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    Default What I need to do to become a firefighter

    i dont know if this is the right forum to post this but i going to post it anyway to see if anyone can help me. i am an aspiring firefighter but i dont know were to start?? i am 18 and i live in ohio but i dont know what steps to take to try and get a career in firefighting? can anyone please explain to me how and what i need to do to become a firefighter?? Please!!

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    I am not from OHio... but usually what you need to be a FF trainee are..

    EMT-B, Highschool grad, AHA Healthcare Provider CPR card..

    just call the HR of the cities that you are interested in and ask them the minimum req. for Entry level FF.

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    To dramatically increase your chances of becoming a firefighter in Ohio, you will need to become a paramedic. 95% of the departments that test in Ohio require you to be a paramedic or be enrolled in a paramedic school.

    You will see postings by some people on this thread that will tell you to get your degree first. A degree in Ohio will get you ZERO jobs. In fact, almost all jobs in the Midwest and eastern part of the US will require you to be a paramedic. There are still a lot of big cities that do not require you to be a paramedic but that will be changing in the next five to ten years.

    Be careful to whom you are listening on these threads. The advice they give relates to their area of the country about having colleges degrees and do not realize that it doesn't matter in other areas of the country. Maybe someone missed out on a promotion because they did not have a degree and now they feel that everyone needs a degree to get the job of a firefighter. My question is, if you can't even take the test to get the job because you're not a paramedic, why would you worry about having a college degree. You can worry about that at a later time. Do what you have to do to get the job first !!

    Again, become a paramedic first then if you have time get your degree.


    Since 1950, Don McNea Fire School has prepared over 40,000 fire applicants with our entry level seminars and products. Fireprep.com has over 250 pages of FREE information and career articles to help you reach your goal of becoming a firefighter.

    Go to www.fireprep.com and register for our free fireprep e-mail newsletter that currently has over 29,000 subscribers. This newsletter features career articles by the countries top entry level authors .
    Last edited by dmfireschool; 12-22-2007 at 04:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by younggun View Post
    i dont know if this is the right forum to post this but i going to post it anyway to see if anyone can help me. i am an aspiring firefighter but i dont know were to start?? i am 18 and i live in ohio but i dont know what steps to take to try and get a career in firefighting? can anyone please explain to me how and what i need to do to become a firefighter?? Please!!
    Well, I'm from OH and here's how I went about it. The first thing I did was enroll in an EMT-Basic coarse at the local community college. Midway through the class, I was hired volunteer/paid-on-call by the local fire department. Over the next few years I gained some valuable experience and the department paid for my Fire Academy (240 FF1&2) and Paramedic School. After about 2 years, I worked my way into a part-time position with the same department. I left OH after 5 years for a career job in Maryland.

    Like Don, my advice would be to pursue that paramedic certification. It's extremely important in OH.

    What part of OH are you located? That will help some of us give you more detailed information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmfireschool View Post
    Be careful to whom you are listening on these threads. Some people give advice that relates to their area of the country about colleges degrees and do not realize that it doesn't matter in other areas of the country. Maybe someone missed out on a promotion because they did not have a degree and now they feel that everyone needs a degree to get the job of a firefighter. My question is, if you can't even take the test to get the job because you're not a paramedic, why would you worry about a promotion. You can worry about that at later time. Do what you have to do to get the job first !!
    Have to go along with the chief here. If you really want to get a firefighter job consider these points:

    Is there a requirement for an advanced degree to get a firefighter job?

    Answer: Few if any. A fraction of departments list an advanced degree as desirable but not required.

    Where are 80% of the job offerings?

    Answer: Fire/medics

    There are up to 800 candidates chasing each firefighter job. How many are chasing a fire/medic job?

    Answer: 12-20. Which odds do you like better?

    Ask yourself who's 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.

    What’s the time line? If you’re 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 you’re hired? Will departments give you an education incentive?

    Answer: Yes to both.

    Yes, having a degree will help with promotions but how long will it be before you will qualify to take a promotional exam?

    Answer: Engineer depending on the agency 3 plus years. An officer? Five or more years. So if you get on you could obtain the necessary education before your first promotional test to be in position. And, the department will pay for you to go to college. And, to be able to use the advanced degree you have to get the J-O-B first.

    From another candidate:

    With all due respect to all that was said, speaking as a volunteer firefighter who has a 4 year degree, I would say that getting your BA or BS for a firefighter job is not a good way to go. I got my BS, and $100,000 later, I'm hoping to work in a job that requires only a technical certification that costs $250. and having the BS with out the tech cert makes me pretty much unhirable.

    Get your paramedic. get your FF1 and FF2. get your hazmat tech. those are what is going to make you valuable to a company. A 4 year degree is worthwhile, but only if you use it. most departments aren't requiring them. some departments will even pay for you to attend college courses. yes, it helps if you want to become an officer or a chief officer. but your going for entry level. your going to have to pass the physical, pass the psych test, pass the written, and pass the oral board.

    Focus on your goal and don't let anything get in your way until you get it.
    _____________________________________________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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    well i don't know if you have ever heard of the city but I am from Mansfield,Ohio. So I don't know if you're familiar with this city but if you are and can give me some more advice that would be great! But I would just love to become a firefighter period!! So if you guys have anymore advice for me please feel free to keep it coming!!

