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    Default List your qualifications prior to being hired

    There continues to be a big debate here on the entry-level hiring forums.

    Bob Smith will tell you that the only way to get hired is to become a Paramedic.

    I will tell you that there are THOUSANDS of firefighters who get hied without a paramedic license.

    Please list below your qualifications prior to getting hired on the fire department.

    If you work for a department that has hired a recent recruit class please provide the total number of recruits and the number of medics.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    We recently hired 7. 6 EMTs and 1 Medic.
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    Bob Smith will tell you that the only way to get hired is to become a Paramedic.


    Nice try.

    What I write and say is up to 80% of the job offerings are for fire/medics. You can find this in a recent posting here:

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=89716

    In a previous Posting Paul wrote:

    Bob,
    You keep using the statistic of 80% of the openings are for paramedic. I do not believe your statement and challenge you to qualify it. Is this a fact or is this just your opinion?

    Secondly, if you look at the number of firefighters hired, WHAT PERCENTAGE OF FEIREFIGHTERS HIRED ARE PARAMEDICS. Mind you, I am not talking about one opining at a small department rather I am talking about the TOTAL number of new hirees.


    My reply was:

    Just did a quick job search right here on the ever changing firecareers.com web site for California and Oregon Job offertings and found:

    6 Firefighter job listings

    21 Fire/Medic Job listings

    jd1407 wrote in the previous link you posted:

    Chief Lepore,
    With all due respect to you and what you have done to help me personaly I have to disagree. When I became a medic the available jobs to apply for substantialy increased. I would have not gotten a job as a firefighter unless I had my medic cert. At the time, my dept. was only looking to hire medics. I also have done the associates of fire science program, academy grad. from Rio Hondo, reserve time, volunteer time, emt for 5 years, er time, haz-mat, some college and multiple CSFA classes. But it was the medic cert. that got me the job.

    As you mentioned, many agencies testing for only firefighters would latch onto a medic if they were qualified. The department gets a 2 for 1 with the medic. Could the reason be that there are not more available medics is theyíre being gobbled up by other agencies? The last Hayward and CoCo County medic only tests only around 200 showed up.

    Candidates who have been beating their heads against the wall trying to compete with the army of other candidates with all the credentials and merit badges that you can imagine for the available jobs; then get their medic cert like jd1407 above tell me how things immediately turn around in their favor. The odds of competing with up to 20 candidates instead of up to 800 speak for themselves.

    Plus being a medic you can take more tests. I believe the more tests you take the better you get at taking tests. So when the department you really want to work for comes along you are ahead of the curve and wonít be stumped by a question you never heard.

    The point here is where is the shortest distance between the candidate and the badge. An advanced degree or a medic cert? True, whichever way a candidate decides to take they need to learn how to take a firefighter interview.
    _____________________________________________

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    What this really boils down to is not what certs you need to get hired. Sadly, it all boils down to a pis*ing match between two people in competition for business.

    With that said I'll lay it on the line for everyone, and I make no money doing it. There are MANY jobs out there to get just as an EMT. Most (not all) are with bigger cities. There are MORE jobs to get as a Paramedic since smaller departments (which there are more of) require it, and most will hire a paramedic over an EMT.

    Now maybe you two should settle your differences off of here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarnyTheKid View Post
    What this really boils down to is not what certs you need to get hired. Sadly, it all boils down to a pis*ing match between two people in competition for business.

    With that said I'll lay it on the line for everyone, and I make no money doing it. There are MANY jobs out there to get just as an EMT. Most (not all) are with bigger cities. There are MORE jobs to get as a Paramedic since smaller departments (which there are more of) require it, and most will hire a paramedic over an EMT.

    Now maybe you two should settle your differences off of here.

    +100 on everything

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    KEV: what happened to the other .4 EMT? We're doing the crap of requireing all new hires to obtain medic cert within 3 yrs and giving preference to medics in hiring. It is a total waste of time and is gonna be a budget nightmare in a few yrs for a Dept that is already cash strapped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wag11c View Post
    KEV: what happened to the other .4 EMT? We're doing the crap of requireing all new hires to obtain medic cert within 3 yrs and giving preference to medics in hiring. It is a total waste of time and is gonna be a budget nightmare in a few yrs for a Dept that is already cash strapped.

    .4 EMT? Not sure what you mean.
    Of the last group of seven we just hired, only one was a Paramedic. The other six were EMT's.

