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  1. #1
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    Question What Can I Do To Help Myself Get On The Local FD

    Hello All,

    This is my first post! I'm an 18 year old student in a Fire Science tech prep program at Stark State College. I recently finished my EMT-B class with a 98% and take my Natl. Reg. test in Dec 11. Today I started my 240 class. A while ago I submitted my application packet to my lacal FD (a mix of full time and vollie, 5 stations)for a VFF/EMT job. I am really looking foreward to when I can start puting my skills to use.

    The fire department has not contacted me back however. I know my application, letters and resume were all fime. The station I would report to is undermened as well, they frequently roll the squad with one EMT and the pump with 3 people. I guss I'm just wondering why they would not want me to join ASAP. I know it costs to outfitt a FF but I'm sure they have some old gear and most of the calls are EMS. I really can't see any reason why they would not want me to join.

    Has anybody else had trouble getting on as a volunteer? If so, I would like to hear your stories. What can I do to get joined up with the fire department. I don't want to seem too firm with them, but I really want to start making runs. Any advice would be great, THANKS.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Have you made a follow-up phone call?

    It never hurts to make sure they got everything, and politely ask what your status is.

    There can be numerous reasons why you have not been contacted. Just from reading your post, some possibilities jump out at me:

    -Your age MIGHT be a factor. Do they regularly accept 18yr olds (don't assume, ask)?
    -Are you sure they actually have empty slots, or are they perhaps just under a budget axe and forced to run lean? It wouldn't be the first time. Contrary to popular belief, Volleys are not free.
    -Are they waiting to hire several new recruits in a batch so they can run an orientation/training program?
    -Are they just too damn busy to process your application?
    -Is there another reason why you might not be desirable?

    Again, make a call and follow-up. One call every few weeks to check on your status is fine, just don't hound them daily or you just might be told where to go (and it won't be where you were hoping).

    Keep at it, and Good Luck!
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Do you know any of the current members? Doesn't help if no one on the department don't know you.
    Are firefighters "elected" or are they submitted to a board for approval?
    Would there be any reason to be concerned about your background check?
    Because of your age, they may wonder if you plan on "sticking" around.
    Don't appear too eager. They may think that they are getting a wacker. Just contact them and ask if they are needing firefighters and what is the status of your application.
    Don't get discouraged. It took me three tries before I got on. A department that thought they didn't want me in the beginning elected me their chief in the end! True story!
    Good luck and hang tough.
    CR
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  4. #4
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    Some Vol. Depts. bring on recruits once or twice a year.
    to make it easier with the initial training phase.
    Here in Indiana a new recruit to any Vol. Department must complete a
    State mandated 24 Class, if they have already had the class, they still have to take four hours of it over for each dept. they join before they can be involved in any fireground activities.
    This can make it strenuos on a Vol. Dept. insuring that each Recruit has had their 24 hr. if they bring them on any time of the year versus oncer or twice in a group.
    Don't give up on it, but like the other said dont bug the crap out of them either.
    Good Luck

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replys guys,

    There is no way my background check could come back negitive. I have zero criminal record and don't even have any traffic violations. Actually, I'm an eagle scout, seriously.

    The department has employed 18 year olds before and I would hope that my educational choices and my grades would reflect my want to stick with the fire service.

    Members of the department are "approved" by the township board of trustees along with the department officers and chief.

    I know one member very well, the township fire investigator (my neighbor) other than that, only a few brief run-ins.

    Training for the 36 hour VFF class in my area is conducted every month. Other than that, I'm not sure how the FD runs their specific training. They do have a department wide drill every Tuesday though.

    I have not made any follow ups, but think I will. I plan to send a nice letter after i get my test results for EMT back. (I seriously would be happy to just run on the squad untill I finished my 240 in June). Do you think it would be best to try to talk to the chief for a follow up phone call or just let whoever answers the phone direct me. The department in not dull, but they have plenty of free time too.

    I really look foreward to working and making runs, but I really don't want to be so hyped up about it that the officers think I'm one of those dorks that carries a scanner on their belt and chases firetrucks all day long, you know the type? I want to convey the most professional attitude possible.
    Thanks again for the ideas.

