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  1. #76
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    Hey guys,

    I'll try to answer questions as best I can. Let me say a few things before I begin.

    1st GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF A YOU! It's a great job!

    2nd Unforfunately, I have to give you a little disclaimer about the biz here right now. I think it would be OK for anyone to drop by a firehouse and talk to the fellas, but I must warn you there is a lot of tension, and some disgruntled guys. There has been a 4 year battle over promotions, which should end very soon. I doubt anyone would be rude to you, actually the worst you could expect is they might try to encourage you to go somewhere else "better". It sucks about the promotions, but it's still a good job here. So, take that in stride, and concentrate on the business you have to take care of this week.....


    Now on with the questions.............


    Are there any fire houses near the convention center? I'm coming in from Milwaukee a day early and was hoping to possibly visit one if I have some free time.
    Not within walking distance really. The center kind of sits on the border of a couple of Still Districts. Engine 2 (Union No. 2) is on Tucker and Spruce along with H&L 6, B2. The Shops and old training tower are behind the 2's. If you walk about 2-3 blocks East on Spruce, you will run right into the Stan Musial Statue at Busch Stadium. I would say yuo could come visit me, but my oldest turns 13 on Friday and we will be out of town. That would be the best house to visit downtown.

    Does St. Louis usually only hire people with a lot of experience?
    Are they big in hiring minorities and women? Or is is usually about even?
    I'm told experience will help you, I don't know for sure. In my recruit class there were 4 of us that came from different departments. We were in the 2nd class off the list. As far as hiring minorities and women go, it's an even playing field now. 1 for 1 is gone. Full-time citty emploees get 5 extra points instead for hiring priority now. So if you are on your game, you have a pretty good shot.

    Is their physical test the CPAT or their own PAT?
    My test was a modified "Combat Challenge", but i hear they may be giving the CPAT this time. I also hear they have hired an outside firm to do the whole testing process to keep some chronic complainers off their back, and keep it from being biased.

    I'm coming in from Florida a day early as well(testing Thursday coming in tomorrow) and am thinking about just exploring a bit of the city, any hot spots to check out(could be anything, doesn't necessarily have to be firehouse related)?
    -Ragazzis is good, actually, anything on "The Hill" is good.

    -Check out "The Landing" in the evening. Lots of good resturants and stuff.It's the earliest settlement in St. Louis right on the river front just North of the Arch.

    -The Arch is cool of it's a clear day, and there is a pretty cool musem below the Arch.

    -We have one of the best zoos in the world, located in Forest Park. Also a world class Science Center.

    -Check out historic Union Staion located downtown on Market Street. Vist the Fudge Factory near the rear entrance.

    - Out of towners....when you are dining out, you have to try toasted ravioli.

    -Lots of good bar/grills in Soulard, and one of the oldest open air markets in the country.

    -You can't complete a trip to StL w/out a visit to Ted Drewes located in south city on Cippewa. It's a famous frozen custard stand on historic Route 66.




    Hey...gotta run my kid to a Dr. appointment. All of these and more can be found in StLouis Magazine that should be in your hotel room. I'll try to give more ideas later...any questions drop me a line.

    Good luck, be safe..............................................
    Last edited by fieldseng2; 07-18-2007 at 10:29 AM.

  2. #77
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    Toasted raz, Ted Drew, and who could forget about IMO's They are all must haves.

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    So I got some of that toasted ravioli delivered to my hotel room last night. DELICIOUS! haha

    I'm feeling pretty decent about the test. I'm not sure about the first part with the situations since there were so many answers that seemed right during that, but the Math, Reading, and Mechanical sections were pretty easy.

    They said 1300 applications came in.(WAY less than I expected) Then they said usually about 300-400 pass and move on to the PAT. On the information sheet we filled out they had a score card thing. After PAT they had physical exam and background check, but didn't see an interview anywhere in there. Well good luck to those who tested.

  4. #79
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    Okay, was I the only that was shocked about all the people that didn't bring X2 pencils, photo I.D., letters and still able to test, futhermore didn't even turn their phones off!

  5. #80
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    Default Yea what was that about!

    I agree with you, it seemed that the instructions were easy to follow and there was so many that didnít. I tested for Seattle last year and the give the same test (first portion) so if you have a level head about you no worries. I hope you all did well and I make it to the next round. I was also surprised by the few people in the process but even some of those folks could not follow directions. And who doesnít bring a photo I.D? Well if nothing else it was could practice and I hope I see you all at the next step.

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    The worst part of the test was that damn lawyer. haha He had to say that copyright information before every section of the test.

