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  1. #1
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    Default Well, it's official

    I am now "lower than whale ****"

    I was recently hired as a paid on call firefighter. Today I got my gear, met some of the full time guys and got to check out the station I'll be reporting to.

    They are paying me to go to the fire academy and get EMT training. They pay me to work out 3 days a week. This station averages 40-60 calls a week. According to the guys, they have a great budget with good equipment.

    Life is good (-:


    Any tips before going to the Fire Academy would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you
    Last edited by Imalazypup; 11-02-2004 at 12:40 AM.


  2. #2
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    I hope your username is no indication of your work ethic.......

  3. #3
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    Default

    Originally posted by firenresq77
    I hope your username is no indication of your work ethic.......
    It in no way represents myself personally or professionally. I've just had it for so long that I use it for just about everything.

    Though, I do despise doing the dishes.

  4. #4
    Disillusioned Subscriber Steamer's Avatar
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    Default

    Though, I do despise doing the dishes.
    It's gonna be a looooong ride, "Rook"!

    Just yankin' your chain.

    As far as tips for the academy, take it seriously, and work your *** off. What you learn there could save your life.

    Congrats! Nothing like going to work with this job.
    Steve Gallagher
    IACOJ BOT
    ----------------------------
    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

  5. #5
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    Default

    Originally posted by Steamer


    It's gonna be a looooong ride, "Rook"!

    Just yankin' your chain.

    As far as tips for the academy, take it seriously, and work your *** off. What you learn there could save your life.

    Congrats! Nothing like going to work with this job.
    I definitely will take it seriously, thanks. Though I'm not too excited about the EMT training, I really don't have much interest past basic first AID, but I'll still strive to do my best.


    It's a good thing I'm good with a mop, it seems that the "rooks" happen to also be the station floor surface technicians.

  6. #6
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default BEFORE TOWER...

    SUCCESSFULLY SURVIVING YOUR RECRUIT TRAINING

    The following guidelines will help you be a successful recruit on the Torrance Fire Department. Many of you have various levels of experience and training which will be valuable to the Torrance Fire Department in the near future. But as a recruit (new employee), your probationary period will be much more pleasant if you can demonstrate patience in displaying your talents and skill until you’ve learned what we want you to know.


    BEHAVIOR GUIDELINES FOR THE TRAINING TOWER

    1. Do ask questions if you do not understand.
    2. Do take every opportunity to help to help one another develop into a team.
    3. The “Double Time Trot” is accepted mode of transportation from one place to another while outdoors.
    4. Tardiness or unexpected absenteeism will not be tolerated in the fire service, period. Better to be a hour early than a minute late.
    5. Arriving for duty unprepared will demonstrate the qualities necessary for a new career elsewhere.
    6. A lack of aggressiveness in manipulative work will shorten your basic training period significantly.
    7. Disregard for safety will get you canned.
    8. Standing with your hands in your pockets will raise questions about your respect for authority and your level of attention.
    9. Profanity and/or spitting on the ground will get you a job with someone else.
    10. If it doesn’t move, clean it. If it does move, address it as “Sir”.
    11. Don’t attempt to socialize with regular members of the department during the basic training period.
    12. Show respect for all co-workers at all times.
    13. Hustle, shine and always look good.

  7. #7
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default AFTER TOWER

    RECRUIT (NEW) FIREFIGHTER GUILDLINES


    The fire service is a para-military organization that requires teamwork, discipline, the ability to make decisions and work under pressure. If you do not like the idea of working under authority or have trouble with self discipline and living with rules and living with rules and regulations which restrict your personal freedom, for the sake of public safety, you are in the wrong place!

    As a member of the Torrance Fire Department, you are expected to obey orders, exhibit exceptional personal hygiene, conform to department rules and regulations, respect the chain of command, work well with your peers, have integrity and perform repetitious mental tasks with excellence. At the same time, you should demonstrate the ability to think on your feet, use good independent judgment, be aggressive and display common sense concerning safety for yourself and others.

