February 1, 2008
Estimated reading time 1 - 3 minutes for any segment!
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1. Quick Presentation Skills
A candidate posted a question on a bulletin board asking the best way to approach the common scenario of being given an order on an emergency scene that puts my life, or others in jeopardy that may also go against standard operating procedures.
Someone posted and answer that looked like it came right out of one of the books out there with question and suggested answers. Turns out it was word for word from one of those books!
reply: . . . . Too many will use these suggested answers word for word like
someone posted here. If I picked this right up so can other panel members.
Bottom line getting a badge is
all presentation skills!
There is one question I was asked that just threw me off of my game. The question was: You are a new firefighter on the rescue. You and your partner are at a fast food restaurant. Your partner becomes irate at the serving staff, he yells and makes a scene while they serving him. He finally gets his food and sits down. What do you do?
I replied, with a question first. Were we friends, and are we friends outside of work. My thinking if so it may be easer to approach him about the scene he just caused. Of course the didnít give me a good answer. "It is just as it is." I stated that I am a new firefighter and there could be a personal problem he is dealing with and offer someone to talk to. I also said I would say something to him because we were in uniform and it looks bad against the department. right now I cant remember what their reply was. It is at this point my question comes in. I personally could not put it into any of the categories you gave. Maybe I am not seeing the underlying question. Can you put me on the right track as to what categories this type of question would fit into or help me. in the right direction to formulate my own personalized answer. Jay
Robs reply: I would say, you identified what kind of question this is. It is both. From the angle of being the new guy, you need to not overstep you bounds and be humble. But as a firefighter for this department, you canít have people in uniform going around yelling at people.
I would first tell them that Iím the new guy and donít want to offend anyone. Second I would try and find out what brought this on. There is the possibility that he has a history with this restaurant or they may have put pickles on his burger after he told them not to and he is allergic. In this way you are showing them that you will do research and find out the background before acting.
Mentioning an employee assistance program is also a good idea. He may have things going on in his life away from the job and this has nothing to do with the incident at the restaurant. Also mentioning the reputation of the department isnít a bad idea. He lost control in front of a few people, but by tomorrow a lot more will have heard the story.
Lastly I wouldnít go to the captain, but I would ask for assistance. Something to the effect of, I would find an engineer or firefighter that is most senior and ask them about it. This may be a regular pattern this person has and is an ongoing thing. Or, this could be something that a seasoned person could mentor him through, but me as a new guy might not be listened to. I hope this helps.
CAPTAIN ROB (Thank you)
The key ďNuggetĒ here is to gain an agreement. First gain all the facts. In order to gain all the facts you must be a good listener. Nothing is going to change until you listen and understand the problem from all sides. Many people arenít good listeners. Instead of listening, theyíre planning their rebuttal. You will gain big points here by focused listening, affirming, confirming, and repeating back to the person you are counseling how you understand their point of view. Statements like, ďI understand your point of view and position,Ē shows your concern to resolve the situation for a "win" situation for all concerned.
Situation: You are asked to talk to one of your employees about being late. Some of these sessions are set up to be confrontational from the beginning. Not matter what you do, they just keep pressing and being difficult. Your goal here is not matter if they try to blame others, not take responsibility, say you have done the same things is to bring them back to the issue at hand. Remembering to include you have always been a good employee, what has changed. The goal again is to get an agreement that the behavior will change and set a follow up date to check the progress. More on peer counseling will be covered in the audio.
Some role playing sessions are set up to not be resolved in one meeting, just to see how you will respond. If you are unable to resolve the issue in one meeting session, schedule another time on your calendar before your first sessionís ends or you will fail this section.
Hi Bob I just want to take a moment to bring you up to date with my interview for the Chief position.
I believe that this interview was no doubt my best effort. I was never so at ease and comfortable during an interview. The interviewers made us all comfortable and the format worked in getting us all to express our selves. We were given 30 min each to sell ourselves. I used your advise from the CD, fire nuggets, and used real stories in my interview. When I noticed that I was at 50 min and still going I asked if I should continue a I was past the 30 min time period. The interviewers all agreed to allow me to continue. Which I did for another 20 min.
I was able to make the final round of three candidates for the position. When they reviewed the interview results I was in a almost dead heat with one other candidate. This other candidate and I are best friends and business partners. My friend and Captain was offered the position which was the right thing for the department to do . He has more time on the job and is a Captain on shift. I am a Lieutenant on the Captains list awaiting an opening.
However we also have a residency clause and he would have to move into the city to be the Chief. After two weeks as Acting Chief he decided that the position was not what he wanted. And to move his family would be a hardship. He submitted his resignation to the department.
