Thread: Madison WI FD

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    Question Madison WI FD

    Just wondering if anyone knew how many people made it onto the oral board part of the process. Or at least how many made it in previous tests. Thanks.

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    I'm not with Madison but I heard that they are in need of medics, whether this will help (if you have it) or not, I dont know?
    Last edited by firedoe29; 05-06-2008 at 09:21 PM.

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    Lightbulb Hmmm...

    BC? DC? Isn't Madison's Chief a woman?

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    Default MATC

    Do all recruits have to do (so many) months at MATC? And then after how long are they able to be promoted?/transfered? to paramedic? Are they FireMedics or just EMS? Just curious, got my Associates at MATC in Fire Protection Technician, but sought career in IL. This weekend I hope to be a FISHTAB though.

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    I know a couple folks who got on Madison Fire. They went through a training academy at MATC that lasted about as long as a school semester. It lasted a little longer for those who didn't already have their EMT-B. I don't think you can become a Paramedic until you're off probation, which is a year and a half. I'm pretty sure paramedics just do EMS and no fire.

    It's a nice department to work for from what I hear. I asked the people I know who got on there how they got hired, but they weren't really sure what made them stand out from everyone else. Does anyone here have any insight on what type background/experience Madison looks for in new hires, because I know you don't necessarily need a fire or EMS background to get on the Department?
    Last edited by SCSmith; 12-05-2007 at 02:39 PM.

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    If you make it to the Chief's Interview, it's really tough to say exactly what they're looking for. I think they want to hire people who they like, trust, and respect. Someone they would want to work side by side with for 20 plus years. What it takes to make the chief(s) interviewing you feel that way is beyond me. If anyone can comment on how to do that at an interview like this, I would really like to hear it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCSmith View Post
    I'm pretty sure paramedics just do EMS and no fire.

    It's a nice department to work for from what I hear. I asked the people I know who got on there how they got hired, but they weren't really sure what made them stand out from everyone else. Does anyone here have any insight on what type background/experience Madison looks for in new hires, because I know you don't necessarily need a fire or EMS background to get on the Department?

    First off, MFD paramedics are also used as firefighters, as they are also on some of the specialized teams.

    MFD uses classroom space at the MATC campus and new recruits will do their training at MATC as there are several on duty training conducted there for MFD crews. One does not have to go through MATC to become a Madison FF.


    As for what it takes to get a Chief interview, or any interview for that matter, be yourself and practice. There is no magic solution to get an interview. Work on speaking, especially publically to reduce nervousness in an interview, research the city and department a bit and anticipate the questions. Pretty much every interview will ask you Why do you want to be a Firefighter? What have you done to prepare yourself to become a Firefighter? How do you feel about diversity?

    Pratice such questions and your response. Work on eliminating ahhs and ummms, you knows, and long pauses, record yourself if you have to. Being relaxed, be yourself and speaking clearly is how you do good in interviews. Also test around, so that you get more opportunities to interview. Don't put all your hopes towards one single department because it is your "dream dept".

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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    First off, MFD paramedics are also used as firefighters, as they are also on some of the specialized teams.

    MFD uses classroom space at the MATC campus and new recruits will do their training at MATC as there are several on duty training conducted there for MFD crews. One does not have to go through MATC to become a Madison FF.
    Medics on Madison may be on some special teams, but they don't fight fires.

