1. #1
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    Question Any FF in Fairfax Virginia?

    Anyone in Fairfax County, VA to offer advice to a recruit?

    Thanks in advance!
    Tucker9

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    Quote Originally Posted by tucker9
    Anyone in Fairfax County, VA to offer advice to a recruit?

    Thanks in advance!
    Tucker9
    What advise are you looking for? I assume you just really want a "good luck on the test this weekend".
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    Default fairfax

    how often does fairfax hold test for thier department? Up where I am from you see a test every year or two years at best.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things than to take rank with the poor timid spirits, who know neither victory nor defeat." FDR

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    Quote Originally Posted by ant195
    how often does fairfax hold test for thier department? Up where I am from you see a test every year or two years at best.
    Hell, I think they offer them a couple times a month. I am not totally sure, but I believe that to be true.

    Good Luck!
    Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

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    i've tested there before and this was a few years ago, but they had them 3 times a year i believe. you took the test, did the interviews and the physigal agility test and then you were placed on a list. not sure how many they actually hired off that list. but the problem was you needed to be in fairfax 5 - 7 times atleast just to et on that list and for somebody whos an out of towner, it can get very costly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WaffleHut
    ...but the problem was you needed to be in fairfax 5 - 7 times atleast just to et on that list and for somebody whos an out of towner, it can get very costly.
    Of course, this has to do with the departments wants for NR-I's and P's, but if you are an 'out of tower' and an ALS provider they will work multiple steps around a single visit.

    From Texas, I managed all the steps in 3 visits.
    Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace
    What advise are you looking for? I assume you just really want a "good luck on the test this weekend".
    Good luck is always good - I'll take it, thanks!

    Beyond that, advice about getting hired in Fairfax County. I've never done this before and I'm NOT applying all over the country. I live in the county and have most of my life. I'm raising my family here and am ready to make a career change. I've started the recruit process - took the written a couple of months ago and I take the CPAT in March.

    I'm looking for advice about getting hired here in FX county from someone on the inside. I have zero fire/medical experience, have worked for many years in a variety of jobs/careers, including self employed. I'm ready to change my life and have a tremendous desire to become a professional firefighter! My questions are...

    - What are they REALLY looking for and what are they NOT looking for.

    - How do I stand out among the crowd of potentially more experienced volunteers/licensed applicants?

    - What are the oral boards like? What types of questions do they ask here in FX county.

    -What chances does a guy like me have (no experience)? Am I trying to get hired by a dept. that normally only takes experienced/licensed applicants?

    -What recommendations do you have for getting hired in general from who you've seen getting hired recently?

    ANY advice specific to FX county would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks VERY much in advance!!

    Tucker9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kobersteen
    Of course, this has to do with the departments wants for NR-I's and P's, but if you are an 'out of tower' and an ALS provider they will work multiple steps around a single visit.

    From Texas, I managed all the steps in 3 visits.
    How long have you been a FF in the county?

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    I'm not on the inside, but I recently finished the application process and now waiting for an appointment to the recruit school. I also had zero experience coming in, but have since joined a volunteer dept in Loudoun County (where I live) to get as much experience as I can. Here's the advice that I can give you:

    1. Go to as many practice sessions for the CPAT as you can. The sessions really help you get ready to take the test. You'd be surprised at how many people think they are ready to take it, then cannot get through the stair climb station.

    2. I can't really tell you what they are looking for or not looking for, because I don't know myself. Like Kobersteen said, they are aggressively looking for anyone who is an National Register EMT-I or Paramedic. I'm sure that since I don't have either one, that is a reason why I'm waiting for a spot.

    3. There are no oral boards for FFX County. Once you complete the CPAT, the next steps are the background investigation, a medical exam, polygraph, and psych evalution. I guess if you can make it through all that, they feel you are a potential hire.

    This is all based on what I've learned from my own experience in recently going through the process, but also from asking questions just like you are. Hopefully someone with a little more inside knowledge can give you some more tips.

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    Thanks gepetto. Great advice. I'm planning on attending at least 4 CPAT practice sessions. Already went to the orientation and tried out the stair climb with the 75lb. pack. Did alright - legs a little rubbery though! Training now to make sure my legs will be ready for the rest of it! Did anyone fail when you were there?

    Congratulations on making it through the application process!! How long did it take from your initial application submission? How did you do way back when on the initial written? Do they give you any indication at the end of the process where you sit on the list? What was the psych, poly, and medical like?

    Thanks in advance for your input! Good luck to you!!

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    I took the written in June '05 and scored an 89. I had my CPAT in September and finished in 8:36. I went to 3 practice sessions, which really helped. I don't remember seeing anyone fall while doing it, but I know that there were people who weren't able to do the full time on the stair climber. After that it was a couple of months before I got the info for the medical and poly. Neither were that bad. The medical is a full physical including spending time on the treadmill while hooked up to an EKG. As for the poly, that was kind of mentally taxing since I had never been through one before. They basically go over the info on your background check and then have a ridiculous amount of questions to ask you, all before being hooked up to the machine. The investigator who did mine was friendly so that took some of the edge off. There are a ton of posts on here about polys, so you should check some of those out. A few weeks later I got the letter to get fitted for uniforms and go take my psych. I guess they fit everyone who gets that far in the process for uniforms which gets your hopes up. The psych was more of a tedious process than anything else. It was about 3-4 hours of testing, then discussing things with a psychologist. A couple weeks after that I got my letter telling me that I had successfully completed the application process and my application will be evaluated for upcoming recruit schools. So it took me from June to the beginning of February to complete everything. They don't tell you where you sit on the list, though it would be nice of they did. So I'm basically waiting and hoping. I'd be happy to answer anything else as in depth as I can. Good luck on the rest of the process.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tucker9
    - What are they REALLY looking for and what are they NOT looking for.
    They are looking for ALS providers... end of story. It helps your case if you are bilingual, also. Other than that, it's open.


    - How do I stand out among the crowd of potentially more experienced volunteers/licensed applicants?
    Believe it or not, you are actually in a much better position with no experience. That way (GENERALLY) you are more willing to learn, and less likely to have bad habbits already ingrained.


    - What are the oral boards like? What types of questions do they ask here in FX county.
    None...


    -What chances does a guy like me have (no experience)? Am I trying to get hired by a dept. that normally only takes experienced/licensed applicants?
    See above.


    -What recommendations do you have for getting hired in general from who you've seen getting hired recently?
    I think gepetto hit that one pretty darn good. Take advantage of the CPAT practice sessions. That is the best thing that you can do. Also, be flexible for scheduling and things will move faster.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Kobersteen; 02-20-2006 at 02:29 PM.
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks to you both! Guess it's going to be a long process (just took the written test in December).

    I'll keep posting and reading this forum. It's really great that this tool is available.

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