25 Tips for Probationary Firefighters

Issue 4 and Volume 165.

BY FRANK VISCUSO AND MICHAEL TERPAK So, you have just been sworn in as a firefighter. Congratulations on your achievement. You may or may not have completed your academy training, but you are about to report to your shift for the first time to meet the team of firefighters you will be working with, maybe for the next 20 years of your life. Sure, you are excited, but as you sit and think about everything you don’t know, you can feel your anxiety level rising. We can relate. We have been there. Firefighting in general is difficult, but a firefighter’s probationary period is typically the most difficult part of his career. This is the way it is supposed to be, because your probationary period, which typically lasts anywhere from 12 to 24 months, is the time in which a good department will challenge you to rise and meet its standards.…

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