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  1. #1
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    Question best track to a job?

    im sure this questions has been asked a million times over, but im going to ask it again. what exactly is the best way to go about getting a job as a career firefighter? right now i am attending the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and am going to finish getting my 4 year degree, and along with my normal classes toward my major next semester, i am taking firefighter I&II and EMT Basic at a local technical college, which i am told is one of the better fire schools in Minnesota. im not sure if if matters or not, but i have talked to a few firefighters in person, and they told me that this is the best way to go, to get the background so i can take the tests, and get the EMT-B because most departments require that now. does this sound somewhat accurate? or is there some other track i should be thinking about taking?...any help would be much appreciated


  2. #2
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    Default Emt yes!

    OK you asked. Here's the real deal. Yes, get your EMT. What makes you think that 4 year degree is going to get you a badge?

    Remember, You're Just a Rookie

    Iíve coached several candidates who have had B.S./BA degrees in Public Administration areas. They had been guided by misguided counselors that this would be an asset to get into the fire service. What ends up happening is these candidates end up at an entry level oral board boasting and trying to hammer the board with their degree. What they donít understand is probably no one on the other side of the oral board table has or will ever obtain this degree. And most of these candidates will ever have a chance to use it in the fire service. Can you get hired going the education route? Sure. It happens all the time. Many of our non-medic candidates just started the LA City academy.

    An associate sent me this information from a fire officer who instructs Fire Protection or Fire Management programs at California State University Los Angeles. With the subject of wanna-bees desiring to get their BA/BS degrees confirmed what you and I already know about candidates in interviews showing up with BA/BS degrees. And that is they get either laughed out of the room or the interview panel becomes resentful and down goes the interview score! DUH!

    This from a SF candidate: I'm currently on the SFFD H-2 list "4th Generation hopefully SFFD"! I'm also a volunteer firefighter/EMT.

    My volunteer Fire department requires a Paramedic certs. for entry-level firefighters. After graduating from a four year university... I had an administration internship with my volunteer department where I wrote and designed the District's Master Plan and preformed statistical analysis for "time respond" for Fire suppression and medical calls. I also went on ride alongs with the engine, truck and even with the Chief himself. I was told by the Chief, if I went out to get my paramedic license... I would be hired on the spot. Becoming a paramedic is not my cup of tea... it's been beaten in my head as a child "from my Grandfather and Father" to be a firefighter not a medic... ! All of the paid firefighters like my work ethic and all say they should let me in as a Firefighter/EMT.

    My reply: With all due respect to your family members, the playing field has changed. It must be killing you to see these guys hired and it's not you. Like it or not, understand this. 75% of calls are medical in nature. 80%of the job offerings are for fire medics. Had you gone to medic school as I encourage candidates to do, gained the valuable in service medic street time, you wouldn't be trying to fight your way into a department as an EMT. You would be wearing the H-3 badge for SFFD (I'm 3rd generation San Franciscan myself) or another department.

    John came in for Private Coaching after not being able to pass any oral boards. He was one of those candidates who I think was misguided into a Public Administration Degree. During his coaching, he kept trying to come back to his degree. I finally told him, "Screw you! You want to come into my oral board and try to hammer me with a degree you may never use?" Youíre applying for a snotty nose rookie position as a firefighter!" John dropped his head and said, "Maybe thatís why I canít get through any orals."

    John ended up going to paramedic school (which he should have already done instead of the B/A degree). Although he mentioned the B/S degree in his oral board answer "What have you done to prepare for this position" he focused on his personal life and paramedic experience. He got his badge!

    I believe in education. If you want to get a Public Administration, engineering or any other degree as a career track, great. Donít think it will be the key to get into the fire service. It could hurt you.
    I look for the shortest distance to the badge. If I were starting out, I would run to paramedic school. Yes, you can get on without it. I have candidates all the time who get a badge without being a medic. But for the time spent and with more than 80% of job offerings being fire/medic, the odds are better.

    Captain Bob

    www.eatstress.com

  3. #3
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    Default thx bob

    thx for the info bob, one follow up question, is the EMT-B all i need, or do i need to be a full-fledged Paramedic?
    oh and btw, i am getting the 4-year degree for my own benefit, not because i think it will help me get my badge, i knew it wouldnt.

  4. #4
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    Default

    This is a good question because a lot of the Captain's advice (although great advice and well-intentioned) is designed for getting a job in a CA fire department. In CO, I can only think of a couple of departments that give preference points for medics. Even with those departments, the majority of the recruits are not medics.

