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    Default First Day At Work - Probie

    Hello everyone.

    Just have a few questions for ya.

    1. What can I expect my first day on the job as a fulltimer?
    2. Should I plan on cooking my first shift? Or just bring the normal stuff like icecream, good coffee, and bagels/cream cheese etc.?
    3. Should I bring a notepad to take notes or will this seem annoying to them?
    4. What if I don't remember how something is done that we're drilling on...do they expect that I might have forgotten or should I strive to learn everything their way....and how do I approach asking my officer how he wants it done without sounding like I'm an under educated idiot?
    5. Any good ways to take care of the stress I'm feeling before my big first day? Any good ideas on how to really impress on them that I'm a hard working person without kissing ***?
    6. Should I expect that someone will help guide me through the day on what needs to be done and how to do it correctly or should I assume that I'm gonna be on my own for the most part and have to make sure I ask questions all day without being annoying?

    I've been a PCF Firefighter/DO working an average of 10-15 24hour shifts a month at a paid fulltime station for the last three years but am still nervous going into this new job. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated! Will be asking all these questions to every probie I know.

    Just got the job offer three days ago...supposed to start in June.

    Thanks,
    Mac

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    Just relax and take a breath.

    All you gotta do is be yourself. Be the first one up in the morning, be the last one to sit down at night. If you got hired, you obviously have something they like so just calm yourself, listen and don't talk, do what you are told, and you will be fine.

    Bringing ice cream doesn't hurt either...
    Jason Knecht
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    coffee and donuts don't hurt either.... ;-)..... seriously man, just relax, keep your ears open, and keep your mouth shut unless told to do something. If you don't know how to do what they tell you, ask before you screw it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by macentyre07 View Post
    Hello everyone.

    Just have a few questions for ya.
    1. What can I expect my first day on the job as a fulltimer?
    Filling out a lot of paperwork, followed by doing the scut work in the station that nobody likes to do.

    2. Should I plan on cooking my first shift? Or just bring the normal stuff like icecream, good coffee, and bagels/cream cheese etc.?
    Firehouse cooks are very "territorial", I highly doubt you will be asked to cook unless you were a professional chef in another life. As far as bringing in stuff... it wouldn't hurt, but remember, you are prbably starting out just working days for doing FD orientation. You'll have to bring something for each new duty group until you have covered everyone!

    3. Should I bring a notepad to take notes or will this seem annoying to them?
    Not at all.. but just write pertinent information, and remember.. what happens in the firehouse stays in the firehouse.

    4. What if I don't remember how something is done that we're drilling on...do they expect that I might have forgotten or should I strive to learn everything their way....and how do I approach asking my officer how he wants it done without sounding like I'm an under educated idiot?
    If you are going to a new FD, learn their way. Nothing ****es off people more than when a probie with some experience states "in my old FD, we used to do this, we used to do that..." While some of the operations are the same everywhere, each FD has it's own specific set of SOP/SOGs and way of doing things.

    5. Any good ways to take care of the stress I'm feeling before my big first day? Any good ideas on how to really impress on them that I'm a hard working person without kissing ***?
    Relax. Breathe. Be yourself. Don't wait to be told to do something, whether it washing the rig, cleaning the heads or cleaning up after the meals.

    6. Should I expect that someone will help guide me through the day on what needs to be done and how to do it correctly or should I assume that I'm gonna be on my own for the most part and have to make sure I ask questions all day without being annoying?
    A little of both, actually. The company officers will want to see if you have any initiative, but they don't want to play "diaper"... staying on your probie arse all day.

    I've been a PCF Firefighter/DO working an average of 10-15 24hour shifts a month at a paid fulltime station for the last three years but am still nervous going into this new job. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated! Will be asking all these questions to every probie I know.
    We were all probies once...so here is some advice...

    Keep your eyes and ears open and mouth shut.

    Don't be a clown or a wiseass.

    Ask questions, listen to the answers.

