Thread: Ride along and background check
06-23-2004, 12:19 PM #1
Ride along and background check
I made it to the last steps in the hiring process for a dept. in Colorado. The steps are a 24-hour ridealong, and background check,
I am kind of nervous about the ridealong, I think i should go into it with the attitude of ears and eyes open, and mouth shut, but any other suggestions would be great. There will be another candidate on the shift with me, but we will be on different appartus. I know i want to show that i am enthusiastic and willing to help, but what else?
Also, the background check. I have no criminal record, I have only been pulled over once, and been in one traffic accident w/ no injuries, and i got a citation for following to close. Am I going to appear to clean?? I have never had a background check done on me before. Any suggestions??
06-23-2004, 04:21 PM #2
For the ride along, bring a peace offering like cake or icecream.
As for the background check, when did these traffic incidents occur? What are the department's prereq's involving your driving record? Did you have to fill out a backrgroud check packet and if so, did you put these incidents on there? The big thing with departments is honesty.
06-23-2004, 06:23 PM #3
The accident happened almost 5 years ago, and yes, i did put it in a background packet for the initial test, but then they gave me a 13 page background check, which, i have no intention of lying on. The accident was totally my fault, and i paid the ticket. And my criminal record is nonexistant. I dont think i have anything to worry about.
And, I dont know about the cake or ice cream thing. This dept. is way into fitness.
06-23-2004, 10:02 PM #4
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- San Francisco Bay Area
This Ride along can help or destroy you! Often candidates don't know the culture and etiquette. They want to see how you operate and will fit into their culture.
We had a candidate in one day for a ride along. He had an opinion on every topic that was brought up, including sports and the current movies. When it came time for lunch, he was the first one on his feet to fill his plate. His mother would have died from embarrassment.
I know you want to be enthusiastic but let me be blunt here. Dummy Up! You don't have enough time or experience to have an opinion! You can't force it. That will come with a lot of calls and a few fires.
In this situation you have to be humble, have your questions already written down and realize you are a snotty nose rookie. Too many candidates come in wanting the badge so bad they act like they already have time and want to impress the guys with all of their knowledge. BIG ERROR!
This information will spread like wildfire and destroy you with those who will be making the decisions. Too many candidates tank themselves here and they never know what happened. This applies even if you're already a firefighter applying for another department.
Don't take the bait. Even if you have a friend in the station. If the guys want to joke around and play games, don't do it. You are not part of their family yet. You have no time or experience!
Bring a peace offering. Home made is best. If it's ice cream, make sure it's the round stuff; not the square stuff. You mentioned they are health conscious. Consider bringing some gourmet coffee.
What you do when you first start out will set your reputation and follow you throughout your career. If you don't start out on the right foot, they will show you the door. The crew already knows more about you before you show up than you think.
Use these standards during station visits, your interview process, and as a new rookie to demonstrate you already know what to do when hired:
You're a snotty nose rookie. Keep your mouth shut. Be cordial, friendly and humble. You have no time or opinion until you earn it.
Big clue here. Leave the electronic leashes off and in your vehicle, along with your piercings, until you leave. No matter what you might think and how friendly everyone seems to be, you are being watched! A candidate was doing a department ride along and kept answering his cell phone. It could hurt you big time.
You will be instructed what is expected, where you will ride, probably will wear a vest and what you can do and canít do on calls. Always be ready to get on the rig and respond. Practice getting in your seat and putting on the seat belt.
Firefighters usually have "Their" place to sit at the table and in front of the TV. Don't hog the newspaper. The off-going shift has the first crack at the newspaper. Don't park yourself in front of the TV. Go to the station library and read some department material. No matter what the atmosphere, you're being watched.
Although you might be a good cook, don't volunteer. Don't load up your plate the first time around. Wait to go for seconds.
Even if they play cards for the dishes and you win, always have your hands in the sink doing the dishes. Offer to pay your share for the meals. Be moving out with the garbage and mopping the kitchen floor after each meal.
Don't tell jokes until you're accepted.
You will have an elated feeling rolling out on your first calls. There is nothing like it. It could last your whole career. Enjoy and savor it. You earned it. You're the last of Americaís Heroes.
I miss it.
06-24-2004, 01:50 AM #5
Thanks for the input guys, any other insight you are willing to offer would be great.
Capt. Bob, I just wanna give you a quick thanks too, I signed up for your newsletter and read through it, and it helped me so much on my interview. anyways, thanks guys! Ryan
06-24-2004, 05:13 PM #6
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- San Francisco Bay Area
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