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Thread: past drug use

  1. #1
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    Default past drug use

    On some applications I am filling out they ask about past drug use. I smoked pot when I was in college probably 10-15 times and haven't done it in the past two years. Should I write this on the application our will it send up a red flag and disqualify me? thanks for the help.


  2. #2
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    Default drug use

    As long as there is no record of it anywhere, do yourself a favor and just leave it out. You will save yourself a big headache. Some of the job descriptions wil list drug use as a disqualifier. So even if you have used it don't admit to it, even on a polygraph. Polygraphs are just tools to try to get you to admit you did something wrong. Even if there is nothing, they will try to pry info out of you. Just deny deny deny. Now on the other hand if you still use drugs, do us all a favor and stay out of the fire service. But I don't know many people who haven't experimented with marijuana in their younger years.

  3. #3
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    Hopefulprobie,
    Your response makes me ill. I truly hope you never work for my department. While everyone makes mistakes, a true man owns up to them. Please do us all a favor and keep your bad advice to yourself.

    Firefighters are expected to be honest and trustworthy. If I can't trust a candidate to tell the truth when it comes to drug use (by the way we will find out), how can I count on you to pull one of my firefighters out of a building.

    And yes, you are correct when you say that many people have smoked pot. It's just a reality. To lie about shows a lack of integrity.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    Author of Smoke Your Firefighter Interview and The Aspiring Firefighter's 2-year Plan
    www.smokeyourfirefighterinterv iew.com

  4. #4
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    Default Ok

    I understand where you are coming from. However, I know too many people that were kicked out of processes for simply admitting that they had smoked pot or driven drunk in the past no matter how long ago it happened. I in no way condone using drugs or driving drunk. By the way, I have never smoked pot in my life so I had no problem with it in my process. But the fact of the matter is that a lot of departments use this as simply a way to cut applicants. I know too many excellent men with great character that were eliminated for simply being honest, and that is bull****.

  5. #5
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    I know too many excellent men with great character that were eliminated for simply being honest, and that is bull****.
    Speaking as someone who works with applicants, if someone has used something like pot as a kid, that's a mistake from your past that I can overlook, if not understand. If I find out you've lied to me about it either on an application, an interview, or any other point in the hiring process, that's a conscious effort to deceive me made "today". That tells me that a candidate may have been a drug user yesterday, but he's a liar today.

    Not only is that a measure of your current character, it's cause to drop you from consideration, and possibly even discharged if it's discovered after you've been hired.

    Take that into consideration when you decide if it's wise to lie to the people that you're trying to convince that you're a stand-up guy and would make a worthy employee.
    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

  6. #6
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    You must be truthful. Have your explanation already thought out ahead of time so you don't stammer. Let them know it was during college, you no longer do it and you have no problem being tested.
    You will get more points and respect for being upfront about it. If you lie and they somehow find out later, your reputation will be tarnished..not only with that department, but whomever may find out later by casual conversation. Firefighters do talk you know. If the admission keeps you from a department, try the next one. Tough luck if it keeps you out of your dream department. Find a new one, but continue to be honest. There is a department somewhere that would be happy to have you. As for the polygraph reference, I for one am totally against them, but if you sit for one, be honest. My past is not clear either, but I was honest. I had concerns before taking the poly so I talked to the BC(who I knew personally)and told him about my past. He said be honest. We are looking to find out how truthful you are, not what you have done. Guess what, I got the job. Hope this helps and Good Luck!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the advice. I wasn't sure if it would automatically disqualify me or not but I rather be upfront about it then end up losing my job over it. Your right if they don't want me for my honesty then some one else will. thanks again

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