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Topic:  Oral Board Interview Preparation Using a Tape Recorder Newsletter #62 entry-level newsletter is about YOU BEING THE BEST - THE BEST PREPARED AND BEST INFORMED!

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January, 2012

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    1. Fire Prep Topics of Interest Oral Board Interview Preparation Using a Tape Recorder

    2. Job Openings 15 Departments Hiring

    3. Department Spotlight on Austin, Texas

    4. Entry Level Exam Prep


1.  Fire Prep Topics of Interest Oral Board Interview Preparation Using a Tape Recorder

What tools can you use to practice and rehearse your oral board answers? Right, a video camera. You need to see how you look in action. But you are trapped with a video camera. Mirror? Sure standing in front of a mirror is good. But you are missing the most valuable tool of all. A hand-held tape recorder.

I received a call from one of our candidates. He has made it to a few oral boards and one Chief's Oral without success. He has been invited to the San Diego oral board and wanted to set up a private coaching session. In just a few moments I was aware of something critical. Then I asked him if he was using a tape recorder to practice? Like most people (99.7%), he hemmed and hawed and finally said, "Well, no. But, I'm thinking about it."

Even though he had our Entry Level program that hammers and hammers the point home that you have to use a tape recorder and hear how you sound, he still didn't get the message. His answers were garbage. Many applicants want this job so bad they will do almost anything ethically and morally to get it. I guess that doesn't include using a tape recorder to get your timing, inflection, volume, where to cut out material, get rid of the uh's and other pause fillers, or to find out if you really sound like Donald Duck. You need to get married to your hand-held tape recorder. You need to hear what the oral board is going to hear out of your mouth. It's narrows the distance between you and the badge you're looking for!

What is the first thing a candidate says when he hears his voice on a tape recorder? Yep. That's not me. Yes, it is McFly. You need to get married to a hand held tape recorder and practice everywhere you go.

This is usually a guy thing. Guys think about their answers in their head and write them down. Then they think their answers are going to come out of their mouths like magic in the oral. Trust me, they don't! The brain and mouth don't work that way.

Try this. Take 3x5 cards and write down your oral board questions. Practice your answers with the tape recorder. If you hear something you do not like when you play it back, turn over the 3X5 card and write it down. The next time you go after that question, turn over the card first and see what you don't want to say.

Let me tell you how critical this really is. If you're not using a tape recorder to practice, practice, practice, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse and over learn your material until it becomes second nature to you, you might as well not show up for the interview. You are wasting the oral boards time and your time! Seek out another career. Understand you still have to interview there too. The above candidate has already lost some great opportunities. Had he been faithfully using a tape recorder to prepare for his oral boards, he probably could have had a badge already.

Some will say, "Well, if I practice it too much it will sound canned." NO it won't! It sure will be planned though. Practice makes permanent. "Luck is preparation meeting opportunity." One practice session with a tape recorder is worth 10 speaking out louds. After practicing, you will get to a point where your answers will get into your subconscious. That's where the magic begins. You can't be fooled.

We think practicing with a tape recorder is so important; we will not do private coaching with a candidate if they aren't using one. It is a waste of our time and their money. Be advised that your competition knows the value of using a tape recorder. They are catapulting past you if you're not using one too.

Here's what we know after 30-years of experience. Those candidates who get our Entry Level Program, use the work booklet that will become their script to audition for the job of a firefighter, use a tape recorder to practice and come back and do private coaching end up catapulting themselves into the Olympic Camp to get a shot at the badge. A proven inexpensive way to gain a 25+-year career. To be one of the last of America's heroes.

Instead of posting messages on bulletin boards asking others where they're at in the testing process for this city and I'm in the top 40 on this list or whatever, start asking your self this question: What am I doing that can best prepare me for the most important part of the hiring process? . . . The oral board. Because if you can't pass the oral board, or score high enough on the list, you don't get the job. Never! Ever! Ever! Now, where's your tape recorder?  "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

Additional Oral Exam Prep information can be found at the link below:


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If you want to start getting that competitive edge immediately over your competition, our 14-day FREE e-mail series covers the written, psychological, oral interview and physical agility. This e-mail series will guide you step by step through the maze of the testing process to help you shorten that learning curve between you and that coveted badge. As soon as you sign-up you will receive the first e-mail with important inside secrets. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!!


2. Job Openings, in conjunction with, will be bringing you job announcements for your review.  Since 1996, has been providing its members with the most comprehensive and accurate firefighter employment information available. We list complete hiring information and provide links to the Departments' websites and local area.

Every time we post a new listing, we verify the information and verify links to the department. We search newspapers all over the nation daily to provide you with the most current job listings available.

We also provide links to the city in which the department is located. This helps those who are interested in moving to another location to find out about the area. With this tool, you can check out housing, schools, cost of living and even entertainment options before you move anywhere.


