1. #1
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    Question I want to be afirefighter

    Hey everyone I am new here. I am sure you have all be asked this question about 10,000 times but again here it comes. I want to be a firefighter bad. I will do what is needed of me ( I have started running and climbing stair and hills with weights on my back etc. I am getting into shape). Can anyone please explain to me what I can do to increase my chances? Also what can I look forward to while schooling and applications etc? I am 21 5'11 173. im going to be going to school once I get a new job so I can be a registered EMT (thats a good thing) what about schooling towards being a firefighter? any and all help or comments are appreciated in advance.

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    Go to college and get a degree in Fire Science of Emergency Medicine(Paramedic). Take lots of test.
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

    IAFF Local 3900

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    Some Advice: First if your not already, join your nearest Volunteer Fire Department, you'll get experience on what physical strains it takes to be a Firefighter, then go to a paid department you'd like to work for, see how they run and what the people are like and like ff7134 said take lots of tests Best of Luck and stay safe
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

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    regarding going to school im looking to get the basics to firefighting to i can get a job within a dept.. (i dont know if this is nationwide but...) in IL you need 6 mo experience min along with all of the courses to become a paramedic.. i wanted to get my foot in the door at a firehouse and go from there (more schooling etc)... i live in a fairly "well off" area there is no volunteer dept near to me . do i need a firescience degree to get in? do they provide schooling or anything? or should i just go to my local Community college and take the basics to firefighting courses? (im really trying to find direction and see what i have to do now and what can be done later after i get a job ya know?) ( i have a mortgage and all that fun stuff to i need to stay working and my job takes up 12 hours a day 6 days a week so anything but minimum schooling is impossible thats why i want to get in and go from there) any more help out there??

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    wannabe-

    Glen Ellyn is volunteer (although they are hiring full-timers now); Glenside FPD (Glendale Heights) has POCs; Carol Stream has POCs, but I think they are phasing them out; Hanover Park uses part-timers extensively and will hire with no previous experience; Bollingbrook uses part-timers.

    Call those places and see if you qualify for any. Also, try to track down a company called "Fire Hire" out of (I think) South Elgin. They will send you information on when departments are hiring, and can tailor the noticifcations to those departments that you qualify for. There are still many deptartments that will hire with no experience (Aurora comes to mind right away). I will try and get info on Fire Hire tonight. TEST, TEST, TEST!!!!
    Omnis Cedo Domus

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    thanks so much for the information (see how misguided i am )I will look at that as well i do know that i am way out of shape still to go work for any dept i plan on getting my weight suit and getting myself in good condition before i do anything. so im planning on becoming an emt in the mean time. what does everyone mean by test test test.. are these organized testings at places? or what?

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    Fire departments by law must create an eligibility list from which to offer employment. This civil-service testing process varies from place to place, but generally goes like this (failure at any point washes you out):

    1. Written application period. For a specified period of time, applications are available for pickup. Some places charge a fee ($25-50) to take out an application. This fee is generally returned after you show up for the written test.

    2. Orientation. Here, they sit you down, usually with your significant other, and explain exactly what you can expect: how the rest of the testing process works, how the FD works and your schedule; what's expected of you, and what you can expect from them. Typically, this is a mandatory session.

    3. Written examination. Rarely is this something you can study for. They test reading comprehension, memorization, psychological response, math, etc.

    4. Physical ability test. Could be anything from a simple weight lifting deal to an elaborate "firefighter combat" type event. Some typical evolutions in this type include: extension ladder raise, hydrant opening excerise (usually with a special hydrant that has an operating nut set at a specific torque), dragging charged or uncharged hoselines for set distances, some sort of a roof-ventilation or forcibile-entry simulator, hoisting hose up some stories with a rope, ladder carries, maybe a timed run or jog, and the mother of all test evolutions: the dummy drag. This is usually a "Rescue Randy" or some home-made contraption, usually 150-200 pounds, that must be dragged a set distance. Upper body strength and endurance are the goals here.

    5. Personal Interview. There's all sorts of books on this. I am sure CaptBob will be chiming in on this topic. He has forgotten more than I'll ever know (do a search for posts by him).

    At this point, typically, the department will create an eligibilty list by awarding points for scores on the written, interview and sometimes the physcial. Points are also awarded for prior military service, paramedic license, and in some cases, residency. Once you are on the list, you just wait to get called. Depending on how many other applicants there are, and how well you did, there may be only fractions of a point separating people. There are departments with lists that are five people long, or 1,000 people. The lists are usually good for 1-3 years. They will go down the list and call applicants in order for as many as it takes to fill however many openings they have. After you get called, the next few steps kick in:

    6. Psychological examination and polygraph. These are falling out of favor, as departments are realizing two things: people can cheat these things, and you have to be a little nuts to do this job.

