Mental Toughness

by Dean Guccione, April 14, 2017. In this video, Chief Dean Guccione discuss how you must develop mental toughness being a firefighter. Mental toughness is necessary for your success as you run 911 emergency calls, and you also need mental toughness for your success around the station. You are going to be exposed to life and death situations on a daily basis where you will need to be mentally tough to cope with what you see every day. You’ll also need mental toughness in the station, because as a rookie, you will be under stress constantly due to being continually evaluated on your performance and your behavior. Being mentally tough is a skill that you can learn over time, and the better you get at controlling the way you think and feel while responding to emergencies, the more a fulfilling and successful career you will have. Enjoy!

F.O.A.M. - Firefighter Oral Assessment Mechanism

by Dean Guccione on March 15, 2017. In this video, Chief Dean Guccione discusses a new and different method that a few fire departments are using to interview their firefighter candidates. It’s called the FOAM method of interviewing. Firefighter Oral Assessment Mechanism is a video based style interview where you’re shown a video scenario and then have to respond in real time, as though you are talking to a real person. You usually have about 40 seconds for your response, so this type of interview requires significant preparation to do well. Enjoy!

Marijuana Use and Fire Departments

by Dean Guccione on January 14, 2017. In this video, Chief Dean Guccione discusses Proposition 64, in California, where marijuana was legalized for recreational use on November 8th, 2016. Chief Guccione talks about the illusion firefighter candidates may have regarding recreational marijuana use and their ability to pass their background investigation. But, the law actually will not go into effect until January, 2018. The State of California will need this year to figure out how pot will be regulated, sold, and used. Don’t be surprised if Fire Departments throughout California DO NOT change their policies regarding the use of pot for recruit and full-time firefighters. We will see what happens! Enjoy!

How Negative Influences Affect You as a Firefighter Candidate

by Dean Guccione on December 15, 2016. In this video, Chief Dean Guccione discusses How Negative Influences Affect You As A Firefighter Candidate. You know who and what the negative influences are in your life. They are people and influences in your life that suck the energy right out of you, leaving you feeling lazy, resentful, and even angry or discouraged and drained of energy. My advice is to get rid of them! Check out the video to see how. Enjoy!

Consequences of Waiting to the Last Minute to Prepare

by Dean Guccione on November 17, 2016. In this week’s video, Chief Dean Guccione discusses a mistake many firefighter candidates make is waiting until the last minute to start preparing for their upcoming firefighter oral interview. Unfortunately, there is no way good way to prepare for a firefighter interview in just a few days, or even a week. For you to be successful, you must start preparing for your interview at least a month in advance. It’s best to begin preparing for your interview when you decide you’re going to start testing. However, you can be successful if you start preparing during the application period for that department. But be sure to block out at least an hour or two a day to study and prepare. Good luck and enjoy!

Dallas Police Shootings - New Situational Awareness for Firefighters

by Dean Guccione on July 17, 2016. In this video, Chief Dean Guccione discusses the New Situational Awareness and change in SOPs, that not only police officers will face, but firefighters will also need to adapt to because of the horrific murder of 5 Dallas Police Officers last Friday, June 8, 2016. Police officers were targeted by terrorists like never before in the past, and Firefighters cannot let their guard down and believe that they are immune to such attacks. This is more important now than ever with the Paris attack by a terrorist in a truck, and now this morning with 3 police officers dead in Baton Rouge, LA., who were also killed in an ambush-style attack. Always remember if you see something, say something. You could save countless lives if you report something suspicious that just doesn’t feel right to you. I hope this serves you well.

How to Control Your Emotions While You Up Your Compassion

by Dean Guccione on June 24, 2016. In this video, Chief Dean Guccione discusses how you can reduce your nerves and fear when responding to emergency 911 calls, as a new probationary firefighter. Unfortunately, in the academy, they don’t correctly teach you how to be calm when you respond to serious incidents where there’s significant injuries or multiple casualties, or structure fires where your on a line inside conducting a search while looking for the fire, or being on a roof of a burning structure conducting ventilation operations. Chief Guccione helps you focus your attention to on the tasks you’re assigned as well as showing your compassion and empathy towards those you’re helping to alleviate your nervousness and anxiety. Enjoy!

Is Your Social Media Preventing You from Becoming a Firefighter?

by Dean Guccione on June 17, 2016. In this week’s video, Chief Dean Guccione discusses how background investigators are scrutinizing candidates’ social media accounts for videos, pictures and posts that put themselves and/or the fire service in a bad light. You would be surprised as to how many firefighter candidates fail simply because they have social media platforms that depict excessive partying, drugs, racial and discriminatory posts and other types of inappropriate postings. So, go and clean up your social media accounts or you may be skipped over for another candidate and lose that chance of becoming a full-time, professional firefighter. Enjoy!

What You Need to do First to Become a Full-Time Firefighter

by Dean Guccione on June 3, 2016. In this video, Chief Dean Guccione Discusses what you need to do first if you want to become a full-time, career firefighter. There are a number of classes you’ll need to take to help you prepare for a career as a firefighter, but Chief Guccione not only tells you what class you’ll need to take first, but why. He also lays out an education plan, so you can do the most for your preparation in the shortest amount of time. Enjoy!

Should You Have a Contingency Plan?

by Dean Guccione on March 18, 2016. In this week’s video, Chief Guccione discusses whether or not you should have a contingency plan in the event that you never become a firefighter. For me, there was no going back to being an auto mechanic. There was no way I could work on cars the rest of my working life, so I had to burn the boats if I was going to take the island. And I did just that. But, if things didn’t work out, I had my mechanical background that I could fall back on, and earn a living with that ability. But I can tell you, that would have been devastating to me. Fortunately, I got hired after 5 years, and 30 tests later and it was worth taking every grueling test I could take to realize my dream. If you continue to study and prepare, you will certainly realize your dream! I promise you that! Enjoy!

