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    Topic 1:  Volunteers/Part-time Firefighters

    Topic 2:  Your Reputation Starts on Day One

    Topic 3:  Six Steps in Answering an Oral Board Question entry-level newsletter is about YOU BEING THE BEST - THE BEST PREPARED AND BEST INFORMED! 

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September, 2013

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1. Topic 1:  Volunteers/Part-time Firefighters

2. Topic 2:  Your Reputation Starts on Day One

3. Topic 3:  Six Steps in Answering an Oral Board Question

4. 2013 Buffalo Sign Up Information and Exam Prep

5. City of Denver Firefighter Exam Prep

6. Firefighter Job Openings Across the Country

7. Entry-Level Exam Prep


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1. Volunteers/Part-time Firefighters

One of the most important steps a fire applicant can take is to try and become a volunteer or a paid, part-time firefighter in a municipality.  What that shows to the chief who is interviewing you for their department is that you are serious about becoming a firefighter and aren't just shopping around for a good job.  It shows you are dedicated to the training that comes along with being a volunteer/part-timer and it shows that you want to learn what the job is really about. 

Many volunteers/part-time firefighters see car accidents, medical emergencies, fires – everything that a full-time firefighter would see.  If it comes down to a fire chief choosing between two applicants and one is a volunteer/part-time firefighter and one is not, who do you think that the chief will hire?

For those of you who have your EMT or paramedic certification, we suggest that you try to find employment, not only in a volunteer/part-time status, but also with an ambulance company.  This shows that you are dedicated to keeping up your medical skills.  It also shows that this is the direction you want to take in your life and you want to gain all the possible experience you can.

When you are in the process of being hired by a full-time fire department, many chiefs will call on that volunteer/part-time chief and ask them what they think of you, how your work ethics are, how you get along with other firefighters, and should they hire you?  It goes a long way when a chief gives you a recommendation.  It's another step towards having that competitive edge over your competition.

Bottom line – get your name and resume to as many volunteer/part-time departments as you can.  Many applicants work at 2 part-time departments.  It really shows that you are serious in becoming a firefighter.

Good luck!

Article by Don McNea Fire School,


2. Your Reputation Starts on Day One

You have spent the last few years doing everything in your power to become a firefighter. You have taken countless firefighter examinations with numerous fire departments and have probably even taken an examination with the same department more than once. It has not been easy, but you have obtained the job of your dreams — a career in the fire service!

However, the work does not stop here. You will probably have to go through a rigorous recruit academy and participate in a probationary process where you may be terminated for not meeting the terms of your probation — for any reason, whatsoever. Even when you finish probation, the work does not stop there. You will be participating in training — on-the-job, in the classroom, on the drill ground, etc. — virtually every day you are on duty, until you retire. Sounds easy, doesn't it? If it were easy being a firefighter, everyone would be doing it.

Successfully completing probation and getting along well with your co-workers depends on a number of factors, including your reputation — good or bad — and how well you live up to it. You can be proficient skill-wise, but if you have a bad reputation, you may not find yourself completing the recruit academy or probationary period. Or you may pass probation, but you are stuck with a specific reputation — good or bad — for the rest of your career, and long after you have retired.

Talk with firefighters at every fire department nationwide, and ask them about some of the reputations people have been labeled with — good and bad — and you will hear some very similar comments:

He/she is a hard worker.

He/she is a slacker.

He/she is lazy.

He/she is dependable.

He/she is not dependable.

He/she doesn't get along well with others.

He/she is a nice person.

He/she talks too much.

He/she is quiet.

He/she is a party animal — off duty of course.

He/she is dialed in.

He/she is a great firefighter.

He/she is worthless.

He/she is cheap.

He/she is someone I want on my crew.

He/she is someone I do not want on my crew.

He/she is a jerk.

He/she is self-centered.

He/she is not a good person to trade with.

He/she is a great person to trade with.

He/she has great mechanical ability.

He/she is very smart.

He/she is mature.

He/she is immature.

He/she is an expert at _____________.

He/she is a neat freak.

He/she is a slob.

He/she does not live up to their word.

He/she follows through on their word.

He/she talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk.

He/she is born leader.

He/she is a follower.

The key is that you need to learn from the good and not-so-good of others. Realize that most reputations do not get created after someone has been on the job for ten years. Your reputation starts on day one, and personally I do not think day one means the first day of the recruit academy. I think day one is before you have even filled out the job application to apply for the position. Day one should be when you first made contact with someone at the fire department you aspire to work at.

