I am a 13 yr Firefighter/EMT. I am at a crossroads in my career. Ive always enjoyed being on the back, doing the job, and all the supervisors Ive had say I do it well.
The problem is my dept looks down on firefighters who dont promote. They think of us as "slugs" with no job interest. Nothing is further from the truth. I still love my job and am proud to be a firefighter. Whats worse is the Chiefs have a practice of moving senior firefighters out of the hole theyve worked hard to be at if we dont promote in 5 yrs.
Has anyone experienced this at your department? Did you just make yourself read and promote? Ive taken two promotional exams but the competition is brutal.
Would you just accept a slow company assignment and be happy? Im really at a crossroad here and could use some feedback...
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12-07-2013, 09:15 PM #1
Needing your opinion about promoting...
12-07-2013, 09:42 PM #2
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
Sad someone has to pull hose
Not everyone is promotion material, so chiefs should recognize those that are happy in their position and leave them alone. As long as they do the job
12-26-2013, 03:02 PM #3
Some of the brightest minds on the FD are the grunts. Just because someone has trumpets or butterbars on their collars doesn't mean they are smarter...
Yes, the competition for a promotion can be worse than brutal, but keep in mind what Leo Srapleton wrote in either "30 Years on the Line" or "Commish"...
"You only have to be smart a few times in your career"...."The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
12-29-2013, 12:35 PM #4
- Join Date
- Mar 2003
I have a few different ideas on your post. First and foremost, I can tell you that we absolutely need competent, senior firefighters. Having said that, we also need to make room in the busy houses for the new guys. We have to make sure they are competent in their skills (that's why we have the probationary period). We cannot effectively evaluate them if they are in slow houses. That's why we move the "senior" guys out of the busy houses.
You are correct when you say that there is often a mindset that a senior firefighter is a slug and unmotivated (I personally don't feel that way but I have heard it discussed with my peers). It's unfortunate, but often true.
Obviously you have an interest in promoting as you have taken the promotional exam twice. The exams are very predictable. I would encourage you to reflect back to the exams you took. They were probably pretty similar, at least in the information that was tested. I encourage you to take advantage of being in a slow station and STUDY. This is the best way to return to a busy house, as an officer. You obviously have the respect of your supervisors (I assume of your peers too).
As far as the promotional process goes, I encourage you to look at my website. I have TONS of free information on my site that will help you in the promotional process. Good luck to you!!!
Last edited by paulLepore; 12-29-2013 at 12:38 PM.Paul Lepore
01-03-2014, 10:51 PM #5
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
I was in the same situation as you and I just gave in and promoted. I love nothing more than riding the back and being a fireman but here is the kicker, I really love my new promotion after I grew to know it and what it meant in the fire service. And Chief Gonzo is correct on promotions, Leo Stapelton has a great philosophy on promotions and how they benefit the department and you I would encourage you to read all of his books fiction and nonfiction. It will bring the job to a whole new level, if you were in SC I would let you borrow them.
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