- So, You want to be a firefighter Part 1
- So, You want to be a firefighter Part 2
- You want to become a Firefighter- should you become a Paramedic
- How Do I Find out Which Departments are Accepting Applications Phase 1
- How Do I Find out Which Departments are Accepting Applications Phase 2
- How Do I Find out Which Departments are Accepting Applications Phase 3
- How to Best Prepare Yourself to Become A Firefighter
- Better Understanding the Firefighter Job Flyer
- 15 Tips to Successfully Completing the Job Application
How Do I Find Out Which Fire Departments
Are Accepting Applications. Part 3
To actually do some research on when a fire department will be next accepting applications, where do you start? I believe you should do an all encompassing approach that will include using the internet, calling up the fire department headquarters, calling up the city personnel department, stopping by a fire station, and stopping by the City Hall (or other similar administrative offices of the municipality, county, state, or federal agency you are applying for).
In the last article, part 2: Organizing your firefighter candidate research binder into chapters, I discussed how to organize your binder into a user-friendly tool that will greatly assist you in finding out which fire departments are accepting applications.
I provided a sample template to use that contained information on a fire department that I felt will be very relevant and useful in performing your research. You probably saw that template and asked yourself, "How am I going to obtain all of the necessary information?" Obtaining that information will be the focus of this article. Think of yourself as a detective trying to piece together a crime. Instead, you will be piecing together the pieces that will complete the puzzle of pursuing your dream of becoming a firefighter!
Phase III. OBTAINING THE NECESSARY INFORMATION FOR YOUR FIREFIGHTER CANDIDATE RESEARCH BINDER.
If you are thinking that you are getting in over your head, then sit down and take a deep breath. Rome wasn't built in a day, and odds are you are not going to become a firefighter in a day either. Patience is a virtue. All of this research you perform now is going to be valuable information that will assist you in some form or fashion. Where do we start? Now that you have this nice binder, what are you going to do with it? Hopefully use it! There are many ways you can obtain information to "fill in the blanks." Here are my top choices to assist you in the process of filling in the blanks for each of the fire departments you are planning to research (remember we are using the template I showed you in the last article, or something similar):
Firehouse.com website Links page. If you haven't discovered this valuable tool yet, you are definitely missing out on an incredible resource. On the U.S. Fire Department's section alone, there are thousands of links to both volunteer and paid fire departments. I haven't found too many major departments that are not already listed. This is the first place I would go.
Searching the Internet. If you can't find what you're looking for on a website links page such as firehouse.com, you can use a search engine such as google, yahoo, alta vista, etc. Those would all be excellent choices. Once there, you would type in such specific words as City of Oakland or Oakland Fire Department. Personally I would start off with the City web site first. Why? Because that is usually the easiest to find, and they also have links to City Departments such as the Fire Department and Personnel / Human Resources. Once at the City web site, I would bookmark the City web site for future access, and additionally bookmark the Fire Department web site. That way I would have both to reference from.
Directly accessing the City website without using a search engine. I'm not sure if most people realize this about the Internet, but it is actually set up in a user-friendly format. By user-friendly, I mean that you can type in a set order of words to get you where you want to go, and it will usually work. For example, say I want to access the City of Sunnyvale website. Yes, I could use a search engine. Another easy way would be to take a shot at directly accessing it by typing in http://www.ci.sunnyvale.ca.us and guess what? It takes me right to the city website!
Take a look at that link I just typed. After the two forward slashes, you see the www, which stands for world-wide-web. Many Internet sites start with www. After the www, you see the .ci - which stands for City (if it was a County, you would use .co). After the .ci, you see the name of the city. If the city had two names (such as Union City), you would try http://www.ci.union-city.ca.us (using a dash between the two names). After the name of the city, you see a .ca - which is the two-digit designator for a state (every state has a two-digit designator). After the .ca, you see a .us - which stands for United States.