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    I would recommend finding out where you want to work and how the hiring process happens in that area. Seriously consider wokring on your higher education. Yes, college.

    There are other places on the internet for you to start-

    www.eatstress.com

    Hit up Capt. Bob, he has some good stuff.

    Please understand you have a long way to go if you want to be a Professional Firefighter. Some of the links above should get you started.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 12-25-2007 at 05:15 AM.

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    Two-Year Plan



     If still in high school look into a Regional Occupational Program (ROP).

    Many local fire departments have community outreach recruitment programs.

     Graduate from high school or obtain your GED.

    A diploma is much preferred.

     Talk with a counselor at a community college that offers fire science courses.

    Set up a course curriculum that allows you to obtain a two-year degree in fire science. If the local college does not offer a fire science program, find one that does.

    This curriculum should also allow you to complete the prerequisite courses for a fire academy.

     Take an Emergency Medical Technician Course (EMT).

    This will accomplish a few things. First of all, it is a course required by most departments. It will also let you know if this profession is for you. If you find you can’t handle the sight of blood or helping people during crises, the fire service may not be for you.

     Enroll in a state certified fire academy.

    Many departments require completion of a Firefighter 1 Academy prior to taking the entry-level exam.

    Completion of a fire academy prior to being hired will greatly enhance a candidate’s chance of successfully completing the fire department’s academy. Many fire departments have a 25 – 30% failure rate.


     Find out if your community has either a fire department volunteer program or Fire Explorers.


    Volunteering in the fire department is an excellent way to gain real life experience. This exposure will also allow you to determine if this is indeed the right career choice for you.


     Volunteer in your community.

    Find something that you are interested in and volunteer your time: church, sports, hospital, YMCA, Red Cross, etc. It doesn’t matter. Get involved. Volunteering is something that should be done because it’s the right thing to do, not because it will look good on a firefighter application.


    Firefighters are self-motivated and have historically been involved in their communities. The perception is that if you are helping out in your community now, you will be the type who will likely continue to stay involved after you are hired, helping out in various committees and groups both on and off the job.

     Visit the local fire stations.

    Interview the firefighters and elicit their help in planning your career path. It is a tremendous compliment to the firefighters to have someone aspire to be in their position. Visiting the fire stations will help you learn about the job and the culture of the fire service. In addition, you will learn of things that you could be doing to enhance your chances of getting hired. Ultimately, when the department hires, you will be in a good position since the firefighters have gotten to know you and have taken the time to mentor you. There is nothing better than a “home grown” prospect.

     Prepare for a fire department interview.

    Consider the reasons why you want to become a firefighter and be able to express them. Do your research and learn the rules of the road concerning the interview process. Participate in “mock” interviews with firefighters.

     Start a log that includes everything you have done to prepare yourself.

    Include details, dates, and names of instructors. Include any personal experiences that may be pertinent to becoming a firefighter.
    A few examples of this could be:

    You witnessed a car accident and were able to render aid.

    You volunteered your time at the Boys and Girls club.


    You experienced a life-changing event.

    You were voted most inspirational on your athletic team or your fire academy.

    Your high school athletic team won the championship.

    You were a lifeguard at the city pool.

    Anything that you think might be significant. There are no rules. Write it down!

    This information will go on your resume, or may be speaking points in an interview. This is preparing you to answer difficult questions in an interview, such as, “Please share with the panel a stressful time in your life, and how you dealt with it.”

    The log should just be an easy and accessible memory jogger for you. If you are comfortable with a pencil and notepad, keep them in your room in a convenient spot so you won’t forget to use them. If you are more comfortable on the computer, then use it to formulate your thoughts and ideas.

     Get in shape.

    Firefighting is a very physical job requiring peak physical strength and endurance. If you are not in good physical condition, it will become very evident during the physical agility testing or the pre-hire medical exam. It is also important to look as if you are physically prepared for the job.

    If you see a firefighter who looks out of shape, don’t look at him and think, “If he got hired, so can I!” Odds are he was in better physical condition when he was first hired. You are trying to do everything you can to improve your chances. This is a very important part that you have complete control over!

     Look the part!

    The rule of thumb in an interview is to hire someone who you can see becoming a member or your crew tomorrow. A candidate who walks in with excessive facial hair, large tattoos or body piercing that is not permitted by the department’s policies presents as a candidate who is not ready for the position. Do not make the mistake of saying that you will remove them when you are ready to be hired. You are making a statement. It is important to understand that the fire department is a paramilitary organization. These will definitely not improve your chances of success.

     Dress professionally.
    Invest in a suit and tie. Although not required for the interview, a candidate who does not wear one stands out. First impressions are critical. Make sure the suit is conservative, not flashy.

    Dress professionally whenever you will have contact with members of the department. This includes station visits. Remember, it is important to make a good first impression.

     Enroll in a service that lets you know which departments are testing.

    There are several businesses on the Internet that will inform you of which departments are testing and what their requirements are.

    Most departments test every 2-3 years. They will then hire from the “eligibility list” until it expires. The window to file an application is usually very small, ranging from as short as 1 day to as long as 30 days. Once the filing period is closed, the department will not accept any more applications. If you don’t have a subscription to one these services, you will miss a lot of opportunities.

