Leadership

THE USE OF FIRE INCIDENT SIMULATORS IN ASSESSMENT CENTERS

Issue 9 and Volume 144.

THE USE OF FIRE INCIDENT SIMULATORS IN ASSESSMENT CENTERS Assessment centers have proven more reliable for judging candidates’ abilities to perform at higher positions than the more traditional written and oral examinations. “Fire simulators” have been used for many years by the U.S. Forestry Service and other federal agencies, including the U.S. Fire Service. They originally were designed to train wildfire commanders to handle line jobs and staff positions. Interest in their use for training fire officers to handle structure fires always has been great. Several simulator programs have been available to fire departments, but they typically use slides and overhead transparencies. The success of an assessment center, however, depends to a large extent on the relevancy of the exercises and the realism of the scenarios they contain. Each exercise and scenario ideally should be designed to reflect the actual duties and responsibilities of the position for which candidates are…

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