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    Default Do I have it????

    So this is gonna be my first posting. I read all the discussions and absorb as mucho f it as I can. Here is what I am experiencing. I have always wanted to be a fireman. As I grew up I took different paths. I was a trouble maker when I was young. (12-14) I think I might even have a juvenile theft record. All of my troubles ended around the age of 16-17ish and I have been a good citizen. I went to work after school in the business field, mostly marketing. During this time I would try and put classes in when I had the time. I took EMT courses and tried to fit in school to work towards a fire science degree. The problem is that I never had the time to completely dedicate myself 100%. I am now 25 and the job that I had been working decided to close down the branch in the State I lived in. They offered me a position (and a better one with more money) in a location at another state. I thought about it but my wife had just had our 2nd daughter a week earlier and 2 days later I was scheduled to close on the house we had been building for the past 6 months. I knew that this was going to be my only opportunity to go for it so that is was I did. I refused the offer and immediately signed up for EMT classes through one of our local Fire Dept. I completed the course and the day after my last day of EMT class I started taking FFI, FFII, Hazmat Ops and awareness, and CDL through the same dept. I truly feel as though I am one of the top 2 or 3 in that class and I dedicate 80% of my day to training and studying. Lately our instructors seem to be so upset with everyone in the academy and telling us how terrible we all are and how only 2 of the guys could get jobs at this point. I never have had one of the instructors point out anything negative about me and I have had a good thing said a time or two. I even asked one of our instructors how he felt I was really doing and he said your doing great overall but then he walked away. I just have been feeling really discouraged lately because I hear so much negativity in general about getting hired. My credit isn't the greatest, my driving record isn't the worst- no DUI or anything- but it isn't perfect. In the past (maybe 5-6years ago) I did smoke some pot and had a time or two I tried other drugs. With all this and my possible juvenile record is this career one that I should be dedicating myself to. I know I would be good at it. I know that I want this more than anything. I have not worked for the past 61/2 months so that I could complete all this training and if I don't get on with a dept I am going to try and get on with wildland this summer. Is their any advice anyone can give me. I know that this is something that won't just happen and that I can only achieve this with hard work and in all honesty if it is just a matter of working hard and hanging in their I know I can do it. Any advice would be great. And sorry for the novel.

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    Troy,
    Your dedication, hard work, and commitment will take you far. Fire departments are not looking for people who are squeeky clean. All of us have had things in our past that we would do differently if given another chance.

    Your jouvenile record will not hurt you. It sounds like you had some challenges but nothing you didn't overcome.

    You will have to answer to your drug use. Depending on the department, it MAY be an issue.

    Follow your dreams and see where they lead.

    Good luck,
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    Default Do I have it????

    Troy;

    Too many that don't "have it" make it, and so many that do "have it" never do. You have to simply "go for it", and if it was meant to be then it'll happen.
    Even if you never make it, you've got to go for it if you really want it. Trying and not making it will not haunt you in the future as much as not trying, and never knowing if you would have made it or not.

    Don't lie about your past if the question comes up. Now adays not many are without something in their past that 20-30 years ago would for sure have kept them out of the Fire Service.

    Good Luck! Keep in touch, and let us know how it goes.
    Take Care & be SAFE
    Bert

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    I will tell u what they told me in my polygraph.


    "Your records before the age of 18 are offlimits and we can not access them. So, what we can do is I will ask you if you have even done anything before the age of 18 and you will answer yes/no."


    Now... he also told me that whatever I say doesnt matter but use your common sense. If I say I commited murder but it was before the age of 18.... do you really think they are going to hire me?

    DO be honest but use your common sense to

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    Thanks for the input so far. I feel a little better. One question. In regaurds to the fire academy do they put us down so much on purpose. I know there are some people in that class that just aren't getting it but the instructors are just get mad at everything. I will have one instructor yell at me to go get a set of irons so I will go get them and when I go grab them I will have another instructor yell at me saying What are you doing anderson we don't need irons right now. put em away andget your *** back in the classroom. I will then try and explain that the other instructor asked for them but before I can get that out they are yelling saying anderson are you argueing with me? give me 50 up downs now! so then after my up downs and I get back into class I get yelled at for taking so long and were are the set of irons he asked for. I really don't mind all this but I just get discouraged when I know I am doig great. I have aced every test, and all my skills I get done perfectly. I paid 2 grand for this class and I am wondering if they are being serious when they say noone will get jobs or are they just "breaking us down"?

