February 02, 2012
Firefighters Examination Announced
Dates set for Written and ELPAT portions
MASSACHUSETTS HUMAN RESOURCES DIVISION
OPEN COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION
Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
This examination is being held to establish an eligible list from which to fill Firefighter vacancies in civil service cities and towns. The eligible list may also be used to fill Firefighter vacancies in non-civil service jurisdictions.
This examination consists of two components: the written examination and the Entry-Level Physical Abilities Test (ELPAT). Candidates must take and pass both components in order to be placed on the eligible list for appointment in a civil service city or town.
1. Written Examination Date: April 28, 2012
Written Examination Announcement Number: 5012
Application Deadline: March 19, 2012*
Written Examination Fee: $100
Location: Various sites across the state
*There is an additional $50 processing fee for applications received after this date. Applications for the written exam will not be accepted after April 2, 2012.
2. ELPAT Examination Dates: February 2012 - August 2012
ELPAT Announcement Number: 5013
Application Deadline: June 29, 2012*
ELPAT Fee: $100
Location: Hudson National Guard Armory
*There is an additional $50 processing fee for applications received after this date. Applications for the ELPAT will not be accepted after July 31, 2012.
Please note that there is only one site available for the ELPAT. This component of the exam must be completed by August 14, 2012. Appointments will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Failure to complete the ELPAT by the deadline of August 14, 2012, will result in failure of the examination and your name will not be placed on the eligible list. HRD strongly encourages candidates to sign up for and take the ELPAT as soon as possible.
Apply on-line with Visa or MasterCard at: https://www.csexam.hrd.state.ma.us/hrd/
DUTIES: Firefighters often perform risky and physically demanding duties under emergency conditions. Firefighters work under supervision, often as a member of a team, to respond to fires and other emergencies. Firefighter duties may include, for example: connecting, pulling, and operating hose lines; operating a pump; positioning and climbing ladders; emergency rescue and lifesaving; ventilating smoke-filled areas; using and maintaining tools and equipment; training; and fire station activities. For a more detailed listing of duties, see the essential functions of a Massachusetts Firefighter, available on our website.
SALARY: Each jurisdiction sets its own salary for Firefighter. Inquiries concerning salary should be directed to the appointing authority at the time of the employment interview.
Age Requirement: As of the posting of this notice, candidates must be at least 19 years of age on or before April 2, 2012, for all civil service Firefighter jurisdictions. It is your responsibility to review any additional age requirements for each Fire Department covered by civil service on our website, under Guides & Publications, Fire Information Civil Service, Fire Departments Covered By Civil Service. Please be advised that the list of Fire Departments is subject to change, and inquiries about status changes should be directed to the Fire Departments in question.
SELECTION AND HIRING PROCESS
EXAMINATION WEIGHTS: Your results on the written examination represent 90% of your final mark, with your rating in employment and experience making up the remaining 10%. Applicants must attain a passing mark on each of the weighted components. If you are NOT claiming credit for prior relevant employment and experience, your results on the written examination represent your final mark.
You must take and pass a written examination and ELPAT to be placed on the eligible list for appointment as a Firefighter. It is your responsibility to review any publications regarding the appointment process for civil service Firefighter on our website.
1. Written Examination: The written examination consists of three subtests: the Written Ability Test (WAT), the Life Experience Survey (LES), and the Work Styles Questionnaire (WSQ). The WAT is administered to measure cognitive abilities that have been identified as essential to performing the duties of a Firefighter. The WAT includes areas of verbal expression, verbal comprehension, problem sensitivity, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, and information ordering. The LES consists of a series of multiple-choice questions related to candidates' past history and experience of potential relevance to successful performance of entry-level Firefighters. The WSQ is designed to assess certain motivational, value-related and attitudinal characteristics that are of potential relevance to successful performance of entry-level Firefighters. A Firefighter Written Exam Orientation and Preparation Guide, which describes the written examination in more detail, is available on our website.