    The answer to your question lies in your own research. Find out about local departments that are hiring. The two questions you need to ask are:

    1. What is the minimum level of EMS training needed to apply?
    2. Are preference points given to EMT-I or EMT-P?

    Eric

  5. #5
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    Default No experience

    Think about it? You're applying for a non medic entry level postion. As a rater on your panel, it is revealed that you are a medic. Will this improve your score and a chance to get a badge even if we don't have medics at this time? Presented properly, yes, yes, yes. We hear it all the time.


    We help more firefighters get hired nationwide in through Canada, not just California. We have helped many candidates get hired in CO too. Do you want to be one of the army out there trying to get this job, you have the skills to make it in within a reasonable period of time. How long can you tread water?

    Can you get hired without bieng a medic, yes. The real secret is making it happen in the oral board. Here's one

    Lucky Joe?


    Joe got one of our flyers when he picked up an application for the San Francisco Fire Department test. He had seen the ad for the test in the paper. Although he was not a kid, he thought he would give it a shot. No background, formal education or experience related to the fire service.

    It didnít take long after Joe contacted us to figure out that he was not the brightest light on the tree.

    We suggested a book he could get to help him prepare for the written. Every time he called me he also called my firefighter son Rob and left a message asking, if I buy this book, does it have the answers for the San Francisco test in it? There were many, many calls. We answered all.

    Of the 4100 that took the San Francisco written, guess who passed? Joe passed the SFFD written/1

    The oral was next. Rob dreaded the doing the coaching session. It normally takes about an hour to do a coaching session. It was a looooong session.

    Guess who was one of the 609 who passed the San Francis. Yep, Joe.

    Joe doesnít know about you. He doesnít know about your degree, certificates, education, and experience.

    Next was the physical agility. Joe was in great shape. He wanted to know how to prepare. I told him to go to the Physical Agility section of the FREE ď101 Inside Secrets to Get a Badge on our web site. Joe left a message the next day, Captain Bob I canít find that book you told me about on preparing for the physical. Another call to Joe that itís FREE on the web site.

    Even though Joe is not the sharpest knife in the drawer he did something you probably arenít. He said Captain Bob just tell what I need to do. And, he listened! He listened to what he needed to do. Joe followed the simple formula: Get the program. Work it. Use a tape recorder to practice. Get coaching. Badge!

    Guess who graduated from the 108th fire academy last month in San Francisco? Thatís right Joe. He walked right in off the street and took away your badge.

    I told this to candidate testing for 4 years in the Denver area last week and he said, ďCaptain Bob thatís not funny.Ē I know it isnít. But Joe is now wearing the badge that many aspire to wear.

    Luck is given to the prepared.

    What are you willing to do to get a badge? Call Joe and he will tell you.

    Absolutely nothing counts 'til you have the badge. Nothing!

    "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com
    Last edited by CaptBob; 05-01-2003 at 07:10 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: No experience

    Originally posted by CaptBob
    We help more firefighters get hired nationwide in through Canada, not just California. We have helped many candidates get hired in CO too. Do you want to be one of the army out there trying to get this job, you have the skills to make it in within a reasonable period of time. How long can you tread water?

    Can you get hired without bieng a medic, yes. The real secret is making it happen in the oral board.
    Captain,
    I completely agree that being a medic can help you get hired. However, going to medic school is 1.5 years of your life, $5000, and reduced pay at your job (if you work during that time). Will it be the difference between getting hired and not getting hired? It could. Is it worth it to take the class? I don't believe it is when you are unaffiliated. If you can interview well, you can get a job in CO, no need to be a medic.

    Eric

  7. #7
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    Default

    Slimjim,
    I am from a metro dept in MN. If your serious about getting that badge and want to increase your long distance phone bill, give me a call at my office, 952-401-4396. Scott

  8. #8
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    Default FREE Advice

    It has been my experience that once hired almost everyone becomes an expert on how to get hired. They quickly forget how really difficult it is to become a firefighter.

    Of those giving the free advice, I wonder if they were on the street right now, which path would they take? My concern is candidates will take the advice and find out in the process of testing over the next 3, 5 or more years that the FREE advice didn't work. Those that got their ducks in a row and made the sacrifices for an investment in a career (yea, it's not easy to become a medic and all the challenges it will present) had recoverd their investment and are moving up toward the first promotion.

