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Thread: 40 years old and wanting to become a firefighter?

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    Default 40 years old and wanting to become a firefighter?

    I just dont understand how 40 year old men think its right for them to get the job enough for them to sue and delay others from getting the job.... Why havent they tested for any other Depts? They dont want to be on the job that bad I guess... just doesnt seem fair to give the job to a 40 year old, when you have tons of young people out there waiting to get a job.( when they have 20 years on they will be 60...) yikes... I also hear that another group of guys from the 1995 list sued the city to get hired, saying the test was too hard. I hear they won and got hired and recieved back pay from 1995.... i am noit sure how true it is, just something I have heard.... If its true....WHATS THIS WORLD COMMING TO!! I wouldnt want to work with these guys...

    Chicago Firefighter Applicants Sue to Get up Ladder

    By MICHAEL HIGGINS, Tribune reporter
    Chicago Tribune..............

    Lawyers for the applicants, who passed an initial eligibility test in 1995 , are set to ask a Cook County judge on Friday to block the city from training further firefighters until their claims can be heard.

    Brian Murphy, a carpenter who is one of the plaintiffs, said Thursday that after the city contacted him in early 2006, he moved from Oak Park to Chicago to meet residency requirements.

    Murphy said he passed strength and background checks and was told to expect to start at the Fire Department Academy in November 2006.

    But the date was pushed back and, in 2007, the city decided to hire from a newer list of applicants.

    "You can't treat people like this," said Murphy, 40, whose grandfather, father and uncle were firefighters. "You can't string people along for over a year. ... All we're asking for is a little respect."

    City and fire officials deny the lawsuit's allegations, saying applicants were contacted and tested but never guaranteed a spot in the academy.

    "Everything we sent out in writing said: 'This is not an offer of employment. It is conditional,' " Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.

    Jennifer Hoyle, spokeswoman for the city's Law Department agreed.

    "We believe, based on what we've seen in the complaint, that these people were treated fairly," Hoyle said.

    In 2006, city officials thought they might need to hire applicants from the 1995 list, Hoyle said. But she said rulings in a separate federal lawsuit changed that, allowing officials to choose applicants from a test given in 2006.

    Langford said it made sense for the department to go forward with the applicants from the 1995 eligibility test until officials knew they could use the more recent exam.

    That way, "your pipeline still has people coming out of it," Langford said.

    In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, the applicants are seeking a court order that would give them slots in the academy. If that fails, they would seek unspecified money damages.

    "Some guys passed up promotions at work because [they thought] they're going to be starting in the academy in two months," said Rob Robertson, attorney for the plaintiffs. Robertson said he had at least two clients who delayed trying to start a family, taking into consideration that they might be in the academy for six months.

    The plaintiffs say a key issue is what fire officials said to applicants who attended meetings to fill out paperwork in 2006. The plaintiffs contend they were told that the academy would start later that year, and slots would be available.

    John Clemens, 41, of Chicago, set up a Web site for the 1995 test-takers.City officials "never told us we were just back-up," said Clemens, an operations manager at Illinois Institute of Technology. "If you're going to have people who are just alternates or just insurance, it's important to let them know. "

    mjhiggins@tribune.com
    Last edited by McDonaldMike45; 02-08-2008 at 08:47 PM.

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    Not commenting on this particular situation, but in your comments about older adults. I have talked to more than one fire chief who told me that he prefers to hire adults over 35 instead of young kids. They tend to be more mature, more settled, have more experience in the world, ar more reliable and dependable and do not believe that the world owes them a success story.

    Just some food for thought.
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    I have to echo George on this one. I completed Fire I and II training, last December, and there were two classmates who are older than me - I turn 40 next month.
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    Very True guys.. these guys would have to retire at 60 to get 20 years... How many guys would want to work on a dept where the avr. age is 50? I know NYC.. ( one of the most respected depts in the world ) doesnt even let you test if you are over 28... I just dont understand Bringing a Lawsuit to the city.. Do people realize that the money the city will be paying them out with would be the same money on the first check they get if the get hired... Just seems kinda crazy..

    I guess my thing is. In the Chicago area it seems that you hear all the time of someone leaving a job after 40 years to become a firefighter ( in Chicago ) .. and if they wanted the job so bad why didnt they test for the suburbs... ? Thats my only gripe I guess..

    George you said something about the older guys not thinking the world owes them anything.... I think that a lawsuit against the city would suggest these guys think that they are owed something... And myself teaching acad's. I always saw the older guys attitude more one of fear of failure, and the younger guys being a little too confident.. Not really that they are owed anything...

    ( I have seen alot of post's on here where people are bickering back and forth.. I am not trying to do that, I agree and disagree with both..)

