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TOPIC: Newsletter #57 entry-level newsletter is about YOU BEING THE BEST - THE BEST PREPARED AND BEST INFORMED! 

We currently have over 35,000 subscribers to our newsletter!

January 20, 2010

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 ultimate edge over your competition!

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1. Fire Prep Topics of Interest – Strengths and Weaknesses

2. Charlotte, NC Exam Prep

3. Job Announcements by

4. Entry Level Exam Prep


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1. Fire Prep Topics of Interest – Strengths and Weaknesses

I was going over some questions for interviews, and I was hoping someone could help me with an answer. What are good answers for the question; what are your strengths and weaknesses? What are some bad answers?   — John

Reply: Let's start with what your answers are first.

O.K. If asked those questions I would probably respond with something like; My strengths are education, willingness to start from the bottom, my diverse background in fields other than fire fighting, and the fact that I have experience but am very adaptable to my current surroundings. My weaknesses are occasional tunnel vision, excitability, and no full-time experience. There are probably a thousand faults but you get the point.

Where do I go from here? John

First understand that if we start giving answers, everyone would clone them and they would lose their value. I encourage candidates do use their own answers, reflecting their personal life experience.

This question can be asked in many ways, i.e.: What attributes do you think a firefighter should possess, or what qualities, what strengths etc. I think you can come up with better strengths. Education, starting at the bottom and a diverse background are not really strengths. They are what you've done to prepare for the position. Areas relating to loyalty, honesty, and being dependable etc. are strengths.

When you're deciding a weakness, use something that might have been a weakness, but you have already done something to correct it i.e., you had a problem speaking in front of groups. You have improved this situation by taking a public speaking class or joining Toastmasters.

Since firefighters are in a living environment, we would not be looking for someone with occasional tunnel vision and excitability. No full-time experience is not a good choice for a weakness either.

Got a call from a candidate. He lives in Washington now and his oral was in 4 days. He got his Firefighter1 from an academy in Southern California. He said it hasn't helped much trying to get a job. He has now been a medic for 8 months with no luck in testing. In the most pathetic monotone voice he said this is the department he really wants to work for and (with absolutely no enthusiasm) he will be one of the 15 hired.

He asked if he could run one of his answers on what a negative is for him that his firefighter buddies and other friends helped him work out. Sure, shoot. Joel said a negative for me is my past. Even though I got a DUI and some other minor stuff, that's not who I really am.

I couldn't believe my ears. Uh, Joel that answer would only open a can of worms. Don't use it.

Joel said, OK how about this one. Another negative for me is my paramedic skills. This job will help me improve them. Again, I couldn't believe my ears. Yep, that's the guy we want to hire, the one with the poor medic skills. Can't use this one either.

As already mentioned, everyone becomes an expert when they get hired. The answers Joel worked out with some firefighters and friends were definitely not helping but hurting him. The bigger problem is he didn't even have a clue. This was just one answer. How bad were the others?

I would like to say this was an isolated incident.  We encounter these bad answers on a regular basis. It is especially painful in an actual oral board where we see the candidates die a slow death one question after another. Then the candidates wonder why they don't get hired. This is an area where we try to keep candidates from stepping on the land mines.

After a little probing, we did find a negative Joel could use that he was working on to improve.

Thanks to Capt Bob Smith, Entry-Level Author and Speaker, for his great insight into the oral interview process.  Additional information on Capt Bob's CD/DVD Oral Interview Program can be found at the link below:


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!!


The Ultimate Firefighter Examination Package - Complete Exam Prep Covering the Written, Oral, Psychological, Physical Agility and much more!

Time and time again, research has shown that the top scoring applicants have a game plan.  They are preparing well in advance for the written, physical agility, psychological, and oral portions of the examination as well as reviewing top scoring test-taking strategies that will give them an edge over their competition. 

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Go to the link below for the most comprehensive web page on the internet on How to Become a Firefighter!


Firefighter Applicants Frequently Asked Questions and Answers! 

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!


