1. #1
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    Default Certifications To Have

    Hello,

    I recently have taken the written, agility, and oral exams for trying to become a paid firefighter in my town.

    I passed the written with a very good score, passed the agility test with out a problem and then came the oral exam.

    For some reason the oral exam did not bother me as did the written or the agility testing did, until I took the oral exam. I did not do good, didnt' even pass to get put on the hiring list.

    From what I took from the experience of the oral exam was that I didn't have enough schooling and certifications to talk about at the testing.

    I have already signed up for Emt-B school and was wondering if there was any other certifications I could add to my list of things to get before the next testing comes along.

    Thanks alot for any help.. Dan..

  2. #2
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    Default Certifications

    Ok, you ready here is what is needed in my area and I believe throughout most of the states. Firefighter I & II, EMS license either EMT or Paramedic, and Haz Mat operations level training. Oh yea one other thing its who you KNOW!!!!!

  3. #3
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    Default Credentials??

    If you're passing the written and agility, which are usually pass/fail, and you're not placing high enough on the oral, that's where the problem exists. What most candidates do if they don't place high enough on the oral is go back and try to pack on more credentials. ďOh, I have to finish my degree or get through that academyĒ They do little to nothing in gaining the skills for the oral board, which is usually 100% of the score. If you don't do anything to improve your oral board skills nothing is going to change, you will never, ever see that badge. The oral board is for all the marbles. This is where the rubber meets the road.

    Stop looking in the magnifying glass at others . . . and start looking in the mirror at your self. That's where the problem is.

    You can find more on testing secrets in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com
    Last edited by CaptBob; 12-16-2003 at 06:56 PM.

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    Default

    Thanks Guys for the help.

    Capt. Bob I actually found your site before the orals and used your 30 oral board example questions which I had a friend of mine who is a 17 year firefighter help with some of the answers.

    I studied them for awhile and the only question that was on the test was "tell me about yourself" which they worded into a 6-8 part question that just confused the heck out of me and got me off on the wrong direction.

    The biggest part of me failing the orals was that I didn't have enough to talk about myself on, not enough info to sell myself to the oral board. I stopped short on the question "tell me about yourself" which I believe stopped me from getting a passing grade on the oral exam.

    So now I'm just looking for more things I can do to give me more to talk bout myself on, so when they ask, what have u done in your life to tell us why you would be a good firefighter, I can go on about how I have a EmT-B Cert. or a Scuba Diving license/Scuba rescue license, Boating license etc. Or when they ask about what i thought about education and being a new recruit I can say that I've enrolled in college and am currently takeing Fire Science courses to get my assc. or any college courses would be a good thing to have to show them that I want to further myself in education. It's just tuff when I'm competing against Volenteer Fireman who have already been certified and have taken a boat load of education classes on fire fighting.

    I'm just looking for some different ideas on what might be desirable
    to the oral boards. The Fire I and II would be nice but I have to be apart of a municipal firefighting corps to be able to enroll in the academy. Seeing that my town doesnt offer vol. work and the surrounding towns want you to live in town or close to the fire stations which I do not.

    Far as its who you know, I would have probably passed the orals if it was that way in my town.

    Thanks guys for the help..
    Last edited by spyonline; 12-16-2003 at 08:18 PM.

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    Default

    Dan, how old are you? THAT is how many years of experience you have on our planet that you bring to this job AND your oral boards. Every job you've had including a paper route or magazine sales gives you time dealing with people and reasons that YOU fit this job more than the next guy. Don't hang your hopes on certifications or fire experience. Chiefs & oral boards aren't hiring stiff suits & pages of classes taken; a people person with hopes, dreams, and life experiences you can all talk about for 20 minutes... that's gonna win you points. Find that person inside yourself. Don't undersell what you have, as we all have histories that have molded us into the firefighters & EMS providers we are. Just spend more time thinking about the orals, planning what should be said and listening to how you sound. Remember that you're trying out for the part of a firefighter. Be the best damned firefighter that ever walked through that door, best NOT with arrogance or experience, but passion & character. Good luck, and keep us posted
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

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    Default Oral Board Skills

    You wrote:

    It's just tuff when I'm competing against Volenteer Fireman who have already been certified and have taken a boat load of education classes on fire fighting.

