COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
invites applications for:
SALARY: $0.00 /BiWeekly
OPENING DATE: 01/10/14
CLOSING DATE: 03/31/14 11:59 PM
FIREFIGHTER – CITIES & TOWNS
This examination is being held to establish an eligible list from which to fill Firefighter vacancies in civil service cities and towns. This eligible list may also be used to fill Firefighter vacancies in non-civil service jurisdictions.
This examination consists of two components and candidates must take and pass both the written examination and the entry level physical abilities test in order to be placed on the Firefighter eligible list.
Candidates must self-schedule their Entry Level Physical Abilities Test (ELPAT). Once an application has been received and a valid payment or fee waiver has been verified, an email will be sent out to the candidate within one week providing instructions on how to schedule your ELPAT. Appointments will be available on a first come, first served basis and it is highly recommended that the ELPAT is scheduled as soon as possible.
Failure to complete the ELPAT by the deadline of July 31, 2014, will result in failure of the examination and your name will not be placed on the eligible list. Failure of the written component will also result in failure of the examination and your name will not be placed on the eligible list.
Notices to Appear for the written component including time and location of the examination will be issued to applicants 2 weeks prior to the examination date via email.
EXAMPLES OF ESSENTIAL DUTIES:
Written Examination Date: April 26, 2014
ELPAT Examination Dates: January 2014-July 2014
Application Deadline: March 17, 2014*
Examination Fee: $200
Written Examination Locations: Various sites across the state
ELPAT Examination Location: Hudson National Guard Armory
*There is an additional $50 late fee for applications received after this date. Applications will NOT be accepted after March 31, 2014
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.
Age Requirement: As of the posting of this notice, candidates must be at least 19 years of age on or before March 31, 2014, for all civil service Firefighter jurisdictions as defined in M.G.L. Chapter 31, Section 58. It is your responsibility to review any additional age requirements for each Fire Department covered by civil service on our website (Fire Departments), 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.
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 Examination Orientation and Preparation Guide, which describes the written examination in more detail, is available on our website. Civil Service
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
Salary: Each jurisdiction sets its own salary for Firefighter. Inquiries concerning salary should be directed to the appointing authority at the time of initial contact for selection to a position.
Application: Your examination processing fee includes payment for both examination components; the written and ELPAT. All applications must be received by the application deadline, and accompanied by an examination-processing fee. You will have received two confirmation emails when you have completed the process: one email confirming your application has been received, and one email confirming your payment has been received. Your application is not complete until you have received both confirmation emails. If your examination processing fee is paid on or before midnight, March 17, 2014, the fee is $200; a $50
late fee is applied to all examination processing fee payments made after this time. Please note that all examination processing fees must be paid prior to midnight, March 31, 2014. If you have not submitted payment of the examination processing fee on or before March 31, 2014, your application will not be processed or accepted.
Candidates will need to schedule their ELPAT by logging into their Civil Service account after receiving instructions via email.
Fee Waiver: The examination fee may be waived for candidates receiving certain state or federal public assistance, or unemployment insurance. Fee Waiver Forms are available at the Applicant Forms section of our website (Fee Waiver Form). You must follow the instructions on the Fee Waiver Form regarding proper submission of the Form and supporting documentation. All Fee Waiver forms must be submitted on or before March 17, 2014.
Credit for Employment/Experience as a Firefighter: Pursuant to the provisions of M.G.L. Chapter 31, Section 22, individuals may apply to receive credit for employment or experience in the position title of municipal Firefighter. If you believe you are eligible for this credit, you must claim this credit by completing the applicable section of the application. All claims must be verified by supporting documentation, which 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. The supporting documentation must be on original letterhead with an original signature from the appointing authority where the employment or experience occurred. 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 must be submitted during the application period; supporting documentation may be submitted by email, at the written examination site, or submitted by certified mail which must be postmarked within 7 calendar days of the written examination.
Special Testing Accommodations: If you need special testing accommodations due to a documented impairment such as a hearing, learning, physical, mental or visual disability, you must submit a letter of support from a qualified professional detailing what type of accommodation you require at the examination site, and such letter must be scanned and attached to this application. 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 examinations, and will not be used for any other purposes.
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 May 9, 2014. 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 by the deadline above. A separate confirmation will be sent to candidates approved to take the May 9, 2014, English Comprehension written examination. If you pass the English Comprehension examination, you will be scheduled to take the Firefighter written examination in the Spanish language on a date to be determined. If you fail the
English Comprehension examination, you will not be eligible to take the Firefighter written examination.
Current Military Personnel: All military personnel who, in connection with current service, have military orders that indicate their unavailability due to military service on the examination date, must file an application and processing fee and request a makeup examination in writing, with a copy of your military orders attached. This request must be mailed to our office and should not be attached electronically to your application. Please include in your request your email 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. Note: Only candidates who have filed an application and an examination processing fee or Fee Waiver Form for this examination by the deadline above, will qualify for placement on the
Firefighter eligible list upon passing a military make up examination.
