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Firefighter Jobs Newsletter #22's entry-level newsletter, which now has over 26,000 members, is about YOU BEING THE BEST - THE BEST PREPARED AND BEST INFORMED! 

April 2007

The estimated time of reading any section of this newsletter is 1-2 minutes - our newsletters are well worth your time to get that true competitive edge over your competition!

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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.


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1. Quick Test-taking Tip!

2. Oral Interview Strategy by Capt Bob Smith

3. Psychological Exam Strategy

4. Firefighter Applicants Questions and Answers! 

5. Stretching Before or After a Workout?  by Dr. Jen Milus

6. Los Angeles City & County FD Exam Info and Exam Prep

7. New Website!  Firefighters Walk to Christianity!

8. Testimonials


1. Quick Test-taking Tip! 

For those of you having difficulty completing the examination or finishing the exam with just 5-10 minutes left, here is a suggestion to help you complete your exam more smoothly.  Many examinations are divided into testing subjects; for example, you will find Mathematics, Reading Comprehension, Mechanical, Judgment, etc.  If your strong point is Mathematics, go to that section of the examination first and complete the Mathematics questions, making sure that you are marking the correct corresponding answer on your answer key.  This method will give you a confidence boost and lower your anxiety. This goes for any subject.  If you are better at Reading Comprehension, go to that section first and get it out of the way.  If you are better at Mechanical, do those questions first.  Your goal is to not get bogged down in a section where you don't feel confident, and then panic when you see that time is getting short.  By following this test-taking strategy where possible, you will find that the exam goes smoother and you save time for the more difficult sections.


14-day FREE email series!

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. Oral Interview Strategy by Capt Bob Smith

You've played bingo right? You have to have the right card (education), listen to the numbers drawn (experience), and be ready to call bingo when your final number comes up. It's the same thing trying to get hired as a firefighter. You have to have all your ducks (numbers) in a row.

You get through the written and pass the agility with time to spare G-51. You have taken your learned interview skills on the road so there are no surprises when you are invited to the departments you really want to work for. You can't believe how smooth your oral goes and how your signature nugget stories give you confidence and smiles from the panel I-22. Two days later the call comes for your first chief's interview G-1. The conditional job offer follows B-15.  You prepared in advance by knowing what to expect in the background. Your credit history is clear, driving record sterling, and previous employers praise you I-12. You educated yourself before going into the psych, poly and medical to know where the land mines are N-32.  Then all of a sudden with only one number remaining, the phone rings with that number you have been waiting for 0-74. The call inviting you to come on down and take the prize. You yell at the top of your lungs BINGO! I said BINGO! BINGO over here!

Here's some Bingo's:

It really hit me yesterday while I was getting sized up for my station uniform.

Hey Capt. Bob,

I just wanted to thank you for all the advice and guidance you have given me during my pursuit of achieving my dreams. I was just offered the job last week for an awesome department in the Bay Area. I am very excited because I'm able to move back to the bay area where my family

and friends live. It's been a rough road trying to get this job. I tested in San Diego County, Orange County, Sacramento County, Fresno County and the Bay Area. I slept in my car, at Motel 6 and frequently ate at Denny's. I am very relieved that I finally got the job offer. It really hit me yesterday while I was getting sized up for my station uniform. I looked in the mirror and was totally blown away that I can finally be called a probationary Firefighter/Paramedic. Thanks again for all the advice and I will be sure to refer your program to whoever is serious about getting this job.

Respectfully, Frank N.


Capt. Bob; Only until I obtained your program did I figure out how all the pieces of the puzzle of an oral board fit together. Once I realized how to separate the scenario questions with the simple formula and put my signature stories together to make the difference did I get my job

offer. Of all places the offer came from my dream department. I don't have to move and my wife and I are celebrating the birth of our first child. Sincerely, Tony

More information on Capt Bob's oral interview program and book can be found at the link below:

More information on oral interview strategies can be found at the link below:


Looking for a Fire/EMT/Paramedic College?  Go to the link below:


3. Psychological Exam Strategy

In today's testing formats, many questions are designed to determine if you have the personality characteristics of a successful firefighter.  Below, we have outlined some important thoughts to keep in your mind when taking your examination:

Are you the type of person who believes that teamwork is of the utmost importance?

Are you the type of person that goes above and beyond in your preparation for whatever you do?  Do you go the extra mile?  Do you give the extra effort?

Are you the type of person that believes that people are honest in nature or are you always on guard that someone has an ulterior motive and is not sincere in their desires?

Are you the type of person that gets along with most of the people that you meet?  Are you friendly, outgoing?  These are traits that are important as a firefighter dealing with the public.

Do you enjoy working with people as a group or do you prefer working by yourself?  This is very important - you must emphasize in any firefighter exam that you take that you are the type of person that likes to work with a team.

Are you the type of person that can concentrate when you are working on a task or are you easily distracted?  Many times on the fireground you will deal with people coming up to you, interrupting you, asking you questions.  Are you the type of person that can concentrate on the task at hand with all those interruptions?

Are you the type of person who has empathy for others and can sympathize with someone else's troubles?

Are you the type of person that is phony in nature?  When working or dealing with others from another culture, do you shift your mannerisms to match that culture or do you stay true to yourself?

Are you the type of person that feels that work is important or would you just take a day off and go golfing, bowling, or just out to have fun with your friends?  Do you feel that work comes first?

Are you the type of person that has patience and understanding?

Are you the type of person that has a tendency to often come to work tardy?  Are you the type of person that believes that timelines and deadlines aren't important?

Knowing that firefighting is a very physically demanding job, are you up to the challenge?  Are you physically fit and will you continue to work out?