     Talk to your family.

    The decision to become a firefighter is a monumental one. It will most likely be a long road that requires a lot of time and sacrifice. If you don’t have a family or friend support network, it will become extremely difficult. Most importantly, if your spouse does not support your decision, you are destined for failure.

     Surround yourself with reputable people.

    A firefighter position is a life choice, not just a job. You must be prepared to live your life with excellent moral and ethical values. For this you will need the support of family and friends who are good role models. If your friends are not a positive influence in the community, you may want to find a new set of friends. Remember the old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” A background check will scrutinize not only you, but also the company you keep.

     Learn a trade.

    Woodworking, framing, electrical, plumbing, welding and automotive are all common examples of a trade. Firefighting is a very physical job that requires good psychomotor skills and a hands-on approach. Typically those who have learned a trade possess these applicable job skills. If you know how a building is constructed, you will be able to predict how a fire will travel through it. If you know where the electrical and plumbing is typically run behind the drywall, you will most likely know where it would be safe to open it up. You will also have become very comfortable with power tools. The importance of being able to work with your hands cannot be overstated.

    If you don’t currently have this kind of experience, start taking classes in a trade at your community college. You will at least learn the basics. Back this up with some real life practical experience. It will be invaluable knowledge and will play out well in an interview. Mechanical aptitude cannot be learned in an Internet class or while sitting behind a computer.

     Improve your public speaking skills.

    If you are uncomfortable getting up in front of a group, you must take steps to overcome your fear. The largest percentage of the testing process is the interview, and ultimately a large part of the job deals with public speaking! You won’t talk a fire out, but you will talk to different groups about how to prevent them. If you can present yourself well in an interview, you are leaps and bounds ahead of the others who can’t. Even if the other candidates have more experience than you, the job will usually be awarded to the candidate who can present him or herself in a clear and concise manner.

    If public speaking is your downfall, it is imperative to join Toastmasters or take some courses at your community college. A speech and debate class is an excellent way to get over the jitters. Acting or drama classes can also be an excellent way to feel more comfortable in front of a group.

    Teaching others can also help you learn to think on your feet. Whether you are teaching CPR and First Aid or your local Sunday school class, it will help you learn to present information clearly and field questions.

    A typical interview question might be, “What do you consider a weakness about yourself?” Your answer could be, “I used to feel uncomfortable getting up and speaking in front of a group. I knew this was a very important part of my chosen vocation. I took several classes at my community college to help improve my comfort level. Since then I feel much more confident in my ability to speak in public.”

    You can have all of the best traits in the world, but if you can’t effectively convey them in an interview they will go unnoticed. Now that’s turning a negative into a positive!

     Maintain a clean driving and criminal record.

    It goes without saying that firefighters are held to a standard that is much higher than the average citizen. The road is littered with firefighter candidates who have failed their background check due to a poor driving or criminal record.

     Maintain a good credit history.

    Your credit history is a reflection of your reliability, honesty, organization and attention to detail.

     Update your resume.

    Make sure your resume has no technical or grammatical errors, is well organized and comprehensive. Ask reliable friends or family to proofread it.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    Default what to do to become a fireman?

    I too am from the sorry state of Ohio. The first thing that you need to do is get used to the fact that there are very few jobs in Ohio, and EXTREMELY intense competition for the few that are out there. If I were you I would be ready to relocate, if not within the state, somewhere in the south or out west.

    So here is what I did, and I got hired as a career fireman on my 21st birthday. First off, get yourself to an EMT-B class. Second Get yourself to the Ohio Fire Academy...I realize that it is expensive, and you can get your 240 (FF I+II) a lot of places, but in my opinion you CANNOT beat the education you will receive there...top notch instructors/facility.

    Once you have that get yourself on a part time fire department-you will gain valuable experience and make most of your rookie mistakes there. After you do that, you MUST go to Paramedic school. For as stone-age as Ohio can be, the fire service is fairly advanced in that most places require you to be a Paramedic just to apply...or if you get lucky within 1 year of employment.

    Now all the while when this is going on, go buy an almanac from the book store. There is a section in it that shows the populations of the biggest cities in the country....go on their websites and take all their tests. There is also a section that lists the cities in the country with the most growth.....take all their tests....WHENVER YOU HEAR OF A CIVIL SERVICE TEST.....TAKE IT!!!

    In my opinion the only way to get a job without waiting a long freaking time is to take every test under the sun. When I got my job they made me list all the hiring processes I was going through, and it was something like 16....(either on the list, took the test, waiting for a call etc).

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    Default what to do

    I too am from the sorry state of Ohio. The first thing that you need to do is get used to the fact that there are very few jobs in Ohio, and EXTREMELY intense competition for the few that are out there. If I were you I would be ready to relocate, if not within the state, somewhere in the south or out west.

    So here is what I did, and I got hired as a career fireman on my 21st birthday. First off, get yourself to an EMT-B class. Second Get yourself to the Ohio Fire Academy...I realize that it is expensive, and you can get your 240 (FF I+II) a lot of places, but in my opinion you CANNOT beat the education you will receive there...top notch instructors/facility.