No Makeup Examination: With the exception of current military personnel as described above, no candidate has a right to a makeup examination due to personal or professional conflicts on the testing date. Candidates are advised to consider this BEFORE applying for the examination. If you file an application by the deadline, but are unable to appear on the examination date due to an emergency or unanticipated hardship, you may request a makeup examination by filing a written request with verifiable documentation to the Human Resources Division no later than 7 calendar days from the originally scheduled 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.
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).
Change Of Personal Information: Candidates are responsible maintaining accurate contact information (e.g., address, email, phone number). Failure to keep your records up-to-date may jeopardize opportunities for employment.
Refunds: There will be NO REFUND of the examination processing fee unless the examination is cancelled by HRD.
Private School Or Service: HRD 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.
Candidates who pass the written component 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.
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.
FIREFIGHTER CLAIMS FOR PREFERENCE:
It is your responsibility to review the Certification Order of Lists for civil service Firefighter. Please note that preferences are only available to individuals who receive a passing score on the examination, and cannot be applied to a failing examination score.
Candidates can submit a claim for the following preferences prior to the examination date, during the application period.
Preference For The Children Of Certain Police Officers/Firefighters: The son or daughter of a Police Officer or Firefighter 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. If you believe you are eligible for this preference, you must claim this credit by completing the applicable section of the application.
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. If you believe you are eligible for this preference, you must claim this preference by completing the applicable section of the application. Please note that residency preference claims are made under the penalties of perjury. Verification of residency will be made by the
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. 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
Selective Certification For Bilingual/Gender Firefighters: If an appointing authority requires that a Firefighter be fluent in a second language (e.g., Spanish, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, etc.) or are a specific gender, the appointing authority may request that competition for that vacancy be limited to persons who have such skills. You will need to prove your language fluency at the time of appointment.
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 (Service-2, Member 4, State Director of Veteran Affairs- 6) 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 M.G.L. Chapter 31, Section 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), in addition to the requirements above.
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 M.G.L, 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.
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 any submitted document copies.
Correspondence may be sent to:
Human Resources Division
1 Ashburton Place, Room 301
Boston, MA 02108
ATTN: Test Administration -OR- FAX Number: (617) 727-0399
HRD’s office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:45 am- 5:00 pm, 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
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: Why should I take the ELPAT before taking the written examination?
A: There is only one site for the ELPAT and to ensure you receive a space it is recommended that you take the ELPAT as soon as possible, even before taking the written examination.
Q: What happens if I fail the ELPAT before the written exam date (April 26, 2014)?
A: Since you did not take the written component yet but have no chance to be on the eligible list due to failing the ELPAT component, you may receive a partial refund of the examination processing fee, in the amount of $100. You must request this refund in writing.
Q: What happens if I take and pass the ELPAT before the written examination date (April 26, 2014) and then fail the written examination?
A: You will not receive a refund for either component.
Q: I can’t attend my scheduled ELPAT date, can I re-schedule?
A: With the exception of current military personnel who cannot be in Massachusetts on the scheduled date of the ELPAT, no applicant has a right to a make-up examination due to personal or professional conflicts on the testing date. If you are unable to appear for your scheduled ELPAT date due to an emergency or unanticipated hardship, you may request a make-up date, by filing a written request with verifiable documentation to HRD no later than 7 calendar days from the originally scheduled date. HRD reserves the right to approve OR deny your request. HRD may require an additional examination processing fee upon approval of your request. Such requests will be processed on a first-come first served basis.
Q. How do I self-schedule my ELPAT?
A. Once an application has been received and a valid payment or fee waiver has been verified, an email will be sent out to the candidate within 72 business hours with instructions on how to schedule the ELPAT. Appointments will be scheduled by each candidate and will be available on a first come, first served basis and it is highly recommended that the ELPAT is scheduled as soon as possible to guarantee a spot.
Q. When is the last day to self-schedule my ELPAT?
A. Scheduling will be based on availability of slots and the last day to schedule will be March 31, 2014.HRD encourages that you schedule your ELPAT as soon as possible, as slots are available on a first come first served basis.
Q. What happens if I fail to schedule my ELPAT?
A. You will automatically fail the Firefighter examination and will not be placed on an eligible list.
Q. Is there an opportunity to preview the ELPAT?
A. Yes, information will be provided once a candidate has scheduled their ELPAT.
Q. What are the ELPAT events?
This event simulates continuous stair climbing, an activity that firefighters may perform when getting to a fire at an incident scene. For this event, you will be required to step on a rotating staircase (also known as a step mill) at a pre-determined stepping pace for a specific period of time. You will get a 5-minute rest period after this event. The required time to remain on the step mill is 200 seconds.
This event simulates various activities related to using ladders. You will be required to remove a ladder from a rack, carry it some distance, raise a weight of approximately 45 lbs. attached to a rope that simulates the raising of an extension ladder, lower that weight and return the ladder to the rack from which it was taken. The event ends when the ladder is back in the rack. The time limit is 35.56 seconds.
