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Firefighter Jobs Newsletter #16

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 16,000 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. NEW Website Launched -

2. Don McNea Fire School's Test-Taking Strategies:  Common reasons fire applicants fail psychological exams

3. Oral Interview Skills: Posture in an Oral Board - Capt. Bob Smith

4. Fire Fitness Through the Holidays - Rich Meyer, CSCS, USAW

5. NEW!  Paramedic/EMT Question Review

6. NEW!  Top 650 Fire/EMT/Paramedic Schools

7. City of Lakewood, OH, Fire Exam

8. City of Columbus, OH, Fire Exam

9. City of Chicago, IL, Fire Exam

10. City of Los Angeles Fire Exam

11. City of Las Vegas/North Las Vegas, NV, Fire Exam Prep

12. City of Dallas, TX, Fire Exam

13. Prep Products


1. New Website Launched!

We have officially launched an additional website as a complement to our current website. will help you gain that competitive edge over your competition.  Take the time to review both websites and see what's new!

To visit the site map of the new website, click here:


2. Don McNea Fire School's Test-Taking Strategies:


The following are some of the common reasons fire applicants fail psychological exams

 Applicants who have trouble controlling their emotions and tempers.

 Applicants who show a disregard for others feelings.

 Applicants who may question a supervisor's authority or have a problem with that authority.

 Individuals who have an anti-social personality and prefer to work alone in situations.

 Applicants who show a high degree of anxiety and could have difficulty dealing with that anxiety in emergency situations.

 Applicants who are not pleasant to their coworkers.

 Individuals who are rude and caustic.

 Individuals who are very rigid and refuse to be flexible in their thoughts and actions.

 Applicants who make their own decisions regardless of what the team is trying to accomplish.


More information on pyschological exams can be found at the link below. .html

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

For entry-level examination preparation, go to the following link:


3. Oral Interview Skills: Posture in an Oral Board - Capt. Bob Smith


What posture is acceptable in an oral? I often receive questions like this one:  Is it o.k. to use your hands when in the oral board?  I have taken public speaking classes in high school and college and have learned to use my hands to help emphasis points, etc.  I feel pretty comfortable using my hands to explain myself, my question is will it hurt me in the oral board.




Yes it's O.K. to use your hands. A Stanford University study showed that getting a job is 15% knowledge and 85% percent enthusiasm! How can you be enthusiastic if you're a frozen statue in the chair? It can't be done. If you can light yourself on fire with enthusiasm and bring the excitement, emotional, the magic of the actual event in a story, the oral board with stand up, applaud and watch you burn.

I have candidates tell me, well, they said you can't use your hands. Sit on your hands if you have to. I always ask, "Who are they? Where is that written?" I've never been able to find out who they are, or where that is written.

It's perfectly acceptable to use your hands. If you are already using them, you will cause problems trying to stop. You will start concentrating on stopping and that will throw off your timing, concentration and presentation. A good rule of thumb is the keep your hands and arms in the confines of your body.

When I play back a video for review during private coaching sessions, many candidates go to a different posture. Some even lean forward with placing their elbows on their knees. I look for this different posture. I will ask if that position is more comfortable? If so, I encourage them to use it. It makes for a better personalized delivery in the oral.

I've had candidates in an oral move the chair right up to the table and place their elbows on the table. After a candidate did that in an oral, one of our rater's commented, "Did you see how he took it right to us!" He got top scores. It was this candidate's style and personality. He was able to pull it off. You might not. It can be risky. If you're going to try it, first ask the raters if you can move the chair.

Also, when you're that close to the interviewers you have to use the owl affect to talk to the raters. That means you have to turn your head way to the extreme right and left to make contact and answer the raters questions. This can also violate the rater's healthy boundaries and make them feel uncomfortable.

Sitting in a comfortable boundary for yourself and the raters is critical. A healthy boundary is where others' end and you begin.

As each candidate enters the room at an oral board, they have a tendency to pull the chair back a little as they sit down. After several candidate s cycle through an interview room the chair can end up further away from the interview table than you want. If so, ask first, and place it where you would feel most comfortable to make your delivery.

I hope this helps.

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


For more information on Capt Bob's Becoming a Firefighter, go to the link below:


4. Fire Fitness Through the Holidays - Rich Meyer, CSCS, USAW

Author of "FAST Responders:  The ULTIMATE Guide to Firefighter Conditioning"

Fire-fitness and Physical Test Preparation through the Holidays

It has come time again for the busy holiday season of parties, family time, shopping, winter activities, watching movies instead of being outside, kids' school plays, and just about every other excuse for not exercising.  While it is admirable and recommended to spend time with your family and enjoy the holidays, you can still stay make improvements in your fitness level or continue to prepare for upcoming physical ability tests.

As a firefighter, you must remain in top physical condition to perform daily tasks and roles on the fire ground and to battle stress.

As a candidate, you have been putting in the effort thus far to prepare for your next test.  The holiday season is no excuse to get sidetracked.

As a human, you have the right to be as fit and healthy as you want to be, even during this festive season.

So what's the answer?  How can this all happen while so many other activities are higher on the priority list?

