12-03-2004, 04:31 AM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2004
what made you want to become a firefighter
Hey guys, a questions to those who wish to answer it, what made you want to become a firefighter???
12-03-2004, 08:39 AM #2
The 4 days and pay days...No, chicks dig me in uniform...
Ummm...I dont know...
Plus- If you did a subject search, you would have found
lots of answers on this one.
Last edited by CALFFBOU; 12-03-2004 at 10:09 AM.
12-03-2004, 09:05 AM #3
I guess I'll be next!
I got into it mainly because of my parents. My dad is a FF/EMT and my mom is an EMT and I was around the station a good bit. So, when I turned 15 and I joined the fire company and when I was 16 I joined our rescue company. Then I really saw what it was all about, especially after taking classes, and I have loved it ever since!Proud to be IACOJ!
12-03-2004, 09:47 AM #4
12-03-2004, 10:01 AM #5
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
Cause I get to ride in the cool truck!!
12-03-2004, 12:34 PM #6
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
- Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
Growing up, I lived on a fairly busy street which was a main route for fire apparatus in the city, as well as the fact that my school was right next to a busy fire station, both of which gave me a lot of "exposure" to the fire department. In fact were played footbaall and baseball in a field right next to the station. I can also remember hearing many of the volunteer fire department sirens from the suburbs. I can also remember walking up the fire station quite a bit with my grandfather, who was never a firefighter but was a "buff".
And of course, "Emergency" had a major influence, but I always associated more with Capt. Stanley, Chet, Marco and Stoker. I Guess that explains why they can't pry me off the engine (though the guys that ran that big foam manifold unit were pretty cool too).
Unfortunatly, living in the city I had to wait to go to college and join the student run fire department (and a few months later the rescue squad) to get things going.
12-03-2004, 01:56 PM #7
The best place to watch a fire is from the inside !!!
Actually I joined the local VFD after the service in '76,seemed like a good way to serve the small town. During major snow storms or blackout or something the town payed the volunteers to man the stations. Thought that was fun.Went after a career and in '81 got hired by the second largest FD in N.J.
Last edited by len1582; 12-03-2004 at 02:03 PM.
12-03-2004, 03:22 PM #8
Love medicine, love helping people...i work at a local hospital now as a CNA and you can only WIPE ***** so much
also, to add to my hospital experience, i'm 20 so i joke that i leave one mom and gain 12 at work
so being the first on scene not knowing what the situation is and working with a bunch of guys..priceless (working with women isn't so bad as long as your not the only guy while all of them are not even close to MILF's)
12-03-2004, 03:34 PM #9
- Join Date
- Oct 2001
- Schenectady, NY
Its a family thing here. I am the 3rd generation. It has been over 35 years for me at this time. It was never a question of IF but WHEN.
12-03-2004, 04:18 PM #10
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
Well I see there are five kinds of people in an emergency(if you can think off more please share.)
1. People who are to consumed with themselves and don't care what happens to others, and go on with their mary ways.
2. People who stand around in curiosity, creating a large crowd(trafic jams).
3. People who sceam and cry "Somebody do something!", creating a panic.
4. People who get the ball rolling by calling 911.
5. People who take the time to learn how to help and make the situation better.
I just didn't want to be the one calling for help, I want to help. so begain training to be a paramedic. Shortly after I was through with my Basic training I went for a ride at a Fire Department. Only due to over scheduling of riders that day I was asked if I could ride on the Engine, since I was just there for the experince not for mandatory class time. Wasn't going to turn that down. Later in the day we had a fire call, didn't go in, but it gave me some real insight on what my FF friends where talking about. So, now along with my Paramedic quest I'm going after becoming a Firefighter too.
12-03-2004, 04:27 PM #11
- Join Date
- Jun 2003
From CaptBob / Eat Stress DOT Com
Why Do You Want to be a Firefighter?
This is one of the toughest questions to answer without sounding like a Clone. Often it could be one of the first if not the first question.
