Fire chiefs educate students on the keys to success | News

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Fire chiefs educate students on the keys to success

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Thirteen fire departments from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts responded to a call for assistance at Southern Maine Community College this afternoon, but the aid they rendered was not for emergency purposes.

"It is a huge commitment for them and a it is a great benefit for us," explained Steve Willis, Chair of SMCC's Fire Science Department. 

The fire chiefs and various department representatives met with students to talk with them about the skills and qualities they are looking for in their departments in an effort to educate the students about the tolls they'll need to successfully land a job after they graduate.

"They are only going to have a 5 to 10, maybe a 15 minute interview, so they really have to have the skills to make a positive first impression, and that is really what we are focused on here," stated Willis.

Each department was assigned a table, and students took turns visiting with them, asking questions and answering them as well, as they conducted informal interviews.

"My goal is to learn about all the different departments and what they have to offer me, and what sort of advice they have for me just starting off my career," said 2nd year Fire Science student, Delani Littlefield.   "What are they expecting out of us? What sort of advice do they have for us? They are all very down to Earth people, so it is good to be able to talk with them on that level."

Scarborough Fire Chief Mike Thurlow says the exercise helps fire departments as well, giving them an opportunity to meet prospective new recruits and mentor young men and women looking to join their ranks.

"The hiring process is expensive and it is difficult, so we want to make sure we make the right choice up front, like any good employer," he explained.