    Just voicing my opinion.....

    By the way... Why is there no spell check on here!!!!! haha
    Last edited by McDonaldMike45; 02-08-2008 at 02:14 PM.

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    Also... Just wondering if you guys are Vollys or Paid.. That would be the HUGE difference.. Its one thing to become a Volly at that age. My anger is wanting to be full time and waiting because they are hiring a 43 year old teacher who already has a pension.....hahaha...
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    I would agee but I dont think that the fire service hires the most qualified person for the job...race...who you know...and how long you want to wait on a list seem to be more of the deciding factors...haha

    Just my opinion...

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    Quote Originally Posted by McDonaldMike45 View Post
    Also... Just wondering if you guys are Vollys or Paid.. That would be the HUGE difference.. Its one thing to become a Volly at that age. My anger is wanting to be full time and waiting because they are hiring a 43 year old teacher who already has a pension.....hahaha...
    If the department doesn't have a maximum age, why would it burn your butt that someone wants to apply? If the person meets the physical and academic requirements, who cares? I've seen 50 year old men in better shape than 25 year old men. I know a guy on our department that was a career special forces soldier...he was more fit in his late 40s than most of his younger academy classmates.

    What's the difference between a teacher retiring and becoming a firefighter or a firefighter retiring and becoming a teacher? People are allowed to change careers...people can even choose to work only for certain employers. I know I would not want to work for most of the departments in my state...not because of anything against the departments, but because I like where I live and want to work where I live.

    Why do you have such sour grapes? Did you not make the list or something?
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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    My Gripe isnt really the age thing I guess. I dont mean to put out there that a 40 year old cant do the job. I was purely crying ( haha ) about the guys having a lawsuit against the city which is in tearn delaying other people from getting processed and getting hired.. The thing about the Chicago area is there are many depts that get as many if not more fires per company that Chicago.... ( MAywood..Harvey...Cal City..Cicero..Gary IND..Joilet. ) So there are many depts that they could test for. Why have they waited on a list since 1995 and not tested.. Most people from the Chicago area I think would some what agree with me.. Its hard growing up in a city and not having a chance in hell at getting a job because the list has been out there for 11 years, and then they start to factor in race....it just gets a little old after a while... I have traveled to other citys and states to try and get hired.. I guess its just hard to watch someone take one test..wait 11 years...then sue the city when they dont get hired.. How bad did they want the job?
    Last edited by McDonaldMike45; 02-08-2008 at 02:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McDonaldMike45 View Post
    My Gripe isnt really the age thing I guess. I dont mean to put out there that a 40 year old cant do the job. I was purely crying ( haha ) about the guys having a lawsuit against the city which is in tearn delaying other people from getting processed and getting hired.. The thing about the Chicago area is there are many depts that get as many if not more fires per company that Chicago.... ( MAywood..Harvey...Cal City..Cicero..Gary IND..Joilet. ) So there are many depts that they could test for. Why have they waited on a list since 1995 and not tested.. Most people from the Chicago area I think would some what agree with me.. Its hard growing up in a city and not having a chance in hell at getting a job because the list has been out there for 11 years, and then they start to factor in race....it just gets a little old after a while... I have traveled to other citys and states to try and get hired.. I guess its just hard to watch someone take one test..wait 11 years...then sue the city when they dont get hired.. How bad did they want the job?
    It seems to say that the list from 1995 was still valid in 2006. If that is correct, than why wouldn't a person with a good number on that list, especially one who has passed all of the requisite tests, expect to get hired off that list.

    Also, they are 40 now. They weren't when they took the test.

    Not every person is willing to accept a paid job anywhere in the country. Some of these guys, it seems, had a legacy in the CFD and wanted to continue the tradition. Many of these guys did not want to move out of that area. Others probably were more interested in being CFD members than paid guys anywhere else. Should it be a prerequisite to get a paid job to show that you have taken x number of tests nationwide? Would that prove they were a better candidate?
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    these guys didnt score good.. they were forced into hiring from that list because of other lawsuits pending on the list.. These guys scored low 70's...some not even a passing score..

    Also one of the lawsuits was because the person says they moved into chicago expecting a job... If they had family on the job I think they would of known better.. you dont need to be a resident until you start the acad.


    I dont know.. I have family on the job. My Family is a little sick of the people getting hired.. I dont think just because my family is on chicago means thats the only job I should go for.. And I was trying to say that they could test all over the chicago area... not more than a avrage 40 min drive.. Its kinda like getting a bike.. Why wait and get a harley if you cant afford one... I want to ride no matter what kinda of bike it is...haha.
    Last edited by McDonaldMike45; 02-08-2008 at 02:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    It seems to say that the list from 1995 was still valid in 2006. If that is correct, than why wouldn't a person with a good number on that list, especially one who has passed all of the requisite tests, expect to get hired off that list.

