Thread: Military Firefighting a plus?
10-11-2005, 03:57 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jun 2004
- Dahlgren, VA
Military Firefighting a plus?
Hello everyone. I am a volunteer FF/EMT in Virginia and I have a combined 13 years in the Fire Service. The question is that with half of the being in the US Navy, will it be beneficial to a full time department? I have attended several military schools, obtained my FF I & II, Haz-Mat and have had the pleasure of going through a flash-over trainer.
My plan is to 'recertify' in virginia so that my certifications are IFSAC/Pro-Board recognized. I am a NREMT-B also.
If anyone can give me any insite to pros/cons it would be greatly appreciated!
'Fratis Um Sangri E Ignatio'
10-12-2005, 02:10 PM #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
- Madison, WI
One thing you got going for you is your military experience which will transform over to veterans points that most departments testing award to veterans. Also your certs might not mean much to a bigger department that does not require them but for smaller departments, that require those certs to test they will be good.
11-24-2005, 06:16 PM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
Yes, your military firefighting experience will certainly be a plus. Just as good as your firefighting experience is your time spent in the military.
Military men and women do EXTREMELY WELL in the fire service. The maturity and ability to get along far surpasses the average candidate.
11-25-2005, 12:36 AM #4
Very true, being in the military, especially the Navy, I would say helps. The certifications are also a plus. The certs may not mean much to a bigger dept but the military usally goes over well with any department. Also being NREMT will be very helpful. You will still have to test for that state but you almost have it made!!"Training doesn't make you a good fireman, fighting fire makes you a good fireman"
11-25-2005, 01:38 AM #5
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
- Dallas, Oregon, United States
Does it matter what type of military experience you have? If it does, how would being a pararescuer and/or SERE specialist in the air force compare to being a firefighter in any branch?-Josh Brehm
11-27-2005, 11:19 PM #6
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- San Francisco Bay Area
Only as long as you can present them correctly
Can you imagine a Navy Seal Medic who couldnít get hired?
Yep, thatís right. This super qualified candidate couldnít get hired. Why? He couldnít pass the oral high enough to get called back.
The cornerstone of what we do is to convince candidates to lace their oral board answers with personal life experiences. This alone will separate you from the other candidates. Because no one can tell your story. No one.
I coached this Navy Seal three weeks ago. Like many candidates he was stuck in the process. He had a lot of clone garbage. At one point he held up one of those books with all the answers and said, "Should I still use the answers out of this book?" I told him, "Not if he wanted to get hired." On one of his answers I stopped him. OK, now tell me a personal story that can relate to this answer? The story he starts with we throw out. The second story too. No, no, not the clone stuff. Tell me your personalized story that no one else can tell. The light went on.
He regrouped. Then he started telling the story of being in Afghanistan. He took me on the journey with him. The hairs on my arms and neck stood up. It was exciting, emotional. He relived it. I said, oh, my god. Thatís it. Rick said, you mean I can use that? Please do. It delivers the point in answering this oral board question. It will convince the panel you not only know the answer, you have lived it!
At the end of the coaching session he had a new killer presentation. All his own stuff. Not a clone of everyone else. We didn't give him anything he didn't already have. He was just shown where it was.
I told him if youíre not hired on your next interview you will be picked up soon by someone else. His next interview was the following week. I told Rick theyíre going to be ****ing all over themselves now trying to hired you before someone else does.
On Tuesday at 4:30 pm the phone rings. Itís Rick. You were right. I got the call.
What got him hired? Not packing on more certs. He already had what it took. He just needed the necessary oral board skills.
This from the Navy Seal:
Captain Bob -
Well finally here it is: my story of how your services aided me in securing a career with an awesome fire department. Have patience, as I may begin by rambling, but once the ideas start flowing hopefully it will turn out well.
There I was, fresh out of the military with my wife and 2 children and only prospective fire jobs - nothing by any means was for certain. Although I thought I had given it enough time by starting the search a year before my end of service date, the California budget crunch and the super competitive hiring process were proving formidable enemies to our meeting our objective - a secure, well-paying fire career at a department with a good reputation.