    Once you have that get yourself on a part time fire department-you will gain valuable experience and make most of your rookie mistakes there. After you do that, you MUST go to Paramedic school. For as stone-age as Ohio can be, the fire service is fairly advanced in that most places require you to be a Paramedic just to apply...or if you get lucky within 1 year of employment.

    Now all the while when this is going on, go buy an almanac from the book store. There is a section in it that shows the populations of the biggest cities in the country....go on their websites and take all their tests. There is also a section that lists the cities in the country with the most growth.....take all their tests....WHENVER YOU HEAR OF A CIVIL SERVICE TEST.....TAKE IT!!!

    In my opinion the only way to get a job without waiting a long freaking time is to take every test under the sun. When I got my job they made me list all the hiring processes I was going through, and it was something like 16....(either on the list, took the test, waiting for a call etc).

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by younggun View Post
    well i don't know if you have ever heard of the city but I am from Mansfield,Ohio. So I don't know if you're familiar with this city but if you are and can give me some more advice that would be great! But I would just love to become a firefighter period!! So if you guys have anymore advice for me please feel free to keep it coming!!
    Yeah, I'm somewhat familiar with Mansfield. You need to find an EMT-Basic class in that area. Make some phone calls and find out who offers this class. The city of Mansfield is a career department. I think the last civil service test they gave was about 2 years ago, so they should have an application process beginning in the near future. FYI- it'll be extremely hard to get hired by Mansfield without some prior experience. If I were you, I would go to Ashland Fire and try to get on volunteer. Ashland is a unique department, because they have volunteer and paid personnel. I'm not sure what kind of residency requirements they have for volunteers. Get your foot in the door and maybe you can work your way into a paid position.

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    I have a full time job and work like 40 hours a week sometimes more. So could anyone explain to me how volunteering at a fire department works?

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    I know this might sound dumb to a lot of you and please dont be jerks about it but how would you go about asking for a volunteer position? I dont want to sound dumb when I ask about it. So if you have any tips about how I should to do it or go about it it would be a nice help. Thanks!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by younggun View Post
    I have a full time job and work like 40 hours a week sometimes more. So could anyone explain to me how volunteering at a fire department works?
    Well, every department is going to have different requirements for volunteer personnel. There are quite a few volunteer departments in the Mansfield area. Stop by a few and see what their requirements are and then fill out an application.

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    i know this might sound dumb medic but how do I ask about being a volunteer because I REALLY want to become a firefighter in this area one day and I dont want to blow it by sounding dumb or uneducation and they shoot me down from even being a volunteer.

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    Default Being a volunteer can help or destroy you!

    Candidates want the opportunity to be a volunteer as a way of showing interest, gain hands on experience, have something to put on their resume and can say in their oral they have been a volunteer. This can be good for younger candidates who can't take a test yet. Too often they don’t know the culture, politics and etiquette.

    You will make an impression becoming a volunteer. Good or bad. Because of the politics something could happen that could ruin any chances you will ever have as a firefighter. And the big problem is you will never know what or who badmouthed you.

    Even if you're testing else where, if you listed you are or were a volunteer the background investigator is going to be checking out your history with the volunteer department. They could contact a person that will bad mouth you that will keep you from being considered. Many volunteers, officers and chiefs of departments have tanked a whole a lot of wanna be's firefighters just because they played favorites, were jealous of their career path, couldn't make the cut trying to get a paid position themselves, lied to these candidates faces and they never knew what happened.

    I’ve seen this happen far too much. Candidates wait years trying to become a paid member of their volunteer department or candidates like yourself want to be a volunteer as a stepping stone to a full time position and they have been marked because of some incident they don’t even know about that will keep them badge less.

    Here’s an example:

    I have recently run into a small bump in the road regarding the written application. I thought I would e-mail you to see how you feel I should handle the situation.

    I am going to be honest with you. About 2 months ago I received a written letter from the volunteer FD I have been part of for about 6 years telling me I was terminated. I had 2 weeks to appeal the termination. I did so by the date requested and now over a month and a half later I still have not heard a word about having an appeal hearing with the department to find out specifics of what there reasoning were. I also was terminated along with 2 other members of the department. Up until my termination I was one of the top 5 most active guys among a group of over 50 active members. Basically when I wasn't at work I was there drilling, taking classes, going on runs, etc. I have had no disciplinary action taken against me prior to this other than supposedly breaking a "house rule" at one time which since was repeated by multiple members with no disciplinary action ever taken against them.

    My letter of termination stated that I was disrespectful to an officer at one point and it affected morale. Plain and simple that’s all it states. The other 2 guys that got terminated along with me also have letters that read identical to mine. I have never had any disciplinary action taken against me regarding disrespect towards line officers or members so this caught me as a huge surprise. I truly feel that the description of "disrespect of officers" is actually a difference in opinions. Since I have been unable to have an appeal meeting with this department I do not know any specifics so I don't know what to do.

    Basically I am curious how you feel I should handle this on my applications. I have always listed my volunteer experiences as part of my employment history as requested on most applications. I have always taken a great deal of pride in my volunteer history as a lot of my life was dedicated to volunteering. I am not sure how I would go about explaining this to a review panel or in an interview as I am not even sure of the specifics as the letter of termination was very generalized.

