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Topic 1:  Lateral Testing in the Fire Service

Topic 2:  Oral Interview – Beat the Clock! entry-level newsletter is about YOU BEING THE BEST - THE BEST PREPARED AND BEST INFORMED! 

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July, 2013

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1. Topic 1:  Lateral Testing in the Fire Service

2. Topic 2:  Oral Interview – Beat the Clock

3. 2013 Las Vegas Firefighter Exam Prep

4. New Exam Prep – CWH Management Solutions

5. Denver, CO, Firefighter Exam Prep

6. 2013 San Antonio Firefighter Exam Interest List

7. Firefighter Job Openings Across the Country

8. Entry-Level Exam Prep


Go to the link below for our website sitemap:


1. Topic 1:  Lateral Testing in the Fire Service

Go to the link below to review this important article to help put you in that top percentile and get that coveted badge:

If you're applying for lateral position you have to go back to square one.

The biggest problem I've seen on oral boards when seasoned veterans take entry level or lateral tests is they can't place themselves in the position they are applying for: that of being a snotty nosed rookie. They try to hammer the oral board with their credentials thinking the board will just hand them the job. Their oral board skills are rusty and antiquated. It's hard for them to remember how it was to be a rookie.

There is a delicate balance here. Leave your time and rank in your locker. You must be humble, place yourself in the rookie position and build a natural bridge to present your education, experience and integrity to the oral board panel. Without this bridge, you're dead meat. This is not easy for many seasoned candidates. An attitude adjustment is needed. Attitude is a small thing that can make the big difference. Remember the position you're applying for a probie job. The seasoned veteran candidate can roar past any of the other candidates if his attitude and game plan are in place.

Your goal in a lateral test is to convince the panel you're a good fit and match for their culture. They have to like you. You could be asked why you're leaving your current department. You don't want to bad mouth your current department. You can present that your current department has allowed you the education and experience so you can take this opportunity for the next step in your career.

Every job you've ever had you started at the bottom. You're planning on doing the same thing for this position. You have seen the things new rookies have done to fail. You know what not to do. You're coming over wanting to learn the job the right way.


Even though you're already a firefighter you will still have to go through every step in the hiring process. Backgrounds can be a sticky area. If there is a lateral test in your future you want to make sure you conduct your life as if you were still testing to get your first badge. One paramedic candidate was hired for his first job in Oregon. Now with his experience he was trying to come home to California where their families were. Although he had never smoked pot before he was hired, he had smoked the herb on a ski trip with his firefighter friends 3 years ago. That mistake cost him the position.

Many a lateral candidate has been DQ'd in background by their jealous neighbors and "friends" who see your expensive toys and days off. Oh, yea, we smoked pot together.

It's not uncommon for background investigators now to ask you what Internet web sites you have been on and the user name and passwords. They will go in and check out what you have posted. A fire chief told me he had seen candidates who were in their last steps in their hiring process that were tanked by what they had posted on the Internet. Not pretty.

Many lateral candidates are concerned about taking tests and those agencies wanting to contact their current department. You can request that they not contact your current department only as the last step before a job offer.

Make sure you have a job offer in writing in your hot little hands before you leave your current department. If your department will let you take a leave of absence for up to a year, take it. If things don't turn out like you expected you have a home to go back to. One large department hired 19 laterals. Ten were let go in the academy. Wow! Imagine taking the job, being let go and there was nowhere to go.


How to Become a Firefighter…the #1 ranked site on the internet on how to become a firefighter!


2. Topic 2:  Oral Interview:  Beat the Clock!

The average oral board is 20 minutes. If you have 5 questions, that gives you 4 minutes for each question and answer. Add on an opening and closing (which are not usually scored) and you will have less time for your answers.

Candidates don't have time to deliver long, over kill, salvo drop, clone answers that drives most oral board panel members nuts anyway. I have been on panels where we either zoned out with these answers that went into minute detail or we just cut off the candidate, probably before they delivered the good stuff for their answer, and went on to the next question.

There are some oral boards where the session is being timed. If you don't move along, you won't get a chance to answer all of the questions to get your best score. If you have all these questions that go on and on and end by trailing off somewhere in left field, you might want to reconsider your position. I asked a candidate in a coaching session the opening question, "Tell us a little about yourself?" Fourteen minutes later we were somewhere in Montana. I said, "You've just used up 14 minutes of a 20 minute oral, what do you think we have time for now?"

Another candidate did a great job in a coaching session but didn't stop adding on more to his answers before his next interview. When the panel asked him what he knew about the City of San Jose, he went on and on (yes, one of the panel member told me this) ending with telling them how many convention hotel rooms they had in the city. Yep, that's the person we want to hire that will drive everyone in the station crazy. We already have enough of those.

Instead of just keeping it simple, often candidates complicate and over analyze the question until they get analysis paralysis. They ask anyone that will stand still long enough what they think. You end up sounding like a canned "Clone".

Candidates need to be prepared to field the question presented, get their top score, satisfy the oral board and move onto the next question. Why give the panel a blue print, when we they just need a sketch. Why give us a dump truck, when we just need a trailer?

