Women holding a rectangle piece of paper that says 'Fired'


Let’s get real here! One of the most difficult hurdles to get over is being fired by another department. It is a blow for sure. But, the cold, hard truth is that there has been an alarming rate of new firefighters fired in their academy and during probation. So, what is going on here?

Here is what we know: The number one reason new hires are getting fired is simple. These folks are showing up for their academy without being in good enough physical shape. That’s it. They are not physically ready for the demands of the job.

Many tell us that they do not understand. They passed the physical agility. They wonder why they were let go. We tell them just because they passed the physical agility doesn’t mean they are physically ready for the academy.

You see, the physical agility standards over the past few years have been lowered so almost anyone can pass. Fire departments have had little control over this circus. But they know once they get the candidates in the academy, they will require them to meet the level of service that the job requires. You can bet that the bar is high. Be prepared!

Some can’t remember the manipulative skills for equipment and evolutions. Fix that problem before it starts. Some seem to want to shoot their mouth off on how they were trained in another academy or department. Hold your tongue. Lastly, too many paramedic firefighters are carrying the position that they’re in charge of patient care no matter what. The inflexible medic needs to understand that some crew members have been going on EMS calls for over twenty years, and they know a thing or two. Be Flexible and understand how the department works.

Here is another NUGGET: If your officer tells you something, you better get focused and ask him or her what they’re seeing that you don’t. The truth is you could be 100% right and still be shown the door.

The main point to remember is this – do not bring up getting fired during your oral board unless they do. Too many candidates bring it up on their own trying to justify their position and try to do repair work. This is a big mistake. You will only be opening a can of worms that can’t be closed.

If it is brought up or covered in your background, take responsibility for what you think happened even if you may never really find out what happened. Talk about what you learned, and how it has helped you move forward in your firefighter career. Your positive attitude about what happened to get you fired may just get you hired.

Fire Captain Bob