2. Charlotte, NC Exam Prep

For those of your taking the Charlotte, NC, Firefighter Examination, Don McNea Fire School has prepared an in-depth preparatory package to help you prepare for this exam.  Click on the link below for all the details:


3. Job Announcements by

About 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:

Portland, OR

Denver, CO

Naples, FL

Tampa, FL

Bloomington, IN

Great Falls, MT

Dayton, OH

N. Ridgeville, OH

Trenton, NJ

Madiera & Indian Hill, OH

Philadelphia, PA

Alamo Hts, TX

Mesquite, TX

San Angelo, TX

Fairfax, VA

Roanoke, VA


Portland Fire Bureau
55 SW Ash Street
Portland, OR 97204

503-823-3710 - fax

Last Filing Date:   January 25, 2010

Contact: City of Portland, Portland Building Lobby Application Center
1120 SW 5th Avenue
Portland, OR 97204

Go to the link below for Don McNea Fire School's top scoring test-taking strategies to help you prepare for the exam!

Denver Regional Council Of Governments
1290 Broadway, Suite 700
Denver, CO 80203



Last Filing Date:   May 21, 2010

Contact: Denver Regional Council of Governments
1290 Broadway Suite 700
Attn: Suzi Walker
Denver, CO 80203
303-480-6730 Suzi Walker

Naples Police and Fire Department
355 Riverside Avenue
Naples, FL 34102

Collier County


Last Filing Date:   January 20, 2010

Contact: City of Naples, City Hall, Human Resources Department
355 Riverside Circle
Naples, FL 34102
fax 239-213-1845.

Tampa Fire Department
808 E Zack Street
Tampa, FL 33602

Hillsborough County

813-227-7026 - fax

Last Filing Date:   March 31, 2010

Contact: City of Tampa, City Hall
315 East Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33602
850-245-4440 =2386

Click below for the list of the top 150 departments in the country – use this to contact departments to find out current testing information!

Bloomington Fire Department
109 East Olive/ Po Box 3157
Bloomington, IL 61702-3157



Last Filing Date:   January 22, 2010

Contact: City Clerks Office
109 East Olive
PO Box 3157
Bloomington, IL 61702-3157

Great Falls Fire Department
105-9th Street
Great Falls, MT 59401

Cascade County

406-454-2454 - fax

Last Filing Date:   February 19, 2010

Contact: Sheri Hall
City of Helena

Dayton Fire Department
300 North Main Street
Dayton, OH 45402

Montgomery County

937-443-4561 - fax

Last Filing Date:   January 14, 2010

Contact: Dayton County Civil Service
371 West Second Street, Suite 231
Dayton, OH 45402

North Ridgeville Fire Department
7090 Avon Belden Road
North Ridgeville, OH 44039

Lorain County

440-327-5628 - fax

Last Filing Date:   February 1, 2010

Contact: City of North Ridgeville Clerk of Council's Office
7307 Avon Belden Road
North Ridgeville, OH 44039

Trenton Fire Department
11 East State Street
Trenton, OH 45067


513-998-5772 - fax

Last Filing Date:   February 19, 2010

Contact: City of Trenton, Administration
11 East State Street
Trenton, OH 45067

Madiera And Indian Hill Joint Fire District
6475 Drake Road
Cincinnati, OH 45243

Hamilton County

513-561-7733 - fax

Last Filing Date:   January 15, 2010

Contact: Madiera And Indian Hill Joint Fire District
6475 Drake Road
Cincinnati, OH 45243

Philadelphia Fire Department
240 Spring Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

Philadelphia County

215-922-3952 - fax

Last Filing Date:   February 5, 2010

Contact: Employment Application Center
Municipal Services Building
1401 J.F. Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1680 ID=177629&hit_co

Alamo Heights Fire Department
6116 Broadway Street
San Antonio, TX 78209

Bexar County

210-828-3006 - fax

Last Filing Date:   January 25, 2010

Contact: City of Alamo Heights Fire Department
6116 Broadway
Alamo Heights, TX 78209

