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Topic:  Recommendation Letters Newsletter #69 entry-level newsletter is about YOU BEING THE BEST - THE BEST PREPARED AND BEST INFORMED!

We currently have over 40,000 subscribers to our newsletter!

February, 2013

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1. Topic:  Recommendation Letters

2. Firefighter Job Openings Across the Country

3. 2013 City of Los Angeles Exam Prep

4. 2013 City of Austin Firefighter Exam Update


Go to the link below for our website sitemap:


1. Topic:  Recommendation Letters

Question: Will it help to present letters of recommendations from prominent people, such as a former police chief or my Priest or other firemen in the area? Will it carry any weight at all?

Reply: On most oral boards, the raters are from other departments. It is my experience that although the raters might thumb through and glance at any attached documents they seldom if ever read them. And come on, if you're going to attach a letter of recommendation, its not going to say anything bad but only glowing words about you. Save a tree, the raters will not read these volumes. Don't send us on a treasure hunt to find your great stuff.

I'm a one-page resume guy for entry level without a cover letter, not in a binder or folder. Do not give us a book. We will not read it. Write it believing the raters won't go past the first page. You can put any supporting details, documents, certificates and if it will help you sleep better and letters of recommendation following the first page. Keep it simple.

Question: If you are going to attach any letters of recommendation following the first page how many is appropriate. I am thinking maybe two. I realize that there is a very good chance they won't read it but wouldn't it still look just a little better to have a couple of them?

Reply: How about none! Again, I'm a one page stand alone resume guy. Don't give me a book. And, if you have already listed your education, experience and certs on your application and resume, why do you need to attached them; unless they were requested or you're going to a chiefs interview where there is more time with each candidate.

Many entry level and promotional candidates have told me they were complemented on having just one, as in one page only, resume.

As you know everyone becomes an expert on these issues. They will fill you head with all these crazy ideas and stuff. And because "They Said" (I've been trying to find "they" for 30 years) you needed to have all that extra stuff or the other candidates are going to get ahead of you. So, how is all this extra stuff going to help you, really? Keep it Simple.

From interview rater Captain Steve Prziborowski:

I agree on this one - leave them at home! Personally, letters of recommendation really aren't worth much because it is very easy to get them (in my opinion and experience) and they're like a verbal recommendation of someone. Many times, people will say how great you are either to get rid of you or because they really don't know the true you.

On an oral panel, they don't have the time to look at them either. Every oral panel I have been on (on either side), there has usually not been much room for the rater's to utilize. There is usually a cramped table space with enough room for a rating sheet, and then maybe your application and/or resume, that's it.

You're getting graded at the oral for things you say, not for things that are written down. Remember if you don't say it, you probably won't get full credit for it. Dimensions you're getting graded on during oral interviews include oral communication, NOT written communication.

If the rater's are reading your paperwork, they're not listening to you - and that can be bad (remember if you didn't say it in the oral, you're not going to get full credit for it, even if it is on your resume). Having to read your resume and application while trying to make notes and comments on your rating sheet and keep their ears open to make sure you say all of the key phrases, buzz words, etc. is challenging enough. Throwing more paperwork in front of them (letters of recommendations, certifications, etc.) just convolutes the issue.

About the only time to include a letter of recommendation might be during the chief's oral (even that is an iffy time). Personally, if I was a chief, I really wouldn't put much weight on a letter of recommendation (and I know many chiefs that agree with me).

In my opinion, letters are letters. Whether they are from your boss, a friend, an acquaintance, etc. Whether they are saying how awesome you supposedly are, how great you performed at an event, etc.

Extra, unnecessary paperwork, that just takes away from what you're being graded for. During a background investigation, unless they ask for it, I wouldn't provide it. The background investigator has enough to deal with than have more paperwork.


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Past Newsletters!

If you would like to review our past newsletters, go to the link below or visit or and click on "Past Newsletters."


2. Firefighter Job Openings Across the Country, in conjunction with, brings the following job announcements for your review.  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:

Sacramento, CA

Disneyland Resort, CA

New Haven, CT

Dept of the Interior

Joliet, IL

Kansas City, KS

Grand Prairie, TX

Jacksonville, FL

Clearwater, FL

Augusta, GA

Annapolis, MD

El Paso, TX

Charleston, WV

Cheyenne, WY


Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District
2101 Hurley Way
Sacramento, CA 95825-3208

Sacramento County



Position: Firefighter/Paramedic

Last Filing Date:  March 8, 2013



Disneyland Resort Fire Department
700 West Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92803

Los Angeles County

714-781-1620 - fax


Position:  Part time Firefighter

Last Filing Date:  March 9, 2013

Disneyland Resort Fire Department
700 West Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92803
fax 714-781-1620 &jobid=91153



New Haven Fire Department
952 Grand Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511

203-946-6221 - fax


Position: Firefighter

Last Filing Date:  March 5, 2013



Department of the Interior
Fires Program Office
Boise, ID 83705-5354



Position: Wildland Firefighter (Range or Forestry Aid/Technician) - Boulder City NV