I want to clear the air about using clone answers. It’s not that you can’t use clone answers. You can. But first you need to deliver a personalized signature story about you relating to the question. Not a clone answer of anyone else. I haven’t met a candidate yet that couldn’t come up with signature stories. Signature stories demonstrate experience. They also tell that you not only know the answer to a question, you’ve lived it.
Firefighters love firefighter stories. If you open up with a signature story, you instantly separate yourself from the other clone candidates. Stories show the oral board who you really are. You capture the board and take them on a journey with a story they have never heard. Is this making sense?
Case in point. I just talked to a candidate who was dumping only clone answers on this question. Then he realized he could begin his answer with a signature story. He remembered a story he could use about a prank being played on him when he did a ride along with his brother. He couldn’t believe the difference. The story brought smiles and laughter from the panel members. Along with the calls they went on by the end of the day he knew this was the job that blended all his needs. He followed this story with his standard landmark clone answers. This was the first question on his oral. His answer made everyone more comfortable and the interviewed flowed a lot smoother than before.
The toughest thing for candidates to do in an oral is being themselves on purpose. When you are yourself, you become conversational because you are on your own turf. This alone can lower the stress and the butterflies.
Stories are more than facts
Stories are more than facts
If you can create the excitement, emotion, the color and magic to relive the actual event, you will capture the interest and a top score on that question. A big part of getting this job is convincing the oral board that you can do the job before you get it. Stories are convincing and can demonstrate your education and experience even if they’re not fire related.
During coaching with a candidate one day and he was giving me those clone answers why he wanted to be a firefighter. I stopped him and had him rewind the videotape of his life. He remembered being a life guard at age 14. Take it back further (this is one of the values of a coach). He said, "Oh, I'm from South America. When I was growing up, we lived with my grandfather who was the fire chief of the city. I got to go with him and be exposed to the who department."
I asked if he had ever told that story in any of his oral board interviews? He said, "No". Why not? I will bet you big money you are a clone candidate right now. But, I bet you also have some personal signature stories that could instantly change your interview scores.
Practice those stories with a tape recorder. Condense them down to a minute or less. Don't go on a journey. The oral board is not packed for the trip. Once you answer an oral board with a signature story, you can marry the rest of your answer with those clone answers you have been using. Try it and see the amazing difference.
You won't have time and it's not appropriate to use a signature story for every answer. Tell the story. Make the point. Move on.
A candidate wrote:
I have thought long and hard about the answer to "why do you want to be a firefighter". I'm having a tough time putting it into words. My biggest desire to be a firefighter is because I love the way the department functions first as a family, then as a job.
I've had way too many jobs that were just corporate ladder climbers and backstabbers. Do you think if I push the "family" aspect will I get max points for that question?
Reply: This is a "Clone" answer. Try to think of what really sparked your interest to be a firefighter. Come up with those signature stories. Once you have the board hooked into listening to you, you can use those other "Clone" answers to caboose your answer.
By the way, I would never use, "I've had way too many jobs that were just corporate ladder climbers and backstabbers", as part of your answer. It might give a bad impression of you to the oral board.
I asked a candidate, who was testing for Oakland, one day why he wanted to be a firefighter. He gave me the typical "Clone" answer, "It's giving back to the community, public service, helping other's, blah, blah, zzzzzzzzzzzz."
I stopped him and asked, "What really got you interested in being a firefighter?" He said, "Oh, well I grew up in Oakland, but moved to Shasta during high school. After graduation I went to hotel management school in Reno. That didn't work out, so I moved back to Oakland and started going to Chabot College. I met an old friend who was in the fire science program. We ended up over at his house. His father was a Captain for Oakland. They got me all fired up, I signed up in fire science, got my firefighter 1, became a medic and I'm currently a federal firefighter."
I just sat there amazed. I asked him if he had ever used this (his signature) story before? He said no. You gave me the "Clone" answer and you had this beauty sitting here? He polished up the story and practiced it with a tape recorder. He works proudly for the City of Alameda.
Another candidate remembered he had the Gage and Desoto dish and cup set from the TV series Emergency. His mom had a picture of him in front of the TV as a kid eating off it when the show came on. He took that picture to his orals. Did it work? He works for San Jose Fire.
