How Long Can You Tread Water? I could not agree more with the value of an education. Education can and will help you in many ways. But, here is the truth – everyone has an opinion about this, and there are exceptions to every rule. How does that translate to a career in Fire Service? There are many roads to earning your firefighter’s badge, and there are no guarantees in life, no matter the path you take. If you want that badge – and cannot think of anything that you want more, then ask yourself who’s getting the badge? Are [...]
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So far Bob Smith has created 26 blog entries.
The Curve Ball Question Because I interact with many who use our eatstress.com program, I received this email: Captain Bob, I have been a volunteer firefighter for 3 years now. I only began seeking employment as a career firefighter 1 year ago so that I could finish my bachelor’s degree. I have never had any problem passing written and physical exams but am getting eliminated after oral boards. I am at a loss of what to do here. I feel that when I walk into the room, I am well prepared for my interview. Just recently though, I was thrown for a loop [...]
This is How Fast It Can Happen Things can happen fast. Let’s follow this recent candidate over a 2-week period to understand how fast. And, by the way - this candidate had never been to an Oral interview and was a non-medic testing against medics. Here is Pat’s story. From Pat: Hi Captain Bob: I just took my first interview with a multi-agency test after going through your audio/video program and coaching with your son, Captain Rob. I'm concerned. I was out of the interview after about 12 to 15 minutes for a scheduled 30-minute interview. I'm concerned something went [...]
Shoot for the Moon We all have dreams. It is what keeps us moving forward. Dreams get us out of bed in the morning. Some dreams are attainable. Some are not. But, we still dream. Here is a situation where I was asked to give my opinion. Captain Bob- I've been offered a position to pitch with the minors. It doesn't pay much, and I don't know if I'm good enough to make it to the majors. My dilemma is I've also been offered a fire job. What do I do? This was my reply: Since I was a kid, I had a [...]
Run Like Hell! You are interested in a career in the fire service. The jobs are out there. And, as a matter of fact, we’ve all heard the stories about people looking for fire service jobs even though they feared something from their past would stop them from earning the badge. It might be something big or small holding you back. Let’s take a closer look at how your past can affect your future. Here’s the cold, hard truth. Nothing will get you kicked out of the background check faster than a D.U.I or a domestic violence charge. Both usually [...]
Do I Need a College Degree? Let’s get something clear – very clear - Leave no doubt that I fully believe in education. If you want to get a doctor, lawyer, public Administrator, Engineer or any other career that requires a college degree and beyond. But….don’t think for a second that a college degree is the key to earning your badge and becoming a firefighter. Here’s a timeline to consider. If you’re just starting college, it could take 4 or 5 years to earn you BA depending on when you can complete all your classes and requirements. If you want [...]
It's An Early Christmas! I told Nick that in our experience, this meeting was going to include a job offer conditional on passing the medical. It was exciting news. This was an emotional time. Not only did Nick get this e-mail on his birthday, but he was driving home for Thanksgiving the next day. That very next week, Nick was with the other candidates in the lobby when they called his name first. As it turned out, my prediction was correct. This was a job offer pending the medical. I told Nick they probably called him first because he was [...]
Not Your Momma’s Oral Sometimes, you will hear folks talk about how easy it was in the '70s to get hired as a firefighter. Back then, people got hired right off the street. There was no test. It was just a handshake. You see, fire departments in the late '60s and early '70s earned incentives for hiring guys coming back from Vietnam. Those guys now have 30 years in service, and they are ready to retire. They are prepared to pass the torch. Here is the reality. There isn't a department in any state that isn't looking at several firefighters [...]
Do You Have the COURAGE It Takes? So – you have wanted to be a firefighter for as long as you can remember. You want it so bad you can taste it. But here is the hard cold truth - If you can’t answer yes to the following questions, you will never – and, we mean never, see a badge! Before we get started, ask yourself these questions: Are you taking every test you can? Are you passing the written? Are you passing the physical ability? Are you preparing for your oral interview? Are you passing the oral? Are you [...]
First Time Out We get it. It's your first time taking the test. You're nervous. What can you do to give yourself an edge? And, you are wondering if anyone out there has been hired on their first try? The answer is, YES. Here is a look at Steve's first time out..... A very excited candidate recently called me with a great story. At age 23, Steve decided he wanted to be a firefighter. He had no education or experience. Where should he start? A couple of firefighters told him to be able to test at many agencies he would [...]