It's been a busy couple of weeks for me, packing 4 tests into an already hectic schedule. The first 2 tests were of a physical nature and were required as part of the Richmond firefighting application. Although the tests cost $425 and my prospects of getting hired are slim, I had to try my luck with the department given that no other applications are currently open to me. Among other things, the harder of the tests measured push-ups, sit-ups, flexibility, dummy drag/obstacle course, and a 1.5 mile run. I was proud to get a score in the top 10% and was pretty surprised to be able to improve on my results from November 2005.
Right after finishing these tests (and all the preparation/training to get ready), I had to switch my focus to my first aid qualifications. I passed my MFR (Medical First Responder) exam pretty easily after completing a 40 hour preparation course. However, my OFA level 3 needs to be re-certified every 2 years and the deadline is fast approaching. The normal course of action is to take a $900, 2 week, 80 hour course to prepare for the exam. I decided to combine the experience from the MFR course with some practice and review sessions so that I could challenge the exam. The good news is that I would only have to pay a $100 exam fee. The bad news is that if I failed (and the failure rate is pretty high for this exam) I would lose my license and therefore my job until another test date became available.
The exam was 8 hours of sometimes stressful, sometimes tedious scenarios in addition to a 100 question multiple choice test. It's not the most fun way to spend a day but I was pretty ecstatic to walk out with scores of 97% on the written and 100% on the practical. If only I could have an interview panel judge me so kindly I wouldn't have to go around jumping through all these hoops.