So, You Want To Become A Firefighter?
Step 5. Begin preparing NOW for your background investigation. This means the following:
• Maintaining a clean credit and financial history. Take the time to obtain a credit report on yourself from one of the major companies. Doing this will allow you to see (in advance) what your credit history looks like, prior to the background investigator seeing it. If you have outstanding debt, start composing a plan to eliminate that debt. Close any credit cards you are not utilizing. Pay your bills on time!
• Maintaining a clean driving record. Many candidates have been eliminated during the background investigation for excessive accidents (regardless of who was at fault), and excessive traffic related citations (speeding tickets, moving violations, etc.).
• Maintaining a clean law enforcement record. What this means is don’t get arrested, drive while you are under the influence of alcohol, take any illegal drugs, or do something otherwise stupid you’re going to regret for the rest of your life. Think twice before getting into a fight or driving home after having some alcoholic drinks. Performing (and getting caught) any of the above items can virtually eliminate your chances of getting hired as a firefighter.
• Maintaining an up to date list of relatives and friends. During a background investigation, you are going to be asked to provide names, addresses and phone numbers of your relatives and close friends so that they can be contacted to vouch for your character and background information you have documented.
• Maintaining an up to date list of your employment history. Typically, you are going to be asked to provide information from each employer you have worked for over that past 10 years. Some departments require you to provide information from EVERY job you have ever held! Some of the information to obtain now includes name, address and phone number of employer, exact dates employed, exact title(s) you held, exact salaries you were paid, duties and responsibilities, and name of your supervisor.
• Maintaining an up to date list of your educational history. Typically you are going to be asked to provide information from every educational institution you have attended (after and including high school). Information requested can include name and address of the school, number of units completed, degrees obtained, etc.