That's why it's so important to be practicing with a tape recorder to get your timing, inflection, volume, where to cut out material on those long drawn out answers, and find out if you really sound like Donald Duck.

Short Interviews

I was scheduled for a half hour interview with the board, they presented themselves and I shook their hands firmly with confidence. They asked me 6 questions, they ehere worded a little bit different from what I was studying in your tapes but after I took off the disguise it was the same point! I answered them, but I had little stumbles here and there. What worried me was that when I came out of the room there were a couple of their city firefighters with stunned faces and I was wondering why; then I looked at my watch and saw that I was only in there for about ten to fifteen minutes... I'm freaking out here Bob! What do you think - are short interviews good or bad? Thanks''

It is not unusual to for candidates to stumble a few words in their oral board. The raters expect it.

If you had personalized answers for the base line of possible oral questions, practiced faithfully with a tape recorder to hear what the oral board was going to hear out of your mouth, delivered "Nugget" answers, it is not uncommon to get out of an oral board quickly with just 6 questions. And, don't psych yourself out by thinking their firefighters were stunned. You probably nailed it.

Don't worry until it's time to worry. It's not time to worry yet!

This candidate did indeed nail it and got his badge!

Go to the link below for the #1 firefighter oral interview prep in the country:


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!!


Past Newsletters!

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


3. 2013 Las Vegas Firefighter Exam Prep

For those of you preparing for the 2013 Las Vegas Firefighter Examination, go to the link below for our 600-question, multiple-choice practice examination from the Fire & Police Selection, Inc., (FPSI) 10th Edition test preparation manual.


4. New Exam Prep – CWH Management Solutions

Don McNea Fire School has assembled a 225-question, custom-designed exam prep specifically structured for the test consultant, CWH Management Solutions.  This is not generic testing!  Practice examination subjects include:


  • Practical, Interpersonal and Self-awareness Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing Skills
  • Mathematic Skills – includes step-by-step instructional for each problem
  • Mechanical Aptitude – includes instructional explaining each problem
  • Also included in this package are our top-scoring test taking strategies, grammar strategies, physical agility strategies, top 150 departments across the country, featuring addresses, phone numbers and website information so that you can keep current on when departments are giving firefighter examinations.

CWH is one of the leading test consultants in the country and our exam prep will put you in that top percentile.  Click on the link below for more information on this exam prep package:


5. Denver, CO, Firefighter Exam Prep

For those of you preparing for the upcoming Denver Firefighter Exam, go to the link below for custom-designed, in-depth exam preparation:


6. 2013 San Antonio Firefighter Exam Interest List

For those of you interested in taking the 2013 San Antonio, TX, Firefighter Exam, go to the link below to fill out a Candidate Interest Card.  By filling out this card, you will be notified by mail when the exam will be conducted and application details.  This exam is anticipated to be given this fall.


7. 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:

Williamson Valley Fire District, AZ

South Pasadena, CA

Petaluma, CA

Cape Coral, FL

Gwinnett County, GA

Leawood, KS

Winston-Salem, NC

Goldsboro, NC

Norwalk, OH

Zanesville, OH

Columbia, SC

Irving, TX – see below for our custom-designed exam prep!

Temple, TX

Corpus Christi, TX

Houston, TX – see below for our custom-designed exam prep!

Norfolk, VA

Tampa, FL


Williamson Valley Fire District
15450 N. Williamson Valley Rd.
Prescott, AZ 86305

Yavapai County

928-717-1994 - fax

Position:  Firefighter EMT/Firefighter Paramedic

Last Filing Date:  July 13, 2013

Williamson Valley Fire District
15450 N Williamson Valley Rd
Prescott, Arizona 86305


South Pasadena Fire Department
817 Mound Avenue
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Los Angeles County

626-403-7301 - fax

Position:  Firefighter/Paramedic

Last Filing Date:  July 20, 2013

City of South Pasadena
1414 Mission Street
South Pasadena, CA 91030-3298

Petaluma Fire Department
198 "D" Street
Petaluma, CA 94952

Sonoma County

707-762-4547 - fax

Position:  Firefighter/Paramedic

Last Filing Date:  August 5, 2013

Human Resources
Attn: Jeff Schach, EMS Battalion Chief
11 English Street
Petaluma, CA 94952


Cape Coral Fire Department
PO Box 150027
Cape Coral, FL 33915

Lee County

941-574-0523 - fax

Position:  Firefighter/EMT

Last Filing Date:  July 20, 2013

City of Cape Coral, Human Resources
PO Box 150027
Cape Coral, FL 33915-0027


Gwinnett Co Fire Emer Svc
1900 Five Forks Trickum Rd
Lawrenceville, GA 30244

Gwinnett County

770-513-5555 - fax

Position:  Firefighter I/EMT (Intermediate or Advanced)

Last Filing Date:  August 10, 2013


Gwinnett County Government
Human Resources Department
75 Langley Drive
Lawrenceville, GA 30046-6900


Leawood Fire Department
4800 Town Center Drive
Leawood, KS 66211

Johnson County

913-339-6781 - fax


Position: Firefighter I

Last Filing Date:  August 9, 2013

City of Leawood, Human Resources Department
4800 Town Center Drive
Leawood, KS 66211


