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May, 2009

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1. Fire Prep Topics of Interest – How's Your Credit Score?

2. Job Announcements by

3. Entry Level Exam Prep


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1. Fire Prep Topics of Interest – How's Your Credit Score


How's Your Credit Score?


So you make it into backgrounds on a job offer thinking your credit is OK.  Then you are presented with a less than desirable credit report.  When you look at the report you realize the bad items on the report aren't yours.


You know the background is coming up at some time. You want to know what your credit report says about you. More than 30% of credit reports have errors. A recent check on mine revealed addresses I have never lived at, wrong birthday, job experience and some of my son's credit and a car I never owned.


No chief wants bill collectors coming around the station, attaching your wages, or the temptation of a firefighter to steal on duty or in a citizen's home to cover their bills.


Of course the best course of action is to maintain a good credit rating.  It's often not the problem but how you write out an explanation for the background. Most candidates turn themselves inside out when a simple explanation is often all that is needed to resolve most of the situations.


Many candidates get stretched financially in their pursuit of gaining a badge working odd jobs while trying to complete their education, experience or medic school.


It's not the items of concern, but the when and why. Like most candidates that enter the hiring process, they get hyper vigilant and the voices of panic and guilt start running around in their heads.


When did these incidents happen? If it was a financial problem, what was your financial situation then?  Do you have a plan?  How is your credit now?


A recent coaching candidate who is close to making the cut was concerned about his credit.  His credit started going south during medical school.   I asked him if he had gone to his relatives with a plan first to help pay for medic school?  He said he was too proud to ask. I said if you had asked them now, would they have come forward with the funds.  He said yes. 


OK, get a plan together where you're at now and what you need to turn this around and present it to your relatives.  Then, go down in person, make the necessary payment or pay off the loans and most importantly get a receipt.  Because it can take up to 90 days for your payments to make it up on your credit report.   If anything bad shows up on your credit report, you will have the receipt to prove it paid.  Too proud? Get out of here. I've yet to have a candidate get a plan together and present it to relatives that they didn't help out.


Another candidate Tim's credit got stretched because he and his wife figured out that if she went back to college and completed her teaching credential they could improve their finances.  When credit report came up with the background investigator Tim was able to show that his wife already had already graduated, had a teaching job for a few months, showed improvement in all his payments, and getting the fire job would put them in a position to wipe out all the credit problems.  Tim was hired because he had a reasonable explanation and a plan to back it up.

Another: I have a question about backgrounds.  I just picked up my package on Tuesday.  I know they are going to check out my finances and this has been a rough couple of years for my family.  My father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer about two-and-a-half years ago.  He deteriorated very quickly and could not work.  He and my mother in law stood to lose everything, so my wife and I helped.  We did have some slow and late payments on our credit cards and such because of the added financial burden.  When my father-in-law passed away, he did not have insurance.  So our financial help has been more needed that ever.

My question is the city has provided a spot for me to give a brief "life story" as part of the background.  Would this be an appropriate place to relay this story?  I understand that late payments on my credit report may lead some to think that I am irresponsible; however, I was and am taking care of one of my own, and I believe the investigator should know that. Thanks for any thoughts, Jeff

Reply: Yes, your reasonable explanation that you have put here can help.  But what is your plan to correct your credit situation?  Will getting the badge with this department provide the necessary funds to be financially sound? You must have a plan before you show up to meet the background investigator. 


JB: We have implemented a spending plan and are pulling ourselves out while still helping those who need it.  Additionally, the badge with this fire department definitely will provide the necessary funds to be financially sound, but should I use that in the interview?  I remember from the CDs you said never use, "pay, benefits, or days off."

CB:  Your credit will not come up during the interview.  It we be handled when you get into background.

The best way to find out about your credit is request a free copy from one of the 3 major credit bureaus. Here are the bureaus:


Equifax Credit Information Services
Box 105518
Atlanta, GA 30348
Phone: 877-463-5505 (for Credit Report orders) Phone (800) 685-5000 (for disputes)


Box 949
Allen, TX 75013-0949
Phone: 888-397-3742 (for Credit Report orders)
Phone (800) 583-4080 (for disputes)


Trans Union Corporation (TUC)
P.O. Box 1000, Chester PA 19022
Phone: (800) 888-4213 (for Credit Report orders)
Phone (800) 916-8800 (for disputes)


If there is anything on your report that is not right, you can dispute it. The disputed company has 30 days to respond. If they don't, they will take it off. Many don't respond. If you still have a problem with an item, you can add a 100 word statement explaining why to your credit report.


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:




San Francisco Firefighter Exam Preparation!


Don McNea Fire School has prepared an in-depth practice examination for those applicants preparing for the San Francisco Firefighter Examination.  Click here for all the details and ordering information:



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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. 


