1. #1
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    Default Austin, Texas Fire Exam

    January 31, 2006

    Applications for the 2006 AFD hiring process will be available beginning Monday, February 13. Interested candidates living within 50 miles of Austin must pick up an application from Fire Headquarters (4201 Ed Bluestein) or from any AFD Recruiter. Beginning February 13, individuals may pick up no more than three (3) applications. Interested candidates living outside that 50 mile radius will be mailed an application. Requests for applications to be mailed will be accepted beginning February 13th.

    Completed applications must be submitted no later than 4:45pm on Friday, February 24 or postmarked no later than February 24. Completed applications will be accepted either by mail or hand-delivered to HQ.

    This page will be updated regularly with information related to the recruiting and hiring process.

    The written exam is scheduled for Saturday, March 25 at the Austin Convention Center.

    For additional information and details regarding our hiring process, please use the links above (to the right of the image).



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For more information, please contact:
    Recruiting Division
    Austin Fire Department
    4201 Ed Bluestein Blvd.
    Austin, Texas 78721
    (800) 832-5264 or (512) 974-0100
    Or contact us by e-mail at Recruiting Office.


    Don McNea Fire School will be conducting prep classes for the third straight Austin Firefighter examination. Go to the link below to be informed of class details.

    http://www.fireprep.com/austin__texa...hter_exam.html


    More information on the Austin Fire Exam can be found at the link below.

    http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/fire/employment.htm

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    i was one of the couple hundred/thousand that got the shaft from the previous hiring process when the AFD was facing potential law suits over the hiring process. i was really unimpressed with how the city had organized the whole process, such as using two small cardboard signs with A-K and L-Z taped to the doors of the entrance to the convention center that i barely saw, not to mention the city wanted to process all the 3500 applicants written exam on the same day..then the form mailed to me for the interview enclosed the wrong address for the oral board meet, etc etc. needless to say it was a learning experience to doubt the professionalism of austin's administration and ill be double checking everything in the future. this by the way had nothing to do with the FF's, they werent responsible for all the mess, fyi. im still thinking heavy if i want to give it another try, i got up to and completed the interview last time.

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    Default No pionts

    Wow, they've really done themselves in this time. Military gets 3 points extra on the oral board while bachelor/masters/phD degrees get a big fat 0 points. Since when does 6 months military experience make you more knowledgable than any 4 year or higher degree? Austin amazes us all once again.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Big4Jerm3
    Wow, they've really done themselves in this time. Military gets 3 points extra on the oral board while bachelor/masters/phD degrees get a big fat 0 points. Since when does 6 months military experience make you more knowledgable than any 4 year or higher degree? Austin amazes us all once again.
    Welcome to big city fire departments. Pretty much every city ive looked at does the same thing. A lot of cities give you 5 points on the written just for living there.

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    Default

    They deserve a lot more than just three points.

    Not only are they used to a rank structure, operating under stressful conditions, and working together as a team, but they've put it all on the line for thier country.

    I'd much rather work with a vet than some fresh-faced college kid who's never worked at a real job before. Higher education is important, but the core of the fire service is down and dirty, and military vets excell in such an arena.

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    I'm not arguing that Vets should not be rewarded. More than a degree? Not sure. I personally think that a college kid that has just graduated has a lot more social skills, knowledge, and study habit than a 18 year old kid that was honorably discharged after 6 months of the military. I just graduated and did work full time throughout college. 3 years of military should equal college as far as extra points are concerned, but 6 months? Give me a break!

    P.S. During the last hiring process that Austin screwed up on college graduates recieved 2 points while military or 60 credit hours of college credit got you 1 point. So why the 180 degree turnaround?
    Last edited by Big4Jerm3; 02-15-2006 at 02:18 PM.

  7. #7
    truckmonkey42
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    Default College points

    Hey Big4Jerm3, how many departments have you seen who give any points for college? And by the way I would much rather have a department give military points. I have a degree and was in the military and I did not feel I deserved any points for my degree. And also if you paid very close attention to Austin's benefits you would have noticed that you get paid an extra $100/month for your bachelor's degree ONCE HIRED. Military experience - yep you guessed it $0. So even a college graduate can figure out which is better. The problem is, you just need to get hired. And if you don't like the way AFD does things then it would not hurt mine or any of the other 1000+ firefighters here if you did not apply. Thats the funny thing about a military person versus a college grad many times. They just do what's asked and don't question it. So here is some solid advice for you.

    1. Pick up your application
    2. Turn it in
    3. Take the written test
    4. Take the CPAT and Oral
    5. Do your physical and psyche
    6. Get hired
    7. Complete academy
    8. Complete probation
    9. Have the greatest job in the world at one of the best departments in the USA

    Nowhere in there did it say "question City of Austin's hiring process because it does not give preference for college grads."
    And like I said all you have to do is get hired and then the extra $100/mo might appease you.
    BTW, I don't mean to sound like a smart$$$, but you have not earned anything until you've got the badge.