    Watch the firefighters and see who are the "real deal" and who are the "doorway dancers" and "skaters". The latter two will make themselves obvious in short time.

    Listen to the stories the Jakes will tell.. there is some great lessons to be learned from them.

    Always make sure the coffee is on!


    Just got the job offer three days ago...supposed to start in June.

    Thanks,
    Mac
    Welcome and good luck!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 05-19-2007 at 10:29 AM.
    ‎"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."
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Filling out a lot of paperwork, followed by doing the scut work in the station that nobody likes to do.



    Firehouse cooks are very "territorial", I highly doubt you will be asked to cook unless you were a professional chef in another life. As far as bringing in stuff... it wouldn't hurt, but remember, you are prbably starting out just working days for doing FD orientation. You'll have to bring something for each new duty group until you have covered everyone!



    Not at all.. but just write pertinent information, and remember.. what happens in the firehouse stays in the firehouse.



    If you are going to a new FD, learn their way. Nothing ****es off people more than when a probie with some experience states "in my old FD, we used to do this, we used to do that..." While some of the operations are the same everywhere, each FD has it's own specific set of SOP/SOGs and way of doing things.



    Relax. Breathe. Be yourself. Don't wait to be told to do something, wheterher it washing the rig, cleaning the heads or cleaning up after the meals.



    A little of both, actually. The company officers will want to see if you have any initiative, but they don't want to play "diaper"... staying on your probie arse all day.



    We were all probies once...so here is some advice...

    Keep your eyes and ears open and mouth shut.

    Don't be a clown or a wiseass.

    Ask questions, listen to the answers.

    Watch the firefighters and see who are the "real deal" and who are the "doorway dancers" and "skaters". The latter two will make themselves obvious in short time.

    Listen to the stories the Jakes will tell.. there is some great lessons to be learned from them.

    Always make sure the coffee is on!




    Welcome and good luck!
    I think we should name this Captain Gonzo's Guide to Being a Probie: A tutorial to avoid being "that guy." .
    I believe them bones are me. Some say we are born into the grave. I feel so alone, gonna end up a big ol' pile a them bones

    -J. Cantrell

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    Gonzo pretty much covered it all, as usual.

    The only thing I can add is that if you have a question, or you're not sure how something is to be done, ask. If you don't ask, it is assumed that you already know. When your officer tells you to do (whatever it may be) on scene is not the time to ask how it should be done.

    You know the old saying; "The only stupid question..."
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    What ya' should do is drive a vollie chiefs car to work and park it outside the firehouse then walk right into the Captains office, tell him you have "time" on the job and can help him with giving drills, then tell him when you want to work and your vacation picks (think summer time), as for what to bring in, stick with softee doughnuts from the gas station, BIG HIT they are. Next go into the kitchen, and put a bunch of tours you "need" off on the black board and ask whens dinner. After all that, throw your gear on the apparatus floor, take the nozzle position, and then go straight to the TV room and throw your feet up and take a nap...they'll call you if they need you.

    Enjoy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieB View Post
    What ya' should do is drive a vollie chiefs car to work and park it outside the firehouse then walk right into the Captains office, tell him you have "time" on the job and can help him with giving drills, then tell him when you want to work and your vacation picks (think summer time), as for what to bring in, stick with softee doughnuts from the gas station, BIG HIT they are. Next go into the kitchen, and put a bunch of tours you "need" off on the black board and ask whens dinner. After all that, throw your gear on the apparatus floor, take the nozzle position, and then go straight to the TV room and throw your feet up and take a nap...they'll call you if they need you.

    Enjoy!

    You forgot to ask the Boss when the city contractor comes in and cleans the firehouse
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    Virginia Beach FD

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    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieB View Post
    What ya' should do is drive a vollie chiefs car to work and park it outside the firehouse then walk right into the Captains office, tell him you have "time" on the job and can help him with giving drills, then tell him when you want to work and your vacation picks (think summer time), as for what to bring in, stick with softee doughnuts from the gas station, BIG HIT they are. Next go into the kitchen, and put a bunch of tours you "need" off on the black board and ask whens dinner. After all that, throw your gear on the apparatus floor, take the nozzle position, and then go straight to the TV room and throw your feet up and take a nap...they'll call you if they need you.

