I did well), highest score in the class for Fire Inspector, Passed the NR Paramedic first try.

    It does not take a genius to do this. It takes dedication, passion, a strong network of friends and family, some luck and the ability for you to be real with yourself. Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you ARE going to do this. Nothing is stopping you but yourself. Good luck!
    ffbam24, Trackhoe71, Train and 1 others like this.


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thank you for this post. I have been on my journey for 2 years now. I had firefighting on my mind before I graduated college 4 years ago in Criminal Justice, but I decided to keep with CJ since I spent those years getting my education. I spent 2 years in the CJ field, always thinking about firefighting, and, finally, after those 2 years I decided criminal justice wasn't for me. I tested at my local career department and didn't get through the testing. It was disappointing but it lit the fire in me and I decided to better myself and go to school and get my certifications and EMT. Finally this year, after waiting 2 years, I finally got to test again and I made it through all the testing and got an interview. The interview wasn't what I thought it would be and I'm not sure how I did, or how they score it. I posted a thread yesterday http://http://www.firehouse.com/forums/t127008/ (Some advice.....) about how I feel about it. If you have any advice, I would appreciate it. You mentioned networking, would it be a good idea to maybe contact the Fire Chief and have a conversation with him?

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianP37 View Post
    I am finishing up my first month as a CAREER firefighter-paramedic. I was finally hired full-time last month after a long LONG journey. Over 4 years and 1 month I took 30 civil service examinations around Ohio and ended up six blocks from where I grew up, and always wanted to work. I have been on this site and a ton of others for years and I wanted to share some of what I did to get myself into this position. I feel like I took a little something from every post I read and eventually it paid off.

    First of all I think it really helped that I wanted to be a firefighter all my life. When times got tough, I was able to look back at how much the job meant to me. I think that is the whole "in your blood" feeling.

    Second, I dedicated myself to the field. I kept my nose clean and was never in any trouble. I noticed not many people could say that. I became a volunteer firefighter. I paid for my Level II Firefighter certification. The volunteer department paid for my EMT-Basic and Fire Safety Inspector. I studied and trained in an attempt to make everything "second-nature." It was exhausting but I spent every waking minute thinking, learning and researching for this job. From volunteer, I went part-time as a FF/EMT for several departments and eventually made enough money to put myself through paramedic school. One thing I noticed on every interview I ever had was how impressed they were that I went out and got certifications beyond the standard Firefighter II/EMT/Paramedic that are required for the job. They knew I was dedicated to bettering myself.

    Third, I networked like crazy. I was networking before I even knew what networking meant. I called and emailed chiefs, visited fire stations and made friends with firefighters and others in my position. In high school, I job shadowed at 3 different fire departments. I went to college for fire protection technology and networked more with fellow students and professors from all over Ohio. As I became a volunteer and then part-time I networked with people that had already achieved my goal. Every person I ever met helped me out along the way. In the end, networking was one of my best friends.

    Fourth, Testing. Like a lot of people, I tested all over. I love Ohio so I never left the state to test. As I said, I took 30 exams. I kept a database of every fire department I was eligible to test for. I always applied the day the application opened and made sure I had all the required paperwork (license, certification copies, blank checks). I kept a testing kit in my car at all times (2 #2 pencils, a sharpener, a calculator, copies of certifications, transcripts, etc.). After testing, I went out to my car and wrote down every question I could remember. You may be surprised, but a lot of the same answers came up. In the beginning, tests never seemed to be similar, but as I continued testing I noticed the similarities. I took one test for three different cities and after the third time, ended up 5th on a list. Eventually I was a pro at testing. While the kid next to me sighed and groaned I sat there cool and calm. I think this helped when I took the national registry for paramedic also, while everyone panicked, I remained calm and passed it on the first try.

    Finally, never EVER give up. Anyone who has been through anything difficult can tell you that if you want something bad enough, you can get whatever you want. I had a 2.6 GPA in high school. Went to college for fire science and had a 3.9 GPA. Passed the FF2 state test with an 88%, passed the EMT-Basic test first try after it shut off at 70 q's (people say that means I did well), highest score in the class for Fire Inspector, Passed the NR Paramedic first try.

    It does not take a genius to do this. It takes dedication, passion, a strong network of friends and family, some luck and the ability for you to be real with yourself. Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you ARE going to do this. Nothing is stopping you but yourself. Good luck!
    Congrats on getting hired. I like the suggestion of a database about all the exams you have taken, maybe I will start to do something like that.

    I have been a volunteer ff for a couple of years and have noticed that there are a ton of people fighting for this career that just "hang around the fire house" and that is it. I stepped up my game recently and I just got accepted into Paramedic school, this after spending the last year making min wage as an EMT for a private company.

    Your post is very motivational, thank you and be safe brother
    sweetpete76 likes this.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    33

    Default

    This is the kind of post I needed to see. I've been trying for the last four and a half years myself to get hired. Through that time I've just about earned my AA, earned my EMT-B, got a job as a fire intern with the department I used to be an explorer at, and now I am a medical exam away from entering a fire academy. I live in Southern California and have tested locally, as well as in Arizona and Colorado. As of late I've been getting down about the whole process and have slowly started to get back to full excitement. This post really helped with that. Thank you and congrats!
    sweetpete76 likes this.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,466

    Default

    Wecome to the fire service.