    We require a minimun of EMT cert at time of appointment. We run ALS/BLS with the county ambulance service also providing ALS and transport services. Hopefully, in the not-to-distant future, we'll take it all over. When, and if that happens, we'll need several more Paramedics than we currently have.

    Cash strapped department?! Welcome to the club!
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    This may be a stupid question but can someone please tell me what happened to the civil service system? How is giving hiring preference to medics/emt's or prior firefighters fair to the public that take these exams? Is that not ( I hate to use this word) DISCRIMINATION? I have to spit now lol.. Look at some of the bigger cities that test NYC, boston. both very fair tests to their citizens. They hire from stock brokers to bakers all walks of life and put out some of the best firefigfhters. I know people will say these places have academies but still. These places do not require anything. The cities jobs are to put out exams and train the public who get these jobs. It's should not be the publics job to go out and get an emt or paramedic and then have to test to see if they can be hired.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingofdahill View Post
    This may be a stupid question but can someone please tell me what happened to the civil service system? How is giving hiring preference to medics/emt's or prior firefighters fair to the public that take these exams? Is that not ( I hate to use this word) DISCRIMINATION? I have to spit now lol.. Look at some of the bigger cities that test NYC, boston. both very fair tests to their citizens. They hire from stock brokers to bakers all walks of life and put out some of the best firefigfhters. I know people will say these places have academies but still. These places do not require anything. The cities jobs are to put out exams and train the public who get these jobs. It's should not be the publics job to go out and get an emt or paramedic and then have to test to see if they can be hired.

    King,

    I do agree with the sentiment of your post and that some big cities do a fair hiring process. Although I do not see giving preference to prior FF as discrimination. One of the biggest issues with hiring general public with no experience in the fire service field is that you can get people who don't want the job (I know of a woman who got on a dept where I was going to school, just to prove to herself she could do the job and quit the day after she got on the floor), or find out later it is not what they expected.

    They may see the fires and rescues and the glamourous part of the service. They don't see the new guy cleaning bathrooms everyday, the training, the stupid calls and so on. The other side of hiring a prior FF is they typically already know the job and for those depts without having a big recruit academy or training program like a big city, is more practical.
    As for having EMT or medic as a requirement or any other type of certification as a requirement. You tend to get the candidates that truly want a job and understand what the job entails. Also many depts run EMS, whether you like that or not, that is how the dept runs. Having a candidate with EMT means they can be utilized immediately in that capacity, instead of having to train as an EMT and they don't cut it. Biggest reason it doesn't cost the city any money to send new recruits through EMT. Money is always the driving force.

    Having education, certifications, EMT or Medic to apply for a job is not discrimination. Every dept is different in what they want future FF's to be. There are many private industry jobs that want the best and more educated candidate, why should the fire service be any different? Having candidates with fire related or EMS experience means that the dept does not have to pay for extra training and can make a recruit class shorter, getting new personnel on the floor quicker. Thus in turn reducing overtime costs for FF that had to fill in vacancies until the recruits got to the floor.

    There are still many departments that do not require any experience or fire education. Madison, WI is like that, however the last recruit class hired all had some type of fire experience. Typically in most cities that is wht you get are people wanting the job do have some type of experience. Same reason why veterans points are given too....you know those candidates understand a command structure, orders and discipline. It is all about those with the best resume today. In an analogy, if a construction company was looking for people and said "no experience necessary" and needed to hire one person. 10 people apply and 2 don't have any experience. Typically you would want someone who can understand the job right away. Doesn't mean those without experience wouldn't be good, just that majority of the time you may want someone with some type of experience.

    As for the public shouldn't have to get this training for EMT or medic and then get hired. True, they don't have to, but if that is the requirements for that job and you don't want to get that needed education for that job....then go look at another department that doesn't have requirements.

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    I can agree with most of your post. What I mean by discrimination is that if you hold an "open Competative" exam that is open to the public then a paramedic or emt license should not be used in the favoring of hiring one over the other. You should not be able to say well the paramedic wants it more over the citizen because they have their medic. Maybe the citizen who really wants the job could not spare the time it took to get a paramedic cert. Lets face it in todays world having a EMT cert pays about as much as working in burger king. There is no real perk for someone to just go out and get one. I agree 100% that once you are hired then whatever the requirements are then that is what is expected of you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    Bob Smith will tell you that the only way to get hired is to become a Paramedic.
    Paul- To be very honest, I have been following Bob's work for years and I dont recall him saying exactly this.