    Also, they are 40 now. They weren't when they took the test.
    From the article, it sounds like this guy doesn't know what the term "conditional" means.

    Everyone I've tested with or done any part of the pre-hiring process with makes it very clear that this in no way gurantees a job offer. Even the wording on a letter telling me I was accepted to the academy makes it clear that until its "badge in hand, off probation" its still not set in stone.

    It is a bit troubling to hear people say that chiefs or others involved in hiring say they would prefer to hire older canidates then give a list of qualities that they beleive older canidates have. If that isn't prejudice, I don't know what is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    It is a bit troubling to hear people say that chiefs or others involved in hiring say they would prefer to hire older canidates then give a list of qualities that they beleive older canidates have. If that isn't prejudice, I don't know what is.
    I think if you did some research, you would find literature on the subject of the difficulty in finding quality Gen-X'ers and the extra effort it takes to deal with them on the job. I have not read anything specific to the fire service, but I have read articles in regards to law enforcement and the military. I used them in a project I completed when I was finishing my degree several years ago. I don't have them anymore. The articles speak for themselves. I don't buy into everything said about Gen X'ers, but the articles make sense.

    It is no more of a prejudice than someone advocating that 40 yoa guys have no right to the job because they didn't test enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    2. Age Discrimination is a violation of the Law
    So how can departments (like FDNY, Chicago, Boston.) have cutoff ages for testing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Resq1scnd2none View Post
    So how can departments (like FDNY, Chicago, Boston.) have cutoff ages for testing?
    Because sadly, there are exemptions from the rule.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resq1scnd2none View Post
    So how can departments (like FDNY, Chicago, Boston.) have cutoff ages for testing?
    Can't speak for those locations, but in NJ, it has to do with pension laws. Since there is a mandatory retirement age, they are permitted to have a age limitation on hiring. For example, the maximum age to be hired is 35. Several exceptions, such as military service and vol. fire service with the agency hiring you, will allow a maximum age of 40. There is a mandatory retirement age of 65.

    These age restrictions have been upheld in court in NJ.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    I think if you did some research, you would find literature on the subject of the difficulty in finding quality Gen-X'ers and the extra effort it takes to deal with them on the job. I have not read anything specific to the fire service, but I have read articles in regards to law enforcement and the military. I used them in a project I completed when I was finishing my degree several years ago. I don't have them anymore. The articles speak for themselves. I don't buy into everything said about Gen X'ers, but the articles make sense.

    It is no more of a prejudice than someone advocating that 40 yoa guys have no right to the job because they didn't test enough.
    ummmm George, 40 year olds are from Gen X..... born 1961-1981. I find the kids tail end and right after Gen X to be the real problems in the work place. But give them another five to ten years and they too will be good workers as they finally become independent of mom and dad as they reach their thirties. The guys leading the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan right now are Generation X'ers and they are doing a fantastic job! The commanders at the highest levels are the youngest of the Baby Boomers and soon will be retireing. Scary stuff huh?

    I would say that the 30-45 year olds joining the fire service have seen that done that, and are making great contributions to the Departments they join.

    I think that it seems that RonaldMcDonald is more upset with anyone sueing over precieved prejudices in the workplace than he is with guys who are older joining up. Or atleast I hope so. But if folks did not sue and fight over things like this in the past, women would only be allowed to be house keepers, teachers and nurses, and minorities would not be allowed to reach even middle management. Maybe one day, folks will be able to do what jobs they want to do as long as they can do the job regardless of age.
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    Interestingly enough, there is a maximum age for civil service firefighters in the state of Arkansas but not for police officers. So, you can never be too old to be a cop, but 35 (I think) is the cut-off for a career firefighter with no prior experience.

    I have no idea how this law came about. It shouldn't have anything to do with retirement as the police and fire share the same retirement system. Also, these rules don't apply to cities that don't have a civil service system. They can hire firefighters as young as 18 and as old as whatever...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace View Post
    ummmm George, 40 year olds are from Gen X..... born 1961-1981. I find the kids tail end and right after Gen X to be the real problems in the work place. But give them another five to ten years and they too will be good workers as they finally become independent of mom and dad as they reach their thirties. The guys leading the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan right now are Generation X'ers and they are doing a fantastic job! The commanders at the highest levels are the youngest of the Baby Boomers and soon will be retireing. Scary stuff huh?

    I would say that the 30-45 year olds joining the fire service have seen that done that, and are making great contributions to the Departments they join.