Before you even submit an application to participate in the testing process, I hope you have taken the time to visit the fire stations to talk with the firefighters to see what makes their department different from the others, why they like working at their department, what they think their department is looking for in candidates, and what they think a successful candidate will be doing to land a position at their department.

When you participate in the hiring process, including visiting fire stations, I hope you realize you are being evaluated, whether you think you are or not. When you are visiting fire stations, you never know who is testing you, who will be on your oral board — or some other phase of the hiring process — or who is taking notes on the candidates that stop by. What does this mean for you, the future firefighter? Realizing your reputation starts at day one, I would encourage you to do the following:

Remember that you are always getting evaluated, and being watched during all phases of the hiring process, even an "informal" station visit.

Don't discount anyone. You never know where you will see that person again, what influence that person may have on the hiring process, or who that person may be. It is not uncommon for fire department senior staff to not wear department uniforms, and just wear business or casual clothing. That person you are talking with — or shining off because they don't have a uniform — may be the fire chief or the assistant fire chief. I know I've mistaken some fire chiefs for civilians. Had I just treated everybody I contacted with respect, dignity, and courtesy, and realized that I was always being watched and evaluated, I may not have done stupid things or said things I should not have.

Remember that you are going to get a reputation no matter what. Knowing that, make sure it is going to be a good reputation, since you will be labeled with that reputation and stuck with it. If I'm going to be stuck with something for the rest of my life, I want to make sure it is something good!

Always dress the part — or dress for success, as they say. While it may be cool to wear shorts, tank tops, flip flops, etc. on your days off when you are hanging out with your friends or spending time on the beach, remember that attire may not be the best when you are visiting fire stations or participating in any event within the firefighter hiring process. I'm not saying you need to wear a suit to the written test or when you are visiting a fire station — make sure you wear a suit to the oral interview, the chief's interview, the background investigation meeting, etc. — but you need to be standing out and dressing for success.

Always watch what you say, to everyone you come in contact. This means you probably should be using proper English language, proper grammar, no slang or curse words, and nothing you will regret later on or be ashamed of having someone repeat. When you are talking to fire service personnel, do not talk negatively of anyone — including your current employer, another fire department or firefighter, another gender or ethnic group — or tell jokes you may think are funny. Most jokes are going to offend some group, so it probably isn't worth telling — or even laughing at if you are hearing it from someone else. Most of all, remember that first impressions count and that you do not typically get a second chance to make a first impression, so do it right the first time!

As you know, reputations can be either good or bad. Your goal is to not only remember that your reputation starts on day one, but that you want to have a great reputation because it will most likely last with you and be associated with your name long after you are retired.

Article by Steve Prziborowski


3.  There are Six Steps In Answering an Oral Board Question

Go to the link below to read this important strategy from the country's top authority on oral board exams:


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


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For those of you looking for an EMT/Paramedic/Firefighter school, go to the link below:


Past Newsletters!

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


4. 2013 Buffalo Sign Up Information and Exam Prep

The application period for the upcoming Buffalo Firefighter Examination is August 19th-October 19th.  Go to the link below for detailed application information:

For those of you preparing for November 19, 2013, examination, go to the link below for our custom-designed, in-depth exam preparation packages!


2013 Philadelphia Exam Prep

Don McNea Fire School will soon have available  a complete exam prep for the Fire and Police Selection, Inc., 9th Edition, that will also include the Work Styles Inventory.  You can check our website in the next two weeks for this exam prep!


5. City of Denver Firefighter Exam Prep

For those of you preparing for the upcoming Denver Firefighter Exam, go to the link below for our custom-designed, in-depth examination preparation packages!


6. 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:

Hermosa Beach, CA

The Villages, FL

Kansas Fire Services Partnership, KS

Baton Rouge, LA

Alexandria, LA

Ashland, OH

Canton, OH

Albany, OR

Baytown, TX

Murphy, TX

San Marcos, TX

Roanoke, VA

Fairfax County, VA

Corona, CA

Riverside, CA

New Orleans, LA

Kansas City, MO


Hermosa Beach Fire Department
540 Pier Avenue
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Los Angeles County

310-379-7725 - fax

Position:  Firefighter/Paramedic - First 100 apps

Last Filing Date:  September 26, 2013

City of Hermosa Beach, Human Resources
1315 Valley Drive
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254