    All I know is that the MFD's Recruit Academy takes place at the Fire Service Center on MATC's Truax Campus. From what I hear, the same building is used primarily for MATC fire science clases and their own fire academy, and that some local volunteer deparments can use the facilities there for fire trainings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zguessz View Post
    Just wondering if anyone knew how many people made it onto the oral board part of the process. Or at least how many made it in previous tests. Thanks.
    I'm not sure how long they've been doing it this way, but no matter how many people take the written test, only the top 400 scores move onto the physical ability test. I'm not sure if there's affirmative action involved where a minimum number of females and minorities have to move onto the physical, or if there's a different passing standard set for them, but either one is possible. In order to pass the physical, a white male needs to score 6 or 7 points (7 being a perfect score) to be invited to the oral board interviews with the Police and Fire Commission, whereas a female or minority doesn't need to score any points to be invited to the oral boards. They just need to pass. So to answer your question, the number of people who make past the physical and onto the oral boards tends to be around 200 people total. The number of people who make it onto the eligibility list after finishing the oral boards varies from hiring process to hiring process depending on the department's needs over the next year or two. The more people they plan on hiring, the more people they put on the eligibility list and vice versa. Just because you make it onto the eligibility list, doesn't mean that you'll get a chief's interview, though. That all depends on the hiring band in which you're put. The bands range from "A" to "G". The closer you are to "G", the less likely you are to get an interview.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surtur View Post
    Medics on Madison may be on some special teams, but they don't fight fires..
    Yes, they do fight fires and are utilized for suppression activities such as search. They carry turnout gear on the ambulance and are utilized for a fire. There are a few MFD FF's I know personally and there was a pic in WSJ of one of them, who was on the ambulance, gearing up to do a search of an apartment fire.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCSmith View Post
    That all depends on the hiring band in which you're put. The bands range from "A" to "G". The closer you are to "G", the less likely you are to get an interview.

    Not so. The band you are placed in is not indicitive of when you would get and interview or even hired. A person in the "G" band has just as good of chance of getting hired as a person in the "A or B" band. When interviews are done those in band "A" through say "C" may get interviewed and may be potentially hired. The list for MFD is 2 years and if they run another recruit class they may interview off the "D" through "G" bands and hire from them. If you were on the "C" band and didn't get hired the first time around, chances are not good you would be hired the second time around. MFD can pull people off whatever band they want and not go down the line of ranking.
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    Default uughhh!!

    "I'm not sure if there's affirmative action involved where a minimum number of females and minorities have to move onto the physical, or if there's a different passing standard set for them, but either one is possible. In order to pass the physical, a white male needs to score 6 or 7 points (7 being a perfect score) to be invited to the oral board interviews with the Police and Fire Commission, whereas a female or minority doesn't need to score any points to be invited to the oral boards. They just need to pass."


    I'm not sure if this is common practice or not, but being in the final stages of a hiring process myself, reading this just makes me sick. I never understood how "equal oppertunity" is equal when a certain group of people get special advantages over other peolpe. Yes, I am a white male (Italian American) but even if I wasn't, I would want only what I deserve or earn. Equal is equal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    Not so. The band you are placed in is not indicitive of when you would get and interview or even hired. A person in the "G" band has just as good of chance of getting hired as a person in the "A or B" band. When interviews are done those in band "A" through say "C" may get interviewed and may be potentially hired. The list for MFD is 2 years and if they run another recruit class they may interview off the "D" through "G" bands and hire from them. If you were on the "C" band and didn't get hired the first time around, chances are not good you would be hired the second time around. MFD can pull people off whatever band they want and not go down the line of ranking.
    Nope. In the last couple hiring processes, "A" through "D" were interviewed first, then "E" & "F" were interviewed together, and "G" wasn't interviewed at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCSmith View Post
    Nope. In the last couple hiring processes, "A" through "D" were interviewed first, then "E" & "F" were interviewed together, and "G" wasn't interviewed at all.
    They interview off the bands they want to, but if "A" through "D" interviewed first and you were in the "C" band, but didn't get hired, you chances of getting hired next time are nil because MFD will start second interviews off the "E" through "G" bands. They will choose the people they want from those interviews, meaning that you have the same shot at getting hired off the "G" band as you would off the "B" band. Basically just because you are placed in the "A" through "D" bands, doesn't make your chances of getting hired any better than someone off the lower bands. I was in the "H" band when I was in the process.
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    [QUOTE=SCSmith;960941]I'm not sure if there's affirmative action involved where a minimum number of females and minorities have to move onto the physical, or if there's a different passing standard set for them, but either one is possible.

