This may sound brutal and it"s not meant that way...Show-up....keep-up...and shut up....LOL ; you need to learn where EVERYTHING is and how to use it....be ready to help when called and be the first one to offer help when asked....If you show you care and really want to learn you will have no problems...please allow me to pass on a bit of advice that was given to me when I joined...Stay away from anyone that comes across like they know everything...that person will get you killed...My Chief told me that and I have never forgotten it....Stay safe and welcome to the family...Stay safe................Paul
I admire your enthusiasm however, accept the fact from the start that you might make mistakes and may not do things exactly right from day 1. My flight instructor told me that a pilots license is a license to learn. Whether it is flight school, or a fire academy, we are taught by the book, and albeit written by knowledgeable people, fire has never read the book. Which means we learn that emergency situations are not always according to the book. So learn to be flexible and adapt to the changing situation. Just because the book says to do it this way, does not mean that there is not 2 - 3 other ways to accomplish the same task safely. As the others have said, watch, listen, ask questions, and learn. With your enthusiasm and determination you will make it. Good luck.
Everyone tells you the truth look, learn listen and keep quiet unless asked. The other thing is remember you get the dirt jobs. Walk in knowing and doing them and it will go quick. Always make sure the coffee is full, never let your officers see you without studing something, and keep it clean. Every Probie goes through it. If you can take what they give the first year your in, and remember there will be someone for you to teach when they come in...
Over 16 years I have always told Cubbies the same thing....1) Don't take it personal we are trying to push your limits 2) Ask questions but that's it 3) Don't tell your training officer "that's not what my instructor said" 4) Look around if it's dirty clean it, if it's full empty it.
The more you show you can take initiative to do things without being told, the more respect your other firefighters will have for you.
Ask questions and lots of them. You can never know everything because there is so much to learn and you don't use all your skills every day.
Lastly, when it's a big call like a house fire let the regular firefighters on the first out truck(s). Even though you want to go and learn and so on them having to kick you out of a seat is only delaying the response letting the fire grow more!
Go for it, as the others have said, keep your ears open and your mouth shut (most of the time). As you learn more don't be afraid to ask questions. Act like an adult, be friendly, helpful, stay away from the know-it-alls, listen to the old timers. Dress like the professional you are, know that we had to take the less than desirable chores around the station. Yep, I'm the station captain, but I still clean the toilet when it needs it. Anything else just ask.
Take part in every fire department class in your area, pay attention to what your officers and fellow firefighters tell you, and don't get discouraged when someone critisizes you. Use your mistakes as lessons learned and don't repeat them. Get as much classroom time and training as possible. And be prepared to not be prepared. For me the hardest calls to work are some of the m.v.a's and medical calls, cause you only think you are ready until you get the call. If you train and pay attention, you will be prepared to perform your job. The part that I am talking about when I say prepare to be unprepared is the emotional part of the job. You will see things that you think you can handle without it affecting you, but I promise you that some of your calls, you will never forget. You have to be strong mentally as well as physically to succeed in this profession. If you ever need someone to talk to about a call you have been on, your fellow firefighter's will be able to help you and your department should have consoulers for this sort of thing too. Just pay attention and be open minded and you will do great.
Keep your eyes ans ears open and yur mouth shut......What I mean is pay attention to things going on around you and learn something every day....Don't try to fit in with a "clique. Taking something from everyone and mold yourself. Good Luck"
Three words of advice, Training, Training, Training! You didn't specify if you're going paid or joining a volunteer company, either way get as much training as possible. If you're going for a paid dept. obviously they will tell you what classes you need to get and what order they want you to get them in. If you are joining a volunteer company, check with the officers they should be knowledgable enough to get you off in the right direction. As I've said in other posts asking for suggestions, the best thing you can do when starting out is, become good firefighter/ems worker by learning how to do the job safely! Good luck and welcome to the family!