    Also, I currently have 3 jobs. Full-time EMT/Firefighter, part-time Airport FF/EMT and part-time EMT. At my places of employment, I have NO issues EVER. I have a great work history and feel very comfortable saying that. I have been employed by my full-time employer for almost 5 years now and have had a few "promotions" there as well.

    Captain, how should I handle this matter? If you would like to know more, please ask.

    Thank you for any assistance you can provide. Jeff Bradley

    Captain Bob’s Reply:

    You wrote:

    I truly feel that the description of "disrespect of officers" is actually a difference in opinions.

    Oh, boy, sounds like the politics of small town vollys. Jealousy with the full time firefighter and your experience? What were you thinking arguing your opinion? There is no winning. Only degrees of losing. Is this how you're going to be when you get on a new department? This could create some big problems when someone does a background. These guys will trash you.

    If you don't put it on your application or background file and they find it you could be immediately eliminated from the process.

    This is something that you don't bring up during an oral board unless they do. More here: http://www.eatstress.com/fired.htm

    So how do you present this situation? Blaming those officers could raise red flags. It will help that you didn't realize there was a problem along with the others that were let go. Nothing had ever been brought to your attention and nothing has ever happened like this with your other jobs or department.

    Jeff: Yes, unfortunately the politics of the small town volly house did get involved. As far as jealousy goes, I would hate to think that was the case here as I am never one to think people are jealous of what I have worked very hard for. As far as arguing, I wish I would have thought about it more because you are so right, there are only degrees of losing.

    As far as how I will be on a new department, ABSOLUTELY NOT. As I previously mentioned, at my current full-time and part-time positions I have no problems what so ever with anyone. At my full-time job I have actually had multiple promotions and at 21 was promoted to a "team leader" position. I have been at my full time job for almost 5 years now and get along well with everyone.

    I definitely don't plan on not putting this on my application. I will do so because I have always read the part about immediate termination from the process on the applications. I do not plan to sit around and push blame at anyone. This happened almost two months ago now and I haven't said a bad thing about anyone from this FD and don't plan on starting. I honestly am not lying when I say I didn't know this was coming, nor did the other 2 guys. Yeah there were times where some of us would have our differences, but never to the point where any disciplinary action was taken. You can't correct a problem you really aren't aware of.

    Thanks again for taking the time to reply. I have read over the links you have sent. If you feel there is anything else that will be of assistance in this process I would love to hear back from you.

    Jeff: Yeah there were times where some of us would have our differences, but never to the point where any disciplinary action was taken.

    CB: You probably know now this is what happened. This should be a heads up for the future.

    Jeff: You can't correct a problem you really aren't aware of.

    CB: True. But they don't always give you that advantage.

    Jeff: Yep, this is the part I am fearing the most. I truly hope I still have a shot at my career dreams but I just don't know anymore. I did recieve a letter from this FD Friday that my appeal hearing will be the 2nd week of December. I do have about a half dozen active guys from this department going with me to my appeal to help support the cause. There are guys that are still very upset about the way this has all happened and they still don't feel that its fair. I have my fingers crossed there is still some hope with the appeal, so I guess now I have to wait and see what comes of it. I will definitely keep you posted as to the happenings as you have been a HUGE help through all of this so far.

    I guess I may never get my dream job now due to this event in my life, but I do still appreciate all your help. Thanks!

    CB: Talk is cheap. See who really shows up. Be a good listener.

    Jeff: Actually 5 or the 6 showed up and the good news they let me resign.

    CB: Well, if a BI comes around these guys still might bad mouth you.
    _____________________________________________

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

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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    Ok. But how do I go about finding out how to become a volunteer. Do I call? Do I go down to the fire department? Who do I ask to speak to? What should I ask so I don't sound cocky or uneducation? I don't want to mess up my first impression because thats what they remember. So want should I do?

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    Can anyone also tell me how the volunteer FF program works or how your fire department volunteer program works? Like how many hours a volunteer many? How often they go in? When they or can they go in when they have a full time job? What training the go through? Do they get just as good training as a paid FF? Do they paid you at all to volunteer? Will they paid for your college if your trying to pursuit a FF career? Please answer as best as you can!! Thank You!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by younggun View Post
    Can anyone also tell me how the volunteer FF program works or how your fire department volunteer program works? Like how many hours a volunteer many? How often they go in? When they or can they go in when they have a full time job? What training the go through? Do they get just as good training as a paid FF? Do they paid you at all to volunteer? Will they paid for your college if your trying to pursuit a FF career? Please answer as best as you can!! Thank You!!
    Just go to a fire station near you and ask. The answers here won't be half as helpful. Just go to the source of the information.
    Eh?

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    Young gun- Everything youre asking really comes down to where do you live? CA volunteer/Reserve/PCF programs are way different than TX or NY.

    Please first tell me where you live? PM me if you need to.

    Also, how old are you? Are you still in high school. If so, have you considered an Explorer program?

    -Bou

    EDIT- Fire Exploring- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdWLk4ccsHE
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 12-26-2007 at 02:01 PM.

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    Questions for Chief Lapore and your two year college degree recommendation.

    The person that is requesting information on this posting is testing specifically for the state of Ohio. The advice you give them is to get a two-year degree in fire science, become an EMT and, of course, one the most important requirements you recommended to this person for becoming a firefighter in Ohio is to learn a trade. Not once do you mention becoming a paramedic in your two year plan.