I was the next candidate on the list and was offered the Chief position on December 11, 2007. I accepted the position and started as Chief the next morning. I want to thank you for providing me with the tips and tools to as you say "Get the Badge".
I will recommend your program to all the firefighters in our department for future promotional exams. This program can only help them bring out the best in themselves.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Thank you again Jim
Wait! While you're here Captain Bob wants to give
you a 10 day FREE test drive of selected inside
secrets how to get a promotional badge. Learn more here:
For more on our promotional
Hello Capt. Bob. Just wanted to give you a shout out that I used your DVD and audio CD's to help me get a job and they worked!! Today I'm completing my probationary period and I love it! Only 3 more months to go. Thank you sooooo much for the help. It's true... It's not about what canned answer you think the raters want to hear that makes you stand out. I tried putting a little of myself and my life experiences into the answers and made it sound interesting and personal. Thanks for all your help!! Cory
Capt Bob, I am writing to you to say THANK YOU. You have helped my husband secure a job with LA City Fire. I stumbled across your website after my husband passed the written for LA city and was given a date for his Oral interviews. I read through your website and was praying that your materials would help. I ordered the Gold Package for him and we started studying the material together as much as possible in order to prepare him. And he passed the Oral interviews with a 95% and was handed a background package immediately before leaving. What a proud moment! He then started the background process and completed it. Then we received a phone call asking him to take a medical and psych exam! We were excited and scared at the same time!
My husband scheduled himself to take the psych that following morning (not leaving much time to prepare)... I immediately went to your website and ordered the Psych prep workbook materials and received them via email immediately and we studied the rest of that day. He felt very confident that he knew the profile of a firefighter. About 1 week later he received a letter stating that he successfully completed both medical and psych exam and that he can continue on in the hiring process. A few days later he received a phone call from LA city Fire Dept. offering him a job!!!!! He starts the Academy March 3!!!
What a process!! I sincerely and humbly thank you for helping him Get His badge!!! You are truly a blessing!! We owe this one to you and we will never forget it.
Your materials are an investment of a lifetime!! Thanks!
Sincerely, A supportive wife.
Hi Captain Rob, I am sure that you don't remember me, since it has been a few months since my coaching session. However I just wanted to say thanks.
I got the program, practiced and had your coaching session. In my session you said that with my background, experience and with practice on my interviewing skills I would get multiple offers. I went into my next interviews feeling great, scored number 1, 5, and 1, in that order. The first department was not hiring, but the next two were. I got one written offer, and had the Asst Chief of the other department call to tell me that if I would turn down the first department he could promise me a job. I did what was best for my family and took the for sure job, finished the academy and I am know 4 months into my probation.
I work for a great department just outside of Seattle, and could not be happier.
On a side note: I did have some doubts about spending the $$$$ dollars and whether it would be worth it, I was wrong...... I needed it, and now recommend you to all the guys I know trying to get in.
Age 39 and just got hired. Life experience counts for something. Do your self a favor and read everything that Capt Bob is willing to share at www.eatstress.com
I got "the call" two weeks ago from a major department in Arizona. I'm extremely excited, and the ability to "really" enjoy the holidays was amazing. I owe a thank you to CaptBob - a great investment for me.
I just wanted to say thank you to Capt. Bob for all the advice. I just received my first conditional job offer for the Newport News Fire Department. I will start the academy in mid January. Once again thanks to everyone who has given me advice over the years. I wont forget where I came from. Been a vol for just about six years now and the thought and finally making this my profession is extremely exciting. Once again thanks to all and stay safe.
I recieved the badge
Hey capt.,I have been reading this website for about 3 years now . I finally received the honor to take the written, oral and chiefs interview. Thanks to this site and yours and rob;s experience. I GOT THE BADGE!! 53 people took the written test, and only 21 passed it, I got the highest score. Out of those 21 people who passed the written 18 of us passed the physical agility. 12 of those went to the oral board, which six got a chiefs interview. I was number one on the list the entire testing process. All the new hired firefighters were supposed to start Jan 1 2008. But the chief had me start a week after interviewing with him. Any way I wanted to say thanks for all of your help!! I have been working A- shift now for about one month and its awesome. Thanks again!! Fire Fighter/ EMT-B. Brian
More badges here: http://eatstress.com/testbest.htm
To see how candidates have improved their position in
gaining a badge
Announcing the new, the beloved, the 2007 DARWIN AWARD WINNERS!
" Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution,
the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool
by accidentally removing themselves from it. "
This was the year of the Squashed Darwin Award Winner. THREE
independent groups of people attempted to remove the supports
from beneath a barn, a water tower, and a heavy factory roof.
In all cases, the structures collapsed without their aptly-named
supports. Duh! This year brought us 16 jaw-droppping nominees,
not counting new nominees for previous years and Near Misses
(AKA Honorable Mentions) which I will cover in the next ish.
Enjoy the stories of the winners... and be glad you're not one!
RUNNER UP # FIVE:
THE LAPTOP STILL WORKS (Confirmed True by Darwin)
"Driving is not a time to be practicing your multitasking skills,"
remarked CHP spokesman Tom Marshall, commenting on a 29-year-old
computer tutor's decision to drive along Highway 99 in California
while working on his laptop. He drifted over the center line, and
was killed by oncoming traffic. CHP officers found Oscar's computer
still running, plugged into the Honda Accord's cigarette lighter.
RUNNER UP # FOUR:
SUPERIOR MOMENTUM (Confirmed True by Darwin)
June 2007, Illinois | Two Valparaiso men tested their reflexes by
playing "chicken" with a train. Which man could stay on the rail
the longest in the path of an oncoming train? At the stroke of
midnight, the contest was decided. The winner, aptly named
Patrick Stiff, lost his life. The train continued on,
as the conductor was unaware that it had hit anyone.
RUNNER UP # THREE:
BARN DEMOLITION (Unconfirmed by Darwin)
January 2007, West Virginia) Three friends set out to dismantle
a dilapidated barn one bracing winter afternoon. Speaking of
bracing... One industrious man fired up his chainsaw and ripped
through a crucial support post. Carrying the weight of a full
barn roof, those wooden support beams were all that stood between
the demolition worker and structural collapse. It was all fun
and games until the roof, sans support, succumbed to the pull
of gravity and flattened the man with the chainsaw. As a
consolation prize, the deceased was indeed successful at
demolishing the barn.
(Darwin notes, this story is unconfirmed, but no disputes have
come to my attention, as usually happens with bogus stories.)
Addendum: This was the year of the Squashed Darwin Award Winner.
Two other groups of people attempted to remove the supports from
beneath a water tower, and a heavy factory roof. In both cases,
the structure collapsed without their aptly-named supports. Duh!
RUNNER UP # TWO:
MOLE HUNT (Confirmed True by Darwin)
January 2007, East Germany | One man's extraordinary effort to
eradicate a mole from his property resulted in a victory for the
mole. The metal rods he pounded into the ground and connected to
a high-voltage power line, electrified the very ground the man
stood upon. He was found dead at his holiday property on the
Baltic Sea. Police had to trip the main circuit breaker before
venturing onto the property.
RUNNER UP # ONE:
WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN (Confirmed Double Darwin Award)
June 2007, South Carolina | A passing cabbie found a 21 year-old
deceased couple laying naked in the road an hour before sunrise.
Authorities were baffled. There were no witnesses, no trace of
clothing, and no wrecked vehicles present. But investigators
eventually found a clue high on the roof of a nearby building:
two sets of neatly folded clothes. Safe sex takes on a whole new
meaning when you are perched on the edge of a pyramid-shaped
metal roof. "It appears as if [they] accidentally fell off the
roof," Sgt. McCants said.
AND THE 2007 DARWIN AWARD WINNER IS...
THE ENEMA WITHIN (Confirmed True by Darwin)
May 2004, Texas | Michael was an alcoholic. And not an ordinary
alcoholic, but an alcoholic who liked to take his liquor... well,
rectally. His wife said he was "addicted to enemas" and often
used alcohol in this manner. The result was the same: inebriation.
And tonight, Michael was in for one hell of a party.
Two 1.5 litre bottles of sherry, more than 100 fluid ounces,
right up the old address!
When the rest of us have had enough, we either stop drinking or
pass out. When Michael had had enough (and subsequently passed
out) the alcohol remaining in his rectal cavity continued to be
absorbed. The next morning, Michael was dead.
The 58-year-old did a pretty good job of embalming himself.
Toxicology reports measured his blood alcohol level as 0.47%.
In order to qualify for a Darwin Award, a person must remove
himself from the gene pool via an "astounding misapplication
of judgment." Three litres of sherry up the butt can only be
described as astounding. Unsurprisingly, his neighbors said
they were surprised to learn of the incident.
Remember, absolutely nothing counts 'til you have the badge. Nothing!
Although our products are sold separately, I would suggest you order Gold Package Program and our companion "It's Your Turn in the Hot Seat" CD series here: Special offer program