Winston-Salem Fire Department
725 North Cherry Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27102

Forsyth County

336-773-7974 - fax


Position:  Firefighter - 781

City of Winston-Salem, Human Resources
101 North Main Street, Suite 53
PO Box 2511
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
336-747-6809 jobID=675203&hit_count=yes&headerFooter=1&promo=0&transfer=0& WDDXJobSearchParams=%3CwddxPacket%20version%3D%271%2E0 %27%3E%3Cheader%2F%3E%3Cdata%3E%3Cstruct%3


Goldsboro Fire Department
204 South Center Street
Goldsboro, NC 27530

Wayne County

919-580-4224 - fax

City of Goldsboro
Human Resources Management Department
Post Office Drawer A
Goldsboro, NC 27533


Norwalk Fire Department
42 Whittlesey Avenue
Norwalk, OH 44857

Huron County

419-668-2870 - fax

Firefighter Examination - 100 applicants

Last Filing Date:   July 18, 2013

Norwalk City Hall
38 Whittlesey Avenue
PO Box 30
Norwalk, OH 44857


Zanesville Fire Department
332 South Street
Zanesville, OH 43701

Muskingum County

740-455-0761 - fax

Position:  Firefighter - Opens July 8. 2013

Last Filing Date:  July 19, 2013


City of Zanesville, Civil Service Employment Office
Municipal Building - 1st Floor
401 Market Street
Zanesville, OH 43701
740-455-0606 ext 148


Columbia - Richland Fire Department
1800 Laurel Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Richland County

803-733-8311 - fax

Position:  Firefighter (Probationary)

Last Filing Date:  August 7, 2013

Columbia Human Resources Department
Columbia, SC 29201


Irving Fire Department
P.O. Box 152288
Irving, TX 75015

Dallas County

972-721-2750 - fax

Position:  Firefighter Entrance Exam

Last Filing Date:  July 12, 2013

City of Irving, Human Resources
825 West Irving Blvd.
Irving, TX 75060

NOTE:  For those of you preparing for the Irving, TX, fire exam, go to the link below for in-depth, custom-designed exam prep:


Temple Fire Department
505 North 3rd Street
Temple, TX 76501

Bell County

254-770-5594 - fax


Position:  Firefighter

Last Filing Date:  July 25, 2013

City of Temple Human Resources Department
2 North Main, Suite 209
Temple, TX 76501
fax 254-298-5253 il-Service-79&CommunityJobs=False&JobID=Firefighter-272


Corpus Christi Fire Department
201 N. Chaparral Ste 300
Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Nueces County

361-880-3954 - fax

Position:  Certified Firefighter I

Last Filing Date:  August 2, 2013

City of Corpus Christi Human Resources Department
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
361-826-3300 S_CE.GBL


Houston Fire Department
410 Bagby Street, Ste 308
Houston, TX 77002

Harris County

713-247-3894 - fax

Position:  Certified Paramedic & Firefighter Trainee

Last Filing Date:  August 13, 2013

City of Houston, Human Resources
Online Submissions Required
Houston, TX 77002

NOTE:  For those of you preparing for the Houston, TX, fire exam, go to the link below for in-depth, custom-designed exam prep:


Norfolk Fire Department
100 City Hall Building
Norfolk, VA 23501

Norfolk County

Position:  Firefighter Recruit

Last Filing Date:  September 1, 2013

City of Norfolk
100 Union Street
Norfolk, VA 23510


Tampa Fire Department
808 E Zack Street
Tampa, FL 33602

Hillsborough County

813-227-7026 - fax

Position:   Paramedic

Last Filing Date:  August 12, 2013


City of Tampa, Employment Services Office
City Hall
315 E. Kennedy Blvd., 2nd Floor
Tampa, FL 33602
813/274-8911 =2977


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. 

Immediate Digital Download Available



8. Entry-Level Exam Prep

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.

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All Don McNea Fire School products contain a no-risk guarantee.

If you are not completely satisfied, we will refund 100% of product cost ~ no questions asked!

If you would like to review all of our entry level exam prep products, go to the link below:

Immediate Digital Downloads

Go to the link below to review our immediate digital download exam prep products page:

I/O Solutions Examination Preparation
Immediate Digital Download Available!

Cooperative Personnel Services (CPS) Exam Prep
Immediate Digital Download Available!

Go to the link below for the #1 firefighter oral interview prep in the country:

Encyclopedia of Firefighter Examinations – our #1 selling written exam prep book!

Taking an upcoming psychological exam?

Go to the link below for our in-depth psychological preparation:

    CWH Management Solutions Exam Prep

    Immediate Digital Download Available!

    Fire & Police Selection Inc.  (FSI) 10th Ed. 600+ Question Exam Prep

Go to the link below for additional information:

Go the link below to review Don McNea Fire School's gold bonus packages:

Having problems with Reading Comp and Math?

Go to the link below for in-depth preparation for Reading Comprehension and Mathematics:

How to Become a Firefighter…the most comprehensive site on the internet!


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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