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    You claim that you've wanted to be a firefighter all your life. Did you not think that stealing,using hard drugs, and driving with a lead foot, would not eventually catch up with you? Luckily for you, all these serious indiscretions happened in your youth,and dosen't necessarily mean you're a complete undesireable or automatically D.Q'd. Your instuctor may very well be right about your class not having more than 2 worthy candidates. Although you do all drills "perfectly", you have a problem following orders. Lose the ego,complete your courses,and you'll hopefully get hired somewhere. good luck.

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    Smile

    To polecat. Yes I always wanted to be a firefighter, I also wanted to own a mansion, drive exotic cars and have lots of hot women all over me. The fact is it was just something I admired, I thought would be a great job, ect. My youth got in the way of responsibility, I gave my parents a hard time, I didn't care as much about school as I should have etc. Not until I was closer to 18 did I start taking things seriously. I focused on school, work etc. I ended up getting married and had to take care of a family so I put my heart and sole into a job that paid well. I still get overly excited when I drive down the street and I see a fire house or truck. I look up to every firefighters like they are gods no matter how bad I don't like them. The most influencial person I have ever met was a Battalion Cheif for one of the cities around here and I would do anything that man said no matter how weird it sounded. As far as did I not think that stuff would catch up to me? Well with the theft I took a cd player from a locker at my Jr High School and not I wasn't thinking. As far as the drugs I won't lie it was a thing I did with friends back when I was younger and I don't regret it. I know that I will never do it again and that is bcause I don't want to jepodize my family or a career ever. I also know alot of firemen who I used to party with alot and they told me they did up til a few months before getting hired. As far as the speeding goes I have one speeding ticket from when I was younger and it is because I had a camaro and I thought I was cool, I also have an expired registration ticket. And lastly as far as taking orders and having a big ego I have no clue where you picked up that idea. I would wipe my instructors *** with my toothbrush if that is what they told me to do, I don't argue back and I don't mind, I also am a very humble person and I don't know why you would think otherwise. Just to prove how humble I am I will leave all the Canadian jokes off of this j/k

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    Troy...I'll agree with the other posts to stick with it, if you really want to be a FF. It can take awhile to get a career job, but can be worth the wait. As stated before, don't lie or omit something on an application, they will find out on a background check. If asked about something in an interview, just state it was a mistake and you learned from it. Also as posted, they are not concerned with stuff before 18, but if asked have you used drugs, be honest, tell them as a teen etc.

    As for the academy stuff...not sure where you are going. It almost sounds like a fire academy a big city dept would do like recruit training, push ups etc. Why are the instructors yelling/ being negative? Really this is a reflection on them. I would think if you paid for this training and not part of a dept program, they don't have a right to discipline like that. (I'm in WI here, so don't know how it is everywhere). Although, if everyone is failing, or to let you believe, this the instructors part for not getting the training across. If you have an issue ask the instructor after class....ask for advice or input.....if they are unwilling to help you, go to the training supervisor. Just like on a fire dept...chain of command.

    The way I see it...if you paid for the training, you are entitled to training, not being called failures, or doing push ups for a mistake. Also remember, most (if not all) training facilities have an instructor critique at the end of class. I would still ask the instructor what they expect, and then go from there.

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    All the instructors in my class seem pretty friendly and nice and willing to help. It sucks to hear that your class isn't the same way.
    Get busy livin, or get busy dyin. - Shawshank Redemption
    IACOJ

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    I am nervous about saying anything because they said that the fire dept is such a close network and that if I( generalizd statement not directed towards me directly) applied at a dept in the area that dept would call to get a referall and they (the instructors) can easily make it so we would not be able to get hired in the area. I have concerns but I don't want to be known as someone that whines. I want this sooooo bad and I know that hundreds if not thousands in my area want it just as bad so I don't want one experience to get in the way. If things stay bad I'll suckit up. The other option is this. The B.C. I said I idolize is the Chief for the dept that is doing this training class so I may speak with him. Thanks for everyones input. Sorry if it seems I am complaining, I just keep this all botled up and it is good to talk with people here. It is a good learning opportunity.

