Losing the GIG. What’s Next?

Let’s get real here! Firefighters can be fired in their academy and during probation. It happens. One of the most challenging hurdles to get over is being fired by another department. If you are in this situation, the main thing is not to blame others. It is time for you to take a step back. Take responsibility. Make sure you understand what has happened, and embrace you have learned. Now is the time to convince yourself that this will never happen again.

Here are some situations where a firefighter might lose his or her opportunity”.

  1. Often, new hires show up for their academy without being in good physical shape. Hear me loud and clear: Just because you passed the physical agility doesn’t mean you’re physically ready for the academy. You see, the physical agility standards over the years have been lowered so almost anyone can pass. Fire departments have had little control over this circus. They know once they get the candidates in the academy, they will require them to meet a level of service that the job requires.
  2. Others cannot remember the manipulative skills for equipment and evolutions.
  3. Some shoot their mouths off about how they trained in another academy or department.
  4. Many recruits don’t realize how important the right attitude is for this job, especially in the academy and probation that follows. Attitude matters and is your rudder through life. Mindset is such a small thing that can make such a big difference.
  5. If your officer tells you something, you better focus and ask him or her what they see that you are not. Remember, you could be 100% right and still be shown you the door.
  6. Lastly, too many paramedic firefighters are carrying the position that they are in charge of patient care. Understand that you may have crew members who have been going on EMS calls for over twenty years. These Brothers know something.

If you do get shown the door, keep your chin up. It is time to move forward. If you decide to try again, do not bring up getting fired in the Oral Board unless they do. Too many candidates want to bring it up in the hope of justifying their position. They try to do repair work. This is a big mistake. You will be opening a can of worms than can’t be closed.

 If it is brought up or covered in your background, take responsibility for what you think happened, what you learned, and how it has helped you move forward. As I said before, getting re-hired is not impossible. Best of luck to you.