Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

“Success isn’t done by looking out the window, it is done by looking in the mirror.”

- Chief Dave McGlynn


“Nothing is achieved by yourself.  There is nothing in life that you are going to do by yourself.  Everything in life you are going to do, someone is going to assist you along the way, and that is a great thing.  If you are dedicated and passionate about it, your time will come. It starts with you. If you look in the mirror, you will be able to dedicate to yourself, that you are going to get the job.” (McGlynn)


“Learning how to network with others by using social media professionally. The key word is networking with them professionally. Social media can make or break you. Watch what you say and do on social media.  The positive end of social media if you use it correctly, it as an amazing tool.” (McGlynn)


“Connecting with people and networking with people to get better guidance on the path and direction on how they are going to get the job. If you are not doing that, guess what, they are going to get the job, and you are not.  Because they are finding a way to get the job.  Because this is the greatest job in the world, and for those that want to get the job, you have to remove your ego.  You have to be humble enough to know that you are on the outside looking in, and someone else is going to be able to give you the path or guide you to the path to get in.” (McGlynn)


“The testing circuit, that network is huge and if you aren’t in some group or if you don’t know someone else that is testing, find that person.  Because I can almost guarantee you that everybody that is interviewing for the job you are interviewing for or everybody that is testing for the job that you are testing for there is hundreds if not thousands of people that have either tested in that region, that area or that location.  And they all are going to give you feedback on how they did and how they felt, and you are going to do the same on how you felt and how you did.  And you all are going to learn from each other and probably pick up on something different than the hiring official or the selecting official was looking for that you had, and you didn’t think mattered.  That network is huge.” (McAfee)


“Don’t get discouraged about where you are at and don’t get frustrated with those that are excelling and doing better than you are in the testing circuit.  Have some humility and contact those people that are excelling along the journey. Don’t be mad at those that are having success, get their road map on how they arrived at their destination through the testing circuit.  It might not be the exact way you can help get yourself there; however, there is going to be some things you can take away from them.” (McAfee)


“When you are out on the testing circuit, you come across several other candidates that are also applying for similar positions. Network with these other candidates and share your contact information including phone number and email address. Your competition is the person in the mirror.  The only real competition is yourself.  You are competing against yourself not these other candidates.  During the hiring process, it is those other candidates that might also get selected with you and offered a position.  During your journey through the testing circuit, you might have the opportunity to attend the probationary academy together.  The fire service is an extremely small world.  We are all connected within the brotherhood and the sisterhood in this honorable profession.” (Baker)


“Most people don’t want to be part of the process, they want to be a part of the outcome.  However, the process is where you figure out who is worthy of being part of the outcome.  Trust the process.  The process is where you experience the grind and how it feels to be down in the trenches during your journey through the testing circuit.  Remember, this is a journey, and you have to learn how to respect the process.  I can reflect on when I received my start in the fire service.  I can recall my journey during the testing circuit, driving several miles to written tests, all the panel interviews and all the hours of preparation.  When you receive this dream career position, you will value the process, and you will never forget your journey along the way.” (Baker)


“The quintessential concept along the journey of the testing circuit is establishing a contact base through networking.  The opportunity to share information and resources. Through networking, you can build relationships and a solid support system. Motivate each other when you are down, and when you are having a bad day.   Especially, when you fail a written test or receive a rejection letter. Reach out to someone for some much-needed motivation and get back on the horse.  Keep applying and continue to the next written test.  Having that support system is extremely important in your pursuit of receiving this honorable position." (Baker)


“As candidates, you can link up together like atoms.  Build covalent bonds during your journey on the testing circuit.  It might be those bonds you make along the way, that can be the difference between success and failure.” – Chris Baker



Chief Alan Brunacini would say, “Egos eat brains.”  He couldn’t be more correct when it comes to your ego getting in the way.  Don’t allow your ego to get you in trouble with social media.  Your ego can also limit your ability to network on the testing circuit.  Humility can go a long way in terms of both networking and also posting content on social media.



