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View Poll Results: What should take precedence when being considered for the job?

Voters
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  • Being presently qualified

    12 75.00%
  • Color of skin

    0 0%
  • Ability to learn

    4 25.00%
  • Who you know

    0 0%
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Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    AXE
    AXE is offline
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Houston Fire Department
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    9

    Exclamation Fire service no place for racial wars

    This small town in Mississippi has 3 paid firefighters. The rest are volunteer firefighters. We have a rare opening for firefighter and to make it short, it has turned into a racial thing.
    The department has always been allowed to make its recomendation and has done so this time. We have several applicants with only 2 of them having any fire service experience or training at all. One of those 2 already has the state mandated certifications plus numerous other certifications.(He is presently employed as a Seargent for a much larger all paid department)
    Now, we work 24 on 48 off. One man on duty per shift. This one paid firefighter per shift as you can imagine has a tremendous responsibility and must be able to handle the job his first day at work. With no other persons on duty to train with knowing the job the first day is a must.
    What makes me sick is, the black people of this and surrounding communities believe regardless of qualifications, a black man should be hired for the job. I would be opposed to hiring an unqualified man for the job regardless of color.

    The fire service is no place for a racial war. Emergencies have no color. Any opinions?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
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    3,120

    Default

    The key part here is "small" and three paid firefighters is very small.

    If you don't have the ability to send someone to an academy and to mentor them for some period of time, 6, 12 months at least, then yes experience is important.

    The question does arise if anyone is qualified in the department now who is interested, but if not then looking outside means you can't take a rookie from the situation described.

    --------------
    I'm not one big on quotas. Nor do I like residency requirements POST HIRING.

    I do however believe that public hiring can be a matter of public policy. Firefighting can be taught, and taught well, to people of all backgrounds with basic intelligence and willingness to learn.

    You know, there is a small city about an hour from me. One of the few all-career departments in my part of the state. They did have the oppurtonity to hire two new firefighters, which was a big deal for that city. The population they protect is heavily low income and heavily minority.

    The minimum requirements for being hired? Firefighter II, EMT, and 2-Q (Firetruck) drivers license. EMT isn't a problem -- anyone can go to a local community college and take the class. But in Connecticut it's near impossible to take Firefighter II unless your sponsored by a department, and I don't know many fire chiefs that would allow a non-member to borrow a Fire Truck to take the 2-Q drivers test with. I know out in California, and I think Florida, and some other growing areas there are technical and community colleges that offer basic firefighter training for anyone off the street. That doesn't exist here, though.

    Pretty much means residents of that city wouldn't apply -- they would've never had the oppurtonity to take those classes living in that city. That situation always bugged me -- a good oppurtonity to hire two working class city residents and give them good jobs, and instead the description was written so the City didn't have to send the new guys to recruit school for a couple months. Instead, they could take someone from a suburban volunteer or combination department and put them right to work. Not that the person from the suburb wasn't deserving either -- choices are hard in life, and if it was my choice, I'd go with someone who lives in town for a job over an outsider.

    Now that department is small -- probably 60 members -- but not so small they can't take the time to send someone to an academy and then mentor in house. When you get to the very small 3 man departments, you don't have the luxury of being a tool of public policy too.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    canton oh
    Posts
    18

    Question

    In your situation you really don't have any choices. For the safety of the community, the other firefighters, and certainly the person you hire you need to go with experience.

    I agree with you that the fire service should not be a battle ground for race issues but unfortunately it is. All government type jobs are. The media loves it.

    A suggestion would be to hire expierence this time and then actively recruit minorities and train one for the next opening. You Owe it to the people in your area experience dispite themselves.

    GOOD LUCK!
    Stay cool, Be safe

  4. #4
    AXE
    AXE is offline
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2000
    Location
    Houston Fire Department
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    Default

    Thanks for the comments so far... Dalmatian I should clear up one thing, the guy that is qualified that works with the larger department is from here. He loves here also. Just works out of town presently. All of the applicants live here or close, just one of them is qualified.
    Also being the only man on duty per shift, knowing the geographical layout of the area is a must seeing this person drives and operates the primary engine in the city limits.
    Keep the responses coming.

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