Thread: ok what now?

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    Last edited by jcgafford; 12-19-2007 at 01:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcgafford View Post
    the red flags the chief remembers is that when my neighbors were contacted they neither had good nor bad to say and that my grades in what sounded like high school were't that great(over 13 years ago).
    The chief actually said that? Seriously, I would reconsider working for a FD where the chief is concerned about grades you had in High School 13 years ago. My guess is he either confused you with someone else or already had a candidate in mind and made that answer up to blow you off.
    -------------------
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    I'm nobody for nothing, but I HIGHLY doubt they tanked you for bad grades 13 years ago (or indifferent neighbors).

    Sounds like you simply weren't the right fit and the chief was put on the spot by your call, or they had you mixed up with someone else.

    Thats my uneducated guess...

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    Last edited by jcgafford; 12-19-2007 at 01:58 PM.

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    Are you sure it wasnt because of your spelling skills or sentence structure? Good God man, clean it up a bit. I am not some English Major, but look at your writing skills. (again, I am not perfect)

    Welcome to the world of testing. I have scored well on several test and have been passed over. It just happens. I should have gotten a job, but the wrong color, zip code, hair cut, blah, blah, blah...

    Was this your only test? Where is your plan B? Plan C? Get back out there and stay in the game. Come back and see me after 5 years of testing and still no job. Because thats where some candidates find themselves. Its a long process, like trying to break in to acting, professional sports, etc.

    Are you getting any outside help? Like-

    www.eatstress.com
    www.fireprep.com
    www.aspiringfirefighter.com

    Probably not. Get back up to speed and in the game vs. coming in here to vent.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 12-19-2007 at 12:06 AM.

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    Last edited by jcgafford; 12-19-2007 at 01:58 PM.

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    While Calffbou's message was a little harsh, he is right on the money. Go back and reread your post. Count the number of gramatical and punctuation errors. You are graded on everything.

    We have dozens of candidate from which to choose. Could your grades from THE LAST TIME YOU WERE IN SCHOOL hurt you? Of course they can. As a new firefighter you will be expected to learn new material. If your track record for learning is not very impressive, why would you be selected? You will be expected to learn and retain new information. If you have not continued your education, the chief can only assume that your ability to learn and retain information has decreased, not gotten stronger.
    The best way that you can prove this is no longer an issue is to enroll in school and do well in your classes. My high school grades were awful. I barely graduated with a 2.86 GPA. I never saw myself as a good student. I have returned to school. I have one class left for my Bachelors degree. My GPA is 3.5.

    As far as the talk the background investigator had with your neighbors goes, we are looking to hire standouts in the community. It sounds like they described you as a “vanilla” guy who lived next door. We are looking for pillars of the community. What can you do? Get involved. People who do well coach little league, are involved with their church or youth group. You get the idea.

    Being a firefighter is a lifestyle. You are on duty 24/7. We don’t expect you to change when we put a badge on your chest; rather we hire good people who have already lived their lives in such a way that we want them to become a member of our department.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Last edited by BCLepore; 12-19-2007 at 09:00 AM.

