Firefighter Recruitment & Selection

Written Application & Supplemental Questionnaire

Typically an application process is open for at least 3 weeks, but this can be extended depending on the number of applications received. The applications are checked for minimum qualifications and completeness, and the supplemental questionnaire is evaluated and scored. Evaluation of the written applications can take approximately 1 week.

The initial part of the testing process takes 2 days. The remaining portion of the testing process depends on the schedules of the candidate and the availability of the test administrators (i.e., psychologist, medical examination).

Day 1

On the first day, the applicant will take a written exam. If they pass, they are invited to take a physical agility test.

Written Examination

Candidates who meet the minimum qualifications are invited to the written examination. The written examination takes approximately 2 hours. The test is scored immediately after all candidates have finished the test, and the results are posted.

Physical Agility Test

For those candidates that passed the written examination, they are invited to participate in the physical agility test. The test is administered at the Hillcrest Fire Station. Candidates must wear long pants and shoes or boots that have closed toes. The test simulates experiences one may have on the fire ground to include a claustrophobia drill, 75-foot ladder climb, pulling supply and attack lines, carrying items, climbing stairs with hose packs, and rescuing a person (weighs approximately 180 pounds) by dragging the person approximately 25 yards. To pass the test, the candidate must successfully complete all components of the test in 4 minutes and 48 seconds or less.

Some candidates may participate in the oral interview and Behavioral Personality Assessment Device (BPAD) testing on day 1. Candidates that may have a valid reason for needing to participate in the oral interview and BPAD on the same day as the written and physical agility test may contact the Personnel Department and request this accommodation. Preference will be given to those that demonstrate a difficulty based upon airfare and travel accommodations.

Day 2

The BPAD and Oral Panel Interview are conducted on the same day and are not necessarily given in any particular order. Typically a candidate is scheduled back-to-back on these 2 tests to eliminate long waiting or having to schedule a test in the morning and in the afternoon.

Behavioral Personality Assessment Device (BPAD)

This is a test that evaluates a candidate's personality traits against personality traits for the position. This test takes approximately 30 minutes.

Oral Panel Interview

The candidate must respond to a series of questions and scenarios that are given to the candidate by panelist. The interview typically takes 45-60 minutes.

Final Steps

Typically a list of qualified candidates is developed. The Chief has the ultimate say as to who is selected to go to the next phase of the hiring process. The remaining components of the hiring process include the following.

Background Investigation

This is an extensive examination of the candidate's background to include personal and employment references, credit history, criminal history, work history, and personal history.

Tentative Job Offer

A tentative job offer is given to candidates who successfully pass the background investigation.

Psychological Fitness Examination

Administered by a forensic psychologist located in the Portland area, this examination is scheduled as soon as possible after the tentative job offer. However, due to the busy schedule of the psychologist, this examination could take up to 3 weeks to obtain an appointment.

Medical Examination Including Drug Screen

As soon after the successful completion of the psychological fitness examination as possible, the candidate is scheduled with a doctor selected by the City of Grants Pass for a medical examination to determine the candidate's ability to meet DPSST certification standards.

Job Offer

A candidate who passes all of the above components of the testing process is then given an offer of employment.

Ongoing Training

The new firefighter must then go through intensive and extensive training over the next 12 months. A new firefighter that comes to the agency without any prior firefighting experience or certification will be put on a 12-month trial service period.

During that time, the firefighter will go through orientation and skills training, attend the NFPA Firefighter 1 Academy (5 weekends over a 10-week period), go through a minimum of 3 months of field training, complete firefighter task performance testing, and then complete the remainder of their trial service.

If a candidate is hired that has current fire certifications, the firefighter does not have to go to the NFPA Firefighter 1 Academy; however, he or she will be tasked on all firefighter tasks to determine competency.