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Are you interested in obtaining the competitive edge required to be successful in your goal of becoming a firefighter or being promoted to an officer's position within your department?  Since 1950, Don McNea Fire School's seminars, entry-level and promotional products have prepared over 40,000 applicants in their pursuit of becoming a firefighter or an officer.'s entry-level newsletter, which now has over 13,000 members, is about YOU BEING THE BEST - THE BEST PREPARED AND BEST INFORMED!  This periodic newsletter will concentrate on the complete firefighter and officer examination testing process.  We suggest that you start a notebook or 3-ring binder of our newsletters so that you can periodically review them in your examination preparation.

If you would like to review our past newsletters, go to and click on "Past Newsletters."

By receiving this newsletter, you will receive - AT NO CHARGE - notices of firefighter examinations being held across the country.  We will also enroll you in our weekly drawing for a free copy of our Encyclopedia of Firefighter Examinations and Psychological Exam Preparation Audiotape or CD and Workbook.

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1. Orange County CA Firefighter Exam Prep

2. Oral Interview Skills - Instant Clones

3. Top 150 Firefighter Department Website

4. Test Taking Strategies - Visualization

5. Exam Announcements and Seminars

6. New Website

7. Prep Products


1. Orange County CA Firefighter Exam Prep!

For those of you taking the Orange County Fire Authority Examination, we have assembled a preparatory package including our audio CD with 9 practice exams for the difficult section "Understanding Oral Information."

Go to the link below to review and purchase this package:


2. Oral Interview Skills - Instant Clones



Recently I had the opportunity to participate in mock orals with one of my instructors who happens to be really great when it comes down to interviewing. In our class that comprises mostly of people starting fire tech classes, nobody did very well. It was a great lesson about how we need to start preparing and getting to familiarize ourselves with the testing process. However, 2 guys who were friends with our instructor, participated in our mock orals, and put the rest of us to shame. (They obviously have spent countless hours practicing orals with our instructor!)

They really knew their stuff, and not having any oral experience myself, I was very impressed, along with the rest of my class. My question is that these guys were so well rehearsed and knew each question and answers like the back of their hand, they sounded like actors in a play - anybody could tell that everything down to expressions, and hand motions had been practiced over and over to perfection, is this what interviewers want when they interview you? Do they really want to see rehearsed answers? Don't get me wrong, the answers were very good, but seemed so artificial. If anyone could let me know if it's better to answer questions to the best of your knowledge, or just to memorize good answers. Thanks, any input would be great




What you saw was a perfect example of turning candidates into "Clones". It's impressive at first. But if you felt is was too rehearsed, so will the oral board panel. When you see it over and over again it gets old and puts the panel into a daze. We could tell who the instructors were on many of the clone candidates by the second question. This will stick out in an interview. One thing about clone candidates; they will end up with a score that will put them in the clone pack.

One of our officers was going to be on a panel for our department. He had been shooting his mouth off that he could tell which candidates were mine. After the interviews, he was telling us about this great candidate who nailed his interview and came out number one. I asked him if he thought the guy had been coached? He said he was so good using his own stuff he couldn't have been.

When I told him this was one of my candidates, he screamed . . . NO WAY! Yep, he's one of our guys. Not only that, this guy had been testing for over 3 years. He scored 532 on his last test in Stockton. He came to us three weeks before his oral with our department. He had great stuff, but didn't know how to present it.

The toughest thing for candidates to do is be themselves on purpose. Not a clone of someone else.

For more information on Capt Bob's oral interview strategies, go to the link below:

3. Top 150 Firefighter Department Website

For those of you interested in keeping current on when the top 150 fire departments in the US are giving examinations, go to the link below to find current addresses, phone numbers and websites of these departaments.  Many of these departments have a recruitment unit where you can have your name put on a mailing list to be informed of their next examination.


4. Test Taking Strategies - Visualization


Visualization is the ability to picture a scene or object in your imagination.  It includes the ability to picture changes in that scene or object.  This type of test question asks, "Can you imagine…?"  It is a test of your imagination.  It requires you to think in pictures.  If you have read a lot of comic books in your childhood, you may be quite skilled at thinking in pictures.  In fact, if you think of yourself as an illustrator whose job it is provide pictures to illustrate written materials, you will find these questions easy to handle.

Often the key to a Visualization question is noting direction accurately:  North, East, South and West.  When direction is part of the material, put the traditional symbol on your drawing with North in the twelve o-clock position.  Focus your attention on unchanging parts.  Viewing objects from the opposite side reverses location of all parts of the object.  For example, keep in mind that when objects are viewed from the back or inside, the parts of the object appear in reverse location.

For more examination test-taking strategies, go to the link below:


5. Exam Announcements and Seminars


The City of Euclid, Ohio

NOTE:  The last day to pick an application is Friday August 12.  Completed applications (first 200) will be accepted on Thursday, September 1, from 9:00 until 3:00 p.m only. 

Go to the link below for exam details %27s%20Civil%20Service%20Exam


The City of Orange County, Florida

Deadline Sept. 30, 2005

Go to the link below for exam details =4&cboDepartment=1%7C10%7C-1&cboJobTitle=-1&cboSalaryRange=-1&t xtPostingID=&txtJobCode=&cmdSubmit=Submit


The City of Clearwater, Florida

Deadline Dec. 31, 2005

Go to the link below for exam details


The City of Davis, Calfornia. 

Applications will be accepted for one day only - Friday, September 16th, from 9:00 a.m. until 12 p.m.

Go the link below for exam details


Las Vegas and North Las Vegas Firefighter Examination

The cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas will be accepting applications for the position of Firefighter Trainee during the period of October 17 through November 17, 2005, at Las Vegas City Hall, Human Resources Department, 400 Stewart Ave, on the corner of North Las Vegas Boulevard and Stewart Avenue.  This recruitment will involve a highly competitive process that includes a written exam scheduled for January 25, 2006, and a pass/fail physical ability test scheduled for mid-March 2006.

Click here for further information on this examination:

For those of you who want a head start on your competition, Don McNea Fire School has assembled a 600+ question practice examination for the Firefighter Selection, Inc. (FSI) 8th Edition test preparation manual.  Go to the link below for further information - remember that luck goes to the prepared!


6. New Website

We have a new website that is currently under construction - www.

This will be a website to further help you in your pursuit of becoming a firefighter.  We will inform you when this website is up and running.


7. Preparatory Products


Taking a Cooperative Personnel Services (CPS) exam in the future?

Go to the link below for exam prep.


Preparing for an upcoming oral interview exam?

Go to the link below for Capt. Bob Smith's oral interview prep.


Taking a psychological exam in the future?  Don't go into this exam unprepared!  Don McNea Fire School's CD/audio exam preparation will help you prepare!


For those of you having difficulty on the Reading Comprehension & Mathematics portions of examinations, go the link below for help:


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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