I had no fire experience whatsoever and mostly military paramedic experience, and although I did have NREMT-P and CAEMT-P certification, I barely had any civilian time on a box. Times were tight.
My heartbreak had come 6 months earlier - My first testing process was for an extremely well-paying department - I thought I had it nailed - the department was my hometown growing up, and I foolishly believed that just because I was a combat veteran of an elite unit that they would hand the job over to me. Well, I had no interview experience. When I finished the interview, I thought it went pretty well, until I received the rejection letter X-mas Eve 5 months before the end of my service. Good X-Mas? No. At that point, once I finished the stages of dealing with grief, I decided that I needed to utilize all available resources and overwhelm the enemy with superior firepower. The enemy? Let us be honest: other candidates, of course, but most of all, the seemingly intangible guerilla agent of the firefighting application process: The Interview!
Instead of my AC-130 Gunship and Cobra Helicopters, I called on Capt. Bob to provide me with the tools of the trade that I needed to overwhelm the interview panel. I quickly found out that most applicants' biggest enemy is them self and their refusal to train for the interview as one trains for the physical or written. Why? Training for the interview is a pain and uncomfortable. You have to look in the mirror and face your weaknesses instead of just bolstering your strengths by practicing what you already excel at. How many candidates do you think have the internal fortitude to do that? Some, but luckily for you and I, not many.
I trained with Capt. Bob using his recommended techniques. I walked into the interview panel with interview Standard Operating Procedures and Immediate Action Drills at the ready. I felt confident. I went to the Chief's interview. I received the conditional offer. I took the psych, background, and medical. I received the unconditional offer. I consulted with Captain Bob every step of the way, which goes to show he is with you every step of the way. I start the academy in 1 week for an incredible department with unlimited opportunities. Even though I will still be probationary for a little while, my blood pressure has probably dropped 20 systolic.
The interview will make or break you. DO NOT LEAVE IT TO CHANCE. EXPLOIT ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES AND USE OVERWHELMING PREPARATORY POWER TO CONQUER THE INTERVIEW PANEL IN ONE AND ONLY ONE DECISIVE ENGAGEMENT. THE UNITED STATES DID NOT BECOME THE WORLD'S ONLY SUPERPOWER BY REFUSING TO FACE ITS WEAKNESSES, AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU. Remember, if it is easier not to do it in the short term, it's probably the right thing to do.
Thank you Captain Bob for providing crucial guidance at an extremely intense time in my life. If you are serious about attaining your goal, there is no excuse for not using this resource.
Ya got to love it!_____________________________________________
"Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"
Fire "Captain Bob"
01-17-2006, 10:37 PM #7
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
Candidates who have served our country in the Armed Forces have a huge advantage over those who have not. It is generally believed that while you may not have as many certificates and fire science units as the other candidates (you were busy serving our country), you offer much more.
Experience shows that candidates with military experience usually possess the following attributes:
1. They are very mature.
2. They understand the need to get along with others.
3. They understand commitment.
4. They are usually physically fit.
5. They demonstrate respect for authority.
6. They understand the chain of command.
7. They are used to working in a structured environment.
8. They understand doing something right the first time.
9. They are used to working unsupervised.
10. They understand doing a job or task is a reflection of themselves.
11. They understand the importance of cleaning up after themselves.
If you are still in the military and are interested in a career in the fire service, it is important that you start making provisions NOW. Start taking online fire science courses. Here is one link to get you started http://www.firecareers.com/viewmessa...=11&Topic=6571
If possible, put yourself in a position to get fire service-related training such as Medic or Corpsman. Hazardous Materials and firefighter training will also be beneficial. Lastly, work on general education courses so you can earn your Associates degree.
Do not be intimidated by all of the candidates who have every certification under the sun. They were able to obtain these as full time students while you were busy fulfilling your obligation to the American people.
A candidate who is an EMT, possesses related experience as a reserve or volunteer firefighter and is active taking fire science courses is usually at the top of his or her game. Get your qualifications, learn how to take a fire department interview and earn your badge.
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