We sometimes go though life making a good career but wake up one morning and realize you didn't do the thing you wanted to do all your life. Yes, going through a bit of a mid-life crisis. My wife won't let me have an affair or buy the expensive car, so I've decided to work on changing careers instead. I just turned forty last November.
I've already got my self lined up with to get hired as an "On-Call" with our local department; not hired yet but confident. I am putting my self though the fire academy this July and am also getting my EMT-B this semester through a local college.
My question is about completion and age. Here in California, how tough is it for someone of my age to get on full time with a department. I know how I feel but how do the interviewers and decision makers feel?
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Thread: Age - Age - Age
01-22-2007, 12:18 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
Age - Age - Age
01-22-2007, 12:48 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
Sorry... Competition not Completion...
01-22-2007, 04:26 PM #3
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- San Francisco Bay Area
Is Age a Factor in Hiring?
I've coached several candidates over the age of 30. Itís not uncommon to see candidates in their late thirties or early forties hired, especially paramedics. I encourage candidates to focus on the personal life experience when answering questions in the oral board. No one else can tell your stories where your have been. Over age thirty candidates have life experiences younger candidate canít match.
When any candidate answers a question and laces it with a story that demonstrates they have lived the experience, they separate themselves from the other "Clone" candidates.
Here is a testimony I received from one of my over 40 years old energizer bunny candidates that kept going and going and going when others would quit:
Youíre not going to believe this. Donít miss the last sentence!!!!!!!
Is Age a Factor in Getting Hired?
Indiscribable Thanks Captian Bob:
I have arrived at the moment, that before was only realized in my dreams, that was the day I received ďthe callĒ informing me that I had been chosen as one of the fourteen candidates to start the academy for Las Vegas Fire and Rescue!
I am very fit. I work out 5 days a week and have for years. I have my EMT-Intermediate Certification and a burning desire to become a firefighter since I was 10 years old. Some times life seems to get in the way of our dreams and plans, but I have learned only if you let it! Three years ago I decided to go for my dream career, I had done everything I knew I could do to physically be ready for this demanding job, but I was oblivious to the testing and hiring process. That is when I came across your web site, Captain Bob your materials were invaluable in helping me obtain my badge. I followed your advise to the letter throughout the process from testing to oral interviews and the psych. Your insight is right on the mark!
Rob helped me with private coaching, and low and behold I am poised to start my dream career! Thank you is not enough to express my heart felt gratitude for your help in getting me to this place in life. I look forward to meeting you in person some day to say ďthanksĒ. Ted R. Las Vegas Nevada
Ted was number 3 on the list, an EMT and FORTY-SEVEN YEARS OLD! He also scored higher than his Son on the same list and got the job. Bravo!______________________________ _______________
"Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"
Fire "Captain Bob"
01-23-2007, 03:48 AM #4
- Join Date
- Jan 2004
- Middle TN
I really donít know where to start on this, but here goes. Age, I believe is a floating factor of reality. To those who are hiring, itís a liability. The municipality doesnít want to pay for injuries from out of shape employees. Cartilages and discs are wearing, muscles are slowly breaking down and eating Big Macs and Burger Kings for 20 years, has taxed your system. The Dept. doesnít want someone who reverts back to there personal experiences if those are not fire related. And, firefighters are too busy to have to watch out after the old guy to keep him from getting hurt.
I spent 30 years on the streets as a Paramedic in a Fire based Dept. and retired from it. After that many years, youíve seen just about everything and the ďrushĒ tends to dwindle.
I went through the Academy at 50, and being prior military, knew it would be physical. My son had gone through it a year before, so that mentally prepared me for the task ahead.
Working for a volunteer service, you donít get many calls that actually test your new abilities, but finally the day came on a working fire of a half million dollar home. My first working assignment, ďGo up the ladder and knock those dormers out for ventilation.Ē So, got my tools and went up that ladder. Riding that ladder from one dormer to the other, I could feel that ďrushĒ coming back. Got down off that ladder and couldíve done back flips, and thatís hard to do with an airpak.
This is a physical position and if age is a personal obstacle, maybe you should take a self-assessment. Iím not saying, donít go for the badge, just set back, relax a minute, and ask yourself, ďCan I follow orders?Ē, (this is a chain of command environment and if you don't do what you're told, somebody can get hurt) ďAm I capable of going at least 2 hours at full physical ability?Ē, etc.
Now, Iím 55 and Iíve got to go through the same hiring process at a rural Dept., as anybody else and will face the same ďageĒ question and, hopefully, my application and interview process will be impressive and different enough to get a position. Itís been a while since Iíve been through this part of the profession, so Iíve been reading some on what to expect and what to produce. If I donít get the job thatís okay. But you know something, I remember that rush. Iíll try again. Got to go hit the treadmill. My views and thoughts.
Last edited by Tnfiremedic; 01-23-2007 at 03:57 AM.
01-23-2007, 07:02 AM #5
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
spikeone... I would say you have a real good shot, and 40 isn't that old. I've seen a guy that was 58 get hired on as a full time firefighter. He was competing against one other candidate for the front position, and the other guy was 25 with just about every certification and a Medic license. The older guy didn't have anything but was in great physical shape. I don't know how it is in California but I imagine it's competitive and a lot of places are hiring so just keep at it.
01-23-2007, 10:21 AM #6
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
Thanks guys for the info and encouragement.
Currently Iím a IT Analyst (Desktop/Network support) and am ready for the change. At 40 I'm stronger than I was at 20, mentally and physically. Of course I've added a few pounds around the waist, but that's been slowly dwindling. (In fact I've lost over 50 lbs over the last 4 years)
I graduated from the modular format police academy a year ago and completely loved it. Pushups, Running, Discipline, etc... My wife and I did it together; however I've had to do some soul searching and realized I was attracted to the Job but not "doing" the job. An attitude like that can get someone killed because you end up not want to go to work and have burn out really fast. With Fire/EMS I know in my heart that I'm attracted to DOING the job and admittedly it's kind of kewl having the title. Itís not a clean, neat or pretty job and can be emotionally trying at times but the rewards are great. Iím ready.
Michael in Sacramento
01-26-2007, 06:44 PM #7
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
Yes, you can certainly get hired but time is definitely running out.
I work for a major department in So. Cal. and we have hired several firefighters over 40.
As an "older" recruit, we expect you to be in TOP physical condition and be at least, if not more educated than the rest of the testing crowd.
Lastly, older recruits are often sought out by departments as they bring so much to the table. Most are married with children and a mortgage. In short, they cannot afford to fail. They are usually very focused and dedicated.
Good luck in your endeavors,
01-29-2007, 11:00 AM #8
Flavor of the day
Many excellent f.f.s, are hired at 40+ yrs. They usually have a background in the military, policing, or recently retired from pro sports. Very few wake up one day and realized they want to be a fireman,because they have a "kewl" title. You also seem to have quite an opinion about the nature of the business,which seems odd to me,considering you've spent your life in an office chair,packing on an extra 50 lbs. My advice to you is to stay put or persue a career in law enforcement,where fitness is not as paramount as it is in firefighting. Either way , good luck.
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