I'm a female firefighter/EMT and I was wondering if anyone had any words of wisdom for trying to do this for a career. I plan to finish up my Fire Science Technology degree in the next year or so and wanted to start looking around for a job. Any advice is welcome...I already know I'll most likely need to relocate to a new state (Michigan offers next to nothing for fire jobs). You can either reply on here, or email me: email@example.com
Thank you..I appreciate any help.
TT wouldn't happen to stand for Thomas Township would it?
Actually, it's Tittabawassee Township. Damn close though!
STFD = Saginaw Township FD?
The biggest problem female candidates have in gaining a badge is upper body strength to pass the physical agility. Can you pass? If not, everything you are doing is for not.
This might help:
Physical Agility, CPAT, Biddle What Ever
Often, candidates don't realize that it's not just strength in the physical agility. The "Nugget " is technique, momentum and grip. If you are uncertain or having problems in the physical, take advantage of any college or academy programs to learn the techniques to practice pulling hose, throwing a latter, dragging a dummy (not you), etc. Many departments offer practice sessions for their physical test prior to the actual date of testing. Don't pass up this opportunity.
You don’t want any surprises during the physical agility. You need to have practiced hands on with every segment of the agility. Too many candidates think they are in great shape. One who did not take advantage of the practice session told me, “Hey, that 75 pound hose pack was heavy. Humping that hose bundle up the tower, hosting and other manipulative skills, then back down the tower steps made my lungs burn and caused the loss of valuable seconds.” The best way to train for this event is to up the cardio by going up and down bleachers with a backpack with weights or a weighted vest from WeightVest.com.
In those areas of concern, work with a trainer at a gym in those fields of motion that would improve your ability. Often fire training divisions know the exercises that would apply to those areas. When ice skaters were trying to break the record for a triple lux, they found by working on upper body strength was the secret. You can learn more about physical agility training from firefightersworkout.com.
Check in with your local area department and arrange to go by for a little coaching. What firefighter wouldn't want to puff out their chest showing his or her special techniques that got them their job or help on the fire ground. One of our candidates was losing sleep over the uncertainty of not being able to throw a ladder. These fears were put to rest after visiting a local fire department that showed the needed technique.
With ladder throws, it's gaining momentum and a continuous movement from beginning to end of the throw, using a pivot point and the weight of the latter to your advantage. Dragging hose or a dummy is starting with a thrust to start up the momentum, taking shorted steps, keeping a low forward center of gravity, using your own weight to keep up the momentum during the pull.
Walking a ladder is using a pivot point and the weight of the ladder to your advantage. When raising the fly, pull the rope in short hand over hand movements in front of your face not much higher than your head. On each grip of the rope, turn your fist palm down to improve your grip. Keep one foot planted at the spur (bottom one side or the other) keep the other foot back for balance. Slightly tilt the ladder towards the wall for balance as you raise it.
The dummy from my Son's department disappeared from the training center. Two days later a 911 call came in from a pay phone asking for help. When units arrived at the scene, here was the dummy standing up in the phone booth with the phone receiver to his ear. Case closed.
Many candidates feel if they set some kind of a record it will help in hiring. Not true! It is pass or fail. The secret "Nugget" here is to pace yourself. You don't have to break the record. If you would have no problem in passing the physical, then, why would you want to try and impress the training staff, the other candidates and tout you set a new record? In your haste, you injure yourself or fall down the stairs in the tower . . . and, you don't even pass. Now, you not only didn't pass the PT, you're out of the hiring process. How would you feel McFly?
Here are two link resources to gain information on the CPAT:
sure does ;) small world...LOL
Bay City and Midland are hiring ;)
My Chief told me last night about Midland, but I didn't know about Bay City. I picked up an application to Midland today, so we'll see how that goes. Thanks for letting me know about Bay City.
Which station are you at? I took fire academy at Station 3. :D
I am at station 3.... when did you go through the academy? I went through in the 2001-2002 class.
I have thought about applying at Bay City....but I am pretty comfortable in the township right now...so I have not decided. Got Haz-Mat tech last winter (pretty fun course) AARF and took the state Vehicle Extrication course...the only thing I am lacking is the EMT/Paramedic. Since MMR runs the medical..we only run fire calls. I do miss running those...did it on my last dept in KY.
Chesterfield County Fire & EMS, Virginia is now accepting applications. Got to http://fire-emsjobs.chesterfield.gov for details. The test will be August 7 & 8, 2003 with recruit school starting December 2003. Expectation is for 20 - 25 recruits. Submit an application by June 19, 2003 for consideration for this test. Chesterfield County is a rapidly growing suburban County just South of Richmond, VA. We have 17 career stations and 1 volunteer station. A new career station will be finished this year with Station 20 starting construction at the first of 2004. All personnel are FF II and EMT level trained with ALS staffing at every station. We offer bonus pay for ALS providers.
Just getting a job in the fire service can be difficult, but thats just the start! Then you must prove to your coworkers you are capable of doing the job. Acceptance may come slow, firefighters are a very tight group, a second family to be exact. But once you're in you're in for life. Don't be thin-skinned and stand your ground. Listen to those who know and learn. You'll have to earn their respect and they will have to earn yours. When you apply with a department, check to see if there are women on the force already. If so I would suggest talking with some of them and get their impute, it may be invaluable.
CaptBob made a good point about the physical ability, so you should learn every detail as to the testing that you will encounter come test day. Knowing is half of the battle. If you have the right mind set and are prepared you will not fail. Good luck
Station 3, huh? I took my academy there this past year..finished up the last week of April. I joined in December after they were done with the MFR part because I was in EMT class at the time so they said I'd be fine. I just started working at Mobile Medical Response, so if I look for any departments, they will be close because I don't want to leave there yet. Midland would be my first choice.
Hey, maybe I'll see you on some mutual aids sometime :D