1. #1
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    Default 40 Year old Probie?

    I realize departments can not discriminate against age but does anyone know if 40 years old is pushing the usefulness of a possible candidate in the eyes of most municipalities?

    I've been trying to get onto a full time department for over 16 years now and have had no luck. I came close about 2 years ago when I was one of the first eight individuals to take the Oral exam. I understand that just about all of them got the badge but me. I'm not saying that my answers or reactions were not to blame, it's just that I've got myself thinking that it may have been my last chance and that I won't be considered any more.

    I've been a volunteer FF/EMT for several years in a small SE Wisconsin Fire Department and can still outperform most of the younger guys on my crew. I also know that without a college education or a Fire Science Degree, that won't get me a cup of coffee in most places.

    I have heard of people getting on departments in their 30's but I don't know if a city would look at someone my age and and find me a detriment to the department in regards to pensions or retirement.

    Just looking for what anyone might have experienced.

  2. #2
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    Many places have age limits, here in Fort Wayne you can't be 35 by the end of the academy. Check around though probably not all places have age limits. And if it's what you want, it's definitely worth the effort!

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    You know Phoeinx has hired many guys that have been in their early to late 40's and even a guy in his 50's a couple of years ago. If you can do the job, its yours!

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    Is Age a Factor in Hiring?

    I've coached lots of candidates over the age of 30. It’s not uncommon to see candidates in their late thirties or early forties hired, especially paramedics. Our oldest medic was hired at 46. The oldest non-medic was hired at 42.

    I encourage candidates to focus on their personal life experience when answering questions in the oral board. No one else can tell your stories of where your have been. Candidates over 30 years old have life experiences younger candidate can’t match.

    When candidates answer questions laced with a story that demonstrates they have lived the experience, they separate themselves from the other younger clone candidates.

    Lateral-Volunteer to Paid

    This is the biggest problem I've seen on oral boards when seasoned veterans like yourself 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. They try to hammer the oral board with their credentials thinking 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.

    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, 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"

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    888-238-3959

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    Default

    Thanks Captain. Your advice as always is greatly appreciated.

    I do notice more people my age are hired on for medic positions. With my limited training in this area, (EMT-B)would you personally think I'd be spinning my wheels by just advancing to an Intermediate instead of shooting for Paramedic.

    I can understand the importance of an EMT-P license over the Intermediate, It's just that with current family and job related obligations I can't see myself dedicating the time that I would need to succesfully complete it.

    Can you think of any other areas of training or certifications that I can focus on that would interest the next board?

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    The Problem is Poor Oral Board Skills!

    This from another posting:

    I have 2 words for you, “Paramedic School”!!!!! You say you
    don’t want to put your family through that, but you need to ask
    yourself: “Do the ends justify the means?” The answer is
    yes!!! The trend if the fire service is to hire paramedics. You and your family will sacrifice during paramedic school but once you have that blue card, your odds increase 10X. And, the sacrifice that you make, getting that blue card, will only help you at
    interview time, if conveyed properly.

    So, do you waist your time looking for a new job? Or, do you
    spend your energy figuring out how you can get yourself into
    paramedic school!! The choice is yours, but the latter almost
    guarantees you a future in the fire service.

    A. But your still going to have to pass the oral. Most candidates do poorly on their oral boards. The problem is most of them don't know how poorly they are doing. I've seen it too often after being on over 100 oral boards. It's the most misunderstood and least prepared for portion of the testing.

    With all respect to the following comment, this is one of the most important clues why candidates have trouble in their oral boards:
    "I recently had an interview, and I know my answers were great especially after hearing how another candidate answered them. He made the list, and I did not. Go figure!" Jed.

    This is the problem! As you stated above your answers might not have been the best. Most candidates think their answers are great, when they aren't. If their answers were as great as they thought, they would make the list and get a badge. They listen to other candidates and firefighters who make them into clones. Have you noticed that once a person becomes a firefighter, they are instantly the experts on how to get hired?

    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. “Oh, I have to finish my degree or get through that academy” Or, like you, you think upgrading your EMT level will help. 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.

    Candidates who get this far in the process usually get discouraged and tell me they feel like they have hit a wall. They don't know what to do next. Some of their friends (with fewer credentials) have been hired. They're frustrated and embarrassed.

    “Getting the job of your dreams is like winning the lottery!" Jerry Price, Firefighter

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

    888-238-3959

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    Default Thank the Federal Government

    You can thank the Federal Government--several years ago, when they reinstated the mandatory retirement age at 63 law, they also included language in the law that allowed municipalities to set maximum hiring ages AND also made it impossible to sue for age discrimination.

    And just my 2 cents, I know CaptBob is a good guy and all, but does every post have to be a shill for his training program?

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    Thanks mrclean, I knew that Wauwatosa was known to hire some older candidates but I did not know that Madison did as well.

    Can you recall the minimum requirements for applicants? Did they need College Degrees, EMT-P, etc.

    Congatulations on your making it and good luck to you.

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    Thanks again mrclean!

    Just took a look at the site. Alot of good information there. I will definetly be there for next years testing.

    Keep in touch and let me know if anything comes up in the mean time.

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    Default 725GUS

    Man I gotta tell ya, if you can do the job, then I have no problem with it. I know with many fire departments the physical requirements get tougher as your age increases. So I know I would be OK with you backing me up anyday if you could pass. Just my opinion!!! I think everyone here would probably feel the same way. Take care and be safe........

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    WEll my partner is 45 years old and has only been with my agency a little over 2 years so We hired him at 43 years old and hes a great catch for our department.

    Im now 40 and been doing this stuff for over 21 years and thinking about changing employers so I hope they still hire us oldies.
    Front line since 1983 and still going strong

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    Thumbs up 40 yr old probie

    I am over 40 , AND I'm scheduled to be in the Sept. '04 training class for the Calgary Fire department.http://www.calgary.ca/cweb/gateway/g...%2Findex%2Ehtm

    Calgary pop 950,000,32 Stations,approx 1000 ff's.
    I had tried before but with their large recruitment drive, but with a response of over 4000, chances were slim at getting by the initial aptitude test.
    Last Sept. They initiated a new Hiring program, that entitles anyone to apply as soon as they have all the requirements , and as a result, applicants can be reviewed individually , as opposed to meeting a certain cut off score.
    Do I expect to get hastled at being over 40?.. no, teased...most certainly!. But I feel confident that when the chips are down, I can be relied on to drag someones *** out of a fire just like the 20 yr old! Physically and mentally capable? damn right!

  13. #13
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    Awesome, CONGRATULATIONS bluemerle!

    Great attitude!
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    Congratulations to you as well bluemerle and thanks for the reply.
    Good luck to you.

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    Thanks again MrClean. Feel free to e-mail me at mjm@pegasusautoracing.com with any news.

    I'm new to this whole forum thing and I don't know if my thread drops off the face of the earth if it becomes inactive.

    Gus

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