After a written test I asked a group of six candidates why they wanted to be firefighters. They were amazed that what they thought was unique was only a “Clone”. After I worked with one in the group with his signature story of why he wanted to be a firefighter, the rest of the group used the formula to put together their own too.
I have yet to find a candidate who doesn't have signature stories. The problem is they don't know how to use them. You might not know yours today. But, after reading this, you will have some aha’s in the next few days.
I know you have been number 3 in Seattle, in the top 5 at Ontario, made the cut on the CPS test, waiting for the next call from LA City, and tested in Portland, Stockton, and passed the tough physical agility test in Phoenix to go onto the oral. If you're a medic, you had the advantage of taking more tests.
Opps, I almost forgot
Some will say, "Captain Bob" how can you help so many candidates without making them into clones?" Good question. Simple answer. The real reason is nobody else can tell your story! Nobody! When you start lacing your answers with your personalized experiences is where you start to shorten that gap between you and that infamous badge.
Hands down, we help more firefighters get hired in the US of A and Canada than anyone else! Coast to coast, in every state and major city in the America, 24 hours a day, are protected by firefighters who went through our program!
It's a great feeling if you can be a part of the change in someone's life. Multiply that by over 2,200 badges throughout the United States and Canada and you will understand that this is our reward. My firefighter son Rob and I have a great passion in seeing candidates get a badge. This is serious work.
We can shorten the learning curve to the closest point between you and the badge. Like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, we’re not going to give you anything you don’t already have. We’re just going to show you where it is. There is a badge out there for you. You just haven’t seen it yet. We will show you how to nail it!
So now, why do you want to become a firefighter?
**Edit, Forgot to cite the source. Whoops!
Last edited by 42VTExplorer; 12-03-2004 at 04:40 PM.
12-03-2004, 04:34 PM #12
12-03-2004, 04:38 PM #13
Originally posted by DennisTheMenace
- Join Date
- Jun 2003
You should quote and credit your cut and pastes.
12-03-2004, 05:00 PM #14
- Join Date
- May 2000
- Wheaton IL
I always wanted to as long as I can remember, then after volunteering I couldn't picture myself doing anything else.
12-03-2004, 05:06 PM #15
I needed a job and one that had health insurance, job security and maybe a good pension one day when I decided to retire. Started out making $174.00 every two weeks was good, since I was only making about $60.00 a week. This was 40 years ago!! :-)
It was a good job that I can look back on and see all the good in being a firefighter.Stay Safe and Well Out There....
Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers
12-03-2004, 05:31 PM #16
one word here -Traditionput the wet stuff on the hot stuff.
911 EMD dispatcher
12-03-2004, 05:54 PM #17
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
- The merry old land of Oz
My mother's uncle was chief when the department built (yes, BUILT) the first motorized fire truck in that county in New York state.
My Father was a chief in the department for 9 years. He was accepted into the department the night I turned one year old. So I guess it was all that I ever knew.
After 35 years my brother is still fighting fire in Florida and I here in Pa.
I guess that the first dose of smoke causes brain damage and old jakes like us never learn anything better to do with our lives.
12-03-2004, 10:14 PM #18
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- Wren, MS Until the forum gremlins pay a visit!
I was asked to work on one of the department tankers some 18 years ago, and I did. Then someone asked if I would like to join so I thought that I would give it try. My very first training meeting was a live burn, they stuck me in through the front door and the fire rolled out over my head and out the door and I've been hooked ever since! I've really matured as a person and a fireman in all these years since and wouldn't change a thing.Chief
Wren Volunteer Fire Department
In Memory of:
FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
"Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."
12-03-2004, 11:29 PM #19
- Join Date
- Feb 2003
I used to live next to a vol. station When I was a kid. I'd go over and talk to the guys, then I gave them a hand with their station chores and they'd give me sodas. One day a fireman I was helping told me I'd make a heck of a hand. And that I should join when I'm old enough, then the rest became history.