    Reply: Donít psych yourself out on who or what the candidates have as credentials. As Kevin said, Itís personalizing your oral board presentation that makes the difference.

    This might help:

    Is it just a myth?

    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 me?
    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 that get hired. They realized they couldn't compete with candidates with overwhelming credentials. So, they improved their chances by concentrating on the most important part of the process. THE ORAL BOARD! They converted 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 there are 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.

    Question from a candidate: Are you trying to tell me that a city would hire a candidate with no 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 certifications. 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 the bigger departments run their own academies...so they can teach the recruits "their way". None of these departments care one bit how it was done at whatever academy you have been to before.

    Even with no fire experience and just a lowly EMT cert, I had 4 conditional job offers over a two-week period. My secret?.....Preparing for the oral board.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 12-17-2003 at 12:01 PM.

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    Default Good luck to ya

    I have to agree with Capt. Bob on this one. Unless the Job announcement requires, letís say EMT-B then donít spend your time, money and effort in the pursuit of training you may never need or be required to have. Unless itís for your own self satisfaction.
    I was a Military fireman with an extensive background in Fire, EMS, Haz-Mat and lots of time on the end of a nozzle. None of it other then the desire to be a Professional Firefighter prepared me for the career exams. I was so confident I knew it all; I failed the first Civil Service exam I took. The reason why is because I took it from a firemenís standpoint and not from an entry level civilians. The only way you can get better at these tests, orals and physicals is to do just that practice each of those three categories.
    I took any test I could find. Police, sewer, water even the librarian exam. The tests were all basically the same. I even got called in for interviews on some of them. To make a long story shorter, I got hired and now all the schools I had are paying off.
    ďJust when you think something is made to be Idiot Proof. They go a head and make a better IdiotĒ

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    Default Listen to the Captain

    When I ask a candidate to tell me about themselves, I don't care about cert's...They should already be in your application. I want to hear you say what others see in you.

    If you have never taken a sick day from a previous job even if it is part-time, that is important. It means you are reliable.

    If you have never had an OJI, then you have learned to follow direction and work safely.

    If you have a genuine love and passion for the fire service, as limited as it may be, tell me why.

    In one of the Captains previous posts he talks about a tape recorder. Lets take it one step further, take it to family, friends, clergy, or previous employers. Let them tell you why they like you. Some young candidates have never really self-reflected on the qualities that make them nice and a hard worker. Sounds corny, but think about it.

    Once you hear why others like you maybe you'll get the confidence you are clearly lacking. Don't give up.

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    Default

    Well you all have made a impact on my thinking when it comes to the oral examination.

    I think I didn't look into myself as much as i should have when preparing for the oral test.

    But you all have pointed out many important facts pertaining to the oral testing that I will use the next time around.

    All the info is greatly preciated thanks alot.

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    Default Good Luck Spy!

    Just remember, If you walk into an Oral thinking everyone else is better or entitled, then they will be. Just get better each time you take them. Sooner or later it will happen.

    Good Luck!

    Jeff

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    In my capacity as Captain in a small department, I have sat in on interviews. It never ceases to amaze me what canidates will and will not say in the orals.This is the area that most potential canidates need to work on.Especially new hire canidates. Promotion canidates need to impress with knowledge and experience, but the potential new hire must convey who they are, what they aim to be and why they should be given the opportunity.

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    Default

    Spy--

    LISTEN to CaptBob--He knows what he is talking about---

    Certs get you in the door-the oral skills get you the job--(this by the way is true for any real job out there)

    Get his program---I know he is laying back a little because he doesn't want to push it but I am sold on his book.

    I interviewed 2X with 2 different departments and the results were astounding -Heck, in one oral, every single questions asked came out of the book!

    - 2 job offers in one week--

    There is definately more than the 30 questions, it's in how you approach the answers that the kicker.
    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

    --Thornton Wilder

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    Jatkins,

    I actually read your post to Capt. Bob a day or so ago and it just about made me decide to go with it when the time is right.

    I thought that the more certs. i had the more i could talk about my self but after a few months of thinking about it and some of the good people on the board i realized that it isn't true.

    I have enrolled in a EMT-B course which should make me stand out a bit more but it is the oral board that i have to conquer. Which is the reason your post to Capt. Bob made me decide to go with him when the time is right.

    thanks Jatkins and good luck on your future endeavors which ever you may choose.

    spy..

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