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    Chris Baker Consulting

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    Fire Engineering: The Future Firefighter Podcast with Captain Justin Schorr

     

    “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”

    – Richard Bach

    In this episode, Chris Baker sits down with Rescue Captain, Justin Schorr, "the Happy Medic" to talk about what he's learned over the last 25 years in the fire service and why one of the worst pieces of advice is "get your Medic." While obtaining the license will get you on a smaller list when hired, there's a catch, they want you to work as a medic when you get hired.  Find out more about what EMS means to the Future Firefighter and listen to this episode.

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    Where Do I Start To Become A Future Firefighter?

    (Photo Credits: Mark Tabay, Fresno City College, Public Information Officer).

    As Fire Science Instructors and Fire Technology Directors, we are frequently asked by perspective fire academy candidates, "what fire academy should I attend?"  Our response is usually a series of questions for the prospective future firefighter.  Where do you reside?  Where is your community located?  Where do you want to serve as a firefighter?  Where does your family live?  Where will you have a stable support system established?

    There are several State Fire Marshal accredited academies in California.  Our suggestion is finding a location that can support you during one of the hardest and most challenging college semesters you will ever experience.  Having a support system is quintessential and vital in having a successful experience during this grueling process of becoming a firefighter. Build a network of people who support your journey and finding those that can mentor you along the way can be the difference between success and failure. Start by being open and upfront with your family about the challenges you will face and what you need from them to finish. The level of commitment required for the fire academy isn't something that you can take for granted. The fire academy will consume your whole life for at least six months, and you will have no free time.

    The level of preparation before the academy is just as important as during the academy.  You have to be in top physical condition before you embark on this journey. Many academies require candidates to pass a physical fitness assessment or hold a current candidate physical ability test (CPAT) card as a pre-requisite to starting the academy. To prepare, try various fitness activates such as running, high-intensity training, and functional fitness programs. Many basic fire academies include a run of 1.5 miles, pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups, or a combination of fire ground movements as a standard entry assessment. The start of your day during the academy is as early as 4:30 AM and somedays you might leave the drill grounds at approximately 7:30 PM in the evening. Both of us can recall studying for exams till midnight and only receiving four hours of sleep per night. The weekends are not days off; however, they are full days of continuous self-improvement and preparation for future firefighter skills examinations.

     

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    The Future Firefighter: Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio Show with Dr. Harry Carter

    Live from FDIC 2018: Day Five

    The Value of Education in the Fire Service

     

    “I have achieved a great deal in life through education.”– Dr. Harry R. Carter

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    Leading Throughout Probation and Beyond in the Fire Service: Part 2

     

    You have survived the first week as a probationary firefighter in the best career in the world. You might need to pinch yourself because you possibly feel like you just won the lottery. The first week undoubtedly went by so fast, that it feels like a blur and you are still in the process of trying to find out how you will “fit-in” to the firehouse culture. The last article covered the roles, responsibilities and the duties of being a probationary firefighter. This article is going to focus on the character traits that are necessary to pass the probationary period and these traits will also make a major contribution in building important relationships in the firehouse.

    It is very important to have your own unique morals, values, and ethics prior to gaining entry into the fire service. These traits are the reference point for anyone seeking a career in this field. It is those same traits that you will need to harness and rely upon while leading throughout probation. Always do the right thing. Do not participate in any activity that is illegal, immoral or unethical on or off duty in your fire service career - period. The impact of violating these values will be catastrophic for your fire service career.

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    Leading Throughout Probation and Beyond in the Fire Service: Part I

     

    From our first day in the fire service, we have the opportunity to be a leader and lead throughout probation and well beyond, until long after our retirement.  This article is not the perfect recipe or golden ticket to pass probation.  It takes more than a list of rules to be successful in passing probation.  Ultimately, the responsibility of passing the probationary period rests firmly on the probationary firefighter's shoulders.

    On our first day, as we embark upon this prized career in the fire service, it is necessary to show up and arrive early to the fire station.  Early is comprised of at least 60 minutes prior to the start of our shift.  Several tasks are essential and required to be completed before we can officially start the day on “Big Red” in the Jumpseat.  Don’t be late in this profession!  You will be left behind at the station if you are late, and more importantly, you don’t get a 2nd chance for a 1st impression!

    Someone has to raise the American flag.   This is an opportunity for the probationary firefighter to take responsibility of raising Old Glory for the community we have the honor to serve.  It takes leadership from the probationary firefighter to raise the flag.  No one is going to issue this order because this is our responsibility.  It is also our responsibility to lower the flag and properly fold the flag in the evening.  Learn proper flag etiquette and take leadership in learning how to honor the American flag.

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    Why I Became a Public Servant

     

    I will never forget the day I signed up to be a volunteer firefighter for my community. In 2005, I can recall watching the devastation on TV from the natural disaster Hurricane Katrina and Rita in the Gulf Region of the United States.  I felt like I needed to help in some form or fashion I wanted to do something. At the time, in my local area of California, I visited my local volunteer fire station and signed up to become a volunteer firefighter.  I really didn't know that I would soon be embarking on my future career in the Fire Service.

    I attended training on Wednesday evenings and weekends for eight months at the firehouse.  I graduated from my department's firefighter basics program and became an official probationary firefighter.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of every training class in the firefighter basic program over the course of those eight months. I consumed and digested every piece of information regarding the fire service. Every magazine on the coffee table at the firehouse, I must have read three times from cover to cover over the period of my first year.  I even asked the senior firefighters at my station if I could take home the old magazines to glean the valuable information they contained.  I became a student of the fire service. Over the next year following the department-sponsored training program, I attended various emergency medical and fire service-related training class.

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    Are you a Change Magnet?

    Do you embrace change or do you resist it?  Do you approach a conversation with an open mind or do you approach the discussion with a closed mind?  Are you willing to accept technological advances or discredit them?  Are you willing to pull up a chair at the table and join the conversation?

    I am a humble public servant.  My ultimate goal and purpose, in my position in the fire service, is to serve the public.  Our customers expect a highly competent professional that will arrive in an effective and efficient manner to mitigate their emergency.  Are you willing to be a change magnet?

    The fire service is rapidly approaching the age of discovery in the realm of scientific information.  This scientific data is at the forefront of many conversations and discussions around the firehouse kitchen table.  The application of this scientific data is very difficult to apply, digest and even comprehend.  Are you willing to embrace this information?

    In this age of discovery, this scientific information is highlighting information that has already been discovered in the past.  However, in this current age of information, several are reconsidering this preexisting information.  This age of technology is integrated with almost every aspect of the society of today.  For example, smartphones, smart televisions and now even smart refrigerators.  You can see this advancement of technology by attending national fire/ems conferences and walking the exposition floor.  Are you willing to attend these conferences and become familiar with the advancement of this technology in the fire service?

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