FIREFIGHTER, MUNICIPAL SERVICE CONTINUED
2. ELPAT: The ELPAT is designed to assess a candidate's capacity to perform the tasks ordinarily performed by a Firefighter while on the job. This is accomplished by requiring the candidate to perform a series of events that both simulate firefighting activities and depend on the physical abilities required to perform the Firefighter's job. These abilities include cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, muscular endurance and flexibility. The exercise training program presented in the Physical Ability Test Preparation Guide, available on our website, provides candidates with the information they need to improve their level of physical fitness by conditioning the individual muscles and muscle groups involved in the tasks performed by a Firefighter. You may also view a video of the ELPAT exercises on our website.
Candidates who pass the written examination and ELPAT and receive a conditional offer of employment from an appointing authority will be instructed on how to apply for the Physical Abilities Test and other screening processes. Questions about qualifications listed below should be directed to the appointing authority in question.
Physical Abilities Test (PAT): All candidates who receive a conditional offer of employment will be instructed on how to schedule and take the PAT. The PAT is a test of the candidate's aerobic capacity and physical capability to perform various tasks required on the job. A separate fee (currently $150) is charged for the administration of the PAT. The PAT Training Guide is available on our website. The ELPAT and the initial hire PAT are not interchangeable.
Medical Exam: Candidates must pass the medical examination before participating in the PAT. The Medical and Physical Fitness Standards are available for review on our website. Candidates may be required to pass both a medical examination and a psychological evaluation before appointment.
Smoking Prohibition: In accordance with MGL Ch. 41, §101A, candidates hired from the Firefighter eligible list resulting from this examination are prohibited from smoking tobacco products at the time of and after appointment.
Character: A candidate may be disqualified for evidence of character clearly unsuited for fire services. Most appointing authorities include a comprehensive background check as part of the selection process.
Driver's License: A candidate may need a valid Massachusetts motor vehicle operator's license before appointment.
Job Interview: An appointing authority may conduct an oral interview prior to appointment.
CLAIMS FOR PREFERENCE
It is your responsibility to review the Certification Order of Lists for civil service Firefighter on our website. Please note, preferences are only available to individuals who receive a passing score on the examination, and cannot be applied to a failing examination score.
Credit for Employment/Experience as a Firefighter: Pursuant to the provisions of MGL Ch. 31, § 22, individuals may apply to receive credit for employment or experience in the position title of municipal Firefighter. Information on how to apply for this credit will be available after April 9, 2012, on our website. All claims must provide specific details of any employment or experience you have in the examination title as the result of service on a city or town fire force, including dates of service and number of hours worked per week, and must be accompanied by documentation supporting these claims. Please note, credit for employment or experience is applicable only to individuals who achieve a passing score on the written examination, and cannot be added to a failing written examination score. Claims and supporting documentation must be submitted at the exam site, or postmarked within 7 calendar days of the written examination.
Candidates can submit a claim for the following preferences prior to the exam date, during the application period.
VETERANS: DEFINITION OF A MASSACHUSETTS VETERAN M.G.L. Chapter 4, Section 7, Clause 43 as amended by the Acts of 2004 Effective August 30, 2004: To be a "veteran" under Massachusetts law, a person is required to have either 180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions OR 90 days of active duty service, one (1) day of which is during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions. A chart defining "wartime" service is available online at www.mass.gov/civilservice or www.mass.gov/veterans. Qualifying service must have been in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or Air Force of the United States. Please note that active duty exclusively for training in the National Guard or Reserves does NOT qualify you for veterans' preference. National Guard Members or Reservists must have been activated under Title 10 or Title 32 of the U.S. Code or Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 33, sections 38, 40, and 41 and then must meet the minimum service requirements listed above. The Members' last discharge or release must be under honorable conditions.
VETERANS' PREFERENCE: If you are claiming veterans' preference and if your eligibility for veterans' preference has not been previously approved by HRD, you must submit a copy of your DD Form 214 Member-4 Form (Release From Active Duty-Long Form) in order to receive proper credit. Although you may supply this proof at any time during the life of the eligible list, it is recommended that you submit it at the time of the examination or immediately upon qualification.
As of July 1, 1998, those who otherwise qualify for veterans' preference, but are still in military service may claim such credit by supplying proof, on official letterhead with appropriate signature, of their military service to date, including the dates of active duty, current assignment, and estimated time of separation. The individual must provide official documentation of honorable discharge at the time of appointment. See MGL Ch. 31, §3, Clause (f).
