Younger candidates have credentials too!
Just recently, I began testing for fire departments in California (Predominantly Southern California ). I am a fire academy graduate and I have two years of experience on a basic life support ambulance.
I am also currently testing for auxiliary and volunteer positions for added experience and my firefighter 1 cert. In January, I'm planning on going to paramedic school. My question is this... I'm only 20-year old- I won't be 21 until August. Does being this young hurt me whether or not I shine on my written and oral tests?
I don't see too many rookies this young with departments and I don't hear about people being hired this young. Just curious.
As long as you can present your package at the oral board, age should not be an issue. The problem is many younger candidates don't think they have the life experience needed. First you never tell the board your age. They won't know until the day you're hired. That's the law.
LMC, I would continue your pursuit for a volunteer position and definitely get into medic school ASAP.
I gave a presentation at Shasta Fire College. Many students didn't feel they had any experience that would apply to the position. That was until I asked several candidates to tell me about their first and succeeding jobs in life; no matter how menial it seemed. Many had paper routes, mowing lawns and working at Burger King. O.K., what did you learn? Once the answers started flowing, we heard how they learned to work hard, have responsibility, learn customer service and how to work as a team. Did you participate in sports in school? Isn't that working as a team. Do any of these areas apply to the fire service? You bet! So any time you can relate your personal life experience in answering an oral board question, you are telling the oral board that you not only know the answer the question, you have already lived it!
When the board asks what you have done to prepare for the position, don't forget to rewind the video tape of your life and create an early trail of how you learned how to work hard, have responsibility, and work as a team.
The biggest part of getting a high enough oral board score that will get you the badge is convincing the oral board you can do the job before you get it. Stories are convincing evidence that you are the match for the badge!
I had several fire explorers who were too young to test. They would hand out flyers at written tests in exchange for products and coaching. At Oakland's badge ceremony last month one of the fire scouts got a badge on the first test he was old enough to take. You have never seen a happier rookie firefighter.
As we all know . . .Nothing counts 'til you get the badge . . . Nothing!
Fire "Captain Bob" Smith has coached countless entry level and promotional candidates to get their badge. He is a retired 28-year Hayward, Ca. Captain, speaker/author of the audio/video program "Conquer the Job Interview," the book "Fire Up Your Communication Skills" ISBN 09657620-6-8 and a member of the prestigious National Speakers Association. You can book him as a speaker or get a copy of his books and tapes by calling toll free at 888-238-3959.