    This person listens to your advice and finds out that after investing two or three years of their time in getting a two year college degree and an EMT certificate that they can't take 80- 90% of the exams not only in Ohio but many states in this midwest,eastern and many other parts of the country.

    80-90% of the exams given in Ohio require you to be a paramedic or enrolled in paramedic school to even take the test for full time departments. We do realize some major cities do not require you to be paramedic to hired so there is no need to post those jobs. However, that will be changing in the next 5-10 years. The majority of the hiring of firefighters in this country is done by departments of 100 firefighters or less. These departments want people who are paramedics.

    Even if a city does not have a requirement of being a paramedic, with the one in three, one in five or one in ten civil service rules that many municipalities have, if you are just an EMT or have a two year degree the city can pass you over and choose someone else down the list who is a paramedic. They don't have to give a reason but their reason would be a very sound one, that the candidate farther down the list is better qualified by being a paramedic than someone who is a EMT or has a two year degree. This happens many, many times. A city is not going to hire you if you are just an EMT and then send you to school for a year to become a paramedic and have to pay overtime for someone to fill your slot when you are working and attending paramedic school. Cities want people that can be hired immediately.

    When firehouse.com first started their entry-level site, they choose the following individuals to write articles for them ~ Capt. Bob Smith, Chief Brent Collins and Chief Steve Prziborowski. These individuals were selected because of their expertise in preparing fire applicants and pointing them in the right direction to become a firefighter across the country. These three individuals have submitted over fifty articles for firehouse.com's entry-level section. All three of us are in agreement - becoming a paramedic will open many more doors to becoming a firefighter than a two year degree or just being an EMT.

    Firehouse.com is read by many fire applicants across the country and many of them respect your advice. Much of the information in your two plan is very good advice. I do not agree with your advice about having fire applicants get their two-year degree before becoming a paramedic for taking exams in the Midwest and eastern parts of this country. It will not get these fire applicants jobs! The only way to get your foot in the door is being a paramedic in this part of the country, as well as many other parts of the United States.

    I would suggest in the future that you give your advice specific to the area they are testing (for example, the individual who posted about information concerning Ohio jobs) instead of giving your two blanket postings (your two year plan and the importance of education) to everyone who reads this forum and other forums you contribute to. Your two-year plan might work for some areas of the country but it will not work for the majority of fire applicants in Ohio and other Midwest and eastern states of the country. You are sending candidates down the WRONG path for jobs in this area of the country.

    Final thought – no one is questioning the integrity of Chief Lepore. His reputation in the fire service as a fire officer is impeccable. We just have a different opinion on what is the best path and will open the most doors to becoming a firefighter in different areas of the country.

    For the fire applicants out there, it is your choice as to what advice to take to help you in your pursuit of becoming a firefighter. If you feel that a two-year degree and an EMT certification will open more doors to get you hired, we wish you the best of luck. It's an important career choice to make; make sure you make the right one!

    Brent Collins
    Assistant Chief, Cleveland Fire Department
    firehouse.com entry-level author http://cms.firehouse.com/content/con.../bio.jsp?id=17
    President, www.FirePrep.com
    Last edited by dmfireschool; 12-28-2007 at 08:08 PM.

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    Brent,
    First of posting this in three separate places seems a little ridiculous to me. I will address your statements one at a time.

    Brent wrote:
    80-90% of the exams given in Ohio require you to be a paramedic or enrolled in paramedic school to even take the test for full time departments.

    Good information. Being a Paramedic in the state of Ohio obviously sounds like it may be nearly a prerequisite to getting hired in the fire service. For the record, the state of Ohio is a pretty small representation of paid firefighters across the country. This is not meant to demean or minimize the brothers and sisters in Ohio, rather making a comparison to the rest of the country.

    Brent wrote:
    A city is not going to hire you if you are just an EMT and then send you to school for a year to become a paramedic and have to pay overtime for someone to fill your slot when you are working and attending paramedic school.

    This may apply in your area; however, in mine we send firefighters to paramedic school on a routing basis (remember I am the BC in charge of the EMS Division). The same applies for virtually ALL of the big departments in my region. For the record, it costs about 85K to make a firefighter into a paramedic.

    Brent wrote:
    All three of us are in agreement - becoming a paramedic will open many more doors to becoming a firefighter than a two year college degree or just being an EMT.

    Steve P and Bob live within 30 miles of each other in northern California. There is definitely a strong need for PM’s in their area as there is in your’s.

    Brent wrote:
    We do realize some major cities do not require you to be paramedic to be hired so there is no need to post those jobs as an example. However, that will be changing in the next 5-10 years.

    Don’t bet on it.

    Brent wrote:
    Much of the information in your two year plan is very good advice. I do not agree with your advice about having fire applicants get their two-year degree before becoming a paramedic for taking exams in the Midwest and eastern parts of this country. It will not get these fire applicants jobs!

    Thank you. Again, in your region being a paramedic will enhance your chances. Just so I am clear I advocate a 4 year degree, especially for the younger generation. Most candidates are not going to get hired at 19 or 20. I encourage the candidates to use this time to go to school and get a degree. Get a job in construction to help pay for school. This is the best use of their time. Down the road when it comes to promotion a four year degree will absolutely help them in the promotional process.