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    What kind of training are you going through?
    Is this a tech school system fire academy, a dept run academy, what?

    I'll stick with my previous post to stay after class, ask the instructor "What are you looking for, and how can I do better?" This way you get the word from the instructor on what you can do to improve. If they don't treat you like an adult, call you a whiner or whatever, then they are not a good instructor, go to the next person up. I'm not saying be an *** to them...just calmly ask or say you are confused of what is expected.

    It is one thing to be a whiner...that would be someone saying, why do I have to do that?, we just went through that evolution, this is BS...so on. To ask a question is not whining if you don't understand what is expected.

    I don't know the situation, but to me this sounds like an instructor problem. They are still part of a school system...there are other people not in the fire service that are affiliated with the school.

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    Fire academies should be run like military boot camps The fact you forked out two grand doesn't entitle you to question and complain about the instructors. If you had done your research on this particular school, you would have known what was in store. This is not university,where you can just show up and expect a warm ,fire side chat, with a soft spoken professor. In case you haven't noticed,the fire service is modeled after the army. If you're having a problem doing a few push-ups on occassion, then consider the punishment a favor,as you no doubt need the extra conditioning. Get with the program and stop dropping dept. names. You don't want to show up on your first shift being called "Helen', Troy. I'm not trying to get under your skin, in fact, i very much want you to succeed. Best of luck.

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    Sorry Polecat....I can't agree with you here. Yes the fire service is a paramilitary organization, but a training should not be run like a boot camp. If the want to start the day with situps, pushups, run and so on...hey fine. But to yell at someone is unacceptable (tech school setting)...even if you did fork out 2 grand.

    The difference is....if you are on a fire department and in their recruit academy then they can train you their way. If you are on your own and in a tech school type of training, then chances are you have NO prior fire experience and to be yelled at and called failures or whiners is not the right type of attitude to portray.

    All I suggested was to ask the instructor how to improve or point out what is expected of you. If the instructor does not treat you like an adult...use the chain and go above them.

    In the fire service I would much rather work with someone who wants to know what to do, how to properly do it, and not be someone scared to ask questions. To do a task without know why is useless, if told to cut the roof, fine do it, but WHY did you do it. Point is if a fire academy is run like a boot camp and you are not told what is expected of you...you may do something stupid. To go back....you are told to cut the roof...and have a hoseline up with you, then you are told to fight the fire....If you never learned that the hole you cut is for venting and you try to fight the fire through that hole...well you have disaster waiting for you.

    An Academy is to train....you should feel free to ask questions and what is expected of you...not being told you are a whiner.

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    troy, I read a post where you asked about getting hired in the Salt Lake City area. I was wondering if you lived in the area and were going to the academy at UFRA?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    Sorry Polecat....I can't agree with you here. Yes the fire service is a paramilitary organization, but a training should not be run like a boot camp. If the want to start the day with situps, pushups, run and so on...hey fine. But to yell at someone is unacceptable (tech school setting)...even if you did fork out 2 grand.

    The difference is....if you are on a fire department and in their recruit academy then they can train you their way. If you are on your own and in a tech school type of training, then chances are you have NO prior fire experience and to be yelled at and called failures or whiners is not the right type of attitude to portray.

    All I suggested was to ask the instructor how to improve or point out what is expected of you. If the instructor does not treat you like an adult...use the chain and go above them.

    In the fire service I would much rather work with someone who wants to know what to do, how to properly do it, and not be someone scared to ask questions. To do a task without know why is useless, if told to cut the roof, fine do it, but WHY did you do it. Point is if a fire academy is run like a boot camp and you are not told what is expected of you...you may do something stupid. To go back....you are told to cut the roof...and have a hoseline up with you, then you are told to fight the fire....If you never learned that the hole you cut is for venting and you try to fight the fire through that hole...well you have disaster waiting for you.