    We will expect and settle for nothing less than 100% from you at all times…


    GENERAL GUIDELINES

    1. Be aggressive at all times, first to details, last to leave.
    2. If it is dirty, clean it. If it empty- fill it.
    3. If it rings, answer it before anyone else does.
    4. Do not be late to anything.
    5. T.V. will not be watched without permission of the Company Officer.
    6. Use initiative to address work that you see needs completion.
    7. Keep busy! Look for something to do. If you can not find a job, Study.
    8. When an alarm comes in, be the first one on the rig.
    9. Offer your help to anyone doing anything. One person works, we all work.
    10. Respect authority.
    11. Know your job and duties and know them well.
    12. Keep a low profile. Keep your opinions to yourself.
    13. Assist in and around the kitchen, even if you’re not assigned there.
    14. Remember…The reputation you establish now will follow you forever.

  8. #8
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Lasty...

    New guy- I hope you take the above two post serious.
    You are VERY lucky to get paid to attend a fire academy.
    Most kids out here in Cali. have to get by their college
    academy on savings and scraps.

    BETTER CHANGE YOUR ATTIUDE TOWARDS THE EMT SIDE
    SOON. If you dont like band-aids, taking blood
    pressures, and all of the "medic" stuff, you need
    warm up to it and get good at it. EMS is today's
    fire serive. Know it.

    Read my two postings several times, print them out and
    save them. If your current thinking is like a "lazy pup"
    regardless of the origin of the name, get a better mind
    set.

    Start studying now. Better find the best way to make your
    boots shine. If you dont know what a "gig line" is...ASK
    NOW! Do you know to stand at attention? Parade rest?

    Get dialed in now. PM me if you need help.

    -Bou
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 11-02-2004 at 03:22 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Wow CALFFBOU, I really appreciate your posts. You definitely went beyond my request, thank you.

    If anyone would like to top that, you're more than welcome!

  10. #10
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    Default Academy

    I'll give it a try:

    Fire Academy
    The purpose of this article is to keep you from repeating the errors others have made keeping them from gaining a badge.

    Just because you passed the physical agility doesn’t mean you are ready for the fire academy. Whether you agree or not, the physical agility has been watered down to be politically correct. Departments know this. So, the training division is going to put you through the wringer to make sure you can do the job before you go on line.

    Showing up at the academy is not the time to start getting ready. You need to be in shape and hit the ground running. I often get calls from candidates asking what do I do now? They have been let go in the academy. It’s tough enough getting a job. Keeping it can be a challenge. If you are let go by one department, it is going to be difficult if not impossible to get another department to take a chance on you.

    “The worst mistake is to have the best latter at the wrong wall.” Dick Chaney VP USA

    It’s not just the physical part. You have to pass every segment of the academy including the final test to demonstrate you can function in the field. It’s not uncommon to have a group of candidates let go in the final two weeks of the academy, because they can’t master latter throws, repel or operate the equipment. More than one candidate has been let go because they couldn’t start the chain saw, operate the jaws and struggled on the drill ground in the final test.

    Nothing will **** of the training staff more than you telling them a better way to do something. How you did it in your FF1 academy, reserve or other department. The only task you need to focus on is how they do it in this department. Training divisions are their own kingdoms. This is not a democracy! You have no time or opinion.

    It can be devastating being let go, especially if you have already been through a college fire academy. You have been dropped as your classmates are getting dressed up in their class A uniforms (about the only time you will ever wear it, except for funerals) heading for their badge ceremony.

    It will start with instructors from the academy taking you aside and pointing out the problems you might be having. If you don’t improve, they will meet with you again with other members of the training staff and document the meeting. The writing is on the wall if things don’t improve. Candidates that get to this point start to panic. This can affect their other skills. Things they already know and have mastered become difficult. Instead of dropping back and taking a different mindset, they start to panic and withdraw. Too many candidates in this situation would rather go below and fall on their sworn before they will ask for help. This is the time to ask for help, extra training, and check in with those who have gone before them. I usually get the call after they have they had taken the option to resign instead of being fired. My first question is why didn’t you call me earlier? Well, I didn’t think it was that bad.

    Here are some of the incidents where candidates were let go:

    A candidate shows up at an academy over weight even though he knows they will run 3 miles a day can’t. Result. They run him into the ground the first week.

