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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Stamford, CT, USA
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    Lightbulb Interviewing Applicants to a Volunteer FD

    Does anyone have any resources on what questions to ask or not to ask? Any ideas how to conduct an effective interview.


  2. #2
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    There are a number of questions that are prohibited by Federal law, mostly relating to age, religion, and sexual preference. We use an interview panel consisting of officers and FFs (no chiefs). We try to ask open ended questions that require the candidate to talk at length and explain thoughts and positions. The questions do not state it specifically but what we look for in the answers are if this person has the required commitment and dedication, is the person a team player, and can they follow orders.

    We also do a criminal background check and a psychological profile. If the candidate gets through the these tests they must then pass the FF agility test. (CPAT)

    We developed this interview/testing program after a neighbor department unknowingly hired an arsonist. Since we have had this program we also found, and rejected, an arsonist. The guy we found has subsequently been convicted of arson and is currently in jail.

    Hope this helps,

    ~R

  3. #3
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    Conifer, CO
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    Default interview questions

    New York Stete has a new class called Legal Issues in the Volunteer Fire Service which has a chapter on this. The past Chief from Ridgefield, Ct is now up at the New York State Fire Acadamy in Montour Falls, NY. If somebody down there knows him maybe you can get a copy of the course material. I've already packed my books as I'm getting ready to move to Colorado. There are a few guys from my old department (Vista NY) working down in Stamford, maybe you can hook up with one of them to get the material
    Good Luck
    JoeP
    Carmel Fire Dept
    (ExChief Vista FD)

  4. #4
    Forum Member firefighter26's Avatar
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    Breathing........ check
    Walking.......... check

    Here's your pager and your gear is over there.

    Seems to work pretty well....
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

  5. #5
    Forum Member FightingDevil's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
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    Montgomery County, PA
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    Post Depends....

    A chief or other officer will talk to the person when they come to pick up the application. They'll explain the time requirements, certification requirements (FFI within the first year, etc..) and the like. 9 out of 10 times this will weed out the people who really don't want to be there.

    For Juniors/Cadets, we've started requiring an 'interview' with them and thier parents to go over everything. We want the parents to know what their son or daughther is signing up for and get thier approval. We also want to make it clear to the parents that we'd rather not use our weekly crew night to open up a babysitting service!!!

    Works out pretty well....we have some that slip through the cracks, but that's why we have a probabtionary period and the like.

    -Devil
    Once again....the above views are my own and not that of my department. (And probably should not be construed as having any real meaning, whatsoever!)

    IACOJ

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber Airborne's Avatar
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    My department, ask that you bring your spouse with. Because it is a time commitment, she/he should be there so that they understand that, I think that this also, makes the canidate be that much more honest. Alot of open ended questions to assesrtaine what type of person you have sitting there seems to be the best.

    Situational questions are great to. One that I was asked it your at a scene, and the owner is jsut frantic, and she wants to know why it took 20 minutes for you to get there, even though it took on 5 minutes from the time the call came in, what would you do?

    This question is great becasue it gives you a chance to judge the true person, that you might be hiring.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Kansas USA
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    Our FD has a policy like FF26's dept. I am of the opinion that there should at least be an interview, but I'm not the Chief so...

  8. #8
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    we schedule interviews with potential candiadtes on a drill night where they are interviewed by usually all the officers and if after that we like them they are invited back for the physical abilites test and then go for a physical and they are on..........probation for a year per the union contract ......
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  9. #9
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    Schenectady, NY
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    A union in a volunteer FD now thare is something new. Tell me why I would need to belong to a union to volunteer. In my FD a standing committee chats with them and there name is brought before the membership. If elected to probation they are made a member probationary member pending a physical. We once did not give someone the chance to fail and the courts slapped us silly. Now we have a ton of court ordered paperwork to do during the 6 months prob. period.

  10. #10
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    Las Vegas, NV
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    Basically we have the prospective member come in, tell us a little bit about themselves, why they are interested in volunterring, how much they know about the fire service, etc. Then we talk about the time and training committments, tell them what they can expect, and then the obliatory station tour. Uwsually the frank discussion of the time and training requirements weed out the "glory hounds". We require them to be at the monthly membership meeting where we vote them in as a "probationary member", then we get them set up for training with the county and proceed from there.
    David J. Marti, EMT-B/VFF-I
    Maryland City VFD
    Anne Arundel County Station 27

    These are my opinions and mine only. They do not represent those of my employer or the Volunteer organization I belong to.

  11. #11
    Temporarily/No Longer Active July36's Avatar
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    We basically have applicants fill out a 1 page application with a required signature for a background check through the local Sherriffs Dept.The application consists of thier name,DL#,birth date,SS#,past and present employers,references and a brief history.It also asks why they want to join our Company and why we should select them as well as them signing that they understand false statements are grounds for dismissal.
    Another thing we ask is what qualifications they have and what they can do or WOULD do to make our Dept better.
    Basically its just general questions with nothing contreversial and mainly these are kept for our files.As for the background check,we usually dont do that unless we feel a suspicion.We never used to do any of this until a guy joined our company and was currently involved in a theft ring which we knew nothing about...and we also had no idea he was wanted until one of the officers onscene on a call we responded to recognized him and arrested him.And since our town is VERY low income,we felt the background check thing would do us more good than harm and the local Sheriffs Dept also agreed.
    One last thing,we vote in our members,first by the members themselves...then by the Officers.

    Donna C
    Fire Chief
    Bridge Canyon VFD
    http://www.fire-ems.net/firedept/view/SeligmanAZ/

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Conshohocken, PA
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    Thumbs down So far we haven't been caught

    Originally posted by firefighter26
    Breathing........ check
    Walking.......... check

    Here's your pager and your gear is over there.

    Seems to work pretty well....
    Please see Losers, Losers II, III, IV.

    You should change that attitude NOW!

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