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  • +34

    Protecting the Image of the Fire Service

    Protecting the Image of the Fire Service
    I was scrolling through one of the major fire department magazine’s website and clicked on a banner ad that promoted fire department t-shirts. I scrolled down to view the different designs. Most were creative and colorful, highlighting the fun parts of our profession. One, however, really caught my attention. As a professional firefighter I found it to be in particularly ...
    Rated: +34
  • +32

    From Fire Volunteer to Career Firefighter: A 5-Step Guide

    From Fire Volunteer to Career Firefighter: A 5-Step Guide
    Volunteer firefighting is one of the most rewarding, most fun, and least financially viable professions. Most people don’t have unlimited income to spend, so most volunteer firefighters are stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to work their day job and also get in a few calls. They want to be able to serve their community as a firefighter, ...
    Rated: +32
  • +28

    Military Experience

    Military Experience
    Candidates who have served our country in the Armed Forces have a huge advantage over those who have not. It is generally believed that while a military veterans may not have as many certificates and fire science units as the other candidates (they were busy serving our country), they offer so much more. There is no substitute for life experience. The ...
    Rated: +28
  • +26

    A Fire Chief's Advice On How to Be a Great Firefighter

    A Fire Chief's Advice On How to Be a Great Firefighter
    1. The fire service is a dangerous profession. Every year, on average 100 firefighters die and another 80,000 are injured. To stay safe, study and learn about your emergency work and its hazards. Knowledge of your job enhances safety. 2. Heart attacks are the number-one killer of firefighters. Remain in good physical and mental condition. A lifelong commitment to exercise and ...
    Rated: +26
  • +23

    Becoming a Firefighter: The Two-Year Plan

    Becoming a Firefighter: The 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 ...
    Rated: +23
  • +17

    Pride

    Pride
    I wrote a column several months back that dealt with a new probationary firefighter who was eager to get started on his career. Thanks to the actions of a select few sour firefighters, this rookie has begun to rethink the longevity of his career on his new department. Instead of shopping for a new home, he is now shopping for a ...
    Rated: +17
  • +11

    What It Takes To Land A Job

    Landing a job in the fire service is truly a unique challenge. On average, there are over 100 candidates who apply for each opening. Since the competition is so intense, what does it take to be the top candidate? Many candidates believe it is important to be the "most qualified" individual in the testing process. The truth is that we are ...
    Rated: +11
  • +10

    7 Things Firefighters Should Never Say

    7 Things Firefighters Should Never Say
    Dr. George J. Thompson is the President and Founder of the Verbal Judo Institute, a tactical training and management firm now based in Auburn, NY. For full details on Dr. Thompson's work and training, please visit the Verbal Judo Web Site. Safety lies in knowledge. If you deal with cagey street people, or indeed difficult people at all, anywhere, you need ...
    Rated: +10
  • +9

    Preparing for Firefighter Candidate Interviews

    Preparing for Firefighter Candidate Interviews
    Interviews The fire department interview is a unique challenge that is a component of the hiring process for most fire departments. As a general rule, the interview is usually weighed more than any other portion of the exam. It is not uncommon to have each of the other phases of the exam weighted "pass or fail," while the interview is weighted ...
    Rated: +9
  • +8

    What to Expect Your First Year as a Firefighter

    What to Expect Your First Year as a Firefighter
    *+Schedules and Timelines+* Most commonly firefighters work in 24-hour shifts, reporting to work at 0700 and work until 0700 the next day. Firefighters usually work a total of 56 hours per week (but since these hours are worked on a continual basis, firefighters enjoy a lot of time off). On the average, firefighters work ten 24-hour shifts each month, leaving them ...
    Rated: +8
  • +7

    First Impressions

    “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This statement certainly applies to the interview portion of the firefighter exam, where you only have one opportunity to make a favorable first impression. Even before the start of an interview, the first thing the raters will notice about you is your overall demeanor and appearance. Your eye contact, facial ...
    Rated: +7
  • +6

    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 ...
    Rated: +6
  • +6

    The Age Factor

    The Age Factor
    Everyone has an opinion of age when it comes to hiring new firefighters. Some people feel that a younger candidate has a better chance of getting hired because, after all, the fire departments are looking to hire a candidate for the next 30 years. If a fire department hires a 21 or 22 year old, the department can train the recruit ...
    Rated: +6
  • +5

    Highest Paying States for Firefighters (2011)

    Firefighters don't get into public service and risk their lives for the money, but some firefighters do earn more in certain locations due to demand. FireLink did the research and found five states that pay top dollar for firefighters. Next page: Highest Paying States for Firefighters [page] Highest Paying State #5 Nevada Annual Mean Wage: $56,250 There are 2,030 firefighters ...
    Rated: +5
  • +5

    Decide if You're Ready to be a Firefighter

    Decide if You're Ready to be a Firefighter
    *+Basic Eligibility Requirements+* The fire department will post the entry-level requirements on the job description flyer. In order for a candidate’s application to be accepted, the minimum requirements must be met. While entry-level requirements vary from department to department, most require candidates to be at least 18 years of age. Some require applicants to be at least 21 years old. Most ...
    Rated: +5
  • +5

    Friends and Aquaintances

    Fire departments have the luxury of choosing any candidate they feel would best represent their organization. To an outsider, if your friends are of questionable character, then so are you. You have heard the old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” If your friends are getting into trouble, then, potentially, so are you. Even if you are not a party ...
    Rated: +5
  • +4

    Setting Goals

    Setting Goals
    Life can be extremely busy. How often do you hear someone say, “I can’t believe how fast time flies? Where did my day go?” Personally, I find that if I do not set goals, life passes me by. I have heard it said that if you don’t set goals you are just drifting through life. Goals don’t have to be big. ...
    Rated: +4
  • +3

    Preparing for the Academy

    Preparing for the Academy
    *+Mental Conditioning+* It is extremely stressful to prepare for a manipulative exam knowing that if you don’t perform you will lose your job. Everyone in the academy has to perform to the minimum standards. There are NO exceptions. Being able to perform under pressure is critical. Remember, the training staff is there to help you be successful. The department has invested ...
    Rated: +3
  • +2

    Learn About the Fire and Rescue Service

    +Volunteer Firefighters+* Over ninety percent of the firefighters in the United States are volunteer firefighters. These men and women live in the community and want to make it a safer place. Frequently the local firehouse is the focal point in the community. The fire engines, and trucks are purchased with donations raised from the community. Becoming a volunteer firefighter is not ...
    Rated: +2
  • +2

    Everything You Need to Know About Background Investigations

    Everything You Need to Know About Background Investigations
    Fire departments traditionally spend thousands of dollars to advertise, recruit and hire firefighters. The departments sift through applicants using written examinations, physical agility tests and comprehensive oral interviews, but only do a cursory check on their backgrounds. They eventually produce a list of top candidates. It is now up to the organization to ferret out those candidates who were less than ...
    Rated: +2

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