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    Default Austin is sharp

    Going to have to agree with Truckmonkey on this one.

    Austin is sharp.

    And, God Bless the military members. I have little use for college graduates. 2 decades of experience in the fire service has shown me what candidates to place the value on... I go with the military experience.

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    We can sit and argue all day about who deserves what points and such, but bottom line: THEY ARE FREE POINTS... IF YOU DON'T GET 'EM THIS TIME, DON'T FRET, YOU MAY GET 'EM NEXT TIME... OR, IF YOUR LIKE ME, YOU'LL NEVER GET ANY! Regardless, if you work at it and don't try to coast with extra points, you can get on anywhere you want. On to brighter subjects:

    What does everyone think of the newest pay scale?? $58,000 for a 3-year FF?? Can't get much better than that.

    Another thing I like about this process is that the written scores are just that... a flat score with no points. Then the oral board (points added to this portion), then a ranking comes out. This is the final list. If you make it to this point in a good position, barring you can't pass a physical or background (they are all pass/fail), you're good to go and will be starting at the end of summer.

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    Default

    And, God Bless the military members. I have little use for college graduates. 2 decades of experience in the fire service has shown me what candidates to place the value on... I go with the military experience.
    God Bless the military members. God bless those willing to spend four years (more or less) of their life to get higher education. It takes sacrifice and dedication to complete a college degree. I'm not trying to compare the two or say one is more deserving of a reward than the other. I am saying that higher education should be rewarded with at least a point or two in the hiring process.

    I'd much rather work with a vet than some fresh-faced college kid who's never worked at a real job before. Higher education is important, but the core of the fire service is down and dirty, and military vets excell in such an arena.
    Since when is the ability to learn and use your brain not as important as getting "down and dirty"? Since when has getting dirty been the core of the fire service??? I'm calling BS on that one. Never underestimate the most important tool you should bring with you to an emergency scene...your brain.

    You think a ~22 y/o college graduate is more of a "fresh-faced" kid then a ~18 y/o with months of military service? College takes planning, study skills, learning, time, social skills, responsibility, etc etc. Many, if not most students have jobs to help pay for school (if not a job, then volunteering), then, after work spend the rest of their day in class, studying, or completing assignments.

    i was one of the couple hundred/thousand that got the shaft from the previous hiring process when the AFD was facing potential law suits over the hiring process.
    The law suit isn't the whole story (may not have even been a factor)... See this thread from a central texas firefighting forum:
    http://centexfire.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1905
    Last edited by emtbff927; 02-23-2006 at 12:02 AM.

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    Default

    How many will test and how many will get picked up. This is a big expense for me and I just want to know the odds. Also is there any idea on how many will get an interview.

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    Default

    How many will test and how many will get picked up. This is a big expense for me and I just want to know the odds. Also is there any idea on how many will get an interview.
    Here is some more info on the hiring process, etc. From what I saw it doesn't give any specific numbers for how many they will take after the test.
    http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/fire/employment.htm

    Here is some pay info:
    http://www.aapff.org/pdf/Proposed%20Pay%209-23-05.pdf

    Here is a link for some insight on the type of written test that CWH uses:
    http://www.cwhms.com/IAFC.htm

    For those interested, better hurry and fill the application out; I believe tomorrow is the last day to turn them in.

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    Default

    Don't know exact numbers of how many they are lacking, but considering the fact that they didn't process any last year, I assume they will be hiring alot... if I get anymore info I'll post it.

  14. #14
    truckmonkey42
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    Default Education Points

    To EMTBFF927 - See my previous post. Your reward for your education is $100 month for the rest of your career. So lets say after taxes you get $70/month and that in one year is $840. Over 20 years that is $16,800. And if invested, I have no idea what that #$$$ would be so there is your reward for a 4 year degree.

    Now that said, maybe that one point can make a difference in the initial hiring process. But don't you think a military vet deserves at least that much?
    On the other hand, just getting the job is better than winning the lottery I think. If you are relying on one point you better do better on the test. Good things happen to this who prepare the best. I am sure this who get the high scores aren't asking for one point.

    As for how many to be hired, I have heard a class size of 80+. 2 classes either running at the same time or one after another. Not sure though. Last time when they hired a bunch we ran two classes at the same time. One did EMT first and the other did fire first.

    I think we are down 60+ positions right now and then I think they have funding for 15 new positions at Fire Station 44 off Spicewood and Four Iron

    I would guess at least 3000 turning in apps. Who knows how many will show for the test.

    And the best bet to get hired is to do well on the written, because if you do not do well on the you won't even go on in the process. The top 200-300 will probably move on from the written.