    Another candidate is given an order to get a screwdriver from the toolbox. After several minutes at the toolbox, he admits he doesn’t know what a screw driver is. Hard to believe. Oh, I forgot, they have dropped the mechanical aptitude from the written and added in psych questions. Result: No mechanical ability caused this candidate a badge.

    Even though this candidate had been through two academies, he starts having trouble with latter throws. He has done this successfully 100’s of times. But, now he starts doing a mind screw on himself. It gets worse. He is counseled. Then again. Result: Booted from the academy. The good news is we worked with this candidate, regrouped, he got in better shape, worked out a reasonably explanation accepting the blame why it happened and would never happen again. He was picked up by another agency and is wearing a badge.

    Another recruit knew he had to lose weight for the academy. He did not reach his goal. His weight caught up with him trying to hump hose up the tower with a SCBA. Result: Got his marching orders because he didn’t have the wind to complete this tough academy. Good news again. Regrouped, lost the weight and convinced a department with an easier academy he would be an asset.

    Trying to come back and rejoin this candidate’s academy too early after a drill tower accident only made the injury worse. When the recruit could not keep up and refused to accept the opportunity to go through the next academy was let go. Another one of those, why didn’t you call me first beauties. Even a lawsuit did not regain a chance at a badge.

    A candidate did call me when he was having problems repelling off the tower. He would get upside down just before the net. A little mind drill exercise corrected the problem.

    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" Author, Becoming A Firefighter
    http://eatstress.com/goldpackage.htm

    www.eatstress.com

    888-238-3959

  11. #11
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    Default New Rookie

    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. You can't force it. That will come with a lot of calls and a few fires.

    A candidate was in a department academy and his cel phone starts to ring. He told the training officer, can you hold on a minute, I have a call. Yea, right. The training officer told the class the next time he hears a cel phone go off, they were going to play who can throw the cel phone the furthest.

    On an emergency call, the BC was trying to raise dispatch without success on the radio. The rookie took his cel phone, speed dialed dispatch and handed his cel phone to the BC. Cute? Smart? Innovative? That's not the reception he received.

    Rookies are carrying their cel phones and pagers on duty. Their phone rings, they answer it and go right into cel yell with their friends and relatives. Wives, girl friends and dysfunctional others call all day long with "Important Stuff" and to do pillow talk. Cel phones are ringing in locker rooms. Some try to be cool by putting their cel phones and pagers on vibrate. Even though they might not answer them when they go off, they still pick them up to check the caller ID or the text message. Then when they think no one is looking, they slip off and return the call. THIS IS DUMB! These are not part of your emergency issue.

    This will not get you off on the right foot. Big clue here. Leave the electronic leashes off and in your vehicle along with your piercings until a time where all your duties are complete. No matter what you might think and how friendly everyone seems to be, you are being watched! It could hurt you big time.

    If you have an emergency situation, ask your officer if you can carry your phone because you are expecting an emergency call.

    Call your new captain before your first shift and ask if he wants you to bring anything in. Bring a peace offering of donuts and desert your first day. Home made is best. Arrive early and ask the off going firefighter what you should know at that station. Your new captain should meet with you to outline his expectations. If not, ask him.

    Unless you're told differently, put up and don't forget to take down the flag. If the phone or the door bell rings, make sure you're the first one running to answer it. There will be certain duties on each day of the week. Tuesday could be laundry day, Saturday yards. Keep track. Stay busy around the station. Always be in a clean proper uniform. Always be ready to get on the rig and respond.

    Check out the gear on the rig each morning. Make sure the 02 gage and the reserve bottle shows enough to handle a long ems call.

    Firefighters usually have "Their" place to sit at the table and in front of the T.V.. Don't hog the newspaper. The off going shift has the first crack at the newspaper. You probably have probation tests. Don't park yourself in front of the T.V., you have a test coming up. Stay busy. Know matter what the atmosphere is, you're being watched. "Just because you're paranoid . . . doesn't mean there not after you."

    Though you might be a good cook, don't volunteer to cook until asked or rotated in. Make sure your meals are on time. The old adage "Keep them waiting long enough and they will eat anything" doesn't apply here. Be the last one to serve your plate. Don't load up your plate the first time around. Wait to go for seconds.