This event simulates the actions necessary to manipulate a fully charged fire hose. You will be required to pull 50 feet of hose through a U-shaped course with several turns. There will be a ceiling on the U-shaped course to prevent you from standing upright. The time limit is 20.00 seconds.
This event simulates breaking down a door to gain entry to a burning structure or an incident scene. For this event you will be required to strike a rubber pad mounted on a moveable post. You will use a 12 lb. sledge hammer to move the post a set distance. The post and structure are weighted to simulate the force you would need to exert on a door in order to gain entrance. The time limit is 13.91 seconds.
This event simulates the actions necessary to enter and search a smoke-filled structure. You will be required to crawl through a dark wooden tunnel with obstructions and turns. The tunnel is approximately 65 feet long. The tunnel is 4 feet high and 4 feet wide. At one location in the tunnel there is an obstacle on the floor and at one location there is an obstacle from the ceiling. In addition, at two locations, the tunnel is reduced from 4 to 3 feet in width. The time limit is 39.00 seconds.
Rescue Through a Doorway
This event simulates the actions necessary to drag an unconscious victim out through a doorway to get the victim to safety. You will be required to drag a 125 pound dummy approximately 30 feet, along a zigzag course to a designated area at the end of the course. In this event, there is a low ceiling over the course to prevent you from standing upright. The time limit is 36.00 seconds.
Ceiling Hook (Pike Pole)
This event simulates the use of a pike pole or ceiling hook. A pike pole or ceiling hook is a firefighting tool used to tear down ceilings or open walls while looking for hidden fires. This event will require you to take a pike pole, tipped with an industrial hammer head, and thrust it upward at a metal plate in an 8 foot ceiling. The metal plate weighs approximately 60 lbs. and must be lifted six inches in order for the strike to count. You will then step over to the next part of the event, where a pike pole handle is suspended from a ceiling height. The pole is attached to a counter balance that weighs approximately 80 lbs. You must pull the pole down six inches in order for the pull to count. You will be required to perform one push and five pulls in a sequence. The event will require you to perform four one-minute periods
of work, in which you will try to do as many push-pull sequences as possible. Each work period will be followed by a 30 second rest period. You must complete 25 full repetitions.
APPLICATIONS MAY BE FILED ONLINE AT:
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
Position #FIREFIGHTER 2014
2014 FIREFIGHTER Supplemental Questionnaire
1. 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. Selecting the "Yes" response below will enter your claim for this preference; please note that supporting documentation is required to verify all claims. Select the "No" response below if you do not qualify for this preference.
Checkbox Yes, I qualify for this preference.
Checkbox No, I do not wish to claim this preference.
2. FIREFIGHTER CLAIM FOR EMPLOYMENT/EXPERIENCE CREDIT: Credit will be given only for experience in the position title for which the examination is conducted. In other words, since you are taking the examination for municipal Firefighter, you can claim any experience you have had performing work ONLY as a Full Time, Reserve, or Intermittent Firefighter in a municipal fire department. While HRD may hold military make-up exam session(s) after April 26, 2014, HRD will not grant credit for experience accumulated after April 26, 2014.
CALCULATING EMPLOYMENT/EXPERIENCE CREDIT: You will receive 0.2 points for each month of creditable employment/experience as a
Firefighter. One month equals 172 work hours or 16 or more work days. Part-time work employment/experience will be prorated on the basis of a 40-hour workweek. Your Employment/Experience Credit is weighted at 10%. If you do not qualify for Employment/Experience Credit, your overall score will be based on your examination score alone.
VERIFYING EMPLOYMENT/EXPERIENCE CLAIMS: Supporting documentation must be provided in the form of a dated letter, signed by the appointing authority or your employer (past or present), identifying the position title, type of job responsibilities, dates of experience, whether the experience was full or part-time and other pertinent information concerning your experience. If the experience was less than full-time, the verification must include the actual time worked, e.g., number of hours
per week or the specific number of tours or shifts worked within a defined time period. Letters of verification must be on original, official letterhead or stationery, with an original signature. Supporting documentation may be submitted at the exam site, or submitted by mail which must be postmarked within 7 calendar days of the written examination.
EMPLOYMENT/EXPERIENCE CLAIM APPEALS: Employment/Experience Claims will only be calculated for individuals who achieve a passing score on the written exam. Employment/Experience Credit cannot be added to a failing written examination score in an attempt to achieve an overall passing score. You may not appeal the written examination score. If you believe that your Employment/Experience Credit has been calculated incorrectly, you have the opportunity to appeal the
Employment/Experience Credit only. When you receive your exam results, carefully read the instructions that will be noted on the page including your exam results. All appeals must be filed in writing; no appeal telephone calls will be accepted. No new information can be submitted on appeal; only clarifying information relative to the experience you originally claimed can be considered during the appeal process. Selecting the "Yes" response below will enter your claim for this Employment/Experience Credit; please note that supporting documentation is required to verify all claims. Select the "No" response below if you do not qualify for this credit.
Checkbox Yes, I am eligible for Employment/Experience Credit, and will provide supporting documentation as instructed above.
Checkbox No, I do not wish to claim Employment/Experience Credit.