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    Here is an example of what I mean by getting involved in your community.
    Community Service
    One of the important aspects of being a firefighter is community involvement. This comes in many forms. To some it may be as a little league or soccer coach, while others are involved in the boys and girls club. Some may be active at church. Whatever you choose to do, it is important to be active in the community.
    Many candidates tell me that they have so much going on, they do not have time to get involved in their neighborhood. Although they would like to make a difference in the community, there are just not enough hours in the day. What is important is not the number of hours spent helping others, but rather the purpose of your involvement. It is key to understand that the fire service is looking to hire people with a certain character and makeup.
    The desire to be active in the community should come from within. It should be done for the right reasons, not because it will look good on an application. Frequently an applicant will inquire as to what would look best to a fire department, an involvement at the homeless shelter or becoming a little league coach. Unfortunately, these candidates are completely missing the point. You should not be doing these activities because they look good on a resume; rather, they are the right things to do.
    Take a moment to reflect on the man or woman in your neighborhood who is involved in a positive way. He or she is always striving to make the world a better place and is a positive influence in society. Imagine if you put a firefighter badge and uniform on this person. It is not difficult to imagine all of the good he or she could do. If you can recognize what a good person he or she is, so can everyone else. This is the quality of the candidate we are looking for in the fire service.
    Take an introspective look at yourself. When you tell people you are going to be a firefighter, do they say, “Really? I can’t picture you as a firefighter.” If they say, “Yes, I can see from the way you conduct yourself that it is a natural transition for you. In fact, I would like to introduce you to my friend who is a firefighter and perhaps he could help you out.” If the latter is the reception you receive from your friends and aquaintances, you are probably on the right track.
    The general public has a high degree of respect for firefighters. There is an expectation of how firefighters conduct themselves both on and off duty. If the people who know you best can see you in the role, this is probably a good barometer. If, on the other hand, they are surprised at your decision, it may be a good time to look in the mirror for a reality check.
    This is not to say that fire departments are looking for community activists to become firefighters; rather, it helps them identify candidates with the attributes they are seeking. If it works well in the community, it works well for the fire department.
    The fire service is about being unselfish. It is a way of life. Firefighters are continually volunteering on their days off to help out with things that are for the benefit of others. Much of our off-duty time is spent visiting sick children in the hospital, putting a roof on the home of an elderly widow who is on a fixed income, or pouring concrete at one of the fire stations.
    Whatever the request, there is always somebody on the job with the expertise who is willing to lead the project. It is critical to have worker bees to help get the job done. If volunteering your time is not a priority to you before you get hired, what would convince the fire chief that you would be willing to volunteer your time after he or she hires you? Again, it is a way of life for most firefighters.
    Some fire departments will bring up community involvement as part of the structured interview. Most candidates will struggle with this question. It may not be that they have nothing to say; rather, they have volunteered for the right reasons and are not seeking recognition. These candidates can usually respond well if they simply compose their answer. A candidate, however, who does nothing for the community will certainly not score well in this aspect of the interview.
    Presenting your volunteer activity in an interview is difficult to do without boasting. It is akin to making a donation at church and then telling everyone how much money you gave. The fact that you boasted about it cancels out the good deed. It is more important to do the good deed for the right reasons than to try to get “credit” for doing so.
    An opportune time to mention that you are involved in community activities would be during the initial question, “Tell us about yourself.” Another place would be to bring it up in the closing statement. You could present it by stating that you are aware that being a firefighter involves much more than working “eight to eight and then out the gate.” There is an expectation that every firefighter will become involved in fire department or community activities on his or her days off.
    I refer to this as leading the board. If they want to inquire as to what you meant, they will ask more about it. If they do not choose to pursue it, you can assume they know what you are talking about. Whichever the outcome, it is important that you are prepared to discuss your community involvement.
    Community involvement comes from within. If you are struggling to “find” something to get involved in, then you are not getting the message. Get involved with groups, activities, or functions that you believe in. They are a statement about who you are. Your time is the most valuable gift. Use it wisely on things you believe in, not on what other people think you should.


    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    Last edited by jcgafford; 12-19-2007 at 01:58 PM.

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    I hate seeing this word misspelled;
    grammar

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    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU View Post
    Are you sure it wasnt because of your spelling skills or sentence structure? Good God man, clean it up a bit. I am not some English Major, but look at your writing skills. (again, I am not perfect)

    Welcome to the world of testing. I have scored well on several test and have been passed over. It just happens. I should have gotten a job, but the wrong color, zip code, hair cut, blah, blah, blah...

    Was this your only test? Where is your plan B? Plan C? Get back out there and stay in the game. Come back and see me after 5 years of testing and still no job. Because thats where some candidates find themselves. Its a long process, like trying to break in to acting, professional sports, etc.

