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  1. #1

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    Default Two Newbie Questions

    Hi there -

    I have a couple of questions and I am not sure where to begin but after reading some of the other posts, I figured I'd just jump in.

    I am interested in becoming a firefighter and thought a good way to begin would be to become a volunteer. I spoke with my local volunteer FD and they advised me to return at the end of the month. That would be when they were next accepting applications,and would begin the next round of training. I made sure to show up after I got off work wearing my tie and looking professional and think I made a good impression. But for those volunteering what do volunteer departments look for in a candidate? Are they expecting the same requirements as the paid departments? I ask because after I spoke with the Captain I've gotten more and more interested and can't wait for the end of the month so I can put my application in.

    Second, my father was a career firefighter and retired after 24 years. Unfortunately he passed away and I can't ask him many questions about the department. But do local departments factor that in when they hire a prospective fire-fighter (i.e. do they like to promote legacies within the department.)

    I am currently working a desk job and am really kind of tired of this line of work and would like to do something more meaningful with the benefit of helping others. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    T.


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmeagan View Post
    Hi there -

    I have a couple of questions and I am not sure where to begin but after reading some of the other posts, I figured I'd just jump in.

    I am interested in becoming a firefighter and thought a good way to begin would be to become a volunteer. I spoke with my local volunteer FD and they advised me to return at the end of the month. That would be when they were next accepting applications,and would begin the next round of training. I made sure to show up after I got off work wearing my tie and looking professional and think I made a good impression. But for those volunteering what do volunteer departments look for in a candidate? Are they expecting the same requirements as the paid departments? I ask because after I spoke with the Captain I've gotten more and more interested and can't wait for the end of the month so I can put my application in.
    Boy, you asked the $64K question...

    Some VFD's will have the similar requirements as a career FD would, such as being able to pass a CPAT, background check and a psychological exam, a probationary period, mandatory training and fitness standards, a percentage of calls that you must respond to in order to be a member of good standing, and certification for promotion to their officer's ranks.

    Others? They will take any warm body who walks through the door.

    Second, my father was a career firefighter and retired after 24 years. Unfortunately he passed away and I can't ask him many questions about the department. But do local departments factor that in when they hire a prospective fire-fighter (i.e. do they like to promote legacies within the department.)

    I am currently working a desk job and am really kind of tired of this line of work and would like to do something more meaningful with the benefit of helping others. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    T.
    The "legacy" angle may or may not come into play, unless you apply for a job in the career FD where your Dad worked. It usually will not give you an edge anywhere else, unless he died in the line of duty. The legacy thing may help get you in the door, but ptromotion is on your own merit, test scores and assessments.

    Good luck!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  3. #3
    Forum Member
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    My volunteer station wanted to see two things... They wanted to see that i wasn't a jackoff, and that i was interested. After u turn your app in... Show up whenever u can... That will really show them that you want to be a part

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Try to find someone in the particular fire company to sponsor you. Find out what their application process includes. Be aware that not all members of volunteer fire companies are firefighters. Volunteers may also perform EMS or administrative duties, as well as other functions.
    To add to Gonzo's reply...enthusiasm, good attitude, physical fitness, mental aptitude, and the ability to follow instructions are all important. Know-it-all's and super-size egos will probably have a hard time. As for dress, I would suggest casual. Blue jeans are ok in some places but may not apply in your case.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmeagan View Post
    Hi there -

    I have a couple of questions and I am not sure where to begin but after reading some of the other posts, I figured I'd just jump in.

    I am interested in becoming a firefighter and thought a good way to begin would be to become a volunteer. I spoke with my local volunteer FD and they advised me to return at the end of the month. That would be when they were next accepting applications,and would begin the next round of training. I made sure to show up after I got off work wearing my tie and looking professional and think I made a good impression. But for those volunteering what do volunteer departments look for in a candidate? Are they expecting the same requirements as the paid departments? I ask because after I spoke with the Captain I've gotten more and more interested and can't wait for the end of the month so I can put my application in.

    Second, my father was a career firefighter and retired after 24 years. Unfortunately he passed away and I can't ask him many questions about the department. But do local departments factor that in when they hire a prospective fire-fighter (i.e. do they like to promote legacies within the department.)

    I am currently working a desk job and am really kind of tired of this line of work and would like to do something more meaningful with the benefit of helping others. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    T.
    If I were you I would try to get ahold of some of the guys your Dad used to work with. They will have more information on the legacy angle, and probably be willing to assist you.

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