Firefighter Job Openings:

Oakland, CA

Boise, ID

Folsom, CA

Jacksonville Beach, FL

Mount Sterling, KY

Battle Creek, MI

Gastonia, NC

Hobbs, NM

Reno, NV

Syracuse, NY

Little Valley, NY

Jacksonville, OR

Georgetown, SC

Aberdeen, SD

Portland, TX

Oakland Fire Department
1605 Martin Luther King Jr Way
Oakland, CA 94612

Closing date: 01-12-2012

Contact: City of Oakland, Human Resources Management
150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 2nd Floor
Attn: Assistant to the Director, OFD
Oakland, CA 94612-2019
510-238-3112 D=372521&hit_count

Boise City Fire Department
601 West Idaho Street, Po Box 500
Boise, ID 83701

Firefighter and Firefighter/Paramedic - Opens Jan 3, 2012
Closing date: 01-31-2012



Folsom City Fire Department
48 Natoma Street
Folsom, CA 95630

Firefighter Entry with Paramedic License
Closing date: 01-13-2012

Firefighter/Entry/with Paramedic Cert
Closing date: 01-13-2012

City of Folsom Human Resources
50 Natoma Street
Folsom, CA 95630

Jacksonville Beach Fire Department
325-2nd Avenue South
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Closing date: 02-01-2012

City of Jacksonville Beach
11 North 3rd Street
Jacksonville Beach, TN 32250
904-247-6100 ext 4

Montgomery County Fire Department
805 Indian Mound Drive
Mount Sterling, KY 40353

Firefighter/EMT, FF/Paramedic
Closing date: 02-01-2012

Montgomery County Fire/EMS, Station 2
805 Indian Mound Drive
Mount Sterling, KY 40353

Battle Creek Fire Department
195 Michigan Avenue East
Battle Creek, MI 49017

Closing date: 01-18-2012

City of Battle Creek, Human Resources Office
Room 215 City Hall
10 North Division Street
Battle Creek, MI 49014
269-966-3378 s/

Gastonia Fire Department
175 W. Franklin Blvd
Gastonia, NC 28053

Closing date: 01-31-2012

City of Gastonia, Human Resources Department
181 South Street
Gastonia, NC 28052
FAX 704-836-0045

Hobbs Fire Department
301 E White Street
Hobbs, NM 88240

Certified Firefighter or Paramedic #2011- 7
Closing date: 01-14-2012

City of Hobbs, Human Resources Department
200 E. Broadway
Hobbs, NM 88240
fax 505-397-9212

Reno-Tahoe Airport Fire Department
2001 East Plumb Lane
Reno, NV 89510

Airport Firefighter
Closing date: 01-11-2012

Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority
PO Box 12490
Reno, NV 89510

Syracuse Fire Department
511 S State St Rm 207
Syracuse, NY 13202

Closing date: 01-17-2012

Onondaga County Department of Personnel
421 Montgomery Street, 13th Floor
Syracuse, NY 13202

Cattaraugus County Emergency Services
303 Court Street
Little Valley, NY 14755

Firefighter #67778 O.C.
Closing date: 01-18-2012

Cattaraugus County Civil Service Commission
303 Court Street
Little Valley, NY 14755

Jacksonville Fire Department
Po Box 7
Jacksonville, OR 97530

Firefighter Assessment Center Hiring Examination
Closing date: 01-11-2012

City of Jacksonville
110 E. Main St
Jacksonville, OR 97530

Georgetown County Fire Department
715 Prince Street, 2nd Floor
Georgetown, SC 29442

Firefighter I / Paramedic
Closing date: 01-20-2012

Firefighter I/EMT
Closing date: 01-31-2012

P.O. Box 421270
129 Screven Street
Georgetown, SC 29442-1270
Fax: 843-545-3252

Aberdeen Fire Department
111-2nd Ave Se
Aberdeen, SD 57401

Closing date: 01-31-2012

City of Aberdeen Human Resources
123 South Lincoln Street
Aberdeen, SD 57401-4215

Portland Fire Department
595 Buddy Ganem
Portland, TX 78374

Firefighter/EMT or Paramedic
Closing date: 02-10-2012

Portland Fire Department
595 Buddy Ganem Drive
Portland, TX 78374
Contact Ana Mooney (361) 643-0155


Have an upcoming Psychological Exam?  Go to the link below Psychological Exam Preparation:


3. Department Spotlight on Austin, Texas

Periodically, we will be highlighting a major department who will be giving an exam in the near future.  This issue's department spotlight is on Austin, Texas.  Their recruitment website,, states that they will be having an exam in the spring of 2012.


4. Entry Level Exam Prep Products

Since 1950, Don McNea Fire School's entry-level products and seminars have helped over 40,000 fire applicants attain that ultimate edge. It's about you being the best the best prepared and best informed. 

Go to the link below to review our immediate digital download exam prep products page:

If you would like to review all of our entry level exam prep products, go to the link below:

Entry-level Product Spotlight ~ Preparing for a Cooperative Personnel Services (CPS) exam?  Go to the link below for our in-depth exam prep:

Preparing for the Charlotte, NC exam? Go to the link below for custom designed exam prep.


Firefighters Walk to Christianity!


Have you recently been hired by a department?  Do you have any questions? 

Email us at  

We hope this newsletter and upcoming editions will assist you in obtaining the best job in the world - a firefighter.  We wish you the best of luck!

Don McNea Fire School


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