    Are you getting any outside help? Like-

    www.eatstress.com
    www.fireprep.com
    www.aspiringfirefighter.com

    Probably not. Get back up to speed and in the game vs. coming in here to vent.
    Read and take to heart the comments about your grammar and sentence structure. I stopped reading your post 1/3 way through because your grammar was so damn poor. How you present yourself is key, I wouldn't give you a second look after reading your opening post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcgafford View Post
    While I only have a moment to post as I am at work I will quickly point out that I have covered these bases. As for my grammer and punctuation. While in a chat forum truthfully I do not worry about it. If you were to compare these postings with documents I write for work or my current department, or patient reports that I write for EMS you would know that this is just a matter of multi tasking and typing. As for most current grades.... I graduated two years ago from college with a degree in the EMS field, second in my class with a 3.89 gpa while working full time and completing the county run fire I & II school. Grades, preperation, and experience are not a problem compared to others that have made the list. Rather I believe a background check that was sent to the chief was read differently than it was intended by the officer. I know this because I have spoken to both within ten minutes of each other and the stories don't match.
    #1. It seems with this post you've attempted to focus more on grammar and sentence structure. But, I can point out over ten major grammatical errors.

    #2. You can say, "I don't care about my grammar while posting on message boards.", but that only shows your true self. People write as they think. Yes, message board postings often have misspelled words and several minor grammatical errors due to mistyping. Your postings have MAJOR grammatical errors.

    #3. NEVER say you are better than other candidates. You don't know what the department is looking for. Assuming such a thing is ignorant.

    If you are serious about getting into the fire service start working on your communication skills and physical fitness. Also, grow thick skin because you're going to get harsh feedback and replies here and throughout the fire service.

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    Last edited by jcgafford; 12-19-2007 at 02:43 PM.

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    Ummm....Ok....1234567899

    Way to bow out.

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    Here's the deal stud. I did not join this forum, nor post here to argue grammar or sentence structure online. Or to argue anything else for that matter. I tried to leave a little background and ask a couple of simple questions from people that are supposed to be interested in some of the same things as I and was hijacked by the english department. Yes, I saw the validity of the comments but after the first one, it became a waste of time to read on. Get over it. For some reason most members could not so I took away their fuel. So bow out? Maybe. Refuse to stoop to a lower level and argue back and forth? Absolutely. Have a great holiday and stay safe.

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    Talking

    Hey Stud- No one is trying to knock you down or hurt you. Just giving some friendly advice. Welcome to the fire service, we like to joke and smoke. If someone is rubbing you, embrace it. (not literally)

    If I remember correctly, sounds like you took only ONE test and it didnt flow your way? Testing for a paid job is like dating and marriage, you most likely wont get lucky the first time out. Some hit the jackpot their first test ever. Like I said, get a plan B and C, then start taking more tests, education and look at those websites. (I probably shocked BC Paul with the third listing. Give me a cut baby!)

    Learn how to market yourself. What classes and certs do you need to get there? Please look at all areas within yourself to get ready for the next test.

    Hey- If you did make it to the backgrounds and the hiring list the first time out, my hat is off to you. I admit, I failed my first, second and maybe third written for FF in the late 80s and early 90s. And I am not the english police here, just wanted to give you a heads up. It would be wrong of me NOT to say something afterthat initial display. Most of us admit, we make love to the Spell Checker. Atleast Capt. Bob, BC Paul and myself.

    So man up, get on the horse or just get that game plan together and forget the first test. If a department wants you, they will call. If they dont, screw them, move on and look ahead.

    Ok, someone please grade my spelling now.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 12-20-2007 at 03:36 AM.

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    I hear ya loud and clear. Totally agree! Not trying to really "bow out" just not in the mood to let this thread go the way I have watched others go.
    Last edited by jcgafford; 12-20-2007 at 09:13 AM.

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