Below is a list of tips which can help you get through the holiday season while maintaining your current level of conditioning or making improvements:

1. Schedule specific times for your exercise and training sessions for the next two months.  Scheduling will help keep your focus and know when you can afford to go shopping, have a party, or spend time with your family.  It will also remind you of the times when you have to get serious and train hard.

2. Use shorter exercise sessions.  Splitting up your training session into three 15-minute blocks that you can do throughout one day is a time efficient way to ensure you stay on track.  In using shorter sessions, you can still have time for everything else and continue to train hard to see improvements.

3. Keep your intensity high, but cut your volume.  Volume is defined by the number of sets x number of reps x amount of weight used.  Intensity is often defined as your perceived effort level or how hard you're training.  If you're doing 4 sets per exercise each of 8-10 reps, cut your volume in half by doing 2 sets of 4-6 reps per exercise and increasing the weight used.  You can also reduce your rest periods.

4. Use multi-joint movements.  Multi-joint movements like squats, deadlifts, lunges, cleans, snatches, chinups, rows, overhead presses, and dips use a greater number of muscles, burn more calories, allow you to use more weight to keep intensity high, and have a better effect on improvement in fire-related tasks.  You will essentially be training your entire body.

5. Train weak movements first in your session.  If you're going to be short on time, the least you can do is train your weak areas first.  This way, your body and strength levels will be more balanced which will allow you to train more efficiently for great results once the holiday rush is over. 

6. Exercise first thing in the morning.  Research shows the more people stay committed to an exercise routine by training in the morning.  While it's not the best time to train for strength and power because your body temperature is higher in the evening, training in the morning will prevent other priorities from getting in your way.  Just remember to add a few extra minutes for an extended dynamic warmup to get your body fired up.

7. Start NOW.  It's not too late to start training if you haven't been yet.  But, the crazy holiday season will be in full swing in another week or so, and the parties and engagements will begin.  If you start something today, you will feel better and be more likely to continue training during the season.  If you're looking at fitness goals for 2006, starting today will make that journey a lot easier.

8. Limit the amount of sweets and overeating.  It is the holiday season, and chances are you like to eat.  It's more practical to give yourself a few days over the next month or so to enjoy yourself.  The less bad food and sweets you eat, the better you will feel in the long run.  But, if you like to eat, do your best to limit yourself by eating healthy foods first and by saving your cheat meals ONLY for the parties.  Another effective way to prevent eating too much garbage is to keep a bowl of fruit next to the dessert tray.  When you're in the mood for something sweet, grab the fruit instead of the sugar.

By following the tips above, being conscious of healthy eating habits, and limiting alcohol intake, you will stay on track and even make gains during the holiday season.  It requires some effort, but you have to ask yourself, "how much do you really want to be a firefighter or stay a firefighter?"  What is more important to you: getting a badge, skipping workouts to party, or having your moments of sugar-filled gluttony?

Good luck and stay safe!  For more information on how to get fit for the fire service, check out and sign up for a free online training journal.


5. New Paramedic/EMT Question Review

Visit and review new questions to help you pass the difficult EMT/Paramedic examinations.


6. Top 650 Fire/EMT/Paramedic Schools

Visit for a list of the top schools in the country!


7. The City of Lakewood, Ohio

This examination will be held in the next 2-3 months.  Please call the City of Lakewood at 216-529-6610 to put your name on a mailing list to inform you of exam details.


8. The City of Columbus, Ohio

The city of Columbus, Ohio, has announced their plans to hold an entrance examination in the Spring of 2006.  Don McNea Fire School has conducted preparatory classes for the last 5 Columbus Firefighter Examinations with extremely successful results.  We will once again be conducting preparatory classes once the examination is announced. 

For more examination information from the City of Columbus, please visit the link below:


9. The city of Chicago, Illinois, has announced their plans to hold an entrance examination in the Spring of 2006.  Don McNea Fire School conducted preparatory classes for the last Chicago Firefighter Examination in 1995 with extremely successful results.  We will once again be conducting preparatory classes for the upcoming Chicago Firefighter Examination. 

More information is available at


10. Los Angeles Fire Exam Prep

The city of Los Angeles is now testing monthly!

Don McNea Fire School has preparation packages to help you prepare for this examination!  Visit the link below for details:


11. Las Vegas and North Las Vegas Firefighter Examination Prep

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!


12. The City of Dallas, Texas

Use the following e-mail link to be notfied when the upcoming Dallas, Texas, exam will be given.


13. Preparatory Products


The Ultimate Firefighters Package provides you with the best tools for the entire entry-level examination process - the written, physical agility, psychological, and oral interview

Find out more information at the link below:


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.


Capt Bob's book, Becoming a Firefighter, provides you, step by step, everything you need to know in the process, starting with the application, written, physical, oral, psych interview, background, polygraph, and medical to gain a badge.


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!


If you are serious about becoming a firefighter, Don McNea Fire School's Gold Bonus Package will guide you from the application period through the entire testing process including the written exam, physical agility, oral interview, psychological testing and resume preparation.


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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