1. #1
    Forum Member
    Maverick9110E's Avatar
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    Nov 2004

    Default What does it take?

    What does it take to become a paid/careere firefighter, im currently trying to get into the volutneer aspect, it seems like its hard to get a job. is it basically trying to get as much expereince and training that i can?

  2. #2
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    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Aug 2000
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!


    Most career departments have an entrance exam, physical agility test, a complete medical workup/exam and psychological exams. When there are openings, you will be informed of your start date and report for orientation and/or go directly to drill school for the FD version of basic training.

    Believe it or not, prior training and experience can be a hindrance.
    Some firefighters bring over "bad habits" or the "that's not the way we did it in my former FD" attitude into their new job.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  3. #3
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    Jul 2004


    I don't know where you are from, but here in southeast Michigan it would do you good to get onto a paid-on-call dept. as you work on your basic fire AND ems training. I stress ems because the majority of fire departments provide this service and it has been a major recruiting issue for the past 10 years or so. We provide an ALS transport service as do a lot of paid fire departments in this area and finding new hires with fire and ems training, specifically a paramedic license has proven to be quite a challenge. 17 years ago my department provided basic life support service, which was the norm. Now most departments have progressed to the paramedic level and with it a recruiting problem. I wrote the written entrance exam with over 300 other people at that time. Nowadays we get 30-40 applications total! The department took 5 of us out of that 300+ that wrote the test. So you see that if you can get your basic fire training and acquire a paramedic license the pool of applicants isn't really all that great and your chance of getting a job is much better.

  4. #4
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    cellblock's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    St Gabriel, La


    Here it helps to do some years as a vollie in the department learning how we do things then sliding into a paid slot or you can be related to the Chief. For instance, the Chief's daughter works fulltime dayshift and in addition to the regular Firefighter stuff she also tallys up our timesheets each pay period and submits our hours to the town personell clerk who cuts our checks. Also, two of the Chiefs sons-in-law work partime shifts at the station. I'm not related to the boss so I came in from the volunteer side. When the Town had a vacant Paid slot I asked the Chief for it and since none of his other kin wanted a paid FF job he sent me to the town hall to fill out the tax forms and stuff. Lately me and the Chief haven't been getting along and I'm worried about keeping my job so I'm thinking of marrying one of his other daughters so that I will be family and harder to letgo.

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