    Brent wrote:
    The majority of the hiring of firefighters in this country is done by departments of 100 firefighters or less.

    I absolutely disagree. Correct me if I am wrong, but there are far more BLS engines and trucks in the country than ALS. While smaller departments may test more frequently, Chicago, LA City, Philadelphia, Boston, FDNY, LA CO hire in huge blocks. In other words I disagree with your statement that smaller departments hiring in ones and twos do the bulk of the hiring.

    In closing, I would like to reiterate that becoming a paramedic will definitely help you get hired. (In some parts of the country it is more desireable than others). I submit that there are plenty of jobs out there for you non-medics.

    Paul Lepore
    Battlaion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    Paul lapore's response to our first posting on this topic
    First, of posting this in three separate places seems a little ridiculous to me.

    Our response to the comments above by Paul Lapore

    The reason for three separate postings is that we want candidates across the country to fully realize what represents their best opportunity to become a firefighter – someone who has a two or four- year college degree or someone who becomes a paramedic. You have your blanket two-year plan all over the entry-level forum boards with no recommendation of being a paramedic and we find that extremely ridiculous.



    Brent wrote, “A city is not going to hire you if you are just an EMT and then send you to school for a year and have to pay overtime for someone to fill your slot while you working or attending a paramedic school.”



    Your reply, “This may apply in your area; however, in mine we send firefighters to paramedic school on a rotating basis. This applies virtually to all big departments in my region. For the record, it costs about $85,000 to make a firefighter into a paramedic.”



    Our reply: This is exactly what we are talking about. You state in YOUR area and the big departments. Cities with 100 firefighters or less across this country want individuals who are paramedic-ready to eliminate costs associated with training someone to become a paramedic. With a majority of these departments doing the hiring, they do not have the financial resources to spend that kind of money like large departments do.



    You also state that Steve P. and Bob live within 30 miles of each other in northern California. There is definitely a strong need for paramedics in their area as there is in yours (Ohio).



    Our posting ALSO emphasized that areas in the Midwest, northern and eastern parts of this country are hiring paramedics at a dramatically increasing rate. Nowhere did I emphasize that it was just MY area only or Steve Prziborowski’s and Capt Bob’s area. I used Ohio as an example of an area that is requiring you to be a paramedic and that requirement is growing across the country. Don’t pick and choose what statements fit your paramedic spin reply.


    Again, three main firehouse.com’s entry-level authors are in agreement – for an individual looking to gain a firefighter job ANYWHERE in the country, we recommend that you get a paramedic certification first before a two or four -year college degree. Between the three of us, our newsletters or newsletters we write for go out to over 75,000 subscribers. Don’t you think that gives us a pulse of what is going on in the country and not just our areas? Think about that.



    Brent wrote, “The majority of hiring of firefighters in the country is done by departments with 100 firefighters or less.” Your reply back, “I absolutely disagree. Correct me if I’m wrong. While smaller departments may test frequently, Chicago, LA City, Philadelphia, Boston, New York, LA County hire in huge blocks. In other words, I disagree with your statement that smaller departments hiring in 1s and 2s do the bulk of the hiring.”



    We stated that the majority of firefighters hired in this country are by departments of 100 firefighters or less. You seem to disagree with this statement. Again, we will use Ohio as an example. There are over 300 full-time departments with fewer than 100 firefighters. If each department hires a minimum of one (most hiring is in the 1-4 range), that means 300 firefighters just in the state of Ohio alone would be hired in a two–three year period. More likely about 500-700 firefighters would be hired in that timeframe



    The city of Columbus gives a test every five years and plans on hiring 100-125 firefighters. My department, the Cleveland Fire Department, held its last exam in 1998. We actually laid off 150 firefighters during this timeframe. The city of Toledo is giving their first exam in 6 years and plans on hiring 50-75 firefighters. The City of Akron just gave their first exam in six years and plan on hiring 50-75. These numbers do not compare with the number of firefighters hired by departments with 100 firefighter and less during that timeframe. Just so you don’t reply back, we are using only Ohio as an example. You mentioned Chicago – the previous Chicago exam was given in 1995 – a 12-year period in between exams! Chicago may hire 300-400 firefighters off this eligibility list; in the meantime, there are over 400 full-time departments in Illinois with 100 firefighters or less. With them testing every two–three years and hiring even just one firefighter and not the more likely average of two to three per department, they are hiring at least 400 firefighters in these small departments EVERY TWO-THREE YEARS. During that 12-year period there would have been in the low range of 1600 firefighters hired in the state of Illinois during that same period. You do the math. Which departments are doing the most hiring ~ the bigger ones or the ones with 100 firefighters and less? For the record, there are some states in which the major departments test more frequently and might not have as many smaller departments but the number is small and there is no need to make your spin reply with those small examples. Look at the number of fulltime departments in Texas and Florida and see what size departments are doing the most hiring. We can point to many states with 100 and less fulltime firefighters and do the same numbers.