DISABLED VETERAN STATUS: Claims for status as a disabled veteran require written confirmation from the US Veterans Administration of a continuing service-incurred disability rated not less than 10% based on wartime service (MGL. Chapter 31, Section 1).
During the HRD review process or during the life of the applicable eligible list(s), applicants must make original supporting documentation available should the issue of authenticity arise with the submitted copies.
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PREFERENCE FOR THE CHILDREN OF CERTAIN POLICE OFFICERS/FIREFIGHTERS: The son or daughter of a Firefighter or Police Officer employed in Massachusetts who was killed or died of injuries received in the performance of duty, or who was permanently disabled as a result of injuries received in the performance of duty, is entitled to certification preference under the provisions of Chapter 402 of the Acts of 1985.
RESIDENCY PREFERENCE: If residency preference is requested by an appointing authority, candidates who have resided in that community for the entire twelve-month period immediately preceding the date of the written examination are entitled to be placed on the eligible list for that community ahead of any non-residents. Candidates who have had a break in residence or have moved from one community to another within the twelve-month period preceding the date of the examination will not be entitled to claim residency preference in any community. Candidates can submit a claim prior to the exam date, during the application period. Verification of residency will be made by the appointing authority.
RACIAL/ETHNIC PREFERENCE: Due to a federal consent decree, African-American (Black) and Hispanic candidates are given certification preference in a number of communities, whether or not they are residents of those communities. It is your responsibility to review the Fire Departments covered under a consent decree on our website under Guides & Publications, Fire Information Civil Service, Fire Departments Covered By Civil Service. Please be advised that the list of communities is subject to change and inquiries about status changes should be directed to the communities in question. The definition of Hispanic, for the purposes of the decree, includes any person born in a Spanish-speaking country or any person who grew up in a household in which the predominant language spoken was Spanish.
SELECTIVE CERTIFICATION FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIANS: If an appointing authority requires that a Firefighter hold Emergency Medical Technician certification at the Basic, Intermediate, or Paramedic level prior to appointment, the appointing authority may request that competition for that vacancy be limited to persons holding such certifications. Proof of possession of a current certification as an Emergency Medical Technician, issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services, must be submitted in order to qualify for this selective certification. Although you may supply this proof at any time during the life of the eligible list, it is recommended that you submit it at the time of the examination or immediately upon qualification so that you do not miss out on a potential opportunity.
SELECTIVE CERTIFICATION FOR BILINGUAL FIREFIGHTERS: If an appointing authority requires that a Firefighter be fluent in a second language (e.g., Spanish, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, etc.), the appointing authority may request that competition for that vacancy be limited to persons who have such skills. You will have the opportunity at the test site to indicate the foreign language(s) in which you are fluent. You will need to prove your language fluency at the time of appointment.
HOW TO APPLY
All written examination applications MUST be filed with HRD, or postmarked, by midnight on April 2, 2012; all ELPAT applications MUST be filed with HRD, or postmarked, by midnight on July 31, 2012. You may apply online for this examination, using a Visa or Mastercard, at https://www.csexam.hrd.state.ma.us/hrd/. A confirmation number for each successful transaction will be issued. You may also obtain a paper application form, and file it along with the examination-processing fee (or fee waiver form) in person at or by mail to HRD (see address and business hours on page 4). Applications and fee waiver forms may also be available at city and town clerks' offices and civil service Fire Departments across the state. If you mail your application, send all correspondence by certified mail with "return receipt requested," if possible.
EXAMINATION FEE: All applications must be accompanied by a money order, certified bank check, credit card payment, or by a completed fee waiver form. The examination-processing fee is $100 for written exam applications received by midnight March 19, 2012; the examination-processing fee is $100 for ELPAT applications received by midnight on June 29, 2012. The fee for late applications filed after that date is $150. Late written exam applications will NOT be accepted after April 2, 2012; late ELPAT applications will NOT be accepted after July 31, 2012. Payment by money order or certified bank check should be made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Please print your name, address, social security number, and the examination announcement number on the front of the money order or certified bank check. Payments by Master Card and VISA are also accepted when applying online. NO CASH OR PERSONAL CHECKS.