Are you the type of person that believes that rules in a fire department should be followed?  The fire department is a paramilitary organization.  Do you skirt the rules or feel that rules can be broken if it suits your particular needs?

Are you the type of person that is always trying to improve themselves - whether it is taking classes, going to seminars, reading books?

Are you the type of person that enjoys gossip or do you keep gossip to yourself?  In a firehouse, you are in a 24-hour atmosphere with others and people can get caught up in the gossip.  Even if you know a rumor that is true about another firefighter, would you share that information with others?

Are you the type of person that others feel is interesting and enjoyable to talk to?  Do you have communication problems with others?

Are you the type of person that has biases against other groups and feel that they aren't deserving of firefighter jobs or promotions?

Are you the type of person who looks down on others when they are going through hard times?

Do you like to meet a challenge head on and enjoy when a challenge has been successfully completed?  Do you enjoy taking on more work and activities or would you prefer to let others do it?

Are you the type of person that feels your recommendations should be followed - that it's your way or the highway?  Or do you realize that the more input and opinions there are in a discussion lead to a better decision?

More information on Psychological Exam Preparation can be found at the link below:


Go to the link below to review career articles by the nation's top entry-level authors:


4. Firefighter Applicants Questions and Answers! 

Question:  Hello!  I am trying to enhance my resume and am looking for ways where I can get more experience.  I live in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I am currently enrolled in an EMT Basic class and I would like to do more but I am having trouble finding things that I can do.  I am 28 and I cannot join the Explorer's program.  Do you have any recommendations?  Thank you, Jonathan

Answer:  Jonathan, you are on the right path by taking your EMT Basic class.  We strongly recommend that you proceed onto becoming a Paramedic after you receive your EMT Certificate.  I would also look into some departments in your area that offer volunteer firefighter positions.  Some departments also hire part-time firefighters.  The more you can do in the fire service and the more enhanced your resume, the better position you will be in to be hired by a full-time department.

Question:  Hello, my name is Ben. I ordered the psychological exam prep program among other products from you and I think they're great!  I have a general written and written psych exam in Madison, WI this Monday.  My question is how do you answer statements about nervousness and worrying?  For example: I get nervous before an important interview.  My thought is that everyone does, but the guide emphasizes firefighters being calm in stressful situations and that high anxiety is undesirable even in the least. Any thoughts?  Thank you for your input and for what you do for candidates!

Answer:  Ben, although everyone does get nervous at times, many of the questions are worded "I often get nervous," "I have a habit of getting nervous," - those are the keys in answering these type of questions.  If a question is asked whether you occasionally get nervous, of course, everyone does get nervous occasionally.  It is the question that asks if you get nervous frequently and you answer "yes" where your psychological score will be negatively impacted.  The psychological exams are trying to determine if you are a nervous-type person, one who has high anxiety, or one who can't think clearly in stressful situations.  They are looking for individuals who can remain calm in stressful situations.

Click on the following link for more questions and answers by the nation's top entry-level authors to gain that competitive edge over your competition!


Looking for some top-scoring test-taking strategies to give you that competitive edge over your competition?


5. Stretching Before or After a Workout?  by Dr. Jen Milus

Stretching is always good. However, stretching cold muscle before working out is NOT good. It causes injuries. The muscles should be warmed up first, then go through active warm up/stretching, not static stretching at the beginning of the workout before warming up thoroughly. Static Stretching should be left to the end of the workout.

One exception about static stretching is that it appears that the calf muscle responds well to static stretching after 5-8 minutes of easy warm up. Static Stretching elongates muscle fibers and reduces their ability to exert force for a short period of time. I believe this is because it slides filaments a bit past where they usually lie, and the cross bridges are then a bit misaligned. Then it takes a bit for the muscle fibers to re-set as it were. If you then load the fiber heavily, immediately after stretching, it is more likely to tear. That is why I advise against stretching a given muscle group between sets, then going back and working it hard right afterwards.  Static Stretching is when you hold the stretch for, say a 15 count. Active stretching is when you move through a range of motion that you are about to use, slightly challenging a muscle's length. This should not be ballistic or bouncy at all.

For additional physical agility exam preparation, go to the link below:


Do you have a question you would like answered?  Email us at


6. Los Angeles City & County FD Exam Info and Exam Prep The City of Los Angeles, CA - Hundreds of firefighters to be hired! 

For registration information, click here:

For practice examinations for the City of Los Angeles firefighter examination, go to the link below:

The County of Los Angeles, CA - Hundreds of firefighters to be hired! 0-04

For practice examinations for the County of Los Angeles firefighter examination, go to the link below:


Looking to prepare for a written, oral or physical agility exam?  Go to the link below:


7. New Website!  Firefighters Walk to Christianity!


8. Testimonials

I just received my results from Columbus and I scored a 94 and they placed me in band 90.  From your experience with Columbus, do you know if I have a good chance of getting called for the next step in the hiring process or how many Columbus plans on hiring?  I also wanted to thank you for the Columbus prep class that you did.  I attended both classes and I don't think I would have scored well or been as prepared without them.  Thanks, Chris

I just wanted to thank anyone involved with the Columbus exam class.  I felt very well prepared going into the oral portion of the testing process.  It turned out I received a 96% as my final score, and I am only one of 281 people in the 90 band.  Once again, thank you and I will tell anyone I know in the future to use you all.  Thanks, Brett

I have never been more confident before taking an exam - and it showed. I finished 7th out of over 2,200 applicants. The Encyclopedia of Firefighter Examinations deserves much of the credit. I would never have scored as well without it. Thank you!  Bill from Texas.

This book was a major factor for me in scoring number one out of over 600 applicants. The selection process isn't over yet but I know that I would not be in the position I am without your book. I will keep you posted on how I do in the rest of the selection process.  Jim from Oregon.


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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