    Enjoy!

    You seem to have the new proby in another house in my battalion absolutely pegged. You must have taught him well, Vin.
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDAIC485 View Post
    I think we should name this Captain Gonzo's Guide to Being a Probie: A tutorial to avoid being "that guy." .
    Correction it should be "Chief Gonzo's Guide to being a Probie: a tutorial to avoid being that guy"
    Gonzo should collect all his words of wisdom and write a book call it "Words of Wisdom from Da Chief"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjohn23 View Post
    Correction it should be "Chief Gonzo's Guide to being a Probie: a tutorial to avoid being that guy"
    Gonzo should collect all his words of wisdom and write a book call it "Words of Wisdom from Da Chief"
    I cannot take credit, as many of the "words of wisdom" are passed down by those who have done the job before us....
    ‎"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

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    I cannot take credit, as many of the "words of wisdom" are passed down by those who have done the job before us....

    And all this time, I thought you were one of the first.
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    Thumbs up This may be of use

    If your new station is in a area you are not familiar with, as you approach your "patch" suss out names of roads/gas stations/schools/major risks etc, and where they are in relation to the station.

    Don't try to do it in one hit-each and every time you go on duty add a bit to your topographical knowledge-your drivers will know where they are going, but it's nice when every turnout ain't a Magical Mystery Trip to you.

    Good Luck, young'un--welcome to one of the few jobs that you get paid to do that you would do for free.


    P.S-Spend a whole day at least (approx one week from reporting for duty) just roaming out in a large circle from base--get the feel of the place, and the local populace all "patches" are different
    Last edited by 2andfrom; 05-19-2007 at 06:25 PM.

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    CaptG, our Hero!
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    Last edited by FDAIC485; 05-19-2007 at 06:26 PM.
    I believe them bones are me. Some say we are born into the grave. I feel so alone, gonna end up a big ol' pile a them bones

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    I quit! I don't know why it double posted.
    Last edited by FDAIC485; 05-19-2007 at 06:23 PM.
    I believe them bones are me. Some say we are born into the grave. I feel so alone, gonna end up a big ol' pile a them bones

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    Don't forget to mention hazing!!!

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    Forgot to add...

    If you see an open bag of chips or popcorn on the counter, make sure you grab it, sit down and start munching on it.

    You'll fit right in, in no time
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieB View Post
    What ya' should do is drive a vollie chiefs car to work and park it outside the firehouse then walk right into the Captains office, tell him you have "time" on the job and can help him with giving drills, then tell him when you want to work and your vacation picks (think summer time), as for what to bring in, stick with softee doughnuts from the gas station, BIG HIT they are. Next go into the kitchen, and put a bunch of tours you "need" off on the black board and ask whens dinner. After all that, throw your gear on the apparatus floor, take the nozzle position, and then go straight to the TV room and throw your feet up and take a nap...they'll call you if they need you.

    Enjoy!
    Also make sure you tell them you need to leave early so you're going to take the first relief.

    Don't worry about how or when to ask questions. As a new guy you should ask something every day. It shows interest. By asking the senior guys you're showing respect for their experience. As for the officer it's part of what he's there for, guidance and instruction.
    After meals you should be at the kitchen sink doing all the dishes, pots, and pans. No one should have to tell you and don't ask if you should..just do it. Keep doing them for meals. In a few weeks the other guys will start to step in and "give the new guy a break". Even if you have a dishwasher take the dishes and load it, then empty it when it's done.
    Get in at least half an hour or so before your shift. No one likes a minuteman.
    Learn the rig and all the tools on it.
    Learn your area. Vacant, commercial, standpipe connection locations, streets(one way, 2 way, dead end,)
    Best of luck pal. Hope you have a good and productive career.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    Forgot to add...

