Making the firefighting cut - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Making the firefighting cut

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Following their dreams, or following family tradition, hundreds flood the Electric City this week to test not only their knowledge but also their strength , all to become a full time firefighter.

KFBB was on the scene to check out the events and find out  what kind of challenges they faced. 

Great Falls Fire Chief Steve Hester said yesterday they started with over 200 people who took the written exam. However by Tuesday the number dropped to its down to 192, who took the physical exam.  The applicants trained for months in preparation for this. Because they only have one shot at the golden ticket. 

Each person had only ten minutes and twenty seconds, to complete eight real-world obstacles.  All while packing an extra 50 plus pounds.   

"Raising ladders, carrying tools the force-able enter prop you hear in the back ground that's opening doors, forcing enter into a building with locked doors, so it has everything," said Hester.

"I would hope they've trained for at least 6 months leading up to this because if not they're going to have a real hard time passing. some people have trained for years," said Greg Megaard, Chairmen for the Montana Firefighting Testing Consortium.
  
Megaard  said the testing is open to anyone who wants to fight fires in the Treasure State.  

Samantha Shepherd is a firefighter in Illinois, and for her this is a chance of a life time. 

"I have a sister that lives out here  so we used to vacation when i was younger its just beautiful out here so coming back to the mountains has always felt like home,"said Shepherd.

But the number of job applicants compared to the number of jobs, is very unbalanced 

"The firefighter job you get the golden ring because it is so highly competitive across the country.  I mean anywhere between 300-500 people are here to via for like we just talked about 10 jobs,"said Megaard.

This time around shepherd missed the mark but that is not stopping her.

"That's alright i still talked to a couple of departments and still picked up some apps and we're gonna still keep pushing along, this isn't an easy job people say this isn't for everybody but if you want it and you have the right attitude you will excel," said Shepherd.
 

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