    All that being said, it is the oral board interview skills that will get you the badge; no matter what your credentials. This is where the rubber meets the road. This might help:

    What if it were just a myth?

    Question:

    I wanted to know why this one candidate was in the hiring process? He had no academy, no college degree, no EMT, and no experience. I thought to myself, how could this guy be in the same group as myself?

    Reply:

    That's the myth. Candidates believe they have to accumulate a bunch of credentials to be hired. That, this alone will get them the job. The truth is it's not what you have or don't have but how you present those credentials. The rubber meets the road in the oral board.

    Don't get me wrong, credentials are great. But, we've had numerous candidates, like the one you described above, with few or no fire related credentials get hired. The difference is they realized they couldn't compete with candidates with overwhelming credentials.

    They improved their chances by concentrating on the most important part of the process. THE ORAL BOARD! They convert their personal life experiences into proven oral board skills needed to get that badge! Like you, this baffles the other candidates. They can't or won't believe it can be done. Right now we have several of these candidates with seemingly no credentials, in the hiring process in major cities across the United States and Canada, including LA City, Henderson, Denver, and Stockton.

    Reply from a candidate:

    Are you trying to tell me that a city would hire a candidate with not fire education or experience? No way!

    Response from a candidate who did it:

    There is a real simple answer to your question...most, if not all big city departments require almost none, if any, experience or certs. Says so right on the job announcement. Unless they are required by the department to test, certs and experience mean squat.

    The people who get the jobs are those who can show during the oral board process that they possess the personality, willingness to learn, ability to adapt, and how all of their past life and work experiences have made them well suited for the career. These are the people who blow right by the other wannabes.

    You have to be pretty blind and ignorant not to understand why these bigger departments run their own academies...so they can teach the recruits "their way". None of these depts care one bit how it was done at whatever academy you have been to before.

    This is what Capt. Bob does for you. He shows you how to handle the situational questions and how to demonstrate to the panel members that you can and want to do the job.

    Even with no fire experience and just a lowly EMT cert, I had 4 conditional job offers within a two week period from Stockton, Denver and two departments in Nevada. I got to pick! and I'm just My secret?.....Capt. Bob!!!!!!

    Reply from "Captain Bob":

    I keep hearing, "I'll do just about anything to get this job." I guess that doesn't include gaining the needed skills to be able to present yourself in an oral board to nail a badge. Just think of the advantage a candidate would have, and the time it would shorten between them and a badge, if they had the credentials and learned the proven oral board skills needed to put them over the top to secure the badge of a life time?

    What if there were a FREE way to get an answer to your questions where you might be stuck? A toll FREE number that you could call 24 hours a day. FREE college programs. A web site with over 150 FREE "Inside Secrets How to Get a Badge", and a weekly FREE drawing for products that would improve you chances in getting a badge. Wouldn't you be all over this opportunity? Then why haven't you taken advantage of the offers? What don't you understand about FREE?

    The ball is in your court.

    Many candidates never understand this message and are skeptical even if they are offered a no-questions-asked full refund and are at no risk, except they might get a badge. Some lose hope and drop out of the process. If they only knew how close they really were. Often, in despair, this is when many candidates contact us.

    Here is how it worked for Garret:

    I was doing work experience at "Captain Bob's" fire department. One day he asked me an oral board question. I thought I answered it O.K.. "Captain Bob" offered me a private coaching session. I didn't think I needed it.

    I continued to test while I added credentials, became a volunteer and paramedic. I still couldn't crack the oral boards. I didn't know what to do next. A year later, I took "Captain Bob" up on his offer for private coaching.

    Ten minutes into the coaching session, "Captain Bob" rewound the video tape and showed me the mistakes I was making he had seen the year before. I dropped my head and said, "What took me so long to get here?"

    I nailed my next three orals. Three months from that private coaching session, "Captain Bob" ,in class A uniform, spoke for me as my wife pinned my badge at my fire department graduation.

    I can only tell you one thing about getting the audio/video program and private coaching with "Captain Bob" . . . . DO IT! It will be the best money you can spend in gaining a career.

    One thing I didn't expect when I became a firefighter. The thrill to ride in the jump seats and have kids and adults wave and give you praise. If that doesn't light your fire, you've got wet wood.

    Garret

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . absolutely nothing!

    For more check out the Career articles on this web site by cliking here: http://cms.firehouse.com/content/sec...sp?sectionId=8

    "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com
    Last edited by CaptBob; 05-03-2003 at 07:19 PM.

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