    An Academy is to train....you should feel free to ask questions and what is expected of you...not being told you are a whiner.
    They yell to weed out the weak. during a fire is not the time to stop and ask one of your stupid bleeding heart "why are we doing this"? questions. You sound like a perfect candidate for stocking shelves at the supermarket not a firefighter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingofdahill View Post
    They yell to weed out the weak. during a fire is not the time to stop and ask one of your stupid bleeding heart "why are we doing this"? questions. You sound like a perfect candidate for stocking shelves at the supermarket not a firefighter.
    during a fire is not the time to stop and ask one of your stupid bleeding heart "why are we doing this"? questions. ....DUH....

    No Kidding...and No an instructor should not yell to weed out the weak...an instructor is there to TEACH!!!!! I am NOT saying question something on the fireground, I'm saying at the training academy(or drill)..WHERE YOU LEARN!!! So you know WHY you are doing something on the fireground. If an instructor is yelling at you, they are not teaching you. If all you know to do is to "jump" when told....you can be risking your life and fellow firefighters lives...if you are not propely trained.

    For instance...if told by an officer to spray a hoseline into a roof vent (you just cut), what did you do? You "jumped" and put lives in jeopardy. You should have LEARNED that you don't spray a hoseline into a vent hole well before the fire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    during a fire is not the time to stop and ask one of your stupid bleeding heart "why are we doing this"? questions. ....DUH....

    No Kidding...and No an instructor should not yell to weed out the weak...an instructor is there to TEACH!!!!! I am NOT saying question something on the fireground, I'm saying at the training academy(or drill)..WHERE YOU LEARN!!! So you know WHY you are doing something on the fireground. If an instructor is yelling at you, they are not teaching you. If all you know to do is to "jump" when told....you can be risking your life and fellow firefighters lives...if you are not propely trained.

    For instance...if told by an officer to spray a hoseline into a roof vent (you just cut), what did you do? You "jumped" and put lives in jeopardy. You should have LEARNED that you don't spray a hoseline into a vent hole well before the fire.
    Take a deep breath and dry your tears. If you can't handle a little yelling at the academy your never gonna handle it when things go to shi*. You really need to look into another job because it sounds like you can't handle or want any pressure on yourself. This profession is not a joke or like some movie you may have seen. If being called a "whiner" hurts your feelings then your going to be in for a brutal career.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingofdahill View Post
    Take a deep breath and dry your tears. If you can't handle a little yelling at the academy your never gonna handle it when things go to shi*. You really need to look into another job because it sounds like you can't handle or want any pressure on yourself. This profession is not a joke or like some movie you may have seen. If being called a "whiner" hurts your feelings then your going to be in for a brutal career.
    I'm curious, how long have you been on the job, or in the fire service?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CTJAKE View Post
    I'm curious, how long have you been on the job, or in the fire service?
    Why is that big jake? You wanna ask me some personal stuff e-mail me pal. Maybe you have some better advice for the guy who's feelings get hurt by the yelling at the academy.I guess not cause you did not type anything.

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    Well KING, you seem to know alot about academies and the fire service in general. Just asking how long you have been involved.

    Why are you getting all bent out of shape?

    Oh, and by the way, I am not saying anything because I dont know enough about his situation to comment.
    Last edited by CTJAKE; 02-11-2007 at 10:27 AM.

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    well jake give this fine candidate some advice. Did your instructors not yell at your academy? I never claimed to know it all about academies or the fire service in general but if a guy comes on and starts stating stuff like I don't know why they have to yell? would you feel good with this guy behind you while your advancing a hoseline down a hallway and things go to shi*. This guy cant even handle yelling better yet that.What are ya going to do tell him "excuse me but you may wanna get out of here please." I doubt it your going to get your point across and politely is sometimes not the way to do it. Maybe it works for you but I bet if you went to any academy in this country you will find that they do it to get the point across. Not to be personal like this guy is taking it.

    I'm not getting bent out of shape. I dont answer personal questions on forums. you know how to e-mail. Maybe some of what I say comes across as hard or not what you wanna hear but i won't lie to you either and say yelling is not part of the job. Your not always in the best enviorment to be polite.
    Last edited by kingofdahill; 02-11-2007 at 10:41 AM.

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    My advice: Dont take the yelling personal. If you read his first post, he is worried about some of his past experiences, and is worried they are targeting him. Based on what you have said, I dont think they are aiming this at you. Dont read into what they are saying. Do what they ask, as well as you can, and you'll be fine.
    Last edited by CTJAKE; 02-11-2007 at 11:24 AM.