    I think that it seems that RonaldMcDonald is more upset with anyone sueing over precieved prejudices in the workplace than he is with guys who are older joining up. Or atleast I hope so. But if folks did not sue and fight over things like this in the past, women would only be allowed to be house keepers, teachers and nurses, and minorities would not be allowed to reach even middle management. Maybe one day, folks will be able to do what jobs they want to do as long as they can do the job regardless of age.
    Look, I can use a computer, but I ain't the hippest cat in the world. What the hell do you call the people that come after Gen X? Gen Y? Gen Z?

    You guys will never understand the pressure that comes with being the smartest person on these forums.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    1. The World does NOT owe anyone a Living.

    2. Age Discrimination is a violation of the Law

    3. Jobs are usually awarded to QUALIFIED persons, and in a Prescribed order of Qualification.

    4. Work Harder, don't Whine Harder.

    5. There is a job out there for those who aren't happy because "Others" seem to get preferential treatment.

    6. To get a Job suitable for Persons of "Attitude", Raise your right hand and repeat after me: " I solemly promise and swear to uphold the rules and regulations of my Employer. I Promise to be at the Job, on time, every time. I also promise that I will never forget to ask the enabling Question of my Profession - Do You Want Fries With That??".
    Not if it doesn't interfere with the quality of work..You could easily prove how age effects how well someone preforms in this job, especially when that 40 year old who just got hired would be 50, and still riding the line of the wagon..


    As for number 3...I think thats almost laughable at this point. Many departments hire to meet quotas when it comes to race and gender.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Resq1scnd2none View Post
    So how can departments (like FDNY, Chicago, Boston.) have cutoff ages for testing?
    Because it's not illegal if age effects the quality of work(it might vary from state-to-state)...Obviously most 40-50 year olds aren't in as good of shape as the 20-30 year olds..

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    Dennis you are correct.. Its not the age.....Lawsuits against the city? ... they didnt get high scores.....plain and simple... The other guys that had lawsuits against the city from the 95 list....MOST of them didnt pass the test and said it was too hard...Are you kidding me? haha.. I cant believe the city gave them a job and back pay to 95...ALSO they were giving the right to test for promotions.. thats crazt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    I think if you did some research, you would find literature on the subject of the difficulty in finding quality Gen-X'ers and the extra effort it takes to deal with them on the job. I have not read anything specific to the fire service, but I have read articles in regards to law enforcement and the military. I used them in a project I completed when I was finishing my degree several years ago. I don't have them anymore. The articles speak for themselves. I don't buy into everything said about Gen X'ers, but the articles make sense.
    If you want I can write reports on why men, women, whites, blacks, latinos, asians, italians, and any other demographic you can think of would be bad employees but that doesn't make it right. I'm sure the Klan can forward you their research on blacks, jews, and catholics. Its merely a skewed research and basing your opinions of an entire group off of that is very silly. Not to mention it would make for a very easy lawsuit against the agency.

    However, like someone else said Gen Xers were born in the 60s, 70s. So your research shows these 40 year olds, which you beleive to be awesome additions to the department, actually aren't. Woops


    It is no more of a prejudice than someone advocating that 40 yoa guys have no right to the job because they didn't test enough.
    Did I support this position? if you'll refer yourself back to my comments on the lawsuit its self you'll see it has nothing to do with age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McDonaldMike45 View Post
    I just dont understand how 40 year old men think its right for them to get the job.. Why havent they tested for other Dept? They dont want to be on the job that bad I guess... just doesnt seem fair to give the job to a 40 year old, when you have tons of young people out there waiting to get a job.... I also hear that another group of guys from the 1995 list sued the city to get hired, saying the test was too hard. I hear they won and got hired and recieved back pay from 1995.... i am noit sure how true it is, just something I have heard.... If its true....WHATS THIS WORLD COMMING TO!! I wouldnt want to work with these guys...
    I've read through this article twice now. Not once can I find anywhere where it says that the plantiffs are suing because of anything to do with their age. Of all the questions that come to my mind, not a one of them had to do with age. I also don't see where it says, or even insinuates, that these men think they deserve the job because of their age.

    Judging by your attitude and prejudice, I have serious doubts any of them would want to work with you, either.

    What's driving my curiosity is why Chicago is hiring off a 10+ year-old test?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Resq1scnd2none View Post
    So how can departments (like FDNY, Chicago, Boston.) have cutoff ages for testing?
    Chicago doesn't have a cutoff (or at least didn't). Frequently, the age cutoff is an issue of pensions, not performance. Illinois has a minimum retirement age of 55. If you join at 45 and retire at 65, the pension makes less money on you than if you start at 25 and retire at 55.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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