  6. #6
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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling to follow up on your app status. Talking with the member you know wouldn't hurt either, thats how I got involved with the dept I'm in. My dept just takes new recruits as they show up, since we need more members and don't have any problems with money...

  7. #7
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Are you trying to join as a volunteer or get hired as a paid guy? Make sure you are clear to them about that because I'm not even sure after reading your posts.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  8. #8
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    Volunteer Bones. It is kinda confusing because it is such a large department that uses both full time and vollies. The app i filled out was specificly for VFF/EMT-B.

    Any other ideas, somebody I knew threw around the idea of doing some work at one of the firehouses for my HS required community service hours.

  9. #9
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    If the Fire Dept. would allow you to do your comm service at their stations, that would be a great way to get urself known to the guys at the stations. If you are allowed to do it, I'd have one of ur teachers set it up for you. Also, if you are eager to help with the lil thing an not so fun things like taking out trash or policing the living quarters as much as you are in things like washing the trucks that will also say alot for you to the guys on station.

    Note:
    If they tease the livin heck out of ya take it with a grain of salt.
    Around FireHouses if they tease ya it means they like ya. (you want them to tease ya) If they dont tease ya or talk to ya unless they have to, its time to re-evaluate what your doing while at the station
    cause they dont care for ya.

    Just some insight for ya that will help ya out.

    good luck

  10. #10
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    Where are you from around here...I live in portage county just north of stark state college. Anyways, which department are you trying for...I might get some "chatter" goin if its an area I know. Another thing you might consider...if you have the time and money, go down to columbus to the state fire academy, having the letters "OFA" for location of training on an application will take you a lot furthur than you can imagine. Another idea, talk to some of your teachers at stark, I am more than positive that they would have some sort of job placement program there, maybe you can tap into that. Other than that I wish you luck in your quest.

  11. #11
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    I live in Plain TWP. so thats where i am applying. I would respond to the all vollie station of the 5 total, station #4. I think the main problem I have is the township board doesn't know what its like to have an engine with 3 people on it respond to a call. Same old same old ya know...

    OFA would be nice, but right now through the Stark Country Career Compact I am earning my 120 EMT and my 240 for a whopping $120. That also translates into 12 credit hours if I persue an assosiates degree at Stark State. I am done with my EMT class and take the Natl. reg. Saturday, and right now more than anything i just want to make some runs and put all my hard work to use in the real world.

    Thanks for the reply.

  12. #12
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    I think the main problem I have is the township board doesn't know what its like to have an engine with 3 people on it respond to a call.
    So you have a "board" that tells the all-volunteer station to not roll with more than 2 guys?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  13. #13
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    Well, the township is split into 5 zones, 1 station per zone.

    Zones 1,2,3 and 5 have medic units and atleast one engine. They also have either a tanker or an arial. They also have a squad unit as well.

    Except for zone 3, 1,2 and 5 have enough manpower to make an EMS run or a bare bones engine run. Vollies are then toned out to staff the tankers or backup the engines and such.

    Zone 4 is the most sparsly populated, has the least calls and the oldest equipment. Because you can only respond to the station in the zone you live it, and there are not many people in zone 4 they don't have sufficient members to be effective on a call. If everyone who had gear at that station responded, you would have 6, maybe 7 people to staff a squad, tanker and pump.

    Except for EMS calls, the zones rarely opperate alone. A structure fire is an automatic all hands and such forth. So the light staffing of station 4 has not been seen as a huge problem. They do get the most mutial aide calls however because they have 2 even more rural districts to the north and east. I think we should have the courtsey to send more than an officer an engineer and one FF.

    Plain and simple, another vollie is more money for gear, uniforms and insurance. As long as zone 4 can get help from 5 and 1 it will never be seen as a huge problem. I know this is confusing but does that help?

    After I get my EMT results back I'm going to see if I could respond to EMS only. That would cut down on the costs a bit and I could just wait till I finish my 240 in June rather than take a 36 some month.

    What do you think about all that?

    Lammrover

  14. #14
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    I would stop by your local station on their drill night to follow up with an officer.

    Where some regular clothes, no fire related t-shirts.