FEE WAIVER: The examination fee may be waived for candidates receiving certain state or federal public assistance, unemployment insurance, or workers' compensation. Fee waiver forms are available from and must be filed at the address below, and may also be downloaded from our website. Waiver forms must be accompanied by proof of eligibility, for the subject time period, in the form of signed and dated receipts, check stubs and/or other documentation from the agency providing assistance. You must file a paper application form, and fill in item #16 on the application.
SPANISH-SPEAKING CANDIDATES: You may take the written examination in the Spanish language. If you do, you must take and pass a separate written examination that tests your ability to read and understand English. This English Comprehension written examination will be administered on April 5, 2012. If you wish to take the written examination in the Spanish language, you must submit a separate letter requesting this along with your application and examination processing fee or fee waiver form. A separate confirmation will be sent to candidates approved to take the April 5, 2012, English Comprehension written examination.
TESTING ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: If you need special testing accommodations due to a documented impairment such as a hearing, learning, physical, mental or visual disability, fill in item #15 on the paper application form, or click the corresponding circle in the online application. You must also submit a letter of support from a qualified professional detailing what type of accommodation you require at the exam site. Without such a letter, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to grant your accommodation. This information is requested only to provide reasonable accommodation for exams, and will not be used for any other purposes.
FIREFIGHTER, MUNICIPAL SERVICE CONTINUED
CURRENT MILITARY PERSONNEL: ALL military personnel who, in connection with current service, have military orders that indicate their unavailability due to military service on April 28, 2012, should contact the Human Resources Division to request a make-up written examination (see address and business hours below). To request a make-up, file an application and processing fee and request such accommodation in writing, with a copy of your military orders attached. Please include in your letter your e-mail address, daytime base phone number and/or name and phone number of a friend or family member with whom you have regular contact and entrust with your personal communication.
NO MAKE-UP EXAMINATION: With the exception of current military personnel as described above, no candidate has a right to a make-up examination due to personal or professional conflicts on the testing dates. Candidates are advised to consider this BEFORE applying for the examination. If you file a written exam application by April 2, 2012, but are unable to appear for the written exam on April 28, 2012, due to an emergency or unanticipated hardship, you may request a make-up written examination by filing a written request with verifiable documentation to HRD no later than 7 calendar days from the original written examination date. HRD reserves the right to approve or deny your request. HRD may require an additional examination-processing fee upon approval of your request.
IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION INFORMATION FOR CANDIDATES:
Notice to Appear: Notices to Appear to the assigned written examination site will be mailed to candidates for the written examination after April 17, 2012. Notices to Appear to the ELPAT examination site will be emailed to candidates for the ELPAT. Applicants will be assigned to the first available ELPAT date and time. Applicants are responsible for maintaining current email address information with HRD. For instructions on how to obtain a duplicate Notice to Appear, please visit our website.
REFUNDS: There will be NO REFUND of the examination-processing fee unless the examination is cancelled by HRD.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Candidates are responsible for notifying HRD in writing of any change of address after applying for the examination. Candidates may submit changes of address by sending a written request, including former address, new address, effective date of new address, and social security number to HRD at the address below. Candidates may also visit our website for instructions on how to change their address online. Failure to keep your records up-to-date may jeopardize opportunities for employment.
PRIVATE SCHOOL OR SERVICE: The Human Resources Division does not recommend or endorse any private school, service, or publisher offering preparation and/or publications for examinations and is not responsible for their advertising claims.
IDENTIFICATION AT THE EXAMINATION SITE: At the examination site, applicants must present current and valid photo identification with signature (e.g., driver's license, passport, military ID).
For more information about this and other civil service examinations, see www.mass.gov/civilservice or email the Civil Service Unit at CivilService@hrd.state.ma.us.
Correspondence may be sent to:
Human Resources Division
1 Ashburton Place, Room 301
Boston, MA 02108
ATTN: Test Administration
FAX Number: (617) 727-0399
HRD's office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., except holidays. Inquiries may also be made to HRD during these hours at the following numbers:
Boston area: (617) 878-9895 ?Within Massachusetts: 1-800-392-6178 ? TTY Number: (617) 878-9762