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September 15, 2008
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The "WHY do you want to be a firefighter?"
Ok, so I have your e-book and I think it has been very helpful in developing my interview techniques for the fire service. One of the questions I am struggling with though is what I think should be one of the easiest.
I can't think of any one pivotal moment or story to avoid from having what sounds like a clone answer to me. What it really boils down to is I think the job is FUN and I can't think of anything more I want to spend my life doing.
- Fell into the EMS field as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher after the downfall of the tech boom in the early 2000's and loved it, but didn't want to spend the next 20 years of my career sitting behind a desk.
- I started becoming interested in other EMS jobs because of the perks everyone else like, great hours, retirement, adventure, etc.
- Took a first responder class, partially to get a better understanding of my current position as a dispatcher and enjoyed it... and that is what started me down the path of wanting to become a firefighter.
- moved onto an EMT class... suffered through working night shift full time... getting off at 11am, going to sleep for 2-3 hours, waking up and going to school, going home and sleeping for 2-3 more hours, and then being at work for a 10 hour shift at 1am. It was torture at times but I still enjoyed it as I love the emergency medical aspect of the job.
- Continued on with education in Fire Technology completing graduation requirements in the major... still working on GE requirements for AS.
- Got a job as an EMT part-time at the San Jose Arena and another private company that provides EMTs at sports events.
- Applied for and landed a position as a voluteer with the fire department I dispatch for. (This sealed the deal in knowing this is the career I want.)
- dropped to part time as a dispatcher at a well-paying job so that I could make more time to gain experience working as an EMT (getting paid peanuts,) volunteering with the fire dept on ride alongs, and working on my schooling.
Is laying this all out there step by step on what I did to prepare myself enough to convey the WHY?? or do I need to dig deeper to find a hook? Are there things I should avoid saying completely?? things I might be able to add to have a better sell??
I should be interviewing with my dream department (same one I volunteer for) in about 6 weeks and really want to be dialed, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Brian
Have you really, really been practicing with a hand held recorder that goes everywhere your car keys go before you sent this to me?
Why do you want to be a firefighter is indeed one of the toughest answers.
What you have under your background is what you have done to prepare for the position not why you want to be a firefighter.
Try this: There was a point in your pursuit during a class, ride along or a life experience where your mind went click; that’s it. This is what I want to do in life. My life is not going to be the same until I get that badge.
When did this happen? That’s your story that you can marry off with your other information. Yea clone stuff too.
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