    Always have your hands in the sink doing the dishes after a meal. Be moving out with the garbage and mopping the kitchen floor after each meal.

    Learn how to help the officer doing response reports.

    Don't tell jokes until you're accepted.

    Don't gossip.

    Don't play "Your" music on the radio. Don't be a stupid generation X'er and always ask why when told to do something. Help others' with their assignments when you finish yours.

    Ask how you're doing. Volunteer for assignments. Keep track of these to present at your evaluations.

    Don't start pulling hose and other equipment at a scene until the captain tells you.

    Always get off the rig before it backs up. Stand to the rear side to guide the rig. Never turn your back on the backing up rig.

    It's not uncommon to move to one or more stations during your probation. At your new station, don't act like you already have time. Unfortunately, you have to start all over again as the new rookie.

    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 saver it. You earned it. You're the last of Americas Heroes.

    I miss it.

    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" Author, Becoming A Firefighter
    http://eatstress.com/goldpackage.htm

    www.eatstress.com

    888-238-3959

  12. #12
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    Default THE BAD CALL

    Then this one from my Captain Son:

    I got a call yesterday that I wanted to share with all of you looking to be a firefighter. It was one of those calls that are not fun, but I get them from time to time. Someone got let go during probation. Usually it isn’t a person I talked to in the past, but they call Capt Bob and myself out of desperation.

    This call was typical of the calls I get. They most always start off with “I don’t know what happened, everything was going great, and then they fired me”. As I ask questions and dig into it, I find that these guys do know what happened, and in almost all cases it comes down to attitude.

    When I get the call, from people I have coached, saying they got the job, I could not be happier for them. But after I congratulate them, I make a point of telling them, “you do not have that job yet, until you are done with the academy and off of probation, you could be let go for anything”. We will usually work with a person that is a little slow with the academics and mechanical things. But if we see any kind of attitude problem, you will find yourself out the door before you know it.

    The problem is that we are a para-military organization. Most people in our society are not familiar with how things work in that kind of setting. Let me spell it out for those of you who do not know. We are the “para”, you are in the “military”. While we do not yell at you like a Marine Corps drill instructor, but we expect you to behave like you are a Marine Corps boot.

    Some of the things I have heard that have gotten people in trouble in a n academy where: Asking to make a phone call to check on car repairs, having a cell phone ring during a class, falling asleep in a class, suggesting they change the plan for the day because it is nicer to run in the morning and so hot in the afternoon, having a friend show up to see what is happening, the recruits going as a group for beer after class in department shirts, and not helping struggling class mates when the opportunity arises.

    If you are in an academy, or on probation, and somebody comes to you with criticism here is how you are to handle it. You stand at parade rest, legs slightly apart and hands behind your back. You keep you ears open and your mouth closed. If they do not ask you for an explanation, do not give them an excuse, you will sound defensive and you will make that person upset. It is sufficient to say, “I am sorry, it will never happen again. Thank you for taking the time to point that out to me”. Think of all criticism as being constructive. It may not always be delivered to you in a nice manner, but that is life.

    In every one of the cases I have heard of, they all have one thing in common. At some point, during training or probation, that person was identified as a problem, sometimes of no fault of his or her own. But once you are on the radar, the microscope comes out, and they are watching you. It is a huge up hill battle to even stay in the game at this point. The term I have heard from almost all of them is, “… and after that happened, it seemed like I could not do anything right”.

    The training academy and probation are a stressful time. It is also a time that most of us look back upon with fond memories. Make the most of the chance, if you get it, because you probably will not get a second one. Keep your attitude a positive one, and solicit constructive criticism when you can. Keep ahead of the game. Be the first to start cleaning up, and then ask if there is anything else you can do. Call people sir and mam, kiss every *** you see, and know you are not in, until you are in. But once you are in, you are in for life, and that is pretty special.


    Good Luck, Captain Rob
    nrtc@sonic.net
    www.eatstress.com
    707-869-1330

  13. #13
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    Default

    Much appreciation CaptBob, thank you.

    I'll be reading all of this advice over multiple times, believe me.

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