Thread: HOW LONG?

  1. #1
    FireRebel Guest

    Post HOW LONG?

    How many years did it take you to get hired on your department?
    I have been trying for almost seven years, still trying, who knows when I will stop, keep pluggin away I guess?

  2. #2
    FireFJayT Guest


    I took about 18 months.

  3. #3
    FyredUp Guest


    Don't get discouraged...It took me 11 years of on and off trying to get hired.

    Some times it just boiled down to luck. I was 13th on the list they hired 12. I was 10th they hired 9. Thats just how it goes sometimes.

    Keep adding to your resume and practice your interviewing skills and KEEP TRYING!!!!!

    Good Luck,


    Big Brother isn't watching over us...He is ignoring us.....

  4. #4
    2GenFF Guest


    I got real lucky. It was the first test I took and I ended up 5th on the list. I agree that luck plays a big part in it. You never know what's going to happen. If you don't keep taking the tests you'll never get on though. Good Luck. I hope it works out for you.

  5. #5
    Hammerhead338 Guest


    It took me 3 trys in about 1 1/2 years. Best thing that I have ever done, keep at it and good luck.


  6. #6
    FitzBFDT2 Guest

    Thumbs up

    Hit the lottery on the first time out. Took about 1 1/2 years from application to getting sworn in.

    Kevin M. Fitzhenry,
    Firefighter, Truck Co. 2
    City of Bayonne (NJ) FD

  7. #7
    Captain Gonzo Guest


    I got lucky, too. I took the firrefighter entrance exam in April 1981, got appointed in November 1981, 2nd on the list.

    Firefighters: Today's heroes protecting our tomorrows....
    Captain Gonzo

  8. #8
    dfwscotty Guest


    Luckily I was employed at the time I applied. It was the only place and the first place I applied because once I sent in my application the process took a year.

  9. #9
    FireRebel Guest


    THANKS for the support out there.....Stay safe!

  10. #10
    smokeyben1 Guest


    Firerebel, I sat 2 entrance exams over a period of 2-1/2 years to make it in and that was with paid on call experience of 6 years with the department.

  11. #11
    UA Z Guest


    Stop wasting your time in Iowa - move down south where there are plenty of fire jobs(Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia) (low pay, poor equipment etc...) - you'll see how bad you want to be a firefighter real quick!! It took me 5 years to realize this - I moved 1200 miles from home to get my first fire job, never looked back and would do it again in a heartbeat. Best thing I ever did. Take a chance - otherwise you'll never know!

  12. #12
    FireRebel Guest


    First of all thanks for all the replies on this subject....UA Z no offense but I do not feel I am wasting my time in IOWA, We have alot of nice departments that are well funded and pay all right....2nd thing is I have not limited myself just to Iowa, I have tested from west coast to the east coast, I have tested in I think 14 states..I am currently on a hiring list here in Iowa, and hoping and praying it works out, and if it does not I will hit the roads again! Stay Safe

    [This message has been edited by FireRebel (edited November 03, 2000).]

  13. #13
    UA Z Guest


    No offense - keep pluggin' away - Good Luck!!

  14. #14


    i am still waiting to get in to mcallen fd (pay and benifits are excellent) after 3 yrs of trying.
    but i enjoy working for my hometown (the equipment is great)
    i do disagree with the others who mentioned "luck"."luck" has nothing to do with it. it takes hard work,conditioning,studying our craft for countless hours,and above all CHARACTER, to get what you want. (no offence to all )
    stay safe all!