    His wording has been more of "There are more FF/PM jobs out there" and "look at the job numbers".

    I am just going by my past readings.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 04-28-2007 at 08:14 PM.

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    King,

    Putting it that way I can see where you are coming from. I would agree that in an open competitive exam that if someone scores higher than someone who has an EMT or medic cert already, that the person with a higher score should be chosen over one with more certs. Yeah, I can agree with that. Unless the requirements state that you need whatever certifications to apply, then it shouldn't matter if you have a ton of certs if your score does not meet the cut, you don't get picked over someone else.

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    Long Beach California

    48 firefighters hired (2 drill classes) 7 paramedics



    Memphis

    322 firefighters 89 paramedics

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    Expecting a new recruit to be completely cross trained as a ff/paramedic upon applying seems unreasonable to me. What other occupation insists on candidates with 2 highly complex disciplines under their belt. These stringent pre-requisites are sure to adversely effect many excellent recruits, due to financial restraints etc. Here in greater Vancouver,B.C. where we have 2000+ IAff members, none as far as i know were paramedics prior to their firefighting job. Most have a med. cert. equivolent to an emt. at best. The first-aid is something you can upgrade through-out your career, having the physical attributes for the job is something you can't teach. Now, back to the "clash of the titans", I believe its your move Captbob.

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    Just did another quick search on job postings from the same source as my original posting above for California and Oregon. These are the jobs you can apply for today.

    Firefighters 11

    Fire/Medics 28

    How many candidates do you think will be competing for those 11 departments that are testing? Up to 800 for each job.

    How many are going to compete for those 28 departments that are testing for fire/medics. Around 12 for each job. Which odds do you like better?

    Where are you going to get more bang for your $$$$$$?
    Last edited by CaptBob; 04-30-2007 at 09:23 AM.

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    PC,
    Yes many departments do require candidates to become paramedics PRIOR to being hired. Seems hard to believe, but it's true.

    My contention is, and has always been, to worry about your EMT and basic mechanical skills. Add to it fire science courses and even a basic fire academy with the ability to perform in the testing process and you have a recipe for success.

    As Bob pointed out in the previous post, he encourages candidates to go to paramedic school. Unfortunately many follow this advice and end up failing in the basic fire academy because they don't have the basic hand eye coordination and mechanical ability that one needs to become a firefighter.

    Bob's above post is exactly WHY I began this thread. His mantra is that the majority of jobs are for paramedics. While there may be more postings for paramedics, these are usually smaller departments who hire in much smaller numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireman4949 View Post
    Cash strapped department?! Welcome to the club!

    Wait till the tax bill passes :-(

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    Paul wrote:

    As Bob pointed out in the previous post, he encourages candidates to go to paramedic school. Unfortunately many follow this advice and end up failing in the basic fire academy because they don't have the basic hand eye coordination and mechanical ability that one needs to become a firefighter.


    Are you referring to your department or the fire service in general?

    Bob's above post is exactly WHY I began this thread. His mantra is that the majority of jobs are for paramedics. While there may be more postings for paramedics, these are usually smaller departments who hire in much smaller numbers.

    Ah, you caught me. Are you hallucinating? More lies from the Chief.

    You can't speak for me! What I actually write and say is right from this recent posting here: http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=89716

    Ask yourself who is getting the badges? The vast majority of candidates we see get hired do not have advanced degrees. They're more in the line of EMT, FF1 academy, working on or have an AA or AS degree or medics. Some have no fire education or experience. Their biggest asset was they leaned how to take an interview.

    Whatís the time line? If youíre just starting college and want to get your BA, it could take you 4 maybe 5 or more years depending on when you can line up and complete all your classes and requirements. Then, if you wanted to go further the timing it to get into and academy and or paramedic school and get some street time another 2+ years? So around 7 years give or take to get in position to go after the badge. Are you going to need student loans? Do you have a special person in your life who is going to wait while you pursue your career? How long can you tread water?

    The path to become a medic is about 2 years with gaining some savvy street time. If you can get in an academy in that time period it will be convincing evidence that you have the hands on experience that a department can take a risk on you.

    Can you continue your education once youíre hired? Will departments give you an education incentive?

