The Aspiring Firefighter’s Two-Year Plan ( 275 pages) clearly explains the path an aspiring firefighter should follow to wisely utilize his or her time while testing for the fire department. This is a great challenge for someone who is unfamiliar with what we are looking for in an entry-level firefighter. Many candidates spend a great deal of time going in what Chief Lepore considers to be the wrong direction. They spend a great deal of time focusing on things that are not very important to the chief officers who make the hiring decisions, and not enough time on the things that are important. Chief Lepore uses his nearly 30 years of fire service experience and provides a thorough checklist that the reader can use to gauge him or herself against the competition.
Chief Lepore’s goal is shorten the learning curve for the reader to clearly understand what path to take in regards to education, training and experience. This is critically important, as there are literally hundreds of people vying for each open position. Those candidates who have the most to offer will have a greater chance to fill the vacant positions. The challenge is that candidates frequently have an incorrect view of what is attractive to the fire department. It is imperative that entry-level candidates maximize their time and effort to build their resume.
Oftentimes the minimum requirement to be hired in the fire department is to be 18 years old and possess a high school diploma and a driver’s license. The reality is that with the large number of applicants for every fire department opening, we can be very selective in whom we choose. This book clearly explains the path a candidate should take to better position him or herself as a top tier candidate.
Chapters include the following: a day in the life of a firefighter; the hiring process; physical agility exams; the importance of education; how a candidate’s age impacts the hiring decisions; the fire department’s views on tattoos; a physical fitness routine; background investigations; sample resumes; the importance of completing a basic fire academy; what to expect for those considering paramedic school; the importance of selecting the right friends; expected conduct when visiting a fire station; how to behave on a ride along; and a wife’s and children’s perspectives. The reader will have a greater insight into why some candidates get hired right away, while others struggle and may ultimately never get hired.