  15. #15
    ffeng Guest


    Have to disagree with you Bomberodave. Hard work, character, etc. often have nothing to do with it. I spent 3 years in the 1980's trying to get on to a paid dept in Mass. Residency requirements are one issue that has nothing to do with hard work. If the dept where you live is small or has just a few slots open, hard work isn't going to cut it. In every other dept, you are behind residents. Court-ordered hiring requirements for certain minority groups. In Mass during the 80's, if I remember right, it was 1 minority minimum for every 3 hires and 1 of 2 in the larger cities - Springfield, Worcester, Boston, etc. If those social policies are desired by the public, I have no problem with it, but no one will ever tell me that I didn't work hard enough. I busted my butt during those years trying to get on, and 25-50% of the open slots were not available to me as a white male. Unemployment was higher during that time as well, there just wasn't as many positions opening up. The medical requirements have also changed as well since then. I remember guys memorizing the Snellon eye charts and trying to get through the eye tests with contacts on. Today, contacts are acceptable under NFPA medical requirments. Other depts have lifted maximum hiring age requirements.
    So is it all hard work and character? I don't think so - there are demographic factors, how many retirements,etc., employment situation, social policy, residency requirements, changes in standards, and others.
    Hard work? I went into the interviews with 3 years of being a student bunker firefighter with a very busy small city department where I went to college. I got up 3-4 times a night for 3 years for a free room to help lower college costs and ended up fighting probaby 200-300 fires. Do you think the interviewers cared? They hired the son of some friend of the city mayor.
    I don't mean any disrespect, but your comments hit a sore spot. It has been a number of years, but after those 3 years I found out that it wasn't about hard work or character. I had to make a very difficult decision - stick it out and continue to play a game that I didn't believe should have to be played to reach my goal or pack it in and give up the opportunity. I decided that enough was enough, I didn't believe the process in Mass was a fair one.
    I hope that your experiences have been where hard work, experience, and character matter, but please don't paint with such a broad brush.

  16. #16
    FFE3BFD Guest


    I hit the same lottery as FitzBFDT2 except a differnt class....1st time taking the test, about 4 years from test to being sworn in.

    ~Smooth Bore For The Hard Core~

  17. #17
    snowball Guest


    Keep chuggin on little brother,study hard,
    stay in shape, keep focused, and stay involved. The more they see your name on the
    list the better. Good luck! snowball out!!

    ??? Did I say that ???

  18. #18
    rescuebill Guest


    I've got the seceret to getting hired. I've been on three paid departments from the age of 24 to 28 where I now work. I was military prior to that.

    Get your ff 3 and more important get your emt-p. then have some friends viedo a fake interview and let you know what you could do better.

    The emt-p saves cities money and they will look at you hard.

  19. #19
    FireRebel Guest


    Thanks Guys for all the advice....I appreciate it.....God Bless and Stay Safe

  20. #20
    Firediver Guest

    Thumbs up

    I put myself through the fire academy, and still it took me seven years to land a fire job. I started out Part-time with an airport (private FF company, sorry IAFF). I then got on as a volunteer with the Dept (IAFF). They hired me 6 months later. I feel that if you want it bad enough, do what you have to do. Research the chosen Dept. and find out what kind of things they are into, ie., Haz-Mat, water rescue, EMS, that sort of thing. Then get the training. When it comes down to it, what looks more impressive to a chief who is hiring, an inch thick folder of a guy who showed initiative and got his own training, or a 1/4 inch folder with just an application? I would hire the guy who showed the initiative. Don't be afraid to go out and get your own training.
    Good luck and stay safe... When you stop learning, you start dying.

  21. #21
    FF27 Guest


    Been tring for 4 years finally got on the job in PG County Maryland

  22. #22
    E91 Guest

    Thumbs up

    Fire Rebel,
    I am a paid ff/EMT-I with Marion, Iowa. This is the second carrier department that I have been on. I took me 4 years and nine states to land my first job. It sounds like you already know the testing road well. I would fly, drive, swim, or crawl to just about any department that was holding a test. What worked for me was to make the oral board interview a priority. It is the most important part of your testing process. Anyone can pass a written of physical test but they really get to know you in your oral. Check out the FF's book store and get some oral board tapes to review. Keep it up and don't get down. The jobs aren't going to the smartest people out there, but to the ones who have done thier homework. Good luck and test, test, test.

  23. #23
    JetAxe Guest


    It took me 2 years to get on the small department I first worked at. Then it took 3 years for me to get on at a major metro department.

    Keep the faith! Mom was rite, good things come to those who wait!

  24. #24
    Fire737 Guest


    Never Give up. Most guys only try a few times, realize the competition is to much and give up. I tested for 5 years and with 12 different FD's before getting picked up full time in 98. Good Luck

  25. #25
    Fire737 Guest


    Dont give up. Its worth the wait. Took me 5 years and 12 tests before I was picked up full time. Good luck

    All comments expressed are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the Logan Fire Dept or Local 2148

    Logan Fire Dept
    Local 2148

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