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Firefighter Jobs Newsletter #23's entry-level

October 2007

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1. First Impressions - Phone Messages and E-mail Addresses

2. Las Vegas Firefighter Examination

3. Austin, TX, Firefighter Examination

4. Akron, OH, Firefighter Examination


1. First Impressions - Phone Messages and E-mail Addresses

From Don McNea Fire School

Many aspiring firefighters live together with their friends to cut down on expenses and help pay for their education (paramedic, etc.).

We recently conducted a prep class in which an opening occurred and we called the first person on the waiting list. The message on the phone was, "You have reached the house of Tim, Jim and Steve. We are unable to answer the phone because we are sitting around drinking beer and doing shots of Crown Royal. Leave your name and number, where we met you, and how drunk we were when we met you."

It might seem funny, but if that message was on the phone when a department called to bring you in for an oral interview or even a job offer, what do you think the officer would do? That also goes for cellphone messages and the fancy e-mail addresses that many applicants have. Many job applications require you to include your e-mail address as part of the process; be sure your e-mail address is professional.

The following is from Battalion Chief Steve Prziborowski on this subject...

Seriously, it is a big problem. Take a deep look and listen to your phone message (home phone, cell phone, etc.) and try to objectively think how a fire chief or other fire department representative) or a city personnel staff member would feel when they hear something inappropriate as such? You may think it is funny or cute or whate4ver, but once again, zoom out ten clicks and take a look at the big picture. It's not about you - it's about what others think about you. Yes, perception is someone else's reality. Is is worth missing out on a chance at the best career in the world? You make the call.

I've heard everything form someone sounding like they were Luther Vandross or Rico Suave trying to serenade you to take off your clothes, to someone who thought they were auditioning for Animal House, a rap video/cd or just paying homage to their favorite musician. This also goes for people who think it is cute to have their little ones leave the recording. It may be cute to you, but it can be quite annoying. The bottom line is that you never know who you may offend or annoy, and if you want to be successful, play it safe and, yes, sterile. "Hi, this is John. I am unalbe to come to the phone. Please leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Have a great day."

Isn't the best predictor of future behavior past behavior? Don't firefighters have to answer phones at the fire station and present themselves in the best light to the public? Just a thought.

If we're talking about phone messages, take a similar look at your e-mail address. It may seem funny or cute to you when you initially created it, but how does it look to an industry professional offering you a job? Stick to your first and last name and you typically can't go wrong.

Call it discrimination, call it personal opinion, call it creatively, or call it uniqueness, it doesn't matter. What matters is you learn from the successes and failures of others and make your own informed opinion.

Go to Chief Prziborowski's website at for additional career articles.


Do you know that 40-60% of fire applicants fail their psychological examination? Go to the link below for complete psychological exam preparation:


2. Las Vegas, NV, Firefighter Examination

The City of Las Vegas will be accepting applications for firefighter trainee from October 1, 2007, at 8:00 am until October 12, 2007, at 4:30 pm. The written examination will be on January 29, 2008. Don McNea Fire School may be conducting a preparatory seminar or having at-home prep package for this examination. Additional application and exam information about the exam process can be found by going to our website at and clicking on the Las Vegas Firefighter Examination link.


Preparing for an upcoming oral interview? Go to the link below for oral interview strategies:


3. Austin, Texas, Firefighter Examination

The Austin Firefighter Examination is anticipated to be held in the near future. Don McNea Fire School will be conducting preparatory classes for this examination. You can also be contacted by mail when the next Austin, Texas exam will be given by contacting Austin's recruiting division below.

Recruiting Division

Austin Fire Department

4201 Ed Bluestein Blvd.

Austin, Texas 78721

(800) 832-5264 or (512) 974-0100

Or, send your name and address to the e-mail address below:


4. Akron, OH, Firefighter Examination

The City of Akron is now accepting applications for Firefighter/Medic until October 31, 2007. Test will be the week of December 10, 2007. For complete application and announcement details, visit our website at and click on "Akron Exam Prep". Don McNea Fire School will be conducting a preparatory seminar for this examination details coming on our website!


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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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