1. #1
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    Apr 2004
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    Lowell, Indiana, USA
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    Default advancement or new job???

    Hey all, I would like a few different points of view on this subject. I currently work for an EMS service as a paramedic. We strictly do 911 only and aren't associated with the fire dept. per say. In the next 5 years I can expect to be the director of this service. My big decision is, Do I stay where I am and advance with a moderate pay raise or do I try for one of the 3 career depts that are hiring in my area? I have been a volunteer FF for 8-1/2 years and I consider myself to have an equal love for EMS and Fire. There are pros and cons to both moving or staying but right now I am so torn. A lot of people I have talked to have varied opinions so I thought I would try here to see if anything different comes of it. At the EMS service we are in the State PERF not the FF pension as the fire depts are. I am 27 now and don't want to have any regrets when its too late. Also I may have some advancement opportunity with the volunteer dept that eventually will become a combo dept but never sure when that will happen. Thanks for you time and opinions in advance. Firemedic018.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2002
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    Default Dilemma

    You are the only one who can make the choice. To help you, take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center. On the left side list all the pros. On the right side of the line list the cons for both jobs. When it gets laid out it might become clearer. Talk to family members who will be affected by your decision the most. They will be the ones you will be looking for support from.

    You could take test and go through the hiring process and once a job is offered make the decision then. Some agencies even allow candidates to pass up to 3 times.

    With all the experience you have consider this if you’re going to test: The biggest problem I've seen on oral boards when seasoned veterans take entry level or lateral tests is they can't place themselves in the position they are applying for; that of being a snotty nosed rookie. Because they are already volunteers or firefighters, they think the board will just hand them the job. Their oral board skills are rusty and antiquated. It's hard for them to remember how it was to be a rookie.

    On a recent lateral test a large department interviewed several candidates who have been laid off by another department. They only hired one. The others just didn’t have good interview skills. Go figure.

    There is a delicate balance here. Leave your time and rank in your locker. You must be humble, place yourself in the rookie position and build a natural bridge to present your education, experience and integrity to the oral board panel. Without this bridge, just like the candidates above you're dead meat. This is not easy for many seasoned candidates. An attitude adjustment is needed. Attitude is a small thing that can make the big difference. Remember the position you're applying for.

    The seasoned veteran candidate can roar past any of the other candidates if his attitude and game plan are in place.

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

    888-238-3959

  3. #3
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    Apr 2004
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    Default

    Thanks Capt Bob for all the great advice. I have only been through the oral board once and that was six years ago. I have decided to apply and test for one career dept out of three that are taking applications. I even spoke with my current boss (EMS Director), which also happens to be the fire chief, and he actually said to go for it while I am young. He also stated that the future for our current vol. dept. is unclear and this seems to be a better career choice for me and what I hope to accomplish.

    Also I am a little concerned about the CPAT but with some practice I hope to do well.

    Thanks again you were a great help.

  4. #4
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    Default Test, Test, Test

    I want to encourage you to take all three tests and more because the more tests you take the better you get at taking tests. Then, when you city you really want to work for comes along you are dialed up and ahead of the curve. Besides you never know how things are going to turn out on any paticular test. Just because you know the chief doesn't always mean you're a shoe in. I know too many candidates who hung their hat on what they thought was their best chance, didn't take other tests, and were left out as the brides maid again.

    As you already know the oral board is where you get the job. Everything else is pass fail.

    Agility:

    Physical Agility

    Here's a segment from the Physical Agility Article in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

    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 ladder, dragging a dummy (not you), etc. Many departments offer practice "run-through" 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 (they were still burning days later) 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 www.WeightVest.com

    You can read the complete article and get more of the inside secrets on testing and oral boards in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

    “Nothing counts ‘til you have the badge . . . Nothing!”

    BOB SMITH
    Firehouse.Com Contributor

    www.eatstress.com

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