12-04-2004, 02:46 PM #20
I always loved Fire Engines like a lot of kids. I lived in London's East End where there were lots of fires and lots of fire engine's running about. Later in the 70's I moved near Poplar Fire Station. becuase I was getting older I started going out a little further than the block I lived on, this was about 1978, the year Poplar had 8000 Calls and topped the Make up (Multi-Alarm) list for London's 115 Fire Stations.
They used to fly past the top of my road more often than London's famous red buses... I got to chasing them or following the smoke sometimes it would be rubbish or a car, there were a lot of fires in old tenemant Building's. I was lucky, we moved to a new City Housing development but were surrounded on three sides by old tenemants, I must have seen dozens of fires in them.
The real treat though was the old Dockside Warehouses, they would go up and light the night sky, or the smoke would block out the sun during the day. There would be lines of Fire trucks along the road or lining up along the waterfront with Ladder trucks pouring water onto these blazes.
So, as a snotty kid with loads of energy I was sold on being a Fireman. A couple of years later I started hanging around the Fire Station and a few years after that I joined at 18... fast forward a couple of decades and here I am!!
Last edited by SteveDude; 12-04-2004 at 03:07 PM.Steve Dude
London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"
'Irony'... It's a British thing.
12-04-2004, 05:55 PM #21
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
- Houston, TX
Since I was a little kid, I always was fascinated by firetrucks. Then when I got into my teenage years 15-16, I started looking into the volunteer fire departments around. Seabrook Fire Dept had a bunch of teens at my high school volunteering for them and I thought that it might be cool to try it. I lived too far from Seabrook but I looked into the others in the close vicinity and sadly they too were too far away. Then just before my 18th birthday, Pasadena broke gound on a new station about 2 blocks from my house and I immediately went and applied. Now a little over a year later, I am a member of the department and loving every minute of it. I couldnt see myself doing any other job-Jason
Pasadena Fire Dept.
12-04-2004, 06:19 PM #22
12-04-2004, 10:23 PM #23Lousy aim and I didn't like donuts.
I had moved many miles away from ANYONE I knew for a job. All the guys I ended up hiring were in one of the local FD's, and I loved the stories they told, so I joined the one in my town....I wish I had known what I was getting myself into !9/11/01 Never forget Never forgive
Dusty, working on Crusty IACOJ
12-05-2004, 12:56 AM #24
When I was little, when the cousins and I would all be staying with our grandparents for the weekend, we didn't get bedtime fairy tales. We got fire stories from my grandpa...Seeing what a great man my grandfather is influenced my decision greatly.
I think the one moment when I knew there was ABSOLUTELY no turning back was when I was about 15 y/o and I went to the station with my grandpa because they were paged to help get equipment back in service and trucks restocked after a call. This would have normally been done by the crew who was on the call but they were sent home due to the nature of the call. It was a vehicle accident w/ fire and entrapment which was fatal to a friend of the department. One guy who I always followed around every time my grandpa took me to the station was especially upset...he had been first on scene and had pulled his friend out of the car. I saw these guys, especially this one, as unbreakable. I didn't think that he could be shaken or upset by anything. I walked into the station to find him sitting on the tailstep of the engine crying. I just kind of stood there, I didn't know whether to say something or to just keep walking. I went up to him and hugged him and he grabbed ahold and didn't let go. That made me realize that being there for one another is what the fire service is all about, and that I was a lot closer to the people than I thought. That night I walked away from the station a little more mature than I was when I went in, and I DEFINITELY walked away with no doubt in my mind that theses people were my family. It was a silent trip home with my grandpa but I know I hugged him a little tighter too when he left.IACOJ
"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap it if we do not lose heart."
12-05-2004, 02:22 AM #25
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
Stop Me If You've Heard This One............
It's 02:07 Sunday morning here in Downtown Maryland, And I just got back in from a Auto Accident. The Driver on the Squad tonight is my oldest Grandson, the first of the fifth generation of our family at the same firehouse. Over the years, according to my math, our family has some 28 members that are, or have been members here. My grandfather and my oldest uncle were among the founding members back in 1928, and I guess what has become a way of life in our family started back then. One thing for sure, the end is NOT in sight.Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
In memory of
Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006
IACOJ Budget Analyst
I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.
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