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  1. #1
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    Jan 2005

    Question Being the rookie

    I was hired as a career firefighter/emt just a little over a month ago. Before being hired, I did the college thing as a firescience major, and moved back home and became a volunteer on the local department for a few months before being hired where I am now. I love my job more than anything, and the guys here are great, I just feel like I'm having a really slow start. Ive always been the get in and get things done person, and Ive never had a problem picking up new tasks and rolling with them, but it seems that since its been a month, I should be pretty well into the swing of things. Its not that im just not getting it at all, I just feel like my ability to make the right decisions isnt at the speed it should be. Im sure alot of new firefighters have had this problem starting out, but it is frustrating at times, especially when working with a group of veterans. Any advice? Thanks.
    Last edited by fyrfightngjess3; 11-13-2005 at 11:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    Join Date
    Aug 2003


    Go with the flow if you have ????? ASK!!!!!!!! dont act like you know it all you are new and they should acount for that..........dont sit around... be the first one up and the last one to stop....it will come to you with time..every fire dept is ran differnt you may know how to do it but you dont know how to do it there way.... so keep your eyes open and dont stop learning new ways...

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Not the end of the earth but I can see it from here...


    Quote Originally Posted by fyrfightngjess3
    Its not that im just not getting it at all, I just feel like my ability to make the right decisions isnt at the speed it should be. .
    Congratulations on landing your dream job, but you now need to get some real world experience under your belt. That fire science major gave you some knowledge, but no amount of learning is a substitute for actually doing the job (a month on your paid job and "a few months" as a volly is next to nothing, experience-wise) You may know all the skills and the theory backwards and forwards, but only doing "da job" for a length of time will sharpen that ability to think on your feet and stay cool under fire. The ability to keep your wits about you and make good, level-headed decisions in the heat of battle is a skill that can only be partially taught....you will get better at it with experience.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    I've been on the job for eight years now and still learn new things everyday. Speed in decision making takes experience, it comes a little each day. The day I stop learning and think I know it all is the day I should retire. It's a great job, just make sure to have some fun. Have you learned how to use the ladder stretcher yet? It's a really easy tool to use, just ask someone at the station.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default Just relax

    Have a good attitude about everything and just go with the flow. Be the last one to sit down for meals, the first one done and in the suds, and lighten the load for the veterans. Show that you care about and want to a part of the group that they have established long before you were there, and be respectful of the fact that most have earned their place in the pecking order, regardless of what you see. Learn by listening, and once you are comfortable, throw in some of your own thoughts on things, but be careful not to sound like a know-it-all. Honestly, no one cares as much about what you say you know, or where you've worked in the past as they do about what kind of attitude and work ethic and ability you show in your current place. Finally, remember that they were all new at one point also, and most guys in the fire service will reach out and give a hand to someone with very little thought.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    Even though its been a month, its still almost surreal that I finally landed this dream job. In my down time Im studying, going through protocols and SOP's, and Im sure my captain is getting tired of the questions Im asking. Ive gone through scenarios, pulled the pumper out onto the apron and gone through first out drills every morning I wake up off a shift. I wouldnt ever act like I knew everything in this, and learned very quickly that although I can relate some of the things I learned in school to real life..... it doesnt even come close. Im greatful that my Captain, and my Chief have taken me under their wings, and had the patients to deal with the rookie.... I just dont want to let them down. Looks like I need to just relax and take everything into stride. Thank you all for the advice, I figured that everyone was at this point at least once in their career, and one day hopefully Ill be watching a rookie and thinking to myself...Damn, I wonder if I looked that nervous.... thanks again

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