1. #1

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    Default New probie here....

    After five hard years of work I just got my formal offer today, I start the academy with Portland Fire Bureau on the 31st of this month. I am new to the fire service, although I did take my FS flasses as well as Paramedic school. Any advice for a 31 year old probie?

    Kelly Webber
    Firefighter-Trainee / EMT

  2. #2
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    AZFF25's Avatar
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    Red face Congradulations!

    STATION LIFE
    _______________________________


    Eye's and ear's open...........mouth shut. Learn all you can and study! You have no right to having opinions.....you are not "one of the guy's" yet. You will have at least a year of probation. No sitting in the "blue chairs" (recliners), no watching TV, last to go to sleep, first to get up, make the coffee, put the flag up, clean the crappers, mop the floors, make sure the station is locked an secure at 5PM, first one in turn out's and on the apparatus ready to go. Volunteer for any duties that need to be done around the station. Mow the lawn. Check all your equipment on the engine/truck/ambulance in the morning. Bring in the newspaper. Help the cook that day with lunch/dinner. Set the table, do the dishes. You are the last one to serve yourself chow. Be the first to answer the station phone. Leave your CELL phone in your vehicle. You will have no time for personal phone calls. Give your wife/girlfriend the station number and tell them to call ONLY IN A DIRE EMERGENCY!!! Answer yes sir/no sir to your crew unless they tell you otherwise.


    Bring ice cream, bagels/cream cheese your first shift. And don't bring the cheap sh*t. Bring name brand ice cream in the round half-gallon containers (Bryers, Hagen Daze, etc) Bagels need to be fresh from a bagel store. Bring a variety....not all one flavor. Same with the cream cheese. You could also bring some gormet coffee. Nothing more ****es me off than when we get a new snot nosed BOOT and they don't bring anything for us on their first shift. Show's how appreciative they are to be there.

    Not meant in a bad way. Congradulations on your accomplishment! Welcome to the best career in the world.


    AZFF
    IAFF L-2146
    Last edited by AZFF25; 05-16-2007 at 02:57 PM.
    __________________
    "Too many freaks and not enough circuses!"

  3. #3
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    BCLepore has some great posts aout Probie life, Perhaps you should do a search of his posts.

    -Damien

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up What to Expect From A Fire Academy

    A post from BC Paul Lepore-
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________



    What to Expect From A Fire Academy

    The following was written by an anonymous rookie firefighter shortly after being hired by a major Southern California fire department.


    I recently graduated from a tower this past spring/summer where 50 started but only 30 graduated. This is almost a 50% failure rate. I can only share my experiences of what I saw. If you talk to other people, they may have keyed into different things.

    Poor Attitude:

    1. Igmrís (I got mine) Ė if you have this mind set the instructors will quickly identify you as someone who is not a team player.


    2. Be a listener, not a teacher. If you know something, share it with your classmates during lunchtime. Donít suggest something to an instructor about a trick you learned as a fire explorer or as a firefighter from another fire department. Remember, you are trying to pass the tests (manipulative and academic) the ďtowerĒ way, not the ďfieldĒ way.


    3. Keep your ears open and your mouth shut. Only chitchat with your buddies at lunchtime. Donít join into conversations that shouldnít be going on in the first place.


    4. Donít talk badly about your instructors or your fellow cadets.


    5. Donít make excuses. If you screw up, donít apologize; just move on. Most importantly donít make the same mistake twice.


    6. Donít go out with your buddies on weekends to ďtake a break,Ē because thatís how people get into trouble. DUIís, fights and public intoxication are a sure way to get dismissed from the academy.


    7. Do not brown nose your instructor. They are not your friends, nor will they ever want to be. Show respect and you will do fine.


    8. Remember you are there for a badge, not to gain friends. Keep the non-essential talk for after you leave the drill tower grounds.

    9. Support your fellow cadets as much as you would want to be supported. You will not make it through without their help and vice versa.

    Physical conditioning

    The first 3 weeks were the most difficult. It appeared they wanted to weed out the weaker candidates. We had 13 people quit in the first week and a half, many of these in the first two days.
    The physical agility test is not even close to the exertion you will go through in the tower. If you barely pass the agility test, you are in trouble. Each day you will go home sore, bruised and strained. Due to the fast pace, your body does not have a chance to recover from one day to the next. The better your physical condition, the greater the chance your body can adapt to the rigorous training. It is imperative to be in the best shape possible. If you arenít, you are going to get hurt.