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    "Since when is the ability to learn and use your brain not as important as getting "down and dirty"? Since when has getting dirty been the core of the fire service??? I'm calling BS on that one. Never underestimate the most important tool you should bring with you to an emergency scene...your brain."

    I don't know about your FD, but we fight fire from the inside, and get pretty dirty while doing so.

    Nowhere in my post did I bash education, and no where in my post did mention anything about not using your brain. I'll try to clarify my point: The fire service is a paramilitary organization, and military veterans have a far easier time adapting to it than a "fresh-faced college kid who's never worked at a real job before". I'm all for education (working on a doctorate myself), but on an emergency scene, someone who has spent the last four years in an action-oriented career (like the military) is probably going to do better than someone who spent the last four years in the library.

    This is not to say that the proud owner of a new diploma won't be a good firefighter (some of the best firemen I know hold degrees). I'm all for higher education in the fire service (increased communication skills, increased ability to analyze facts, etc.), but I will stand by my earlier statement: the core of the fire service is down and dirty. Will a degree help you advance a line down a hallway when the heat is so intense your borkes are melting and every cell in your brain is screaming for you to turn and run?

    Sure, a degree is becoming somewhat of a necessity for BCs and company officers. But we're talking about hiring recruits here, and the best recruit is the one who can follow an order and see it through, and do so under strenuous conditions (something those in the military have done time after time).
    Last edited by KingHippo; 02-23-2006 at 06:28 PM.

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    To EMTBFF927 - See my previous post. Your reward for your education is $100 month for the rest of your career. So lets say after taxes you get $70/month and that in one year is $840. Over 20 years that is $16,800. And if invested, I have no idea what that #$$$ would be so there is your reward for a 4 year degree.
    I was talking about the hiring process and points received. I was not referring to the salary after hiring.

    Now that said, maybe that one point can make a difference in the initial hiring process. But don't you think a military vet deserves at least that much?
    I never said the military vets don't deserve the same if not more points. I did say that the alumni deserve some recognition during the hiring process. Yes, studying and doing well on the test is key...If the decision was made to give points to particular group(s) of applicants, I believe alumni deserve to be one of those groups recognized. Military vets included.

    I don't know about your FD, but we fight fire from the inside, and get pretty dirty while doing so.
    Good to know...what a surprise. We do as well.

    Nowhere in my post did I bash education, and no where in my post did mention anything about not using your brain. I'll try to clarify my point: The fire service is a paramilitary organization, and military veterans have a far easier time adapting to it than a "fresh-faced college kid who's never worked at a real job before". I'm all for education (working on a doctorate myself), but on an emergency scene, someone who has spent the last four years in an action-oriented career (like the military) is probably going to do better than someone who spent the last four years in the library.

    This is not to say that the proud owner of a new diploma won't be a good firefighter (some of the best firemen I know hold degrees). I'm all for higher education in the fire service (increased communication skills, increased ability to analyze facts, etc.), but I will stand by my earlier statement: the core of the fire service is down and dirty. Will a degree help you advance a line down a hallway when the heat is so intense your borkes are melting and every cell in your brain is screaming for you to turn and run?
    You don't seem to think as highly of education or thinking on the fire scene as much as "getting dirty." We disagree highly on what the "core of the fire serve" is. I see it as protecting the community to the best of our capabilities in fire, ems, haz-mat, etc. You see it as "down and dirty." Perhaps I am misinterpreting your definition. I hope I am. Either way, that is your opinion and are entitled to have it.

    When on the fire scene, if your knowledge and experience is telling you the situation is unsafe, then you listen. Every cell in your brain should be thinking; Thinking about what to do, when to do it, and if it is safe to do. They come with learning, knowledge, and experience, and should not be ignored. A cadet may have been given an order to do something that turns out to be unsafe (conditions change, mistakes happen, etc). Cadets must follow orders, but they must also be an extra set eyes for those giving the orders. If a cadet doesn't feel safe with an order they should indeed question it. They would be wrong not to question it.

    Yes, the military is great for churning out individuals who follow orders and operate under strenuous conditions. I agree. They indeed deserve the points they are given.
    Last edited by emtbff927; 02-23-2006 at 08:06 PM.

  17. #17
    truckmonkey42
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    Default Still disagree

    I still think that your "reward" for being "educated" is in the fact you get paid extra once hired. Name any department in the US who gives points based on having a degree. Most give you $$$$$$ ONCE HIRED. And all this is coming from someone who has a degree and military. I never thought I deserved any preference for my degree. For that matter I did not even get credit for my military. And really it won't even matter because as I understand it the points are not even added until after the final rankings. So that is assuming you pass the written test.
    I still want to know of other FD's who give points for degrees. And you should actually be happy that AFD does not give vets 5 points like San Antonio. Have you ever seen a hiring list for SAFD? It looks like a who's who of military vets. And they are a great department as well. Here is a link to their last eligibility list.

    http://www.sanantonio.gov/safd/Eligi...=1024&ver=true

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    I said it before, I guess I must say it again -
    1.) I am NOT talking about salary after the hiring process. I am talking about POINTS given in the HIRING PROCESS. Salary post-hiring is a whole other discussion.
    2.) I believe there should be points for higher education AND military experience.