    if you don't know you shouldn't assume and spread rumors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsin925 View Post
    if you don't know you shouldn't assume and spread rumors.
    Shut the hell up! Anybody who know ANYTHING about MFD knows that females and minorities are given very special consideration in their hiring process. IT'S THE MOST DIVERSE FIRE DEPARTMENT IN THE COUNTRY, and there's a reason for that. Many females and minorities have been recruited and walked through Madison's entire hiring process by an officer. This isn't a rumor. It's a fact. It's a fact that I accept, and Madison has a department for which I still have a ton of respect. So, dude, don't get all high and mighty on me here, because you obviously don't have a clue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    They interview off the bands they want to, but if "A" through "D" interviewed first and you were in the "C" band, but didn't get hired, you chances of getting hired next time are nil because MFD will start second interviews off the "E" through "G" bands. They will choose the people they want from those interviews, meaning that you have the same shot at getting hired off the "G" band as you would off the "B" band. Basically just because you are placed in the "A" through "D" bands, doesn't make your chances of getting hired any better than someone off the lower bands. I was in the "H" band when I was in the process.
    Crabby, not to be disrespectful, but I still think you're only partially right. Being in the upper bands doesn't mean that you're going to get hired. It just means you're going to be given first consideration because they interview those bands first. It's like with the Post Office. Veterans who take the Post Office test are always given first consideration to be hired before a non-vet. Even if a vet gets a 10% on the test and a non-vet gets 95%, that vet with the low score will still at least be considered for the job before the non-vet with the higher score. The vet may not get the job, but he/she is still given first consideration, which gives them a better chance of getting hired. Say "A" through "D" is interviewed the first year and a group is hired from those interviews, and then the next year there are budget cuts, which result in the rest of the bands never getting interviewed, then those other bands are S.O.L. That may almost never happen, but it's still a risk, which lowers the odds of being hired for candidates in the lower bands. For whatever reason, sometimes there are bands that just never get interviewed. Those bands are at the bottom. Even if that wasn't the case with you, it does happen. Once you're interviewed, then you're right, everyone is given equal consideration. It's the making it to the chief's interview part that folks towards the bottom need to worry about.
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    SCSmith,

    I know what you are saying and I understand about getting an interview if in an early band. Sure, it is possible that you may not get an interview if on a lower band, but overall, the job chance is about the same. Many departments create a seniority list and hire by ranking, MFD doesn't. So while you may get an interview if you are in the "A" band, if you don't get hired, you chance of getting another interview for the next class is nil. MFD may interview an entire band and not find a candidate to hire and find one in the lower bands.