    Answer: Yes to both.

    More here: http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=89716
    _____________________________________________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

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    EDIT- I am going to edit my posting.

    Based only on my observations, I have seen more jobs openings for FF/PM over the years than non PM jobs. The non-PM jobs are out there as well.

    For me and me only- I wish I would have pursued the medic option along time ago based solely on where and who I want to work for.

    People interested in the fire service have asked me in the past the best route to a career in the fire service. I relay what I have seen.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 04-30-2007 at 12:29 PM.

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    ff2 paramedic hazmat acls pals and i am a mechanical contractor. I was only hired part time. If you want this job you will get every cert you can. Fire and paramedic school are not that hard to pass. In Ohio it is a waste of time to even test without those certifications. I would love to get hired by a big city and go to the academy again. This job isn't rocket science it is a honor. My father always says to me "I cant believe they pay me to do this."

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    Brett,
    Please provide the breakdown of your department's recent hiring.
    Last edited by BCLepore; 04-30-2007 at 10:29 PM.

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    Brea, California
    Of the last 10 hired, one was a medic.

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    To be fair, I think a lot of "Fire/Medic" positions, are open to people who don't have the certifications, but are required to get them in X amount of years.

    Im on the A list for a dept for a Fire/Medic job and I don't have EMT or FFII yet. (although both will be done by August....)

    That being said, I got hired on my part time dept with no experience at all. 7 of 12 of us had no exp. at all.
    Get busy livin, or get busy dyin. - Shawshank Redemption
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    Tucson Arizona
    150 firefighters hired 12 Medics

    Seattle
    16 firefighters 0 Medics

    Phoenix
    57 firefighters 3 medics

    Culver City, Ca.
    14 firefighters 2 medics

    Beverly Hills
    6 firefighters 0 medics

    Tallahassee, Fl.
    7 firefighters 1 medic

    Long Beach California

    48 firefighters hired (2 drill classes) 7 paramedics

    Memphis

    322 firefighters 89 paramedics



    Running total:

    620 Firefighters 114 medics
    Last edited by BCLepore; 05-01-2007 at 02:00 AM.

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    Default Fire Fighter or Fire/Medic

    Should you become a paramedic to get a firefighter job?

    I know you will hear that if you really donít want to be a medic donít just do it to get the job. That all you really need is your EMT to get hired.

    If you understand that there are up to 800 candidates for each firefighter job, that you could be running out of hope and the love of your life is not going to wait any longer unless she has a ring and a date. Been the frequent-flyer mileage king flying all over the country and unsuccessfully taking tests and your biggest income last year came from your credit cards. You have lost friends. Donít know how youíre going to live without the job of your dreams. Can afford to take the time and loss of income to make it happen. Have a supporting partner. Know you would have to spend about a year getting certified and it will be the toughest thing you have ever done.

    Can a relative pay for your education? Do you have GI Bill education money? Can you get a student loan. Know that 80% of the job offerings now are for fire medics and up to 75% of our calls are EMS related anyway. Know that even if you become a medic, you still may never get this job. Have been riding ambulance anyway and this will pave the way into many medic schools. Arenít going to take the chance of some college medic programs that only take 35 people a year and receive over 200 applications. Will step up and pay the $7,000 plus dollars to be in and out of a program in about a year.

    Youíre the energizer bunny who will keep going and going and going when others would stop. Know that if you are a medic taking a regular firefighter entrance test you will probably get a better shot. You wonít be happy until you can puff your chest out with a badge and have people wave at you in the jump seats, carrying on a family tradition. Want that shift work with great benefits that go way into retirement. A career position with chances of advancement.

    You will have the opportunity to use the education and experience you have acquired. To work for a department that offers you everything a firefighter hopes for. Calls that cover anything from air, land and sea. A place where you canít wait to get back from your days off. You will be able to go from one call to another to another on a busy rig. Believe me there is nothing like it.

    I know you will hear that if you really donít want to be a medic donít just do it to get the job. That all you really need is your EMT to get hired. But, if you answered yes to the majority of the above there is no doubt where you will be the happiest. If I were in your position I would beg, borrow, and run with my afterburners on to get to medic school! Because unlike a regular entry level test where there are up to 800 candidates for each job, there are only 20 candidates for every fire medic job. It is by far your fastest way to the badge.
    _____________________________________________

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    Fire "Captain Bob"

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