Thread: Hiring Freeze

  1. #1
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    Default Hiring Freeze

    Question:

    Hey Captain Bob I have been testing now for about a year I am from the peninsula (San Mateo County) and placed 24th out of 188 people on the last FIREHIRE EXAM problem is the county depts. are on a hiring freeze. I am a very hungry candidate and wonder what the future for hiring is with bay area fire depts. Thank You Don

    Reply:

    Once the dust settles and more retire under the 3% @ age 50, there will be more hiring. You placed 24th after the written and physical. The oral is still going to be 100% of the score once a department that uses the FireHire certified list to call in candidates. The closest distance from you to that badge is your oral board score.

    Continue to gain education, experience and look into medic school. If you become a medic, gain as much experience before you become a rookie firefighter. It is tough being a rookie medic and firefighter at the same time.

    During these economic times, it proves that it is more important than ever to place as high as possible on a list so when the hiring selection is made, you have a shot. Since 100% of your score in obtaining a firefighter job is in the oral board, what are you missing that’s keeping you from gaining that badge?

    This is what I’m talking about:

    I had my first oral exam with Seattle in Jan., I just got the letter on Friday the 28th of Feb. I made the list but low on it, I have another oral on March 18, a Fire and Rescue. I would like to know how to kill them, help!!! I felt I answered most of Seattle's question right, would like to know how to stop saying um, um, between responses, I am sure I got ding'd on it. I have all the right stuff I feel to be a good FF just need some help putting it together with a nice neat package.

    Another:

    Hi Captain Bob,

    The Seattle oral boards just ate my lunch! I got 5s and 6s on every question. I got a 58. I think my presentation skills were ok, I just said all the wrong stuff. Right now, I have the consortium (Seattle suburbs Bellevue, Shoreline, Woodinville, Northshore, Mercer Island, and Kirkland) CPAT and Written Coming up. I know I can knock out the written, as I got a
    92 on the Seattle Exam, and the CPAT is not a problem. But as they say in the movies "Failure is not an option!"

    I wish I had found your site earlier, as it was I only found it after the orals, which does not help at all, but as you say there is another oral coming up. So now its time to circle the wagons and pull out all the stops.

    Also, I plan on running the full gauntlet with your stuff, including the coaching. Ok that’s all the questions I have for now. Christian.

    Reply:

    Everyone thinks and knows they would make a great firefighter. The rubber meets the road convincing the oral board that you are!

    “Nothing counts ‘til you have the badge . . . Nothing!”

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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    Default Cards and Letters

    Keep those cards and letter (e-mails too) a comin in:

    Dear Captain Bob,

    I am a professional firefighter in the mid west. I have been there for almost two and a half years now, and I owe my success in large part to your guidance and help. It’s been a life changing time now that this former teacher is in love with the greatest profession of all.

    I commute two hours to work (you can see where this letter is going already). While still on probation, I risked my job and reputation by applying for the Madison Fire Department. This was in 2000. I went all the way to the chief’s interview and secured a spot on a list of over 200. The first class was picked in 2001 and the second is being picked this month, and the phones are quiet.

    My mistakes are clear as crystal in my head, now that I’ve spent three years on a waiting list, doing just that-waiting. I made it through my current departments process with my tape recorder and psych report in hand, and the whole experience made me cocky. Like a dumbbell, I thought since I was already a firefighter, my confidence would show and I would breeze through the process. What an idiot! My confidence sure did show alright–it showed that I was willing to take the time to prepare a little bit here and there, but by the time the oral board and chiefs interview came along, it was clear just how unprepared I really was. My oral board was made up of Milwaukee and Chicago firemen, and my chief’s interview consisted of two assistant chiefs and the chief. I wanted to wow them with my knowledge of fact and trivia and statistics, but all they wanted to know was the basics–What did my supervisor’s think of me?...duh, well I’ve never thought of that before this moment, chief. When asked what my coworkers thought of me, all I could think to say was that I was willing to put up with endless abuse. The assistant chief laughed till his eyes watered, and had to excuse himself from the table. Yeah, my confidence showed, alright.

