It is almost midnight. A busy morning settled into a normal afternoon and a peaceful evening. My District Commander dropped by this evening, he wanted to check our facility for available space to store some equipment. We have the space, just not the right kind of space. I don't know what will become of that.
We discussed the results of the Captain's test, which was published this morning. Several friends of mine took it this year, after spending the better part of a year preparing for it. The candidates remaining on the list are all qualified, the ones at the top probably a little more so. Two of my friends who took the test didn't score nearly as well as they thought they would. I ran into one today, he appeared to be quite despondent over his placement on the list.
I told his captain that the had better lock up the steak knives back at the station, as I really don't want my friend to slash his wrists. This individual is knowledgeable, a reasonably hard worker and is pretty smart. So how is it he didn't score better on the list?
The Kinda Big Fire Protection District uses a combination of a written exam, an outside oral interview, a written composition exercise, an inside interview and a command simulation exercise. Scores can be raised by attaining "bonus points" for certain qualifications, activities and other considerations.The written exam and the outside oral are pass/fail events, though ones scores on these to events determine which group a candidate is placed in.
I don't know how well he did on the written test, but he felt that he did well on the outside oral interview and on the incident command simulation . He is not sure how the written exercise came out and he felt nervous coming out of the inside oral interview.
He might have lost a few points is in the areas of education and department involvement. If a candidate has 150 semester units but no degree, he is going to get fewer points than one with a four year degree. The same would apply for an associates degree. There are also points awarded for involvement in special department projects or assignments such as research and development committee, budget committee apparatus committee etc. Participation in these extra projects shows the department that a candidate is committed to the organization and gives staff an opportunity to evaluate organizational, communications and other skills which are not as evident during the course of a normal workday.
Candidates with young kids, pregnant spouses, businesses and the like are at a disadvantage, as there are more demands on their time. It then becomes a matter of priorities and there is always something or someone that gets neglected. Both of my captain candidate friends had children born a few months prior to the testing process so they may have been a little distracted.
My other friend really stepped it up this year and became a lot more involved in the department and also finished up some educational loose ends. He still placed pretty far down on the list. He isn't despondent, he is pissed.
He didn't place very high last year, so he spoke with the Deputy Chief about what he could do to raise his score. He addressed all of those issues this year, but placed about where he did last year. Like I said, he is pissed. Maybe he was a little overconfident in the inside oral or maybe he muffed a question, who knows.
Regardless, there is likely to be only a few promotions this year so if a candidate is not in the top four or five, it's probably not going to happen. Neither of these friends is in the top five.
Every year there are happy candidates and not so happy candidates. This year my friends are the latter. Maybe in three years one of them will do well enough in the testing process and get promoted into my vacant position. Until then, they will just have to keep playing the game.
It's after midnight and I am done. As always thanks for reading,
Morning Lineup – May 21
1 hour ago