Issue 11 and Volume 158.

BY DAVID “CHIP” COMSTOCK JR. Young boys and girls often dream of becoming firefighters. Many of us fulfilled that dream when we joined the volunteer ranks. How many young (and a few older) firefighters dream of that next step of becoming a fire officer? Will that dream of promotion become a reality, or will it remain elusive, like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? In today’s volunteer fire service, firefighter promotion to company officer occurs in several different ways: by popular vote (one of the oldest methods); selection by the fire chief or a group of chief officers (a far less democratic method); or written or oral examination (rare in the volunteer fire service). Occasionally, a department will use an assessment center to determine the officer candidate’s competency. Each method has pros and cons, and no single method guarantees that the candidate selected will be a…

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