Get In the Game- Fire Service Networking

We hear about it way too much, “the fire service is becoming a business.”  Errors in syntax aside, there might be some truth to the notion, and if so, networking is a key to success in this profession.  Networking is not some uncomfortable meeting forum that only takes place in the private sector, networking happens almost every day in our profession and it is up to each of us to take advantage of the opportunities surrounding us. Many of us are heavily dependent upon mu...

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Top 10 Interview Mistakes

Below is an article from CNN, it is a great “punch list” of things to think about to help you with your next interview. Hiring managers don’t want to hear a lot of things during an interview — confessions of a violent past, a cell phone ring, a toilet flush. Yet job seekers have committed these interview gaffes and worse, according to CareerBuilder.com’s annual survey of the worst interview mistakes. Odd behavior isn’t the only way to ruin your chan...

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Are You Ready To Promote? Are You Sure?

Below you will find a link to a great article from Fire Engineering Blogger Jason Hoevelmann.  Jason discusses two questions firefighters should think about prior to a promotional process and assessment center: What have you done in the past 90 days to improve yourself, the department and those around you in respect to the profession of firefighting?  What have you done over the last three to five years to prepare yourself to take on a formal leadership position that separ...

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How Serious Are You About Being a Firefighter?

In the fire service, we often preach the importance of being proactive. The proactive engine company, ladder company or a proactive approach to training and education. On the larger scale, fire service organizations are often more reactive than proactive i.e. something isn’t changed until someone gets hurt… We all know the dangers of being reactive and hopefully you and your crew take steps to maintain a proactive environment in the firehouse and on the fireground. With emphasis pla...

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Why Your Resume Won't Get Seen

Check out this article from J.T. O’Donnel originally published on Linkedin today: I got this question from a reader regarding submitting a resume to companies that don’t appear to be hiring: “ In one of your webinars recently you said go straight to the companies and avoid the postings. My question is: Do you make sure that a company is hiring or do you just send your letter and resume and hope for the best? Some companies do not accept resumes if they don’t have a s...

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You Got the Certs, Now Get the Job.

One of the great things about the fire service is the level playing field that we all come in on.  The fire service attracts many like-minded individuals from many different backgrounds.  Your skill-sets are what make you a good candidate and separate you from the pack.  The first 24 months after you graduate from the academy or get your certs are quite possibly the most important months in shaping your career. I hear so many guys complain about not getting a fulltime job, they...

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The Big 3: Books Every Firefighter and Promotional Candidate Should Have

I hear a lot of guys ask and talk about great fire service books they’ve read or are reading.  All too often though, it seems these books are only cracked open during promotional exam preparation periods.  There are a ton of great trade journals, magazines, blogs and books out there.  I don’t have a problem at all with guys relaxing in the recliners for however long during the tour, but why not crack open a book instead of watching that Law & Order re-run? While so...

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What Have You Learned Today

I have witnessed many firefighters attempt to learn and enroll in classes upon hearing there will be a promotional process, only to see them remain firefighters at the end of the process. Although you should brush up on your knowledge base prior to a promotional process and seek help to learn about how the process works, waiting for all of your learning to occur just before the process is a recipe for failure. Many reading lists could not actually be read prior to th...

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We Cannot Afford the Wrong People

The only constant in this industry is the element of change. We work in a dynamic environment that demands our very best at all times. In a post 9/11 fire service, we are the front line of defense for our nation’s citizens. It is absolutely imperative that we have the best people staffing our departments; whether in a rural area surrounding a national park or a major metropolitan department, we simply cannot afford to have the wrong people working for our fire departments. Think about a...

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Fire Department Recruiting Efforts: Untested, Unproven, Unknown

In a study from CWH Research, titled “The Next Generation in Firefighter Selection,” some interesting recruiting and hiring barriers were noted. CWH Research identified the following barriers: Not knowing where to recruit. Failing to advertise widely. Recruitment practices that overlook or fail to seek all qualified individuals. Reliance on informal networks of recruitment or word-of-mouth. No formal systems for recruitment. Limited pool of targeted groups of perso...

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