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



Position: Fire Testing

Last Filing Date:   May 29, 2009


Requirements: Minimum Employment Requirements
Applicants must be legally entitled to work in the United States and able to obtain a Colorado driver's license. Some departments will accept applications from anyone 18 years of age or older, while other departments require applicants to be at least 21. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED; some college education is desirable as are EMT/firefighter/paramedic certifications (departments prefer applicants with EMT certification but it is not required to take the test). Some departments will train hires with out-of-state firefighter certification for Colorado certification, but smaller departments require candidates to go through the reciprocity process with the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC). For more information, call IFSAC at (720) 852-6735.

How the Testing Works
All applicants who complete the online application and pay the $50 processing fee by the deadline date will be scheduled to take the written test. Confirmation notices are sent out about a month before the test. Candidates must score at least 70 percent (overall) to pass, but departments can set a higher score for their recruitments. Test scores remain active for one year.

What Happens Next
Departments may contact candidates for further testing throughout the year so make sure your contact information is current.

Written Test
DRCOG uses the New Generation CWH Management Solutions Written Exam to identify individuals who are most likely to be successful in the fire service. The test assesses skills and abilities that Denver-area firefighters point out are essential for their jobs. The written exam has 150 questions; applicants have three hours and 15 minutes to complete it.

The test measures:
* Basic educational skills (reading, writing and math),
* Practical skills (judgment and common sense),
* Interpersonal skills, and
* Emotional outlook (ethics, motivation and effectiveness under stress).

Next Test Date and Application Deadline
The next test is June 8. We will hold a smaller test session on June 5 for those who cannot change their work schedule. Seating is limited--call us early (303 480-6729) if you need to test on June 5. General registration closes at 2 p.m. MST May 15 for both test dates. Late registration will be available through May 29, but the fee will then include a late registration fee of $20.


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



Daytona Beach Fire Dept
301 South Beach Street
Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Volusia County

386-671-4005 - fax


Position: Firefighter/Paramedic

Last Filing Date:   June 26, 2009


Special Instructions: Position open until filled


Requirements: High school diploma or GED; supplemented by vocational/technical training in water treatment; supplemented by one (1) to two (2) years previous experience and/or training involving water treatment and/or construction experience; ability to access, retrieve and compile information using a computer and/or SCADA system.

Requires a State of Florida Class "C" Water Plant Operator License. Requires possession of and the ability to maintain a valid State of Florida driver's license.

 Starting Salary: $592.33 - 1024.53


Contact:  Daytona Beach City Hall
301 South Ridgewood Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL 32114



Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue
300 Nw 1st Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Broward County

954-761-5206 - fax


Position: Paramedic/Firefighter

Last Filing Date:   June 26, 2009


Special Instructions: Position open until filled


1. Be at least 18 years old.
2. Be a High School graduate or possess a High School Equivalency Diploma (GED) from a recognized issuing agency.
3. Possess a valid Florida Driver's License, have a driving record that meets the City of Fort Lauderdale's requirements, and have an E.V.O.C. (16 hour) certificate issued by a certified Florida agency. CEVOI OR II ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE.
4. Possess a currently valid Firefighter Certificate of Compliance, Certificate of Statutory Compliance or Certificate of  Training issued by the State of Florida.
5. Possess and maintain a currently valid Paramedic License issued by the State of Florida and AHA/ACLS Certificate or equivalent. Failure to maintain a current and valid Paramedic License will be cause for termination.
6. Been a non-smoker/non-user of tobacco (any form) for at least one (1) year prior to application, remain smoke free during employment/application process and agree not to smoke or use tobacco (in any form) on or off duty during the tenure of their employment.
7. Possess, or be able to obtain a Broward County-wide Physical Ability card from Broward Fire Academy.


Starting Salary: $ 46,999.68

Top Salary: $ 65,544.96


Contact: City of Fort Lauderdale, Human Resources
100 North Andrews Avenue, 3rd Floor
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301



Jacksonville Beach Fire Department
325-2nd Avenue South
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Duval County

904-247-6155 - fax


Position: Firefighter/EMT/Paramedic

Last Filing Date:   June 26, 2009

Any combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from high school. Must be certified in the State of Florida as Fire Fighter & EMT prior to application.

Possession of an appropriate State of Florida driver's license.
Must be certified by the State of Florida as a Fire Fighter and emergency medical technician.
Must be a non-user of tobacco.
Desirable Training and Experience

Medical, Dental, Life
Vacation, Sick, Holidays, Personal Leave
Tuition Reimbursement
and more . . .

Starting Salary: $ 34,186.00

Contact: City of Jacksonville Beach
11 North 3rd Street
Jacksonville Beach, TN 32250
904-247-6100 ext 4



Prescott Fire Department
1700 Iron Springs Road
Prescott, AZ 86301

Yavapai County

928-776-1890 - fax


Position: Firefighter

Last Filing Date:   June 12, 2009


Special Instructions: Position open until filled


SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Minimum of 18 years of age; must meet N.F.P.A. 1001 standards for medical and physical fitness. Upon hiring, must reside within 30 minutes of the Prescott City limits and possess a valid Arizona motor vehicle operator's license.


Starting Salary: $38,758

Top Salary: to $55,153 plus Benefits


Contact: City of Prescott, City Hall
201 South Cortez Street
Prescott, AZ 86303



Tampa Fire Department
808 E Zack Street
Tampa, FL 33602

Hillsborough County

813-227-7026 - fax


Position: Firefighter

Last Filing Date:   June 24, 2009


Special Instructions: Position open until filled


Annual leave, sick leave; paid holidays; medical and life insurance; tuition reimbursement (after 1-year probation.) The first (4) weeks of employment are spent in advanced training at 40 hrs. per week; on completion, employees are assigned to a station and a 48-hour work week.


Minimum Age: 18 years.

Education: High-school or an equivalency certificate issued by a State Board of Education.


- Possession of a State of Florida Firefighter Certificate of Compliance.

- Possession of a Paramedic or EMT-Basic Certificate as issued by the State of Florida Department of Health.

- Possession of a valid Florida Driver�s License.

For out-of-state Firefighter Certification challenges, contact the Florida State Fire College in Ocala at 352/369-2800, ext. 72810. For out-of-state EMT/Paramedic challenges, contact the Florida State EMS office in Tallahassee at 850/245-4440.

Note: Candidates must be non-users of tobacco or tobacco products for at least one (1) year, and will continue to be non-users of tobacco or tobacco products while on or off duty for the duration of their employment per F.S. 633.34 and International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Bargaining Agreement, Article 27.5, as evidenced by a sworn affidavit of the applicant.

For continued employment with Tampa Fire Rescue, Florida Paramedic Certification is required within 3 years of employment.


1. State of Florida FF Certificate of Compliance
2. State of Florida EMT-Basic Certificate.
3. High-School Diploma or equivalent.
4. Birth Certificate
5. DD214 - Military Discharge Form (if applicable)
6. Valid Florida Driver's License or any Fla. Commercial Driver's License.

NOTE: The required documents must be submitted and verified before eligibility is established.


- Evaluation of training and experience
- Physical Agility Testing (pass/fail) - Date to be Scheduled. Qualified applicants will be notified.  (PAT is a series of tasks representing what Firefighters do while performing in the line of duty.)
- Background Investigation

TO APPLY: Applications will be received and processed in the Employment Services Division, City Hall, 315 E. Kennedy Blvd., 2nd Floor, (corner of Kennedy Blvd. and Florida Avenue). Preference in appointment will be extended to eligible veterans and, in some instances, spouses of eligible veterans. To receive Veterans Preference, documentation of status must be submitted at the time of application.



- Applications will be reviewed for overall qualifications, relevant training and experience.
- Eligible candidates will be required to successfully pass a physical agility test.
- The most qualified candidates will participate in a pre-employment screening process that includes an oral interview board, background investigation, and polygraph examination.
- Conditional offer of employment will be given pending a psychological evaluation, medical examination and drug screening.


Starting Salary: $ 35,243.52

Top Salary: $ 66,693.12


Contact: City of Tampa, City Hall
315 East Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33602
813-274-8911 2



Indianapolis Fire Department
555 North New Jersey Street
Indianapolis, IN 46203

Marion County

317-327-6090 - fax


Position: Paramedic

Last Filing Date:   May 29, 2009


Special Instructions: Position open until filled


Starting Salary: $ 32,302.40

Top Salary: N/A


Contact: Indianapolis Human Resources Department
200 East Washington Street, Suite 1541
City County Building
Indianapolis, IN 46203
fax 317-327-4435 D=631&szOrd



Syracuse Fire Department
511 S State St Rm 207
Syracuse, NY 13202

Onondaga County

315-422-7766 - fax


Position: Firefighter

Last Filing Date:   May 20, 2009


Requirements: FIREFIGHTER
Date Published: 04/01/2009
Exam Date: 06/27/2009
Open Competitive Examination #: 61-191
Promotional Examination #: None
Application Deadline: 05/20/2009
Application Filing Fee (Non-Refundable): $20.00


Starting Salary: $ 32,079.00

Top Salary: $ 55,140.00


Contact: Onondaga County Department of Personnel
421 Montgomery Street, 13th Floor
Syracuse, NY 13202





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

Forsyth County

336-773-7974 - fax


Position: Firefighter

Last Filing Date:   June 19, 2009


Special Instructions: Position open until filled


High School diploma or equivalent.

Successfully complete a physical agility test and pass drug test and receive an acceptable background check.

Ability to obtain possession of a valid North Carolina class B driver's license within 30 days of completion of recruit school.

Prefer 20 years of age or older.


Starting Salary: $ 29,040.00


Contact: City of Winston-Salem
Human Resources Department
101 North Main Street, Suite 53
Winston-Salem, NC 27101


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


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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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