Goals and Why We Need Them?

Goals – we all have them. We need them. They keep us moving forward and on track with what matters. Goals relate to family, work, education, and just about everything in our life. Ask yourself this – What is your goal? Is it a degree? Is it a firefighter’s badge? Once you know what you want, how do you make it happen? 

Let’s say your goal is to become a firefighter. After all, it is all you have dreamt about since you were a kid. People forget how hard it is to become a firefighter. Once they’re hired, everyone becomes an instant expert on how it happened.

Figure out the shortest distance between you and that goal. How long will you wait to ride the big red firetruck and puff your chest out with a badge? Many applicants will have degrees, certificates, merit badges, and academies under their belt. With up to 800 candidates per firefighter job available, is this enough to get a badge? This is a great question. 

Yes – I believe in education. But, my personal experience sitting on more than 100 oral boards is this. I have seen too many candidates educated beyond their intelligence. These candidates have missed the point that they are applying for a rookie position. They tend to over-intellectualize their answers in the oral board. They provide a detailed explanation when the board is looking for an outline. (Read my BLOG that discusses KISS.) 

Personally, I have a fire science degree. I had some classes before I was hired and continued my education after I got the badge. Our department had an education incentive program. I retired with 5% added on because of my degree. Did I mention that they PAID me to go to school?

Eighty percent of the job offerings are for fire and medic positions.  For every fire/medic job, there are up to 20 candidates. You read that right. There are not up to 800 applying like there are for firefighter jobs. If I were a betting man, I would like these odds. 

Ask yourself where you can get the most badge for your investment. Recently, three of our eatstress.com candidates were hired.  One had been fired by another department. Another, at 44 years old, was the absolute worst candidate I ever had.  The third had two DUI’s. What did these firefighter candidates have in common? They were medics!

I attended a badge ceremony a few years ago in a large city. I was one of the first to arrive in the auditorium. As I walked around, I noticed a velvet-covered box on a table. I looked in the box and saw 32 shiny new badges. Twelve of those were going to our eatstress.com candidates. Am I proud? You bet I am. Being part of the change in someone’s life is a beautiful thing. Seeing loved ones pin those badges knowing all the challenges it took to get to this point, brought tears to many – yours truly included. 

Folks – this is the real deal. With cities across the country scrambling with other agencies to drop residency requirements and minority hiring because they can’t recruit enough medics, it doesn’t take much to see where the badges are going.

“Nothing counts ’til you have the badge . . . Nothing!” 

Fire Captain Bob