    It also seemed like the world wanted me to miss my flight as well. On top of that lawyer thing, they took forever to let everyone out since they went row by row(I was near the back), they started a little late, and during the Math section. We finished and then they gave us 6 minutes just to fill in bubbles for the 25 questions we answered. Yet, when time was up, plenty of people still raised their hands and asked for more time. I don't see how it takes over 10 minutes to fill in 25 little circles for questions that you already answered. Thankfully my flight was delayed a half hour.

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    You definitely weren't the only one rushing for a flight. I as well got lucky and had like a 15 min delay, not much but just enough!!! ooh I must agree as well the worst part of that test was the lawyer. haha So how does everyone else feel they did?

    Good luck everyone

  8. #83
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    Sounds like I had it made when I took the test. We didnt have any of that stuff. Took the test, and you left. 2 parts 1) Reading Comprehension 2) Self evaluation.

    However, I pretty sure I know why everything was much more regimental than when I took it. It really is the way it should be though.

    I'm interested in the "lawyer part" though...


    Are they giving you guys the CPAT or do you even know what the agility test will be?

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    They didn't really talk about the physical test. They just said that it will be explained in our letter if we pass. However, on the score sheet of out test it said PAT I think. So I'm guessing it's not the CPAT, but a custom PAT like you said earlier. I am hoping it's the CPAT though because that's a lot easier than most other department tests.

  10. #85
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    Hmmm...

    Ill look into that. Actually, I thought the test I took here was easier than the CPAT...kind of a modified "Combat Challenge".

    Good luck...

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    I feel pretty good about how the test went, I think I nailed the Mechanical/Math/Reading sections and I feel pretty good about the first Video sections but it's hard to really judge it since it's all so opinionated. Overall though I got a pretty good impression of the city on my trip(almost cried when I saw the one gas station had gas prices at 2.89$ I think it was, getting back to town here the gas is up to $3.09).

    Oh just curious fieldseng, how "busy" of a house would you say Engine 9 is compared to the other companies in the department? Are they one of the busier companies or average? Just wondering because it seemed as if I either saw them or could hear them flying past my hotel room constantly during my stay.

  12. #87
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    Engine 9 gets their fair share of runs. While not one of the busiest or most sought after houses, I believe the get over 2,000 runs/year. Mostly medical, auto alarms, and MVAs.

    Where was your hotel? If you were downtown you were very likely hearing the sirens of Engine 2....the 2nd busiest in the city (over 3400 runs/year)

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    brk... were you the guy I talked to at the Econolodge?

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    Yeah that would be me clark, stayed at the econolodge on the corner of the football dome. I'm pretty sure most of the calls were Engine 9, but I did see Engine 2 on a call once, and once while I was exploring downtown they were outside near the post office(I want to say by Olive street? but could be mistaken).

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    Wow, 1300 people taking the test, and the one person that I talk to at the hotel is the person from here. haha

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    haha yeah it definitely is a small world isn't it

  17. #92
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    I'm pretty sure most of the calls were Engine 9, but I did see Engine 2 on a call once, and once while I was exploring downtown they were outside near the post office(I want to say by Olive street? but could be mistaken).

    Post Office is on Market....Olive is just 2 blocks north!

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    Default 1300 not alot

    I was surprized that there were only 1300, the last process that i went through that was how many made it to the second interview. What do you think about the letter from city hall to the chief? Is the "Racial Wars" as bad as what the media make it out to be? Or is it just a few bad apples.

  19. #94
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    From what it looks like, there isn't an interview during this process. It isn't listed on any of the recruitment things. Also wasn't listed on the score sheet with the test.

    Also, visit http://firefeeds.com It has dispatch for any place that you want. You do have to pay a monthly fee to join. However, they have about six cities that you can listen to for free, and St Louis is one of them.

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    Thumbs down

    I wouldn't get your hopes up for the STLFD anyhow. I see once the results come out there will be lawsuits filed and highways shut down because the test wasn't fair and racially biased. STLFD might hire again in 5 years. I took the test and saw the racial makeup of the day I took the test. People will feel "wronged". I just don't know what will happen first, Promotions or Hiring.

    I do think it's quite silly for a fire department not to award points on skills, fire/ems background/certifications and education. And there is only one thing you get 5 extra points for and that is for being a city resident. That's how you get jobs on many fire districts and departments around the area and also around the country. You want the best, yet lower the standards and you only get what you get. I know several friends of mine that are great firefighters and they had to wait years to get on and many decline the job because the city took too long. You have FF I/II and and EMT you should get priority in the positions. Your some regular schmoe that hops from job to job and think riding on the red truck would be cool, not the right person from the job. Funny how I know one of those people who fits the description I just described and they are an "Actor" on the south side.

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    I thought I read or heard somewhere that having EMT will help because they don't include that in the academy. They just require you to get it on your own within your first year.