    Basically, if one was going through the process and placed on a lower band, you still have a shot of getting hired. Something to consider because if one tested for Milwaukee and ranked 600 or something, the chance of them getting hired is much, much lower.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCSmith View Post
    Shut the hell up! Anybody who know ANYTHING about MFD knows that females and minorities are given very special consideration in their hiring process. IT'S THE MOST DIVERSE FIRE DEPARTMENT IN THE COUNTRY, and there's a reason for that. Many females and minorities have been recruited and walked through Madison's entire hiring process by an officer. This isn't a rumor. It's a fact. It's a fact that I accept, and Madison has a department for which I still have a ton of respect. So, dude, don't get all high and mighty on me here, because you obviously don't have a clue.
    you are the one who said you weren't sure. now you say many females and minorities are walked through the process, which means some aren't, and implies none of the white men are. i'm not getting high and mighty, but you are getting your panties in a bunch. it's easy to tell someone to shut the hell up over the internet. i'm basing what i said on what you said, and i highly doubt you are quoting facts. i guess there isn't any nepotism in madison's fire dept, and all of the white firefighters are 1st generation. you make it sound like the only true qualified fire fighters in madison are the white men, and you are entitled to your opinion, but don't spew it as a fact. where can i find written documentation to back up your facts. i guess all of the female and minority students at UW are there because of affirmative action too, not because of their hard work. i guess all females and minorities are guaranteed a spot on madison's fire dept. just apply and an officer will walk you through the process. i don't think you understand the meaning of the word respect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsin925 View Post
    you are the one who said you weren't sure. now you say many females and minorities are walked through the process, which means some aren't, and implies none of the white men are. i'm not getting high and mighty, but you are getting your panties in a bunch. it's easy to tell someone to shut the hell up over the internet. i'm basing what i said on what you said, and i highly doubt you are quoting facts. i guess there isn't any nepotism in madison's fire dept, and all of the white firefighters are 1st generation. you make it sound like the only true qualified fire fighters in madison are the white men, and you are entitled to your opinion, but don't spew it as a fact. where can i find written documentation to back up your facts. i guess all of the female and minority students at UW are there because of affirmative action too, not because of their hard work. i guess all females and minorities are guaranteed a spot on madison's fire dept. just apply and an officer will walk you through the process. i don't think you understand the meaning of the word respect.
    I never said that all females and minorities on their department are there because of affirmative action. I said some are. Don't twist my words to try and make me look like an ignorant bigot. I don't have a problem with their hiring process. I just have a problem with people like you who don't know what they're talking about and then come on here telling people what they should and shouldn't say. I agree that many white males have gotten help from family members too, but nepotism isn't as prevalent on Madison's department as it used to be. They've gotten away from the "good ol' boy" system and are much more geared towards diversity now.

    I know a female who was personally walked through the process by a chief, who's name I won't mention. She didn't get on, though, because she couldn't pass the physical. I also know a former bouncer, who is a minority, and he was approached by the Madison Fire Department and encouraged to apply. He was walked through the hiring process and got hired, but was later fired along with many other Madison firefighter (most of whom were white males) for getting mixed up in what is now called the "Jocko's Scandal". These are just two examples that I personally know about, but there are many more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCSmith View Post
    I never said that all females and minorities on their department are there because of affirmative action. I said some are. Don't twist my words to try and make me look like an ignorant bigot. I don't have a problem with their hiring process. I just have a problem with people like you who don't know what they're talking about and then come on here telling people what they should and shouldn't say. I agree that many white males have gotten help from family members too, but nepotism isn't as prevalent on Madison's department as it used to be. They've gotten away from the "good ol' boy" system and are much more geared towards diversity now.

    I know a female who was personally walked through the process by a chief, who's name I won't mention. She didn't get on, though, because she couldn't pass the physical. I also know a former bouncer, who is a minority, and he was approached by the Madison Fire Department and encouraged to apply. He was walked through the hiring process and got hired, but was later fired along with many other Madison firefighter (most of whom were white males) for getting mixed up in what is now called the "Jocko's Scandal". These are just two examples that I personally know about, but there are many more.

    If you don't like what I have to say, jsin, then don't listen.
    thank you for the clarification, and i never called you a bigot. we all have our own prejudices and opinions, it's only natural. i just thought you were making a generalization because you said you weren't sure. i don't believe in dumbing down things for people regardless of race or gender. a test is a test and the standards should apply to everyone. nepotism may not be as prevalent, but it is still there. what you said didn't bother me. the way you told me to shut the hell up did. the "don't listen" thing goes both ways.

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    I'm sure Smith is right when he said that females & minorities are given special consideration and that there are a few in each hiring process who are helped through the process by MFD officers. Although, I think it gets exaggerated a bit by those who are resentful for not getting hired there, but Madison wouldn't have the most diverse fire department in the country without doing things like that at all. I also agree with jsin that nepotism may still exist even in a progressive city like Madison, but I can't think of an organization where it doesn't exist at least in some form.

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