    If you see an open bag of chips or popcorn on the counter, make sure you grab it, sit down and start munching on it.

    You'll fit right in, in no time
    ....and anything in the refrigerator with no name is open game!!!

    Should we be telling him all this....shouldn't he learn on his own???

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    Something very important that I haven't seen posted yet.

    Have a good sense of humor! You'll be the butt of countless ribbings and practical jokes.
    Take them all in stride. The guys will have some fun with you, but don't take it personal...Seeing how you handle the crap that's thrown at you from all directions is a good indicator of your personality. You're being tested in a way, to see how well you'll fit in.

    BEWARE! The practical jokes await.
    When you least expect it...Expect it!
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    If the sink in your house has a sprayer....no nevermind you will learn soon enough

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    Here are some wise words to live by for everyone in the fire service and especially important for new boys. It was given to us by a brother from FDNY.

    Tim Klett of the FDNY. It is called the 4 UPS.

    The first is, Listen up: When you are first starting in the Fire Service, there is a lot going on. You are entering a culture that is unlike any other one on this planet. You will hear stories, tales and just plain BS. But listen carefully. That is our past talking. All of the information has value; it is up to you to determine how much value it has to you. Listen to the older, over-the-hill, past-their-prime, malcontents, for the little “pearls of wisdom” that aren’t in any textbooks. A lot of important information that will help keep you safe and alive on the fire ground is not written down. The fire service is very young. We are loosing our experience. The F/F’s that went to fires during the war years are slowly retiring. Talk to them before they leave. We are loosing our history, we are loosing our past. Don’t let this happen.

    The second up is, Clean up: The firehouse is your second home. Treat it as such. And if you are the junior F/F working, you are the lowest on the totem pole. You get the dirty work, you get to do the dishes, and you get to mop the floors, and you get to clean the toilets. This is not based on any prejudices of race, sex, or religion. It is based on the fact that all the junior people before you did it, or should have done it. You do it until the next probie is assigned to that company. It is part of belonging, it is doing what you should be doing. And it is always pretty funny, because in my experience, the ones that **** and moan about doing the chores usually end up doing them by themselves for a long time. But the ones that just do it, the ones that are the first to get up to head for the sink after a meal, usually find that they have help. They become excepted into the “family” a little quicker.

    The third up is, Step up: this goes hand in hand with the previous “up” but there is more. Be involved in your company and in your department. Attend company functions, help run them if possible. In NYC every company I ever worked in would have a company picnic in the summer, a Christmas party in the fire house in December, and a dinner-dance sometime during the year. Become a productive member of your Company.
    Above all, go to funerals and services, especially the line of duty ones. Pay your respects. Become a part of the fire service by deed and not by mouth.

    The last up is my favorite; Shut up. This one goes well with listen up, but actually goes a little further. Spend more time listening and doing than talking about it. Show by your actions and your deeds what type of F/F and member of this great Brotherhood you are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieB View Post
    What ya' should do is drive a vollie chiefs car to work and park it outside the firehouse then walk right into the Captains office, tell him you have "time" on the job and can help him with giving drills, then tell him when you want to work and your vacation picks (think summer time), as for what to bring in, stick with softee doughnuts from the gas station, BIG HIT they are. Next go into the kitchen, and put a bunch of tours you "need" off on the black board and ask whens dinner. After all that, throw your gear on the apparatus floor, take the nozzle position, and then go straight to the TV room and throw your feet up and take a nap...they'll call you if they need you.

    Enjoy!
    You forgot: "I'm a Fireman, I don't do Medic Assists."
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    Stay away from open windows and the front of the firehouse is not the place to hang out while on probation!

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    Don't forget when you get there go straight to the dorm and find the best bunk there preferably the officers and just take all his $hit and throw it in the hallway and then make your bed. Remember you're the probie you come first.

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