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  • Promotion

    Does any department have policies on how much experiance a FF should have prior to appointment to Lt. position. Our dept. just appointed an individual to LT. ( line officer) who has been whith the dept. for 2 1/2 years with no previous experience or exposure to the fire service. He holds no certifications or Lic.s. . His qualifications seem to be he was the best who applied!

  • #2
    You have fallen off the end of the earth for up to a year or more. You've been immersed in preparing for the written portion of a promotional test. You have gone through all the policy and procedure manuals in the job announcement, purchased books, IFSTA manuals, and anything remotely related to the test. Your family can't remember who you are.

    While taking the written test, you can't believe your agency, or the testing firm they hired for big bucks, could know so little about the fire service and put together such an irrelevant test. The major areas that were listed as material to study on the announcement didn't have one question on the test. Talk about a dog and pony show.

    Several candidates, including you, protest test questions. One you protest, you already had right. Weeks pass. Even though the Personnel Department knows the test scores within days of test they finally release the results three weeks later. You are not number one. But, you are not at the bottom either. You are in the upper end of the pack in the middle. You are in the Olympic camp. All you have to do is make the cut.

    After investing all this time and money for the written test that can be weighted as only forty percent of the total score, most candidates do little or nothing preparing for the remaining sixty percent in the interview process.

    Many candidates think they have it figured out in their head and write it down that it is going to come out of their mouth the same way. It does not! They do mock orals with their buddies who either have never been on an oral board (everyone is an expert) or it has been so long, they are out of touch with the process. These buddies can't bring themselves to tell you how bad you really are.

    I've seen candidates with great credentials. They had degrees, certificates, training, and experience. Yet, they couldn't present the package. And, if you can present the package . . . you don't get the badge. Period!

    These people are shocked that candidates will less credentials, seniority, the village idiot, or guys they call the "Car Salesman" type get the badge that had their name on it.

    Understand there is only one person keeping you from getting that badge . . . It's YOU! Stop looking in the magnifying glass at others and start looking in the mirror at yourself. Even golf pros take lessons.

    The interview portion of the promotional is the most important. It can be as simple as an oral interview including a fire problem or a full-blown assessment center. The assessment center can be made up, but not limited to a combination of an in-and-out basket, fire problem, oral board, a presentation to a panel or group, peer counseling, conflict resolution, leaderless group discussion, or writing an essay.

    The Oral Interview:
    According to retired Hayward, CA Battalion Chief Dennis O'Sullivan, "The oral interview gets you the job! This is where you putt for dollars. Understand one very important thing here. If I'm on your interview panel and you are my kind of guy, I will fill in some of the blanks to make up for your short comings. If you start off without establishing this natural bridge and being a know-it-all ***, I will never fill in any of your short comings. This is human nature."

    Fantasy land:

    The oral interview is like fantasy land. It is not like the real world. Your answers in the oral board might not be what you would do in real life. Don't fall into the trap. The board understands the rules, you can't fool them. If you try, the board will crank up the music and let you dance your fool head off. Don't try to intellectualize and bring heavy logic to this process. If you do, someone, who understands the rules in fantasy land better will get the badge. So, please follow the yellow brick road rules in fantasy land and don't look behind the curtain.

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    "Captain Bob"


    • #3
      If the person that received the promotion was the best qualified out of all that applied, What are you concerned about? Would you have preferred to be under the command of a less qualified person? IFSTA requires that an officer be a level 2 certified firefighter. There are other requirements as listed in your Essentials Manual. Not all Departments have adopted the IFSTA standards or the NFPA standards. Check with your department to find out what minimum requirements they had in mind when the promotion was started. Ther is no telling what the department found about this particular individual that made him stand out above the others. Something as simple as a college degree may have been the key. Affermative action? The way this person handles himself on scene and at the station, the ability to take charge and make good safe decisions quickly?

      Don't spend time worrying about why somebody else go t the position that you wanted. Find out where the department feels you were lacking and spend your time working to improve YOURSELF. Then try again next time.


      • #4
        Our Dept requires a minimum of 5 years. Other then that its all up to the testing and interviews. You have got to study for the test and be truthful in the interview. Like the others have said, it'll show and they'll give you a shovel and let you dig, dig, dig!!!


        • #5
          Our promotions were done by test and ASSessment kissing center and the Chief had his pick of the most SENIOR, as well as others who were qualified. You guess who WON.
          Assessment centers may be useful but it does give alot of latitude to those who make the choice.


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