Issue 7 and Volume 159.

BY TOM DeMINT The way in which fire departments promote firefighters to the company officer position varies from department to department. Many use an assessment center system, a testing process designed to evaluate the skills and behaviors of candidates for promotion. The process includes some objective-based written testing; however, it may seem somewhat subjective as candidates attempt to demonstrate their skills and aptitudes before a panel of evaluators with their writing, managerial, and fireground skills. Although the process may seem subjective, the human resource experts who developed the processes tell us that panel members can and do score candidates objectively. The following is not intended as a guide for succeeding in a fire department assessment center. Instead, below are some of the pitfalls and attitudinal roadblocks that prevent many highly qualified candidates from obtaining the promotion they seek. Many departments use a system of seniority and objective-based aptitude and skills…

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