Audit: San Francisco (CA) Fire Department Should Revamp Promotional Exam

A city audit said the San Francisco (CA) Fire Department’s promotional exam process should be revamped to avoid errors like those that resulted in a successful lawsuit against the city last year.

Last year, a jury concluded that the 2008 promotional lieutenant exam contained errors that discriminated against candidates based on their age, an SF Gate article reported ( In that case, the jury awarded 15 current and retired firefighters a total of $3.7 million in back pay and damages.

Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White has defended the 2008 exam, but firefighters have demanded the city revamp the process.

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The department is facing several other high-profile legal challenges, including one in which a motorcyclist was injured when he was struck by a San Francisco fire truck driven by an allegedly drunken firefighter and a lawsuit filed by the parents of a teenager who was killed when she was run over by fire apparatus at the scene of the Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco International Airport.

For more articles on the fire service’s promotions processes, consider The Job: The Promotional Exam, PROMOTION TO OFFICER: THE RIGHTS YOU LOSE, and Prepare for Your Promotion Now!.


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