    Whether major fire departments are currently giving alumni points or not doesn't change the fact that I think they should.
    Whether major fire departments are currently giving 5 or 3 or 0 points for military veterans doesn't change the fact that I think alumni AND military veterans deserve points.

  19. #19
    truckmonkey42
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    Default Agree to disagree (sort of)

    So why is it that vets don't complain that they do not get extra money when they do get hired. I just cannot understand how you think that education deserves points in the hiring process when you get money for it later. You are the first person I have heard from that makes this claim for these points in the hiring process. AFD used to give a point to those who had FF and EMT experience and I think one more point for bilingual (spanish). But where do you draw the line? My thought is that if you are previous FF/EMT your "reward" is probably an easier time during the academy and no state testing at the end. Also you are able to get $$$ once you get your Intermediate FF which is pretty easy. "Reward" for bilingual is the extra $150/mo AFTER HIRING. Same with education. So this leaves the Vets out of any extra money once hired. So give em the preference during the hiring process.
    It is total crap to think someone who has a 4 year degree should get the same preference as someone who has volunteered to serve their country. Step back and think about that for a minute. You could have been a cook, infantry, spec ops. It does not matter because you volunteered to do a commitment to SERVE YOUR COUNTRY.
    That has to mean something to you. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
    And once again I want to know of 1 department who gives education points? Also have you asked the AFD recruiting section about why they do not give the points.

    On another note. Today is the last day to apps in or have them postmarked. So good luck to everyone. I truly hope this hiring process reflects better on AFD than the last one. And for those who did well last process, I am sure you will do well this time. It just builds character.

    And for those who think they were screwed or whatever may I recommend a book to you:

    QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability in Work and in Life by John Miller. Here is a link to amazon

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039...Fencoding=UTF8

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    For those of you preparing for the Austin, Tx fire exam. Go to the link below to review exam prep packages for this exam. Good luck !!!!!!!

    http://www.fireprep.com/austin_firef...mination2.html



    1-800-989-FIRE

    Brent Collins is an Assistant Fire Chief with the Cleveland Fire Department and President of Don McNea Fire School. Go to www.fireprep.com for more information on test taking strategy and advice.

    You can find more on testing secrets by Chief Collins in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

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    Does anybody have any idea what the next written test will be like? Everywhere civil service test I've taken has been completely different. Does it have a lot of mechanical aptitude questions? any help is appreciated.

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    Default Advice

    2 Questions - 1 Broad and 1 Specific.

    At the end of March I'll be taking the NREMT-B test. I failed it the first time with a 69 and barely any studying. I have a good feel for it now and have been studying so I'm fairly confident I will pass it this time. Is there anyway I can report this on my files to AFD? In the initial application I checked no for the EMTB certification, but I'm not sure how I would report it if I theoretically were to pass it. Also, is having an EMT cert. even advantageous? I know most departments still make you go through their training, but I'm just wondering if this will help me along in the initial stages of the hiring process.
    Now a bit about me - I a 20 y/o student at the University of Houston. I have been a volunteer firefighter for two years and am now an EO. I also worked with FEMA in Mississippi/NOLA in various CR taskforces Seeing as that is not all that impressive, what can I do to sell myself? I know initially it's all about the written score, and I will be studying for that a good deal, but what concerns me more so is that after that stage, they will see a young, relatively inexperienced kid and nothing more. This spring I might have the opportunity to get my HAZ-MAT TECH cert. and maybe even volunteer with Harris County Haz-Mat. I'm hoping that might help. Anyway, any thoughts are appreciated.

    - Jack

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    You can't really report that you "may" pass your NRMET soon... it's heresay. Once you do pass it then you can put that into play... until then, don't even bother.

    Having the EMT cert 'may' help you if you were deadlocked with another guy for the same position that didn't have it. However, Austin FD, whether certified or not, sends all candidates to the fire academy and emt school. The only difference is that prior-certified people won't be required to take the state tests.

    Any certs you have would play into the role the same way... deadlock tie breakers. Especially with this department... because going into the oral board (if you make it past the written) they have no background check to grill you on or impress to impress them. Everyone is on even keel. Once that's complete, EVERYTHING else is pass/fail, so there is no jockying for position past the oral board.

    Hope that helps.

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    Anyone heard any rumors on the final numbers that applied to test??

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    There were over 3200 who applied for the exam.

    www.fireprep.com

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