    Mental Conditioning

    After the first 4 weeks of our 14-week academy, it started sinking in that we were going to be here for a while. Itís mentally draining. You have to stay focused or you will never make it.
    It is extremely stressful to prepare for a manipulative exam knowing that if you donít perform you will lose your job. Everyone in the academy had to perform an evolution a second time knowing that this was his or her last and final opportunity. I guarantee it will happen to anyone who enters an academy. Being able to perform under pressure is critical. Remember, you are your own worst enemy.

    Academic
    You will be exposed to information about a myriad of different topics while in the academy. You are expected to know every piece of information that has been presented. You will be tested on it weekly, sometimes daily.
    People failed out of my academy for a variety of reasons. Probably the main reason was poor physical conditioning. Even those who survived the first 10 days had physical conditioning issues. It was apparent who was struggling. When you are tired and run down, you donít think clearly. This leads to mistakes, which in turn lead to bringing attention to yourself. Ultimately, you find yourself fighting for your job.
    There are many things you can do to enhance your opportunity for success in the academy. First and foremost, maintain top physical conditioning. The better shape you are in, the better your chances of avoiding injury and making unnecessary mistakes.

    Secondly, put yourself through a fire academy at the local community college. The more familiar you are with ladders, hose and SCBAís, the better your chances of being successful in the academy.
    The academy is extremely fast-paced. Those who did not have previous experience to draw from definitely had a more difficult time. Fortunately I had been through a basic fire academy. I have to admit that the academy at the community college, although at the time seemed hard, was like a day at Disneyland compared to the fire departmentís academy.
    Learn how to study before you enter the academy. Find a place where you can sit down and get away from the world and immerse yourself in the books. Set it up beforehand; donít wait until you start the academy to figure out where you are going to study.
    Form study groups early. Take a look around and try to identify who appears to be focused on making it through. There is no doubt that there is a benefit to having someone to bounce questions off. He or she may interpret the reading material differently than you and key into something you may have misinterpreted. In addition, he or she will pick you up when you are struggling, and vice versa.
    Take fire science courses prior to entering the academy. The more background and exposure you have to the fire service, the better you will fare. Remember each night you will be assigned a ton of reading. You are physically exhausted after being on the grinder all day long. It is difficult to maintain concentration to sit and study for a written exam the next day. The more information you have before entering the academy, the easier the material is to digest in a shorter time frame.
    Completing the academy is one of the most challenging things you will ever go through. The more you can stack the deck in your favor, the better the chances of making it through. Donít take it lightly. The work is just beginning.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com





    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______________________________
    AZFF
    __________________
    "Too many freaks and not enough circuses!"

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    Though I wanted badly to go,I never went to BUD/S to get SEAL qualified in the Navy.However,I did end up hanging with a few over numerous adult beverages and learned that the word "TEAMWORK" translates into most every human endeavor.
    Fighting fires is physical enough without having to do all the work by yourself.
    If you see a classmate having trouble tying a knot that you learned when you were six,help them out.If another probie is struggling to do a one man ladder raise,show them a way that uses leverage better.
    Don't be condescending when you do help.Ask if they want to be shown a different way that could work better before going to"Here.Let me show you how to do it.".Leave that approach to the instructors who as mentioned elsewhere in the Chief's list are not there to be your friends but to teach you how to do the job.
    When the classes are over and you are assigned to a house,follow the advice listed here and let the word get out from others that you can be trusted with their lives(if trusted with not their money or their wives )


    Quote Originally Posted by AZFF25 View Post
    A post from BC Paul Lepore-

    9. Support your fellow cadets as much as you would want to be supported. You will not make it through without their help and vice versa.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______________________________
    AZFF

  6. #6

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    Default thanks

    Thanks for all of the advice, It will surely help me get through this grueling process. I know that I am my own worse enemy, I am fully prepared to make any and all sacrifices necessary for getting through this and moving on for a long and fruitful career!

    Thanks again...

  7. #7
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    if you want more info or have questions about portland's academy, send me a PM and i'll be willing to help you out.

  8. #8
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    Let us know how your first day goes

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kweb75 View Post
    Thanks for all of the advice, It will surely help me get through this grueling process. I know that I am my own worse enemy, I am fully prepared to make any and all sacrifices necessary for getting through this and moving on for a long and fruitful career!

    Thanks again...
    Congratulations!

    It sounds to me like you've already got the right attitude. That's the biggest obstacle for many recruits.

    Good luck and study hard!




    Kevin
    Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
    IAFF Local 2339
    K of C 4th Degree
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    Member I.A.C.O.J.
    http://www.tfdfire.com/
    "Fir na tine"

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