Selection Process for Entry-Level Firefighters
The selection process for entry-level firefighters in the Hurst,
Euless, and Bedford (HEB) area is similar to that across the country.
The process begins with a written assessment. The written test is
comprised of reading comprehension; interpreting tables; situational
judgment; logical reasoning; applying basic math rules; mechanical
aptitude; spatial sense; map reading; and vocabulary. (IPMA Assessment
Services 2003)These tests are usually purchased from International
Public Management Association (IPMA). Once the applicant has
successfully passed the written exam, they proceed to the physical
agility test. The agility tests consist of job specific tasks that
firefighters usually perform at an emergency scene. The agility test
must be completed within a specified time. The next step in the
selection process is the panel interview. The candidates are
interviewed by suppression personnel to determine their value system
and decision making skills. Upon completion of all the interviews, the
candidates are ranked by the panel and background investigations
begin. The background investigation consists of work history
verification, past job performance, checking references, and credit
checks. The candidates that meet the requirements of the department
complete a polygraph examination. The polygraph is used to verify the
information provided by the applicant during the interview process and
background investigation is factual. Candidates then are interviewed
by the Fire Chief. During this interview the candidate is given the
opportunity to explain any blemishes discovered during the background
investigation. It is also during this interview where the Fire Chief
will determine if the candidate will receive a conditional job offer.
Candidates who accept the job offer will undergo a medical physical
and psychological examination. The purpose of these exams is to ensure
that the candidate is physically and emotionally stable enough to
perform as firefighters.
Tremendous research is put into developing a valid written assessment
tool by IPMA to ensure that candidates have the knowledge base
required for the position. The physical agility test consist job
specific tasks that firefighters in the HEB area would most likely
conduct at every structure fire they encounter. A time limit for the
agility test is established by incumbent firefighters taking the test.
The slowest time by the incumbents is utilized as the maximum time
limit given to the candidates....