Secrets of Success for Entry Level Firefighters

Second of the 2 Part Series

Secrets are thoughts or information that is kept from knowledge or view. To be more specific, they are the things that are important to you that elude you on your search for information that may prove to be important in your quest for a job as a professional firefighter. Success is a favorable or desired outcome. Basically, success is the culmination of all of your efforts good and bad. Now that we know that the secrets of success are not hidden from you we can proceed to finding them. THE KEY: Create your own unique package to present to the Interview Panel.

RULE: Your weakest important quality sets the level at which you can use all the rest of your qualities.

11. Develop resiliency (it’s not that you are not right for the Department; it is that the Department is not right for you!)

In order for you to remain “in the game” mentally, you must learn how to interpret your successes and failures. Fire Service Organizations will make hiring decisions on who they hire based on who they feel will be the best for their organization. Just because it is not you, you can not take it personally. What this tells you is you are now one step closer to getting hired with the department that is right for you.

12. Unlock the Inner Champion

The Inner Champion is the spirit that you posses each and every day that motivates you to get up and take positive, productive action. Consider what makes a professional athlete a “Champion”. A champion athlete does not get up and wish that the day brings him/her success. He or she gets up and attacks the day asking him or herself, what they are going to do today to make sure they are working toward their goal.

13. Dedicate yourself to continuous personal & professional development
(Books, Audio and People)

It is critical to expose yourself to positive influences. Only allow thoughts, input and people who are of like mind to be around you. Seek out those who have succeeded in obtaining the same goal as you and do what they did. Read the right books, Listen to the right voices and get around successful people. You will have time to be around the other influences once you succeed.

14. Become the Unshakeable Optimist

This can be one of the most difficult things to do. It requires that you do not “jump on the bandwagon” every time someone starts talking negative. You must limit that exposure. It is imperative that you remain positive and protective of your time. You can choose your thoughts and how you process them. Remember, someone else is out there working on getting hired just like you. It is a dogfight and your objective is to be the last one standing. To do that you must have conviction all the time.

15. Dedicate yourself to serving others

The Fire Service is a profession of service to others. This service comes in the form of service to the community, your department, your crew and then to yourself. When you put others ahead of yourself you will be rewarded. However this must be done without the thought of “What is in it for me?” You must be unselfish or the reward will never come.

16. Develop a reputation for dependability

You must become the “go to” person. People must see you as someone who can deliver whenever asked. Be on time…Always, Be enthusiastic…Always, and be happy to perform the task…Always. Be competent…Always.

17. Be impeccably honest with yourself and others

Since honesty is a core value of a firefighter you must possess this without being told. Other folks will see it in you as you live your life and make good decisions. To be honest with yourself you must play the mirror game. Every day you wake up, go to the mirror and ask yourself:
1. Am I taking the necessary actions to be successful?
2. Am I acting in a manor that reflects well on me and my family?

18. Stay focused and concentrate

You must eliminate all negative influences and only be involved in activities that move you forward. Now, that does not mean do not have fun. It means you must do something that produces a positive, forward moving result before you can relax. Be real with yourself.

19. Be decisive

Consider all the possible choices and their potential results, analyze them and make a good decision you can support. You may have to defend your decision; therefore it must be one you are convinced is right. Finally, once you have made the decision, decisiveness requires you take action and not look back except to confirm you are on the path you chose.

20. Practice self-discipline

Self-discipline is critical to all facets of the hiring process. You must get up every day and follow a routine. You must only depend on yourself to carry it out. Nobody else can do it for you. Not your Mom, not your Dad, not your Instructors or friends. Only YOU !

21. Be persistent

Follow the plan you created… Always! In order to properly determine if what you are doing is working you must do the same thing until it does not work. Then you must adjust your plan with the assistance of someone who has had success doing what you are trying to do.

Everything you do or don’t do counts and is being watched by someone !

Stay tuned for the next installment !

How to prepare yourself to be successful

“the Goal Setting Process”

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2 Responses

  1. Steve Says:
    January 18th, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Alot of great comments to take with you in life not only for the fire service but anything you want to do in life. Take these 21 key points and live by them.

    Remember to always have a backup plan when it comes to the fire service. With these tough economic times since the great depression we will all sit back and wait to see if these jobs come back at all.

    With the national debt at 14 trillion dollars we have a long road to recovery. With the national un-employment rate still at 10 percent with alot of states are realistically between 12 to 20 percent there are no cities and counties going to be hiring alot of firefighters. If they need to hire they will take only a few at a time. Big cities like LA are running 130 fire department personel less per day in the city. Its horrible, but this is reality and the new normal.

    I like to post on this blog because I hate to see young candidates have false hope. Keep moving forward and get your education. Having a degree is going to help you no matter where you go in life.

    These fire department personal that are posting these blogs probably have never had to struggle through a tough economy. They have been employed for 20 years or so and have always been employed under the unbrella of the fire service. Trust me they have good intentions, but they need to be honest with us when it comes hiring. Plus the few that get hired know people on the inside to get them the position.

  2. Steve Says:
    January 20th, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Mayor Dana Redd told reporters that the crime-ridden city of Camden, New Jersey will lose half of its police force. Approximately one-third of the fire department will also get the ax. 165 police officers and 67 firefighters were laid off Tuesday as a means to close a $26.5 million budget gap. Redd told reporters that the layoffs were to take effect immediately.
    Redd stated she was unable to secure the $8 million in budget concessions. The money was necessary to save the jobs of the police and firefighters. Redd stated she will continue to negotiate with police and fire unions. The mayor had been trying to get the workers to pay more for their health care, freeze or reduce their salaries and take furlough days.
    The city of Camden has the ominous distinction of having the nation’s second-highest crime rate. With the reduction of force in the police department, it appears that number one is in the wings. Camden is second to St. Louis in annual rankings of cities based on compilations of FBI crime statistics. Cleric officers were demoted in the over-haul and reassigned to the “streets” in order to keep crime under control.
    “It’s absolutely, physically impossible to cover the same amount of ground in the same amount of time with less people,” said John WilliamsonJohn Williamson, president of the Fraternal Order of Police union in Camden. “Response times will be slower.” Business owners and residents of the city have a pessimistic view of the mayor’s response to situation.