Can you use your personal life experiences in place of fire experience?

Younger candidates have credentials too!

I gave a presentation at Shasta Fire College. Many students didn't feel they had any experience that would apply to the position. That was until I asked several candidates to tell me about their first and succeeding jobs in life; no matter how menial it seemed. Many had paper routes, mowing lawns and working at Burger King. O.K., what did you learn? Once the answers started flowing, we heard how they learned to work hard, have responsibility, learn customer service and how to work as a team. Did you participate in sports in school? Isn't that working as a team. Do any of these areas apply to the fire service? You bet! So any time you can relate your personal life experience in answering an oral board question, you are telling the oral board that you not only know the answer the question, you have already lived it!

When the board asks what you have done to prepare for the position, don't forget to rewind the video tape of your life and create an early trail of how you learned how to work hard, have responsibility, and work as a team.

The biggest part of getting a high enough oral board score that will get you the badge is convincing the oral board you can do the job before you get it. Stories are convincing evidence that you are the match for the badge! Iike Kevin mentioned, take these stories and practice them with a tape recorder to hear what the panel is going to hear out of your mouth.

I had several fire explorers who were too young to test. They would hand out flyers at written tests in exchange for products and coaching. At a Oakland badge ceremony one of the fire scouts got a badge on the first test he was old enough to take. You have never seen a happier rookie firefighter.

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

As we all know . . .“Nothing counts ‘til you have the badge . . . Nothing!”

Fire "Captain Bob"