July Roundtable: The Selections Process

What is the selections process for officers in your department? Please post your responses in the comments section below.

After listening to Lieutenant Frank Ricci’ss keynote speech at FDIC 2010, I realized that the fire service still has serious problems with hiring and promotions. It took a decision handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States to settle the New Haven (CT) Fire Department’s promotional practices. In many East Coast departments, some officers are still chosen by a vote.

In the department I retired from, we had problems with promotions in the past, too. When I left Toledo, the promotional process for lieutenant and captain was a written exam based on several textbooks on the promotional list, along with specific “in-house” reading materials such as our current union contract, emergency and non-Emergency procedures manuals, and emergency medical technician text. Candidates that scored high enough were allowed to participate in a “weighted” (scored) oral interview and then placed on a list. The chief interviewed candidates in the highest range (band), then selected candidates for promotion from a final list provided him by civil service. Depending on the number of promotions, calculated by a mathamatical formula, he could choose certain members on the list.
 
When I left Toledo was revamping the process for battalion chief based on several college cources then were required, and then the chief could choose those meeting the passing criteria. For deputy and assistant chief, the chief could simply choose from a list of those interested. An interview was normally provided but not required.

Login and share your thoughts below. John “Skip” Coleman retired as assistant chief from the Toledo (OH) Department of Fire and Rescue. He is a technical editor of Fire Engineering; a member of the FDIC Educational Advisory Board; and author of Incident Management for the Street-Smart Fire Officer (Fire Engineering, 1997), Managing Major Fires (Fire Engineering, 2000), and Incident Management for the Street-Smart Fire Officer, Second Edition (Fire Engineering, 2008).

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