    Well as MFD makes their picks this month, they have opened up their next hiring process. My application goes in this week. I was a fool to think I could wing it without professional coaching from you and Rob. MFD is three times larger than my current department, and there will be 800-1200 more applicants. All my life I have aimed for the top 20% and just hoped, with luck and a smile that I could squeeze by. I know that I won’t have a chance in this next process unless I aim for the number one spot. I going to need your help, so you will be hearing from me. Thanks for your time and inspiration over the years.

    Sincerely, Jeff

    "Nothing blah, blah, blah, blah . . . Nothing!"


    www.eatstress.com


    Fire "Captain Bob"

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    Default Capt. Bob

    Hey Capt. I was interested in moving out to the West Coast and working out there. I have 2 1/2 years experience and think that the CA, OR, and WA areas are what I'm looking for as far as amount of work(more,more,more) and scenery. Is it a good time to move or is the freeze basically for the majority of the West Coast? I'm asking because if it is, I will probably try to go to the academy down here for now. What do you think? Thanks.
    To Err Is Human; To Forgive Divine. Neither Is Marine Corps Policy. Semper Fi! Ooh-Rah!

    Let's roll!

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    Default Stay Where you Are

    I never encourage anyone to move to a new area unless they have a job offer in writing. Stay home and gain as much education and experience with your current gainful employment. Travel to test where ever you can.

    I know of a candidate who move to Arizona on the hopes of getting a job there. His prospects soon evaporated. Leaving him without a job or resources.

    Another candidate moved to Seattle in the hopes of getting on. Not only did he not get on, he lost his home in So. Calif to foreclosure and was charged with domestic violence by his wife when things did not work out.

    Captain Bob

    www.eatstress.com

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    Talking Thanks...

    Here's another question for you and anyone else who wants to put in their two cents: In an attempt to move to CA I have put in with the CHP and, if hired, will probably have to work for them a minimum of two years before I can go and apply with a dept(fire or police) over there. I thought this would be enough time to go through the Firefighter I courses and be state-cert. It'll also give me time to sort things out and decide if I want to stay with the CHP or apply with a FD. I thought of this because of how many firefighters I know who used to be cops. Do you think this is a good idea, or should I get my paramedic cert. instead?
    To Err Is Human; To Forgive Divine. Neither Is Marine Corps Policy. Semper Fi! Ooh-Rah!

    Let's roll!

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    Default No

    Get you paramedic cert. This could be your ticket in.

    Captain Bob

    www.eatstress.com

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    Smile Thanks again.

    Sounds like a good idea, I just wasn't sure which would be better.
    Thanks.
    To Err Is Human; To Forgive Divine. Neither Is Marine Corps Policy. Semper Fi! Ooh-Rah!

    Let's roll!

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    Default Joining with your medic

    Just to throw a subject in to the open that I have been contemplating for a while in my head? In many of the posts there is the suggestion of gaining your medic cert for a easier foot in the door. What is the belief of those who do just that? Are they permanently doomed to the stigma of simply the guy who was hired b/c he was a medic. Do the firefighters hold this sort of resentment to these individuals rather than those who became medics once on the job. Along the same lines does the department hold this over the individuals head that the only reason they were hired is b/c of their medic credentials, and are forever held prisoner by this action (ex. are they required to do extra ems duties, or time on the box). There is a tremendous amount of suggestions that post secondary education is non essential. I agree that it is not critical as a probie, however we do not want an uneducated fire service as well. Individuals need to recognize that the education probably will not help them as far as becoming a firefighter, but it may play a significant role in any future advancements, or your financial security by off duty employment. I’m just putting out small rants that go through my head on a daily basis and simply want honest thoughts toward what the general consensus is.

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