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    I agree with you 100% and said the same thing in my post. Play the game. they yell you listen, they yell more you listen more.The way I see it this line of work requires you to handle a great deal of stress how much you can take and what will break you is what they try to show you along with teaching you the job. If just the yelling is getting too much then it won't take too much before you break. Thats why most academies are like mini boot camps.

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    King...if you would go back and read the last few posts by Troy...who started this thread, you would see some of the reason for my posts. He makes it sound as though the instructors are yelling all the time, calling the recruits failures, and even threatning a chance at a job at them. To me he seemed confused, concerned, and wnated to know what to do.

    If you go up to an instructor, ask advice or input, and all you get is yelled at is not training. As I put out in those other posts I was asking what type of training he was in....so far I have not seen his posts since.

    To me....if you pay to get an education and go to a fire academy through a tech school setting...you have the right to a quality education. If you are being called failures, yelled at like a drill seargent, and threatened by instructors that they can make it that you won't get a job...then this is not teaching. Most people paying at a tech school level have NO fire experience. They are getting an education to pursue some type of career, be it paid or volunteer. Once AFFILIATED with a dept...then the training can be more strict because you have to learn their way. Most departments will do their own training academy for new personnel, at that point, you should know better.

    Now not every fire department takes people with fire experience and will do their own training...to yell and "weed out the weak" is not training. If you are in an academy then you should have already been through a written test, Physical agilty, interviews (several), and background. The "weak" should already have been weeded through. The dept now has an investment into you.

    Now I don't know what your idea of yelling and my idea of yelling is. When posted that the academy should be run like a boot camp, I picture a drill seargent type instructor screaming in you face, calling you a failure, etc, then drop you. There is no need for that type of mentality in the fire service. Now if you have been taught a task (say putting up a roof ladder off an extension) and consistently do it wrong or if there is a safety issue then to shout to get attention is fine. If it is consistently wrong then there is a learning issue and then you stop and go through the evolution step by step. To yell at that point is useless...then you just have a FF not wanting to get yelled at and may not look for other hazards or the attention to detail is not there.
    That is why you TEST then...if come test day and you can not successfully complete the evolution...you don't pass. That is why you train and teach...not yell. Teach the recruit how to pass...if they can't...you did what you could, what is yelling going to do?

    That is what I'm getting at....If you want to sit there and pass judgement on me, call me weak or whatever then that is your perogative. You don't know me, my department, or my record...you are simply passing judgement off a post. Everyone here is on the job in some form, or want to be part of the job...there is no reason to disrespect anyone.

    I'll end here with what Jay Jonas said (FDNY...Capt of Ladder 6) when in the WTC. "When things start get get bad...I lower my voice and speak in a calm tone so everyone can understand. That day was the most calm I have ever been. There is no reason to yell and add to the confusion."

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingofdahill View Post
    Take a deep breath and dry your tears. If you can't handle a little yelling at the academy your never gonna handle it when things go to shi*. You really need to look into another job because it sounds like you can't handle or want any pressure on yourself. This profession is not a joke or like some movie you may have seen. If being called a "whiner" hurts your feelings then your going to be in for a brutal career.
    BTW...I was there when things really went to shi*....and one of my brothers did not come home..There was no yelling on the fireground then. Do you really, truly know what it is like? when conditions are that bad, that intense, and you still perform. Every thread in your body telling you no...stay out, yet your training kicks in and you do you job...any other time you pull out and go defensive...but now a FF is down, screaming for his life and you are his only hope. You get one FF out, but he is still there...you still have to go in. Do you know what it is like being told now you have to pull out...to know he is gone and all your efforts couldn't get him out, being so physically and mentally drained. Do you know what it is like to sift through the rubble, just to bring him home? There is NO bigger lesson out there than that.

    THAT IS WHAT THIS IS ABOUT. I DON'T WANT TO SEE THIS AGAIN...AND I DON'T WANT ANYONE ELSE TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS.
    Now go ahead...call me a whiner, weak or what have you. And NO I will not dry my tears...he deserved more, but this is what is left...the tears and memories!

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