    Many states have between 200-1000 fulltime departments. Again, you do the math. Add 1-2 firefighters hired as a minimum for each department every three years and you have anywhere from 500-2000 firefighters hired in a 2-3 year period. You don’t have to get us the numbers hired by LA City and LA County. Those are two of the biggest departments in the country and they are in YOUR area. We do realize that they hire hundreds of firefighters in YOUR area. There are very few departments in the country that size that are so close to each other and hire that many firefighters. We are talking about the country as a whole not just your area.



    Look at the number of exam announcements on firehouse.com, firecareers.com or firejobs.com. 90% of those exams are for departments that employ 100 firefighters or less.



    To verify our statement that more doors will be open and more fire applicants will get jobs by becoming a paramedic instead of having a two year or four-degree we contacted www.firejobs.com and asked them their opinion. They specifically stated to us that the majority of fire jobs their service posts are requiring individuals to be paramedics or enrolled in paramedic school or giving the highest number of extra points on exams for this certification. Firejobs.com currently posts 300 jobs a month, so they are extremely knowledgeable in this area.



    Extra Points on Exams: Even if there is not a requirement to be a paramedic to take an exam, you will find that many of exams offer extra points for being a paramedic. A small percentage offer extra points for having a college degree and the points do not compare to the extra points given for being a paramedic. I’m sure there are some departments you could name where the paramedic and college points are equal; again, that is a small percentage. A majority of departments give the highest number of extra credit points for paramedic and military service. Have a two year or four college degree does not equate to many extra credit points, if any.



    You state in closing, “I would like to reiterate that becoming a paramedic would definitely help you get hired in some parts of the country more than others.” That is our question to you – why do you continually post your blanket two-year plan that is read by hundreds if not thousands of fire applicants across this country and do not include an individual becoming a paramedic?



    You certainty would not continually post your blanket two year plan if you didn’t believe that a two or four-degree degree will open more doors than being a paramedic for the country as a whole. For a majority of this country, your two-year plan with no recommendation of becoming a paramedic does a fire applicant no good and will continue to do them no good in the years to come.


    Brent Collins
    Assistant Chief, Cleveland Fire Department
    firehouse.com entry-level author http://cms.firehouse.com/content/con.../bio.jsp?id=17
    President, www.FirePrep.com
    Last edited by dmfireschool; 01-04-2008 at 09:23 AM.

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    Paul's comments from another forum board on firehouse.com

    You have posted three different times that your propaganda goes out to 75,000 people. You seem very proud of that fact. Anyone can pay for advertising space on-line. I don't chose to do that.

    Our reply

    We pay for ZERO space on line or advertising. ZERO !!! Show us where we are paying for advertising, any of us. Our propaganda (newsletter) as you call it goes out FREE to everyone who signs up for firehouse.com's entry level service. We all do it for FREE !! If I'm not mistaken aren't you part of that propaganda as a firehouse.com entry level author in the past ?? If it was propaganda why did you write for them ?? My newsletter, Capt. Bob's and Chief Steve goes out thousands of fire applicants across the country for FREE.

    Paul wrote:

    You don't see the value of education. I went back to school as a BC and got my degree. I would venture to guess that you do not have your degree.

    Our reply

    I do see the value of education. I also see the first thing you need do is get the job first and worry about a promotion later. If you take an exam with over 1000 people and all you have is a two year or four degree instead of a paramedic certification what good does it do. Get the job first !!! You went back and got your degree once you got the job first !!!! Once AGAIN you ventured wrong. I do have a degree. I went to college for two years and got on the Cleveland Fire dept. at age 20. I was the youngest Lt., Capt., Battalion Chief ( in charge of the fire academy) and Assistant Chief promoted in the history of the department. I also finished the rest of my college over a six year span. That includes teaching fire courses at a community college. We BOTH did the same thing. We got the JOB FIRST and then went back to college.


    Paul wrote
    You place a high degree of emphasis on a Paramedic License. I am a paramedic and run the EMS Division. While I don't place as high a level of importance in a PM license for entry-level candidates, I do believe that in some areas of the country it will absolutely get you hired.

    Our reply

    You don't get it. Most of your experience in what candidates need is based on YOUR area. Look at JUST about everything you refer too, its YOUR AREA !! Remember, before you spin something, we said just about everything.

    All three of firehouse.com's entry level authors look at the WHOLE country and what will open the most doors to get someone hired. You want to be the BIG man on campus in YOUR area and you probably are so be it. Why don't you do this when you plaster your two year plan all over the entry level forums with your recommendation of "learning a trade" before becoming a paramedic. Change it to "Paul's two year plan to get hired in my area."

    This has gone on long enough. Its time to take this off the forum boards and the let the candidates make their career choice from what we have posted. If you have a problem any more e-mail us or call us. We will no longer waste our time responding to you.

    Brent Collins
    Assistant Chief, Cleveland Fire Department
    firehouse.com entry-level author http://cms.firehouse.com/content/con.../bio.jsp?id=17
    www.FirePrep.com
    Last edited by dmfireschool; 01-05-2008 at 05:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmfireschool View Post
    We will no longer waste our time responding to you.
    I'm sorry, but that sounds a little strange seeing as how you're the one who started this thread. Also, nobody said you had to post replies that were three pages long.

    This person is probably right:

    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    It looks like to ME that everyone has a book to sell and some of the sellers are being bullies and slamming other's books.
    Last edited by SCSmith; 01-06-2008 at 11:36 AM.
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