Getting hired in the fire service.

The topic that I will be presenting is getting hired in the fire service. This is the first part of a multi-part series.

Whether it’s your first fire service job or you’re looking to promote, I can never emphasize what I believe in. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

Trust me when I say that whether you are dropping off your application, participating in a ride-along, or interning for your Paramedic licensure, you are being “judged”.

Firefighters are a critical bunch. We like to eat our own if we get the chance. If you don’t have thick skin, then you better grow some or look for another occupation. You would be surprised as to the things we discuss about a prospective firefighter candidate who just walked out the door after participating in a ride-along.

It’s not all bad, but it’s the “first impression” point that I am trying to drive home.

When you make that first contact with a fire agency, please make the call yourself (no significant others or relatives), be cordial and be on your best behavior. If you contact them on the telephone, respond with yes, sir or ma’am and mean it. Be prepared with what questions you wish to ask, ask them and move on. The personnel or company handling the hiring process gets asked the same questions by multiple candidates and will respond positively if you are prepared in your questions.

LISTEN to instructions that are given to you or posted on their websites. We have a hard time lending credibility to anyone that can’t follow simple instructions.

If you have an option to type or fill out your application electronically, please utilize that option. If you were to hire someone and you had a choice between someone that presented a legible typewritten (or electronically completed) application and someone who haphazardly scribbled his or her application, whom would you lean toward?

Make sure that your home and cell phone messages are appropriate. We really don’t want to hear about your adventures the night
before and if we met you while you were drunk and want to leave you our number. If we hear voicemails like that (which we have), you will NOT be contacted and we will go to the next candidate.

If you are required to turn the application in, do it yourself! Do not have a “friend” drop it off for you. We are not hiring your friend we are considering hiring you!

The next part of this series will cover station visits and ride-a-longs. If you have any specific questions regarding this topic, please feel free to email me at

Be Sociable, Share!
Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.