1. Networking is the key to success.

2. Remove the ego and be open to working with others.

3. Surround yourself with people who want the best for you.


Top 10 things to do that increase your odds of getting a job.  (Not in any specific order).

  1. Train: Attend multiple classes, obtain as many certifications that you can.
  2. Reach out to those on the job for assistance.
  3. Link up with a person on the job and have them help with your resume.
  4. Tap into Social media sites and see who’s testing and when.
  5. Build a group of study partners to help each other prepare for the test.
  6. Attend civil service exam prep courses.
  7. Attend resume and interview workshops.
  8. Visit the fire stations and ask questions to the people working there.
  9. Dedicate yourself to you getting the job and be your own cheerleader.
  10. Truly want the job for the right reasons and you will get it.


Dave McGlynn has over 17 years of experience in the Fire and Emergency Services field having served in both Municipal and Federal Fire Departments. He is currently the Chief of Training for the West Point Fire Department US Military Academy, NY. Chief McGlynn is also the Lead Instructor for Passion in Leading, LLC and “Building a Training Network That Works.” Along with being a Fire Instructor and Public Speaker, Dave is the host of Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio "Networking for Success," as well as a regular contributor for Fire Engineering and a Featured Presenter at FDIC International.



Listen to this episode

Jacob McAfee, MS, CFO, CTO, MIFireE is the Fire Chief of the Fresno City College Fire Academy and Director of Fire Technology Programs.  He is a Deputy Chief of the North Central Fire Protection District.  Jacob is a former DoD Fire Chief and has 19 years of fire service experience, where he has served in every major division of the fire service including Chief of Department. A United States Marine Corps Veteran, Chief McAfee served from 1999-2007 including two deployments to Iraq. He has worked for the DOD as a Fire Service professional for the Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, and Navy. Chief McAfee is a registered instructor for the California State Fire Marshal’s Office and the California Specialized Training Institute. Chief McAfee completed National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP) and holds Chief Fire Officer (CFO) and Chief Training Officer (CTO) credentials from the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE). Additionally, he serves the CPSE as a CFO and CTO peer assessor, a peer team member for CFAI Accreditation assessments, and serves as a curricula SME and instructor Nurturing Fire Service Leaders Through Mentoring. He is the CA State lead advocate and instructor for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and currently serves on the professional development and education committee with the Institute of Fire Engineers as a Member grade. Chief McAfee is a published fire service author writing consistently for Fire Engineering magazine and Fire Rescue International and has presented nationally for ARFF operations and Leading Organization through Change. He holds Masters Degrees in Occupational Safety and Health and Emergency Management while currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Emergency Management with Capella University.




Chris Baker, has over twelve years of experience in volunteer, combination, and career, fire departments in California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology and Associates of Science Degree in Fire Service Command, Company Officer.  Chris is a California State Fire Training certified Fire Officer, Driver-Operator, Fire Instructor, and Lead Firefighter I Certification Evaluator. He is a Fire Science Instructor in the California Community Colleges System.  Chris is a member of the California Fire Technology Directors’ Association and the California Training Officers Association.  He served as a volunteer Peer Reviewer on the FY 2017 Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) for both hiring and recruitment/retention.  Chris also served as a Peer Reviewer on the FY 2017/2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG).  He is a Volunteer Advocate Regional Manager, Region IX (CA, NV, AZ, HI) for the Everyone Goes Home Program through the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Chris also serves as a volunteer member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Safety, Health and Survival Section serving in their staging area.  He is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Fire Heritage Center located in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  Chris is a National Fire Service Instructor teaching at notable fire conferences across the country.  He is the co-host of the Fire Engineering: The Future Firefighter Podcast.  Chris writes blog articles for Firefighter Nation, Fire Rescue and Fire Engineering Magazines on mentoring the future generations of the fire service. 



Views: 4181

Comments are closed for this blog post

Policy Page


Our contributors' posts are not vetted by the Fire Engineering technical board, and reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Anyone is welcome to participate.

For vetted content, please go to

Fire Engineering Editor in Chief Bobby Halton
We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our policy page. -- Bobby Halton

Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail

FE Podcasts

Check out the most recent episode and schedule of

© 2019   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service