A look back at the 2017 Firefighter Career Expos

Photo by Robbie Panco

The next generation of firefighters got an in-depth look at the profession this spring, when the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC) held Firefighter Career Expos in two Northern California locations.

The career expos, which were held in Livermore and Sacramento, drew hundreds of hopeful candidates, connecting them with recruiting departments and giving them a better view of what it takes to pursue a career in fire service.  

More than a dozen departments from all across the state attended in search for the next generation of firefighters.

“The main advantage for a candidate that comes to a Career Expo is that they get to talk to recruiters about the various hiring processes that departments use,” said Cal-JAC Executive Director Yvonne de la Peña. 

Attendees were exposed to informational workshops, and were able to test out the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), which is the recognized standard for measuring an individual’s ability to handle the physical demands of being a firefighter. Attendees also learned what to expect on the Written Test, a fully validated test tailored specifically towards a career in the fire service.

 The successful completion of both these tests could land candidates a spot on FCTC’s Statewide Eligibility List, a comprehensive list of qualified candidates that departments all over the state use as a go-to when they are looking to recruit. 

Candidates also gained insight on the everyday challenges and rewards that come with the career during presentations of "A Day in the Life of a Firefighter" held throughout the day. 

“This is hands down one of the best events, from anybody’s standpoint,” said Ryan Capes, a firefighter-paramedic and recruiter with the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department. “If you’re looking to get into the fire service, this is the place to come.”

The Firefighter Career Expo provided hopeful candidates with valuable information on how to pursue a career in fire service and what to expect once they are hired. People from all different age groups, levels of experience, and education were able to get personalized advice from active firefighters about the steps they need to take to make their dream a reality. 

For more information on Cal-JAC’s Firefighter Career Expos, visit www.cffjac.org.