Last Filing Date:  March 29, 2013


INTERIOR, National Park Service
FIRES Program Office
Boise, ID 83705-5354
Phone: 888-364-6432



Joliet Fire Department
101 East Clinton Street
Joliet, IL 60432

Will County

815-724-3555 - fax


Position: Firefighter/Paramedic

Last Filing Date:  March 8, 2013


Stanard & Associates, Inc.
Attention: Application Processing Department
309 West Washington St., Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60606



Kansas City Fire And Emergency Services
701 North 7th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101

Wyandotte County

913-342-9610 - fax



Last Filing Date:  April 10, 2013


Unified Government of Wyandotte County
Human Resources Department
701 North 7th Street, Rm. 646
Kansas City, KS 66101



Grand Prairie Fire Rescue
201 Nw 2nd St. Ste 200
Grand Prairie, TX 75050

Dallas County

214-237-8309 - fax


Position: Firefighter

Last Filing Date:  March 29, 2013



Grand Prairie Fire Department
318 W. Main Street
Grand Prairie, TX 75050
972-237-8192 98179&hit_count=yes&headerFooter=1&promo=0&transfer=0&WDDXJobSea rchParams=%3CwddxPacket%20version%3D%271.0%27%3E%3Cheader%2F %3E%3Cdata%3E%3Cstruct%3E%



Jacksonville Fire Rescue Dept
107 N Market Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Duval County

904-630-2651 - fax


Position: Firefighter

Last Filing Date:  February 28, 2013



City of Jacksonville, Human Resources Department
117 West Duval Street, Suite 100
Jacksonville, FL 32202
904-630-1287 1956&hit_count=yes&headerFooter=1&promo=0&transfer=0&WDDXJobSear chParams=%3CwddxPacket%20version%3D%271.0%27%3E%3Cheader%2F %3E%3Cdata%3E%3Cstruct%3E%



Clearwater Fire Department
610 Franklin Street
Clearwater, FL 33756

Pinellas County

727-462-6362 - fax


Position: Firefighter/EMT

Last Filing Date:  March 1, 2013


Human Resources Department, City of Clearwater
100 South Myrtle Avenue, P.O. Box 4748
Clearwater, FL 33758-4748
Fax: 727-562-4877



Augusta Fire Department
1099 Reynolds Street
Augusta, GA 30901

Richmond County

706-821-2867 - fax


Position: Firefighter I Trainee

Last Filing Date:  March 31, 2013


City of Augusta, Human Resources
530 Greene Street
Room 601
Augusta, GA 30901
Ph: (706) 821-2303
Fx: (706) 821-2867 82&hit_count=yes&headerFooter=1&promo=0&transfer=0&WDDXJobSearch Params=%3CwddxPacket%20version%3D%271.0%27%3E%3Cheader%2F%3 E%3Cdata%3E%3Cstruct%3E%3Cvar



Annapolis Fire Department
93 Main Street, 3rd Floor
Annapolis, MD 21401

Anne Arundel County


Position: Firefighter/Paramedic - Previously Trained EMT-P

Last Filing Date:  February 28, 2013



City of Annapolis
145 Gorman Street, 2nd Floor
Annapolis, MD 21401-2535
Fax 410-295-7999



El Paso Fire Department
8600 Montana
El Paso, TX 79925

El Paso County

915-771-1023 - fax


Position: Certified Firefighter Trainee

Last Filing Date:  March 1, 2013


Human Resources Department
#2 Civic Center Plaza
3rd. floor of City Hall
El Paso, TX 79901-1153
915-541-4504 &hit_count=yes&headerFooter=1&promo=0&transfer=0&WDDXJobSearchPar ams=%3CwddxPacket%20version%3D%271.0%27%3E%3Cheader%2F%3E %3Cdata%3E%3Cstruct%3E%3Cvar%20



Charleston Fire Department
808 Virginia Street West
Charleston, WV 25302

Kanawha County

304-348-0731 - fax


Position: Probationary Firefighter/Paramedic

Last Filing Date:  March 4, 2013


City of Charleston, City Clerks Office
501 Virginia Street East
Charleston, WV 25301



Cheyenne Fire Department
2101 O'Neil Avenue, Ste 307
Cheyenne, WY 82001

Laramie County

307-637-6387 - fax


City of Cheyenne, Human Resources Department
2101 O`Neil Avenue, Suite 304
Cheyenne, WY 82001
fax 307-637-6387 se&JobID=Firefighter-Exam-Fire--


3. 2013 City of Los Angeles Firefighter Exam Prep

For those of you preparing for the upcoming City of Los Angeles Firefighter Examination, go to the following link for Don McNea Fire School's in-depth packages to help you prepare for this exam:


4. 2013 City of Austin Firefighter Exam Update

The City of Austin will be conducting a firefighter examination on May 13.  Go to the following website,, and fill out a Candidate Interest Card to be notified of the application details for this examination.  Don McNea Fire School will once again be conducting an in-depth preparatory seminar.  Check our website for all the details soon! 


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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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