The Villages Public Safety Department
1231 Villages
The Villages, FL 32162

352-205-8290 - fax

Position: Firefighter Paramedic

Last Filing Date:   September 30, 2013



Kansas Fire Services Partnership
1300 North Plum
Hutchinson, KS 67501


Position: Firefighter - Entry Level

Last Filing Date:   October 4, 2013

Kansas Fire Services Partnership
Business Office, Parker Student Union
1300 North Plum
Hutchinson, KS 67501
1-800-289-3501 ext. 3509


Baton Rouge Fire Department
8011 Merle Gustafson Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70807

East Baton Rouge Parish County

225-354-1427 - fax

Position: Firefighter

City of Baton Rouge
1755 Florida Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
fax 25-389-4962


Alexandria Fire Department
518 Lee Street
Alexandria, LA 71301

Rapides Parish County



Position: Firefighter

Last Filing Date:   October 1, 2013

Special Instructions: Testing date is 11/04/2013

Barbara Bordelon
Board Secretary
1000 Bolton Avenue
Alexandria, LA 71301
(318) 441-6411


Ashland Fire Department
274 Cleveland Avenue
Ashland, OH 44805

Ashland County

419-289-7660 - fax

Position: Firefighter/Paramedic

Last Filing Date:   September 30, 2013

Office of Human Resources
206 Claremont Avenue
Ashland, OH 44805


Canton Fire Department
110-7th Street SW
Canton, OH 44702

Stark County

330-489-3147 - fax

Position: Firefighter/Paramedic

Last Filing Date:   October 1, 2013

City of Canton, Civil Service Commission
218 Cleveland Avenue SW
Canton, OH 44702


Albany Fire Department
110-6th Ave Se
Albany, OR 97321

Linn County

541-967-7752 - fax

Position: Firefighter/EMT

Last Filing Date:   September 27, 2013

City of Albany, Human Resources Department
333 Broadalbin Street SW
Albany, OR 97321


Baytown Fire & Rescue Services
201 E. Wye Drive
Baytown, TX 77521

Harris County

281-420-5367 - fax

Position: Firefighter/Paramedic

Last Filing Date:   September 20, 2013

City of Baytown, City Hall
2401 Market Street
Baytown, TX 77520

Murphy Fire Department
205 North Murphy Road
Murphy, TX 75094

Collin County

972-424-6021 x 227
972-423-0876 - fax

Position: Firefighter/Paramedic

Last Filing Date:   September 25, 2013

City of Murphy, Human Resources Department
206 North Murphy Road
Murphy, TX 75094
972-468-4018 96&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%


San Marcos Fire Department
630 E. Hopkins Street
San Marcos, TX 78666

Hays County

512-392-4245 - fax

Position: Firefighter

City of San Marcos, Human Resources Department
630 East Hopkins Street
San Marcos, TX 78666
fax 512-393-8074


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

Roanoke County

540-853-1218 - fax

Position: Firefighter/EMT

Last Filing Date:   September 16, 2013

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


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

Independent City County

703-273-4830 - fax

Position: Firefighter/Medic

Last Filing Date:   October 18, 2013

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


Corona Fire Department
815 West Sixth Street
Corona, CA 91720

Riverside County

909-736-2497 - fax

Position: Firefighter (Entry / Lateral)

Last Filing Date:   September 18, 2013

City of Corona
Human Resources Department
400 South Vicentia Avenue
Corona, CA 92882-2187
909-736-2209 s.aspx


Riverside Fire Department
3601 Ninth Street
Riverside, CA 92501

Riverside County

909-782-5585 - fax

Position: Firefighter - First 700 recruits - Opens 9/16/13

Last Filing Date:   September 20, 2013

City of Riverside Human Resources Department
3900 Main Street
Riverside, CA 92522
951-826-5808 =719627&hit_count=yes&headerFooter=1&promo=0&transfer=0&WDDXJobS earchParams=%3CwddxPacket%20version%3D%271.0%27%3E%3Cheader% 2F%3E%3Cdata%3E%3Cstruct%


New Orleans Fire Department

City Hall
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112


Position:  EMT/ Intermediate and Paramedic

Last Filing Date:  September 15, 2013

City of New Orleans
1300 Perdido Street, Suite 2EO5
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 658-3516


Kansas City Fire Department
414 East 12th Street
Kansas City, MO

Jackson County


Position:  Paramedic

Last Filing Date:   September 20, 2013

Kansas City Human Resources
414 East 12th Street
Kansas City, MO 64106
816-513-1929 m


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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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