    Also I have a question for anyone that already works there. Do you think that because they will have to fill all of those officer positions once the whole situation is settled, that there will be more firefighters hired than normal? I mean if they are going to promote the 30 people that they need, that leaves 30 open firefighter spots.

    And did anyone get their letter yet? They said mid-August, so I'm guessing we should be getting them soon. I'm from Wisconsin, so I'll probably be one of the last to get one.

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    Angry

    They need to take people who have an EMT/experience/certifcations 1st because that means that they already have it and it will be one less thing to worry over. It makes no sense to go through the process of hiring and going through the academy and then work for 1 year and to not get your EMT license and your gone. Like I said, waste of space, waste of time.

    Each day goes by and makes me wonder how long the process will take because of all the other issues in the FD.

    Did you notice they never gave you what the passing score was??? There is a percentage they want, thats why they wanted you to complete the "optional" demographic about your age, schooling, RACE, experience. It is time that "RACE" is no longer asked on a test like that. What does it matter in the form of the test? If you pass the test, race shouldnt matter. Trust me, they will throw sections of the test out and rank upon what sections were passed in greater numbers. FIRE has already stated in their promotion lawsuit that language is biased towards their group. So math is out. Probably the "fill in the _______" will be tossed out because there were confusing words. (Actually the last section was the only "Fire-Related" portion of the test). The Human Relations will be tossed out becuase those are not "True" people of St. Louis.

    Im just not too enthused with this test towards St. Louis. But I just hope that I am wrong.

  23. #98
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    I wouldn't get your hopes up for the STLFD anyhow. ................................ STLFD might hire again in 5 years.

    I don't know where you get your info, but even with the class that just graduated, we are still short. There are some things coming to a head here very soon. Once the smoke has cleared, and this entry list is certified, I would suspect they will have more than a few classes off of it.


    Trust me, they will throw sections of the test out and rank upon what sections were passed in greater numbers. FIRE has already stated in their promotion lawsuit that language is biased towards their group. So math is out. Probably the "fill in the _______" will be tossed out because there were confusing words. (Actually the last section was the only "Fire-Related" portion of the test). The Human Relations will be tossed out becuase those are not "True" people of St. Louis.
    1st of all they will not throw out portions of the test out. My test/list went to fedral court, and 50/50 was tossed out. I didn't get a score for anything until I finished everything and got my ranking. I scored a 96.5% overall, and was ranked #42 on the list, came in on the 2nd class off the list. I don't remember my score on the written.

    2nd FIRE lost their lawsuit. It is going thru another (supposedly last) appeal. But, my observation is this appeal is like the Titanic struggling to stay afloat.

    A federal judge declared the test fair, impartial, unbiased, and adequately measured what a competent officer should be.

    An industrial psychiatrist (PhD) who happens to be African-American, and a former Dean at Penn State reviewed/took the exam prior to giving it here. He determined the test was fair, impartial, unbiased, and adequately measured what a competent officer should be.

    FIRE's own attorney, expert witness's, and leadership could not specifically point out what portion of the test were indeed biased.


    NO ONE is fudging w/the scores and/or list to get people where they want.

    The problem here is there has been 30 years of forced hiring and promotions of people who barely passed, or in some cases did not pass the exams. Now it is supposed to be expected and accepted practice. Because the tides have changed and everything is on a fair playing field ...certain people are fighting this trend because everyone is supposed to be held to the same standards.

    If those same people were given a FAIR shot 50 years ago....this problem would not exist.


    I will agree. I think that people with experience, training, education related to the job should have an edge over everyone else.

    In today's fire service...it takes more than balls and brawn to do the job. Think of all the different types of things a regular back step firefighter is called for....you have to have a vast knowledge about different building construction, fire behavior, HazMat, mechanics/designs of vehicles, EMS, WMD/terrorism, tech rescue, and on, and on, and on...

    Let's say you have some rare ailment. Would you go to your regular county bumkin doctor that might have seen one of these cases in 20 years, or a specialist who see's more than 20 cases in one day? It's a no brainer.

    There are plenty of tired/bitter people on the job already. We don't need any more of that here. We need ambitious, experienced, motivated, and educated people to bring this dept. back up on it's feet. I've only been here a short time, but have been in this business a fairly long time now...Spreading negativity only spreads the disease.

    I suppose I could be wrong, but I see alot of postive things happening in the near future here. Without a doubt there will be hills and bumps along the way, but things have a way of working out in the end.

    Good luck to you all.....

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    Has anyone received their letter about the written test yet? They said mid-August is when we should get them, and the end of August is the very latest where we could start calling. So just wondering if I'm the only one out of the loop here.

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    Actually I decided to give them a call and they said that the letters are being sent out today. So good luck to the rest of you that tested.

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