I received 3 underage drinking tickets when I was 18. Since then I have been staying away from the party scene and no longer drink. I turn 20 in may and am enrolled in the Fire Science Technician program at my locall college, in hopes of becoming a FF/Paramedic. I have been told that my idiotic partying ways of the past will make it nearly impossible to get into any top department. I am very worried about this and would appriciate your input on how much this will effect my chances of getting hired.
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Thread: Underage Drinking Question
04-09-2007, 10:42 PM #1
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
Underage Drinking Question
04-09-2007, 11:08 PM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
- chattanooga TN U.S.
Hey Brent I wouldn't beleive that I had one underage drinking ticket when I was 20 and I still got hired so go ahead and still try.
04-09-2007, 11:58 PM #3
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
Don't sweat it. Don't hide it, don't deny it. If/When they ask you about it, tell them you made some stupid mistakes and there is really nothing more you can say. You've paid the price for your wrongdoings and have matured since that time. Tell them that the biggest punishment is that for the rest of your life you will have the embarrassment of those crimes in your history. That should help them realize you have moved beyond the childhood mentality.
Let's face it, we all drank underage...you just got caught....3 times though??!
04-10-2007, 08:52 AM #4FLA1786Firehouse.com Guest
If it was 1 ticket, coming clean would probably be enough. But since its 3 it might take more. I know when guys get a lot of speeding tickets and things of the sort they take safe driving courses to "offset" the question.
Chief: So we noticed you have 3 speeding tickets pretty close to each other
Candidate: Yes sir I messed up, but since then I've taken a safe driver course and havent had any issues with traffic enforcement.
You could help yourself alot if you did something of that sort. Some ideas that come to mind would be coaching a little league team or volunteering in a DARE program, things that put you in a position to stray kids away from where you messed up. If the question comes up about the drinking you can come clean and then take it a step further and explain how you've been doin___________ to make sure kids see why its important not to take the road you took.
04-10-2007, 09:25 AM #5
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
Take a moment and look at it from another perspective, that of the hiring agency. There is a high incidence of drinking in the fire service and now we are going to hire someone who has a known serious drinking issue? That’s the perspective of the fire chief.
What the fire chief knows is that you got caught 3 times, but there were dozens of times that you didn’t get caught.
The best thing that you shared is that you no longer drink. This tells the fire chief that the problem was in your past. In time, he or she can overlook someone who has had an extensive drinking history. That is, as long as you no longer drink. Once you start drinking again, all bets are off.
Time and abstinence are your best friend. Yes, you can overcome this but it will take some serious work on your part.
04-10-2007, 01:44 PM #6
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
Unfortuantely I believe you are in a tough spot right now. I don't think that your chance of becoming a firefighter is hopeless, but there are certain changes that you are going to have to make. I think you are on the right track, first and foremost stay away from the drinking and party scene! Second, I believe that enrolling in your local community college and trying to obtain your fire science degree is smart. Lastly, you mentioned that you wanted to become a FF/Medic if you can go and get your paramedic cert it will put you ahead of a lot of applicants. It sounds like you are still just a pup, I believe you said that you are going to turn 20 soon. I think the problem the hiring board would have with you is that these drinking violations only happened a year or two ago. If your dream is to become a FF then you may have to make certain sacrifices, like wait and clean up your record pursue your education and get your paramedic. Don't worry I believe that the average age of a career entry level firefighter is 25 or 26. Departments want FF's that are mature and have life experiences. It sounds like you are on the right track, best of luck to you.
04-10-2007, 01:50 PM #7
Fairway to heaven
Brent, Look at it this way. You just triple bogied the par 4 first hole at Augusta, putting yourself well back of the leaders. Comebacks of this magnitude are not easy, (ask Phil Mickleson) so you'll need to be at your very best from here on, if you hope to don the coveted green jacket, or in your case, awarded a badge. Providing you don't have any other blunders on your rap sheet, you should be o.k. Good luck, and be sure to select the appropiate 'club' next time.
04-10-2007, 10:24 PM #8
Your chances of getting in a top department within the next couple years are slim to none, but if you keep your record spotless for 5 years after your last offense, the really good departments will at least start to consider you again. That means no traffic tickets, getting fired from a job, or anything else that will go on your record. Also, do a lot of good things in the meantime that will show what you did in the past was something you grew out of and not a part of who you are when you're applying. That means having at least a 3.0 when you graduate, doing some long-term volunteer work, and not job hopping. You'll have to be patient & diligent, but if being a FF/Medic is what you really want, then it's worth it.
On the bright side, at least you don't have a DWI/DUI, because if you did, you'd pretty much be blacklisted from the paid departments.
04-11-2007, 11:02 AM #9
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- San Francisco Bay Area
You were caught 3 times with underage drinking. Caught. You probably did 100 times. How about experimenting with drugs? If you really fortunate to be considered for an agency sometime in the distant future it could be the psych interview that takes you out. I've heard the doc ask some difficult questions including family history. Many have been DQ'd because the doc feels with the stresses of the job a candidate will turn to alcolhol and drugs as you have already demonstrated.
For some they are clouded and domed before they ever take their first step because of something in their past, job history, criminal record, credit, driving record or domestic violence. They still believe though that they have a shot. Then, they don't face it until it's staring them in the face at the next step in the hiring process.
Too many candidates walk in flat-footed once they’re given a conditional job offer and are eliminated in the psych, poly and medical. These are unchartered waters where you need to be prepared in advance before you show up. These are experts who are being paid to take you out.
Too often I receive calls from candidates who ask, “What do I do now” after they have spend time, money, education and put their lives on hold for years only to be taken out at one of the hiring stations. Sad. Had they prepared they would have been educated to understand the process and not step on the land mines.
You won’t even get that far in the hiring process if you don’t learn how to take an interview. Because you will never place high enough on the list to be considered for a shot at a badge. Many feel just by packing on the credentials will ensure they will get a job.______________________________ _______________
"Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"
Fire "Captain Bob"
04-17-2007, 11:28 PM #10
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
If I were you, I would keep my nose clear from now on! Just because you got into trouble for underage drinking (which any fireman I know has done and I know of many who have done worse, NOT ALL, I'm sure there are guys who never got into trouble when they were young) doesn't mean you're out. There are some departments who may say no at first, but don't give up, after a few years of keeping clean, you'll get your shot. As far as drinking goes, I would keep clean until you are of legal age, but after that, don't get into trouble related to drinking, but any Chief knows that fireman like to go out and have a few with the guys. My point is, you didn't murder anyone or get a DUI, so you can certainly pursue your dream. You just need to remember that everything you do is gonna come up. Listen to what the guys are saying about keeping out of trouble, but as I said, I know of quite a few guys who have done worse and they still got jobs, they just made mistakes when they were younger. But you better be honest when asked!! Good luck!
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