1. #1
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    Exclamation In need of Helpful advice.....

    Hello all. I was hopeing a current firefighter of Ct could give me helpful advice on becoming a paid firefighter. My faimly and I have no relations with anybody in a paid possition to ask these questions to so here goes:
    Im 26, regestered to take the CPAT in May, going to inroll at Gateway community college for basic EMT for the fall, and physically training everyday in hopes of getting this job(physically fit). Yesterday I had applied for a volenteer position at Yalsville company 5 figuring I can get training in advance and possibly a foot in the door(?) and been reading up on the oral interview questions to give me better insite.
    The one thing that struck me funny tho was that a former volenteer had told me if you want a paid position, you need to take FF1 again through that company.....?! Should I just go for a paid position? Any advice would be highly appreciated since this is my -=dream job=-. If you know of any oppenings in any town, it would be just as appreciated thx again!
    Bless all the devoted firefighters, current and fallen, dedicated to helping save others from danger with there heroic efforts. I personally salute and thank you.
    Last edited by Menace757; 04-27-2005 at 11:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    I'm no expert, but...

    Yes, most of the fully paid departments will probably send you to the Connecticut Fire Academy for the recruit class. The theory is generally, by the time you get back to your department, you will all have the same base level of training. I believe this will get you Firefighter I & II, MRT, Hazmat OPS and then some.

    Getting your foot in the door with a volunteer department may help you on both your resume and any practical experience should help you on oral interviews.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    I am also no expert, but from what I have seen most departments what alittle bit of the following:

    EMT-B
    FF I (hazmat awareness)
    FF II (hazmat operational)
    Q2
    CPAT

    Each department is alittle different. Cities like Hartford would perfer you to not have any qualifications. That way they can train you to their ways not the CFPC ways or those of IFSTA. I am still a proponent of getting every certification that you can possibly get your hands on. Alot can be done in 2 years time. If all goes accordingly I will have my FF I, FF II, FSI I, and FO I in 2 years time. I test for FO I in a few weeks. I hope this helps you alittle. You want to make yourself look better then the person sitting next to you waiting to be interviewed. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    Menace757,
    I am an expert! I've tested for 32 depts and got 4 jobs. Remember the odds are against you. 200 to 1.
    If you want to be a full time firefighter do the following:
    Work out everyday!!!
    Become FFI & II.
    Become an EMT at a minimum.
    Take Haz-Mat Ops. (is that part of FFII now?)
    Enroll in a fire science program at the college of your choice part-time.
    Know how to cook!!!
    Have hobbies other than firefighting.
    Take every test you hear about even if it's not the city you want!!!
    Dress like a business profesional.
    Take bag pipe lessons.

    If you want to be a full time firefighter do not do the following:
    Wear firefighter T-shirts all the time.
    Have a rear window full of (I'm a firefighter) stickers.
    Have blue lights visible from all angles of your vehicle.
    Carry a scanner on you every where you go.
    Talk about all the heroic things you have done.
    Order your wardrob from Gall's.
    listen to the posts before me!!!

    I did this as a joke but most of it is real. I wouldn't jump into a fire service instructor class or a fire officer class until you get on the job. Many depts see that as a kid who thinks he knows it all. For the same reason don't take too many accademy classes. Take just enough to be above average but not too much. Becoming a paramedic is a HUGE help in some depts. Being a volunteer is a help in some depts but not all. Just don't turn into a stem whacker. A lot of young ambitious kids do and don't even realize it. When you get to the interview process talk about things other than the fire service (hiking, camping, baseball) show them that you are a regular guy with a life outside of the fire service. Of course include your qualifications but don't dwell on it so much. Let them know how well you work with others, and how clean and orginized you are, how much you enjoy taking classes (not teaching them). Tell them how you like the family feel of the fire service (cooking and eating together). Long shifts don't bother you. Tell them what you will do in your down time (study, clean, prepare for promotion).

    And when you finaly get hired bring the following in on your first day:
    2 dozen eggs
    english muffins
    1 lb of cheese
    bacon
    sasauge
    potatoes
    green peppers
    onions
    the knowledge to make this into a meal
    ICE CREAM & APPLE PIE !!!!!!!!!!
    orange juice
    Last edited by KeithA8; 05-07-2005 at 02:10 AM.
    IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

  5. #5
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    I agree with the previously made post, up until the suggestion of not taking FI I and FO I untill getting on the job. There is a difference between being educated and cocky. Educated is going to save your *** when **** hits the fan. Educated is going to make you relize how much many people dont know about basic functions of the fire service. Cocky is you have all these pretty rockers, but cant put 2 and 2 together to equal 4. I have learn invaluable lessons by taking the courses which I have. Expecially from the FF point of view. Use the classes you take to change your life, to change the way you do tasks. Dont use them to list off a bunch of non sense.

  6. #6
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    TVFDT141,
    Where do you work? FI I & FO I will not save your back side when the poop hits the fan. Taking FF I & II is as far as I would go. You can add some specialty classes in there as well i.e.:tech rescue, haz-mat tech, 2Q, things like that But you DO NOT want to be more certified than the oral panel. FI I & FO I will not get you hired or give you an edge anyway. The college enrolement shows you are educated and inteligent enough to handle the job. Most applicants are not going to college for fire science. That is your EDGE! You do make a great point here - Use the classes you take to change your life, to change the way you do tasks. Don't use them to list off a bunch of non sense.
    IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

  7. #7
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    KeithA8's nailed this one pretty good.

    From an oral board perspective, the FFI/II, EMT, and heavy truck license show you have the skills needed to be a firefighter...and are able to pass them again when they spend the money to send you to the career recruit fire school.

    Some departments will hire and not send new-hires to career recruit school...many do just to make sure everyone's at the same baseline.

    To the Instructor & Officer debate...

    Those aren't going to help someone get hired unless it's a small department looking to hire a daytime Chief / Officer / Single Firefighter-in-town type situation.

    If you're a 28 year old whose had 10 years of volunteer service...it may also put it in different perspective. Ok, so the guy got his basic stuff, got his EMT, got his CDL, went fishing some, eventually got around to taking his Instructor and Officer classes after he became a Lieutenant. Probably wouldn't raise the same questioning in someone's mind that seeing someone go from zero to that in two or three years would.
    Trolls? We don't need no stinking Trolls.
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    Don't confuse me with facts, because I actually do like to sound like an idiot.

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