The Impact on Family Being a Firefighter

by Dean Guccione on February 19, 2016. In this week’s video, Chief Dean Guccione discusses the Impact on the Family of Being a Firefighter. There are two areas that your family will be impacted. The first is while you’re testing, preparing and studying to become a firefighter, and the second is when you are hired as a full-time, professional firefighter. Your family must understand there are sacrifices that will pay off big in the end. However, these sacrifices pale in comparison to the benefits of being a firefighter. It’s up to you to have that conversation with your family to help them understand, while there are sacrifices, there is no better career choice you than being a full-time, professional firefighter! Enjoy!

It's Your First Day on the Floor. Now What?

by Dean Guccione on January 30, 2016. In this video, Chief Dean Guccione asks you to think about… “It’s your first day on the floor.” “Now what?” As part of your firefighter preparation, you need to be thinking ahead to your first day on the floor, and the things you need to do, to not only be successful on your first day, but be successful throughout your probationary year. There are specific things you will need to do on your first day to be an effective engine/truck company firefighter with your limited experience, as well as start to earn a positive reputation. I made this video especially for those who are just finishing backgrounds, but it’s also great information for any new firefighter or those wanting to become firefighters. Enjoy!

How to Properly Present a Class or Drill While on Probation

by Dean Guccione on February 5, 2016. In this week’s video, Chief Dean Guccione discusses how to properly give a class or drill while on probation. Almost all municipal fire departments require their probationary firefighters to give classes or drills on the various equipment that is carried on all of their fire apparatus. Training classes or drills you may give will include, but not be limited to, donning and use of PPE (personal protective equipment) & SCBA, chain saws, rotary saws, Jaws of Life, forcible entry equipment, blowers, rope rescue equipment, Thermal Imaging Camera, and radios, just to name a few of the basic drills you may give. Probationary firefighters in my department are required to give 80 classes and drills during their probationary year. So, for you to give a comprehensive and competent class, I’ve laid out 4 areas that you will need to cover during your drill. They are the specifications, safety, usage, and maintenance on the tool or piece of equipment. If you follow this simple, but effective plan, you will quickly earn the respect of your shift and crew members, because they will see that they can rely upon you to be able to use that piece of equipment in a safe and competent manner. Enjoy!

Is Your Car Just for Transportation?

by Dean Guccione on January 22, 2016. Is Your Car Just For Transportation? This week Chief Dean Guccione discusses the advantages of using your car as a classroom and as a venue for you to study, practice and prepare for your firefighter oral interview. You can listen to audio programs, videos, and work on your oral presentation skills that you will use to present yourself to the panel. This is a great use of your car, especially if you have a longer commute. Take advantage of your time in the car. It could mean the difference in how well you are prepared for your next oral interview! Enjoy!

Should You Do Mock Oral Interviews as Part of Your Preparation?

by Dean Guccione on January 15, 2016. In this week’s video, Chief Dean Guccione discusses the advantages and disadvantage of whether you should participate in mock oral interviews, as part of your firefighter oral interview preparation. The advantages to doing mock interviews are that you receive feedback in the areas where you need improvement and where you are well prepared. And if you are getting feedback from experienced interview panel members, then this can be a real shot in the arm. However, if the mock panel has little or no experience in interviewing actual firefighter candidates, you could get steered in the wrong direction and unknowingly be given the wrong advice. LET ME BE CLEAR. This is by no means a slam against ANY firefighter. It just means that you have a distinct advantage when you are receiving advice from someone who has sat behind the table in actual firefighter interviews. I hope you like this informative and somewhat controversial video. Enjoy!

Are You a Future Fire Service Leader?

by Dean Guccione on November 7, 2015. In this week’s video, I ask you the question, “are you a future fire service leader?” The fire service is being hit with the baby boomers retiring from the fire service at a record pace, which is creating a large amount of vacancies and inexperience for municipal fire departments. This change in the fire service has interview panels looking at your potential leadership as a future fire service leader. You may be asked a direct question about where you see yourself in 3 to 5, or 5 to 10 years, or the panel may be passively looking for leadership skills you possess. I’m going to give you a number of examples to show you where you may have hidden leadership skills/experience and how to articulate them to the panel. It’s important that you incorporate these skills into your interview because who you may become in their fire department is in the forefront of their minds. Enjoy!

Why do You Really want to Become a Firefighter?

by Dean Guccione on October 17, 2015. Firefighter Oral Interview Question – Why Do You REALLY Want To Become A Firefighter? Chief Dean Guccione discusses the two areas, including your personal story, you must articulate to the oral interview panel to answer this question and knock it out of the park on this common question. Dean gives you a little bit about his story and why he loves being a firefighter. You will be given many ideas that you can expound and build upon to create an answer for you that will help you kill it in your next interview. Enjoy!

The Firefighter Hiring Process - Part 1

by Dean Guccione on August 14, 2015. In part 1 of this week’s video blog I will discuss the firefighter hiring process and why your background is such a critical component in your success of realizing your dream of becoming a firefighter. Enjoy!

The Firefighter Hiring Process - Part 2

by Dean Guccione on August 14, 2015. This was an extra long video this week, so I broke it up into two parts, so it will be easier to get the most out of the content.

How to Properly Fill Out Your Firefighter Application

by Dean Guccione on July 24, 2015. Use these tips for filling out your application, otherwise it may be rejected or disqualified by the department for which you’re applying.