So, I have finally decided to take the plunge and go for promotion in my whole-time job.
Knowing when you are ready
It has taken me a few years to make this decision. I have had to take into account a few considerations.
I wanted to make sure first off that I have had enough experience of jobs and life within the fire service. I wanted to make sure I have the respect of my fellow FF’s. I see too many times FF’s come straight out of their probation and go straight for promotion, without having much experience of a variety of jobs and general experience.
This would have been an easy decision if I had still been at a previous Watch, as due to a few factors I wasn’t happy there. Where I am currently is the best station for me! Lots of special appliances and skills, it’s busy and probably the closest station for me to commute to. It’s a difficult decision voluntarily opting to leave a Watch you are happy on, as I will inevitably be moved to a different Station and Watch, but I have to think about me and my career in the Fire Service.
Stepping up to the challenge
I am also at the point where I am looking at newly promoted officers and thinking ‘I could do a better job’. I was always told as soon as I started to feel that, I needed to put my money where my mouth is and take on the challenge. My retained role should put me in fairly good stead, as I have been doing the job for the last three years there, but as Firefighters know, whole-time can be a completely different beast.
The promotions selection processes
The retained process was fairly easy when I went for it, this process is anything but! I will have to put some serious revision in on policies and procedures for my service (which may have been a factor before why I haven’t done it!). This can be complicated when you are having to try and remember two services’ standard operating policies.
The first part is the technical paper, which is in about 4 weeks. I have a reading list of Standard Operating Procedures to study up on for that. Then there will be a role play and presentation before a final interview. I know this varies from Service to Service, and even year to year within your own Service sometimes! Its hard not really knowing what to expect but everyone I’ve spoken to has said that being prepared is essential, so that’s what I intend to be.
All in all the process lasts about 4-5 months and can be quite a big part of your life with all the revision and studying you need to put in. I feel I am in the right place (both personal and work) to put in this sort of effort and commitment now.
I’ll keep you posted!!