Fire Department - Recruitment Questions
What exactly does a firefighter do?
Basically a firefighter does all of the things below, plus some.
- Extinguish fires of all types (structure, vehicle, vegetation).
- Provide emergency medical care to the sick and injured as EMT's and Paramedics.
- Respond to traffic collisions and perform technical rescue.
- Respond to hazardous material incidents.
- Perform fire prevention and safety inspections of buildings and occupancies.
- Prepare and give presentations to the public on fire safety and disaster preparedness.
- Training (your education never ends) - Firefighter must be proficient at many things.
- Clean, maintain, and repair fire apparatus, equipment and stations.
How do I find out about entry level firefighter examinations?
There are several ways to find out about jobs here are a few.
- Subscribe to the mailing service of various companies.
- Submit interest cards to fire department / human resource departments. The State Fire Marshal's Office has a directory of all the fire departments in the state.
- Research the departments you will be testing with - visit the stations, talk with the people who work there.
What education, work experience, and qualifications should I have?
The following items should get you started on the path to your career goal.
- Complete your high school education.
- Go to college and get a two year or four year degree (e.g. AA in Fire Science, BS - any major).College helps make you a well-rounded individual, helps you develop your communication skills, exposes you to a variety of people and situations.
- Obtain EMT-I certification. The following colleges offer such a certification.
- Obtain Firefighter I academy certification. The following colleges offer basic fire academy certification classes.
- Get experience as a seasonal Firefighter, reserve/paid call or auxiliary Firefighter with various fire departments or private agencies such as Warner Brothers or Lockheed.
- Become an EMT-I with a private ambulance company.
- Obtain paramedic licensure from Daniel Freeman Hospital in Los Angeles, Mount San Antonio College and other schools.
- Develop and maintain physical fitness and strength - upper body strength and aerobic capacity.
- Learn a second language.
What is involved in the testing process?
What is involved in the testing process? It differs from department to department, but for the City of San Marino the requirements
are as follows.
•Application - Contact the City of San Marino Personnel Department or online.
•Written Test - Must have completed and passed the CWH exam within a year. You can schedule to take the exam here.
•Take and successfully pass the Biddle Exam or the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) exam within a year.
•Paramedic Certification - Hold a current paramedic cert for Los Angeles County, and California State, or proof of currently in paramedic school.
•Oral Board Interview - this is the big hurdle.
•Chief's Oral Interview - the top several candidates get this far.
•Under go a background check.
•Finally get a physiological testing, physical exam, and fingerprinting.
What type of person is the fire department looking for?
There are a lot of things agencies look for in a candidate but basically these are a good starting point. A male or female, team-player, motivated, adaptive with the ability to think on their feet, ability to work long hours under stressful conditions, ability to work with and get along with all types of people and personalities, ability to take direction, bilingual, but most of all, someone who enjoys helping others.