Mesquite Fire Department
PO Box 850137
Mesquite, TX 75185

Dallas County

972-216-6436 - fax

Last Filing Date:   March 26, 2010

Contact: City of Mesquite, Human Resources Department
PO Box 850137
Mesquite, TX 75185-6218

San Angelo Fire Department
306 West 1st Street
San Angelo, TX 76903

Tom Green County


Last Filing Date:   January 29, 2010

Contact: San Angelo Human Resources Department
106 South Chadbourne
San Angelo, TX 76902
fax 325-657-4530{57087F72-46BE- 458B-9139-8C06F69B251B}

Fairfax Co Fire Rescue
4100 Chain Bridge Road 7th Flr
Fairfax, VA 22030

Independent City County

703-273-4830 - fax

Last Filing Date:   February 5, 2010

Contact: Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
Recruitment Section
4100 Chain Bridge Road, 6th Floor
Fairfax, VA 22030

Roanoke Fire Department
215 Church Avenue, SW Room 207
Roanoke, VA

Roanoke County

540-853-1218 - fax

Last Filing Date:   February 12, 2010

Contact: City of Roanoke, Human Resources Department
5204 Bernard Drive SW
Roanoke, VA 24018
fax 540-776-7130


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. 

The Ultimate Firefighter Examination Package - Complete Exam Prep Covering the Written, Oral, Psychological, Physical Agility and much more!   This package contains the following books:

  • Don McNea Fire School's Encyclopedia of Firefighter Examinations
  • Don McNea Fire School's Psychological Written Exam Prep
  • Don McNea Fire School's Hiring Guide Notebook
  • Capt Bob's Becoming a Firefighter
  • Capt Bob's Conquer the Job Interview
  • Capt Bob's Psychological Interview Prep
  • Firefighter's Exam Prep Book, Norman Hall

"This is everything that every aspiring firefighter needs. You can use me as the perfect example of someone who tried to wing it on my own and was very unsuccessful. The minimal investment I made in the Ultimate Package was more than worth it. Honestly, I would have paid ten times this amount to have the job of a firefighter." Greg from Texas

Immediate Digital Download Available!  Go to the link below to review the Ultimate Firefighter Examination Package to give you that ultimate edge over your competition:

The Ultimate Firefighter Examination Package - Complete Exam Prep Covering the Written, Oral, Psychological, Physical Agility and much more!

Oral Interview Exam Preparation   The Number # 1 Selling Oral Interview Prep Program In The Country !!

"Capt. Bob – thank you a thousand times over! I finally got the call on July 21st and start recruit school on September 7th! I know that I owe it all to your program. With it, I didn't give any clones answers and ended up number one on the hiring list. That is more proof that your program really works. I know I was giving clone answers until I got your product. With it, I saw the mistakes, corrected them, and nailed my interview. Thank you again!" Michael C.

Psychological Exam Preparation

"When you state in your psychological program that it puts you in the mindset of what the psychologists are looking for - it certainly did! I never realized that different jobs have different psychological characteristics. I now know what the psychologists are expecting from a firefighter applicant. I feel very confident for my future exams."
Mike from Washington.
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Don McNea Fire School's Firefighter Gold Bonus Package

"When I purchased the Gold package, I didn't realize that is truly what it would become – gold to me! I refer back to it constantly and it has helped me score well on all portions of the examination. I am currently in the hiring cycle for five departments, including my dream department." Jerry from New Mexico
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"About two years ago, I began pursuing a position with a major department in the Texas area. Through friends in the department as well as other firefighters in the area, I became aware of your preparatory packages. I knew that if I wanted to give myself a substantial chance of getting on my dream department, I had to prepare early and set myself apart from the other candidates. Your testing materials did that for me. Thanks!" Michael from Austin
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Firefighters Exam Preparation Book, 2nd Ed

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I/O Solutions - Practice Examination

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We have payment plan options:  You want every tool available to get your fire department badge. We want to help! Many of our programs are available through payment plans with NO INTEREST. Get our best-selling programs NOW when you need them!


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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