    Be friendly and humble ...you don't want to act like you're going to "save" their department just because you already took EMT and are taking FF II.

    It sounds like you know quite a bit about the department already. This is good but play it cool.

    The most important advice I can give you is to avoid being percieved as a know-it-all. This is the biggest turn-off for new members and it will take you years to get over that bad first impression if you can ever get over it.

    Good luck
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    Thanks for the reply. I think I will do that tomorow. They drill on a township wide basis so whoever can answer my questions is sure to be there.

    I've just been pretty frustrated lately because most of the people I have been going through the acadamy with live in areas where vollie departments are pleading for new members and they aren't interested.

    Oh Well,
    Lammrover

  16. #16
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    Also if you have your National Registry EMT test coming up this weekend...get off the forums and study

    First things first.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  17. #17
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    Dude,

    I had a similar dilemma. I moved to a new area to work in Law Enforcement. I had been a paid and volunteer EMT for five years, so I submitted a application to the local dept. to be one of their EMS volunteers. I was very taken aback that no one contacted me within a reasonable amount of time since I was offering them a pretty good deal since I was already trained, certified, experienced, etc. It turns out that they missplaced the application and then couldn't contact me, etc.

    I finally had to email the contact person and go down there in person to figure out what was going on, and after a few months they finally got their act together. The problem for me was that it was a dept. that is mostly volunteer with a few career guys. Signing up new volunteers is one of the duties that falls to a career Lt. He also has a plethora of other duties, and like alot of firefighters, would rather be fighting fire instead of doing paperwork, so it wasn't a priority. I think your dept. has a similar dilemma. They probably received your application and filed it away and haven't gotten around to dealing with it yet. As one other poster mentioned, your best bet is to go down to the station, introduce yourself, and find out who in charge of bringing on new members. Then you can either call/email/ or meet up with this member and see if they got your application. I doubt that they just decided that they didn't like and threw your application out without even meeting you.

    Good luck with your volunteering.

  18. #18
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    Default UPDATE

    Well, I didn't get to take my EMT test last weekend.

    We showed up about a half hour early and found that our instructor was not there to meet us with all the paperwork we needed like he said he would be. We tracked down one of the paremedic teachers to unlock the office and suprise, the test applications that Bonnie Stitch (stark state EMS manager) had had in her office since before thanksgiving were not signed. She is the only one who can sign them, and she "had a miscomunication and forgot". We called her and apparently woke her up, she said she lives too far away to drive to the school and sign them, so we would just have to take it some other time.

    I was pretty angry. The school is located in a LARGE commercial district and it is almost X-Mas time so it was a huge pain to even get there, now we have to take the test Tuesday evening at Akron U. The whole time, not a single person said they were sorry.

    I had been waiting to take that test for almost 2 years, and because one person didn't sign some papers I will have to wait a longer, and the whole thing is one huge inconvience. Oh well, I just wish she would have had the guts to say sorry.

    Anyway, I can't wait for Tuesday.

    I also found out that the department I have been trying to get on with has not hired a vollie in more than 2 years, all the officers are angry about it, but the chief for some reason won't do anything about it with the local government. Oh well, I just hope that because I'm in a 240 class right now, if they hire soon I will be on the A list.

    My application is on file and under review.

    Lammrover

  19. #19
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Follow up reminder phone calls help a lot...with lots of things.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  20. #20
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    Default Update

    Well, still no luck with the FD. I sure bet they could have used some help today though. There were so many calls after the ice storm they were dispatching arson units and shift commanders as medics and such.

    Took my EMT-B test Tuesday. Did anyone else think it was easy. I know alsot of people say, "if you thought it was easy, you are gonna fail" but whenever I said, that was easy on a class test, I got a 90 or better. Im predicting I middes between 15 and 25 questions out of the 150. It seemed to me most of the answers were PPV or 15LPM non-rebreather. Very basic stuff, ABC's, CPR. It will take a while to get my results back though because of the holidays.

    Some of the possible answers were just plain funny, like using sandbags to even out unilateral chest rise and to treat flail segments.

    Well, I'm gonna follow up with the department again after the holidays when my results get posted online and let them know I'm EMT-B certified. I'll post again then.

    Lammrover

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