    7. Thorough medical examination. This is a good going-over by the doctor. Usually involves a stress-test, blood work, hearing and vision tests, etc. If you've made it this far, you're in.

    8. Extension of job offer.

    9. Probationary period. This is the first oppertunity that the officers and members of the fire department actually have a hand in the process (kinda late, dontcha think?). Up to this point, the process is run by the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners, or by the Fire District Board of Commissioners. This period is usually six to twenty-four months (again, varies by jurisdiction). They can dump you for any reason, or none at all during this period. Most places have invested a ton of money to get you hired. Unless you are a true psycho or $#!+bag, they won't can you.

    10. Classes, schools, training, and more classes. Learn, learn, learn.

    11. Kelly-days and vacation time (!).

    12. After 25-30 years, if you're lucky, retirement, with a good, well-earned pension. And a legacy of membership in the finest, most rewarding families on the face of planet.

    I think that covers everything......
    Last edited by jaybird210; 08-12-2003 at 05:11 PM.
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    ummm yeah thats what i was looking for....... gee i feel kind of intimidated.... i guess it is time to go to college of dupage and hit the fire fighter courses back to school i go!!!! i really apreciate your help here thanks again ill talk to you all later with an update (the 2 dollars this month was worth it)

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    I know moving is probably out of the question for you, but if not you can get a pretty sweet deal down here in my end of NC.

    All EMS and fire training is done through the local community college system. Anyone who volunteers for a FD or the rescue squad gets free tuition. Anyone can move here, volunteer, and go to school free all the way up to FF2, paramedic, ERT, Hazmot ops, etc.

    Several guys I know have moved here just for that, volunteering for a local station, working a simple job and getting every bit of training they can. In under a yaer they will have FF2, EMT-B, and HAZMAT ops. In just over 2 if they bust *** they can add EMT-P, ERT, and lots of others, plus some good experince as volunteers. All free.
    Last edited by radioguy; 08-12-2003 at 11:30 PM.

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    Jay,
    You said it so good .....are YOU hiring ? LOL ..........
    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)
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    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

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    Josh, you know me: I'm ALWAYS looking for medics!!! Fix that house up, sell it, and move here!!

    Anyway, wannbe, don't get discouraged. And don't beat your brains in taking fire science classes. If you can fit them in, great, but there are some departments, especially the bigger ones, that would rather you had NO experience (that way they don't have to un-train you on bad habits; or hear, "Well, when I worked for Po-Dunk Fire Department, we didn't do it like that ...." OOoooo, that one will REALLY fire-up your lieutenant!).

    Watch the newspaper for ads and apply and test. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but it's not beyond the capabilities of the average joe. Once you get hired, you become an average jake.
    Omnis Cedo Domus

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    Don't rush into the Fire Science or Paramedic thing. You can get hired without having either of these depending on where you apply. Like others said, try to volunteer and do research on where you'd like to work. Make sure the fire service is right for you before you commit to that kind of schooling. The degree may help you get in the door some places, but at others, more than likely it's something that would benefit you more when it comes to promotions.

    As for the Paramedic thing. It'll definately help you get hired at some departments since there is a growing interest in using firefighter/paramedics these days. However, it is something that you should have atleast 2 years of good EMS experience - more if you don't get many calls - before you try it. If you learn how to be a good EMT first, then you'll be better prepared to make the transition to paramedic.

    Don't rush yourself, you've got plenty of time to work this out.
    Mark
    Firefighter / Paramedic
    IAFF Local 10

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    its a good thing you all are here to give me a little direction im trying to get started out in life and i made the mistake of buying a house at such a young age (20) so i am stuck cant go to NC even tho my parents are moving there next year. Im sure i want to be a firefighter that is certain. (overview) i just need to become an emt while getting myself in to shape then just start going to all the near by fire houses and start testing that it???? from there i can do the other courses in the time i hvae correct??? Jay thanks for the time you put into my post it means alot to me hopefully you all will hear good news from me in the next year. until then i will be around here trying to cram my brain with fire fighter information.. thanks again!!!!!
    Brandon

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    THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH jaybrid and ilwannabe iv been looking for this info for 2 weeks now

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    Quote Originally Posted by millz123 View Post
    THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH jaybrid and ilwannabe iv been looking for this info for 2 weeks now
    This is an old, old thread. Look at the dates on the postings.

    There may be some merit to some of the responses.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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