    When I see how long you and the other postings have been testing I think of others who cut that learning curve by learning how to take a firefighter intervew which is like no other. Because no matter what your credentials if you can present them in the oral board you will delay the opportunity to gain a badge.

    You don't want to waste any opportunites when your invited to an interview.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 07-01-2013 at 03:10 PM.
    ______________________________ _______________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  6. #6
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    700

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianP37 View Post
    I am finishing up my first month as a CAREER firefighter-paramedic. I was finally hired full-time last month after a long LONG journey. Over 4 years and 1 month I took 30 civil service examinations around Ohio and ended up six blocks from where I grew up, and always wanted to work. I have been on this site and a ton of others for years and I wanted to share some of what I did to get myself into this position. I feel like I took a little something from every post I read and eventually it paid off.
    Thanks for posting the follow up with such great info. It's inspirational to those of us that are still at it. You've beaten my number of places testing, but not by much.

    Stay safe and best of luck with your career.

    Side note: I think this needs to be a sticky that everyone testing can refer to and post to once they get on. A place for advice on what worked to get them hired and also a place for those still working on getting hired to stay motivated to keep going.
    sweetpete76 likes this.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,029

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    Wecome to the fire service.

    When I see how long you and the other postings have been testing I think of others who cut that learning curve by learning how to take a firefighter intervew which is like no other. Because no matter what your credentials if you can present them in the oral board you will delay the opportunity to gain a badge.

    You don't want to waste any opportunites when your invited to an interview.
    How is this not treated as straight up spam?


    It took me 8 years, but I finally got hired in January and got out of the academy about a month ago. Truly a dream come true. After spending so much time waiting it still doesn't feel real yet.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,029

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    Wecome to the fire service.

    When I see how long you and the other postings have been testing I think of others who cut that learning curve by learning how to take a firefighter intervew which is like no other. Because no matter what your credentials if you can present them in the oral board you will delay the opportunity to gain a badge.

    You don't want to waste any opportunites when your invited to an interview.
    How is this not treated as straight up spam?


    It took me 8 years, but I finally got hired in January and got out of the academy about a month ago. Truly a dream come true. After spending so much time waiting it still doesn't feel real yet.

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    17

    Default

    What an EXCELLENT thread!! Congrats on getting hired, you worked hard and you DESERVE it!!! Very well done. Reading this thread by the OP is like looking back at my days in paramedic school also. I kept an educational "jump bag/kit" in my car too so I was always as best prepared as I could be for that day.

    It's crazy how similar our paths were and our attitudes. I also stayed out of trouble and worked hard to get whatever certifications I could before getting hired.

    I love this thread. Very well done brother!! Be safe

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Deleted...posted in wrong area
    Last edited by sweetpete76; 07-03-2013 at 11:59 AM. Reason: OOPS

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yjbrody View Post
    Thanks for posting the follow up with such great info. It's inspirational to those of us that are still at it. You've beaten my number of places testing, but not by much.

    Stay safe and best of luck with your career.

    Side note: I think this needs to be a sticky that everyone testing can refer to and post to once they get on. A place for advice on what worked to get them hired and also a place for those still working on getting hired to stay motivated to keep going.

    I think that's an excellent idea!!! Well said bro!!

  12. #12
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    700

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Manhattan Medic View Post
    After spending so much time waiting it still doesn't feel real yet.
    Congrats man! I bet it is a weird feeling to have reached your goal after working for so long. Good job keeping at it, and it paid off for you.

    Here's my tips for what has helped me even though I'm still at it: Sometimes depending on how the tests fall for me it feels like another full-time job just for testing. I've got a separate calendar just for testing that helps keep me straight on what's opening up when, when apps are due, when certs are due, various phases of the process (written, physical, phych, etc.), when lists that I'm on expire, so I don't miss any deadlines or application processes. It has worked so far and it helps plan requested days off way in advance so I can avoid taking sick days at my desk job (which IMO looks better in a background packet).

    I've got several copies of all of my certs that I can pull from that I keep current when one expires and is replaced. I even have scanned copies that I can email when necessary.

    I have also done several really large background packets for a few departments I have tested with in the past and I made copies of those before I send them off so I have all the information handy if another process requires it. Everything that I have had to research in my past is in there and available if I need it: driving history, educational references, past job info, neighbor's contact info, landlords contact info, all the depts I've ever tested with and their contact info.... took me forever to find it the first time around, but now I just maintain it and it has helped out tremendously.

    Just some things that has helped me stay organized and sane along the way.
    Last edited by yjbrody; 07-03-2013 at 01:09 PM.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    21

    Default

    This whole thread is full of great advice, ideas, and tips for several people working towards the same goal and striving achieve. I am going to take note from great input like what has been shared in this thread and hopefully soon enough be right there with the OP doing what I have been working towards, and where my passion lies. Great thread and great information!
    sweetpete76 likes this.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts