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South King Fire Recruiting

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South King Fire Department Recruiting Firefighters

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In the heart of South King County, Washington, the South King Fire Department stands as a beacon of excellence in fire service. Committed to safeguarding lives and property, this department has earned a stellar reputation for its unwavering dedication, community outreach, and top-notch firefighting capabilities. Equally impressive is the department’s commitment to cultivating and nurturing a highly skilled and dedicated team through a rigorous testing and hiring process.

History and Heritage:

How To Become A Firefighter Faster

Today, i’m going to check off one major obstacle you’re probably feeling in the pursuit of becoming a paid, professional firefighter.

So…You want to be a firefighter, but you don’t know exactly what you should be doing and when to make it happen?


That stress is now gone.



I’m beginning to post all of the sections of a 12 step guide to becoming a firefighter faster that I wrote.  It’s going to be released  as a series … Read the rest

What Are ‘They’ Looking For During an Oral Interview

Have you ever wondered what “they” were looking for in an oral interview candidate when you were testing for a fire department? This could be any entry-level, lateral level or even promotional level candidate.

Before we go any further, we need to answer the question: “who are they?” Well, depending on the jurisdiction, “they” are all or any one of the following: the fire chief, the fire department, the fire department personnel, the city (or other governing board), the elected/appointed … Read the rest

Today’s Firefighter Preparation Seminar in Livermore – were you there?

This morning at the annual Firefighter Preparation seminar in Livermore at Las Positas College (coordinated by Fire Alumni), I had the incredible opportunity to present “25 Reasons to Hire you as a Firefighter.” I had a blast, saw a lot of old friends and acquaintances (Bob Atlas, Brian Helmick, Ron Johansen, Craig Freeman, Paul Lepore, John Walsh, Arnie Brockmire, Tonya Hoover, just to name a few), I got meet some new friends, and I got to meet lots of future … Read the rest

Old school wisdom…

Will you being your career like an empty toilet paper roll?

5 Ways to combat the Winter Blues

If you woke up this morning feeling a little less vibrant than your usual self, you’re not alone. The third Monday of January is known as “Blue Monday”in Europe, and researchers there have created a mathematical formula to show that today is the day people feel most depressed out of the entire year.

A combination of the cold weather, short days, post-holiday woes, waning motivation for New Year’s Resolutions, and the simple fact that it’s Monday, all conspire … Read the rest

November warmth

Fall, what a beautiful time of year – earlier bedtimes, cooler temperatures and the warmth of a homemade soup.   Remember within the hustle and bustle to take a moment for a little self-nurturing.  It is so important to treat yourself to even 5 minutes of quiet, relaxation, meditation, or whatever it is that allows you to be you, balanced and free of stress.

Food Focus for November – Root Vegetables

The roots of any plant are its anchor and foundation; … Read the rest

Firefighter Education Requirements & Suggestions

As with most employment opportunities, the higher the education level, the better; particularly in regard to salary and promotions. The same can be applied to the career of a firefighter, mainly due to the fact that most departments require certain certifications and credentials, such as the emergency medical technician (EMT), and at the very least a high diploma or GED. On top of that, having a college degree will increase a fire fighter hopeful’s chances of obtaining employment in this … Read the rest

When life gives you lemons: Fight Cancer, Boost Immunity, Improve Digestion and More.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade and many other wonderful dishes.  But wait! Use the whole lemon.  Yes ! The peel also.  The peel contains 5 to 10 times more of the vitamins and nutrients than just the lemon flesh and juice.

When most people think of lemons, they think of them as a seasoning to add to dishes or beverages, to enhance flavor.  We never really think of consuming the whole lemon.,  Also, we usually just think of … Read the rest

Firefighter Resumes & Applying to Jobs

One of the nice things about applying to firefighting jobs is that you generally fill out a government prepared application focused on the facts, and that information shoots straight into a content management system (CMS) that handles all the formatting and checking of basic requirements. Every application looks the same to the HR person responsible for sorting and organizing the hundreds (sometimes thousands) of applications that firefighter openings pull in. This makes their jobs not only easier, faster and more … Read the rest


One of the greatest things about the fire service is the friendship and “family” that develops out of the time spent with people, who in all other professions would simply be ‘co-workers’. I’ve been working one full 24 hour day, every week, for almost two and a half years at the Cordelia Fire Protection District. I love it, and I love the people I work with. It would be untrue to say that I consider the entire department “family” or … Read the rest


Recently I posted a traditional written blog on and based on the positive response we received, I decided to share it with you here at FireCareers.  The topic of perspective is so important to me, and should be to you, not only because it pertains to your career journey but because gaining & keeping perspective is what life is all about.  There is also a short video blog for which we have provided a link to view that gives

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Spring Clean from the inside out

You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.

-Jan Glidewell                        


Spring Cleaning

People like “stuff”. We tend to hold onto it year after year. We save and stock up on things that we don’t know what to do with anymore. Maybe we keep things because they hold precious memories of days gone by, or they remind us of our parents, grandparents, past loves or childhood. To part … Read the rest

Another successful workshop

I am up in Northern California at the Las Positas college workshop on how to become a firefighter. What a great event put on by BC’s Helmick and Atlas. The cost was $12 to the students and included lunch. I even got to hang out with my old pal Craig Freema. What a fun day. It reminds me of why I got into the fie biz to begin with……… Read the rest

Personal Qualities Needed to Become a Firefighter

Working as a fire fighter entails physical and mental strength and endurance. With great responsibilities and difficult challenges that fire fighters face in times of fire incidents, sometimes strength and endurance aren’t enough. No matter how much training a fire fighter take, if they aren’t determined enough, the performance and work evaluation will only fall through.

Whenever a fire fighter applicant tries to get the job, senior fire fighters and recruiters do not consider physical aspects alone as there is … Read the rest

What I did on my Winter Vacation

My visit to Colonia New Jersey FD 

            So as a kid I never got the writing assignment, “What did you do over summer vacation?” So I thought I would write about my experiences while visiting friends, made while teaching at an academy for fire cadets. Mike Sherron and I teach at the Ohio Youth Fire and EMS Academy (OYFETA) which is where we met explorers and instructors from the Colonia FD. We hit it off immediately and converse regularly even … Read the rest

You are what you eat

We all eat, all day every day, and we all know the saying, “we are what we eat.”  But for some reason no one knows what to eat.  Should we eat more grapes or drink more red wine?  Are eggs a good source of protein or a source of bad cholesterol?  Do dairy foods help us gain weight or lose weight?

Nutrition is a funny science.  It’s the only field where people can scientifically prove opposing theories and still be … Read the rest

How to Become A Firefighter Workshop

Have you ever wondered how to be successful in the entry level Firefighter hiring process?

Looking back 16 years ago we had no idea how to approach the task of becoming a career firefighter. However, it is now very clear that, if we had the information and experience that the Becoming a Firefighter Workshop provides we would have been significantly more prepared and definitely got hired sooner. The combination of the instructors, the material they present and the partnership with … Read the rest

Firefighter Code of Ethics – All Future / Current Firefighters Can Learn From This

In today’s daily Firehouse Magazine email (a great, free resource to keep you informed of fire service news stories), there was a great article that ALL current and future firefighters can learn from that is based on the actions of a small number of firefighters that are causing a black eye for the majority of firefighters who are trying to do the right thing.

It is a piece on the “Firefighter Code of Ethics,” and here are the opening comments:… Read the rest

Happy New Year, Happy You !

True life is lived when tiny changes occur.

-Leo Tolstoy

Cholesterol, Need to lower it?  Try Green Tea for starters

Looking for a simple resolution to improve your overall health? Start drinking green tea. My beverage of choice, green tea is a potent source of catechins – healthy antioxidants that can inhibit cancer cell activity and help boost immunity. Here are a few more reasons to drink Green tea.

 It can also:

Body heat and protein

Generate natural body heat on cold days by increasing your protein-rich dishes and warm beverages.

While adding on the layers is one way to keep the winter chill away, there are certain foods that  help warm us from the inside.  Warm soups and hot beverages are a natural, but some foods actually stimulate heat production more than others.

As temperatures drop, appetites perk up.  The cold, dark days of winter often bring on cravings for those good old fashioned comfort … Read the rest

Filling out firefighter applications

I recently
spent four days with several other chief officers pouring through over 1,000 entry
level firefighter applications with a team of chief officers. Overall the
applications were very disappointing. The standout ones were awesome, but in
general the quality was pretty lackluster. Here are some of the things that we
as a group would like to pass along to aspiring firefighters.

Let’s start
with the basics. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. Often times a department will provide specific
instructions. This may
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What Is in the Firefighter One Exam?

The firefighter I exam, taken after completion of several classroom courses and hands-on training, prepares you for the next level of firefighter training and the firefighter II exam.

Healthy Holiday Appetizers


recently,  we went over four appetizers to steer clear of this holiday season – today we serve up healthy options for your cocktail plates!

  1. Crudités. The fiber in veggies will help fill you up, and they provide a nice, satisfying crunch. Choose a spectrum of colors (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots are good choices) and serve with low- or non-fat plain yogurt. Add some fresh herbs and seasonings for flavor.
  2. Mixed nuts. When eaten sparingly, nuts are a terrific snack. Walnuts
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Holiday appetizers to avoid

4 Worst Holiday Appetizers

Holiday parties are notorious for finger foods filled with high-glycemic carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. See a few of the worst below and stay tuned for some of the better choices.  Knowledge is power, so being aware of what you are eating makes all the difference –

  1. Dips. Skip the creamy, cheesy dips and opt for fresh salsa instead.
  2. Cocktail franks and mini-meatballs. Neither is a good source of lean protein and both can pack a
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2012 Becoming A Firefighter Workshop

Now that the holiday season is officialy in full swing I wanted to take a moment to
wish you and your family a Happy and Safe Holiday Season. We all have much to be
thankful for at this time of year, the least of which is our family and friends. It
is with this thought that I say thank you to each of you for your friendship over
the years. For me it has been both an honor and a … Read the rest

Food Focus: Oils and Fats

Oils and Fats

Not all oils and fats are created equal. Heavily processed, hydrogenated, “trans” fats and oils that are used in prepared, packaged foods can be extremely damaging to the body. However, fats and oils from whole foods and other high-quality sources can steady our metabolism, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair and nails and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly. Our bodies also need fat for insulation and to protect and hold our organs … Read the rest

Increase Your Energy: Top Ten Ways

1)     Reduce or eliminate caffeine.

  • The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar ups and downs, making mood swings more frequent.


2)     Drink water.

  • Most Americans are chronically dehydrated. Before you go to sugar or caffeine, have a glass of water and wait a few minutes to see what happens.
  • Caution: Soft drinks are now America’s number one source of added sugar.


3)     Eat dark leafy green vegetables.

6 ways to stall your firefighter job search

In today’s Sunday paper, I noticed a timely article titled “6 ways to stall your job search,” by Larry Buhl, and I wanted to share it since I think it really provides a lot of guidance for future firefighters. Now before we go any further, I’ve heard more and more people say they don’t read the daily newspaper because they don’t have time or they don’t think it’s relevant. I believe it’s critical for fire service professionals to be in-tune … Read the rest

Got The Love?

Its was 230 am…Again.  I couldn’t sleep, and my heart was racing.  I remember and staring out the window of my bedroom with the strangest mix of emotions.   My mind wouldn’t shut down.  I alternated between unbridled motivation and excitement to sheer panic.  This does not bode well for rest.

I’d figured out exactly what I wanted to do with my life.  Only a handful of people ever truly have the realization that there is a single thing that they … Read the rest

The Building of a Vision Statement

The Building of a Vision Statement
Bob Atlas, Battalion Chief
Your personal vision statement will guide your life. It will assist you in following your goals and give you the direction needed to follow the course of your days and the choices you make about your career. Your personal vision statement is the lighthouse that shines in the darkness which guides you and directs you in which way to turn on the way to success. Your personal vision statement … Read the rest

The Building of a Personal Mission Statement

The Building of a Personal Mission Statement
Bob Atlas, Battalion Chief

You have a purpose in life. You know in your heart what’s most important to you. In fact, your mission and values are expressed every day, by how you live–you just may not realize it ! In this segment we are going to work on how to build a Personal Mission Statement. A Personal Mission Statement is critical to your success. With one you can continue to be … Read the rest

I didn’t get hired? But I thought I had the best resume!

This is a problem many candidates “don’t get” today, and was something I didn’t get when I was testing to become a firefighter. When I was testing to become a firefighter in the early 1990’s – (come on, that wasn’t too long ago – and things really haven’t changed that much, at least in my area) – I tried too hard to have the “best resume.”

It didn’t dawn on me until I was actually hired, that “best resume” is … Read the rest

It’s Cold and Flu Season… Some alternatives…

EMS personnel are constantly exposed to all sorts of germs and ill folks. With Cold and Flu season starting, people are apt to get the flu 2 and 3 times this season. There are several natural alternatives that are not widely known. Let’s take some time to discuss some of the ways patients in my practice strengthen their immune system to ward off all the bugs flying around this time of year. Try one or all of these suggestions, and … Read the rest

A mother’s wise words…

My mom used to say, “You better check yourself at the door…!”

Some rookie basics

Anyone that has survived their rookie year working at a firehouse will tell you that there are some important social & cultural expectations they had to meet every day on the job – and that many of them weren’t spelled out in a textbook or manual.  In fact, I’d venture to say that a large part of what makes someone fun to work with/around is when you feel like they not only take their job seriously, but also understand these … Read the rest

Ethical Questions or How Not To Sink Saving Your Buddy!

A candidate, questioning the oral board process, wondered what happened to the days when you would step up to help a brother who had gotten themselves into a less than desirable position? Also wondering why it seems to easy to “throw your buddy under the bus”.

We’re not in Kansas anymore, and your “buddy” doesn’t sign your paycheck!

Unity of Command Answers the Conflicting Order Dilemma

A typical Firefighter oral interview question: “Given a task by your company officer at a fire ground, you encounter another Captain who gives you a different task. What is this situation and how will you handle it?”

Unity of Command answers that question!

Begin To Dress To Your Success!

Make an excellent, long standing first impression; show that you are serious and set the bar higher for others to reach!

Oral Board Questions

As someone taking either an entry level or promotional level oral interview, there should be no “trick” or “surprise” questions if you have done your research/homework.

Meaning, there are many websites and books that have sample oral board questions that pretty much cover the majority of the types of questions you’ll be asked

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Las Positas College Entry Level Firefighter Workshop

Have I done everything I can to prepare myself for a career in the fire service? You should be asking yourself this question every day. Your competition is and they have an answer. Preparation is paramount to your success. There are things you must do every day no matter what. A wise old Fire Chief and one of my early mentors told me… “If you want a career in the Fire Service, you must make a job out of getting … Read the rest

The concept of “kaizen”

One of the most important things I believe a firefighter should both embrace and embody is the concept of “kaizen”, or “continuous improvement”.  Above all traits – physical, mental, emotional – the desire to improve yourself each day has the potential to make you a top notch firefighter candidate and a welcome addition to any fire department.  Once on the job, the concept of continuous improvement is what separates average firefighters from exceptional ones; mediocre commanding officers from those that … Read the rest

Welcome Josh.

Please Help me Welcome our new FCBlog team member Josh Sanders.  This is a re-print of Josh’s bio page for your review. 

Josh Sanders is a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Chula Vista Fire Department, where he was hired in 2004. He is currently assigned to an OES Type I Heavy Rescue and has been involved with the CVFD rescue program since it’s inception in the spring of 2006.

Josh is a California state registered rescue instructor in several disciplines and is … Read the rest

Future Firefighter Tip: Maintain a File System

When you first apply for a specific fire department, or more importantly, start doing research for a particular fire department (well before they are even accepting applications), it is a good idea to keep a file or binder for that specific department. It’s a good idea to do this because the average firefighter candidate has to take multiple firefighter examinations prior to getting hired, and it can get very challenging trying to keep track of all of the applications you … Read the rest

Invest in your Success…”you gotta’ pay the cost to be the Nozzleman!”

No one talks about the fact that to begin to compete for today’s firefighter jobs “you’ve got to pay to play”, meaning that to realize your goal of becoming a professional firefighter requires that you shell out some cash.

How To Answer Firefighter Oral Board Questions. (Or…You’re Not Dan Allred.)

Have you had heroes in your life?

When I was young, it was “Superman”.

I’ve had very few as an adult who became a firefighter, paramedic, and student of the human condition.

I’ve learned that the term is thrown around by television and news to hype stories.  I also find that those news outlets typically begin looking for the “fallen hero” story before the ink has dried on their original story because it sells advertising.  A complete fool can be

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Playing the Game

When I speak to a person who wants to be a firefighter, I explain that it is important first to have the passion for the game, that to want to be a firefighter is consuming.

3 Basic Tips for Surviving an Interview in the Fire Service

The quest for giving the perfect interview seems to be the desire of every aspiring firefighter. Making sure appearances are clean and professional, having the perfect resume printed on paper that probably costs more than its worth, and investing heavily in deodorant to handle the stress during the agonizing moments before your name is called in to interview are all things that everyone in the fire service seems to have experienced. The fact of the matter is that in many … Read the rest

Financial Smarts For The Future Firefighter

While reading this morning’s Sunday paper, I came across an article in the Business section written by Susie Orman, recognized expert in personal finances, that I believe many current and future firefighters can learn from, especially in today’s economy.

She talked about a few key concepts:

1. You’re not entitled to an allowance.
2. A household requires cash to function.
3. You don’t need to spend every dollar you’ve saved.
4. You may not be able to afford the college … Read the rest