For many firefighters the next step in their career track, after achieving their goal of becoming a firefighter, is the Fire Lieutenant promotional test. Individuals must determine for themselves when it’s the right time to seek promotion within the fire service. There are many factors that influence your decision to move to the next level. Things like time on the job, your current family situation, the number of potential openings, and your desire for a new challenge and more responsibility are all factors that you must weigh before you decide to throw your hat into the ring for the Fire Lieutenant promotional test.
Once you decide that you want to take the next step and promote you must develop a plan to follow to achieve your goal. Oftentimes candidates approach the exam in a disorganized way without a clear roadmap of what they need to do to be successful. Don’t fall into that trap. The Fire Lieutenant promotional test will be challenging and in order to score well (high enough to secure that promotion) you need to approach it with the same commitment and enthusiasm that you had when you were trying to get into the fire service.
You should start months before the anticipated test date. Many successful candidates begin a year before. You have to decide for yourself what timeframe works best for you but you will discover that there is a ton of new information you must learn and a host of new skills you must develop in order to be prepared for the Fire Lieutenant promotional test and the position once you are successful. It is far better to be over-prepared then to struggle during the test.
Gather as much information as possible about the upcoming test. The easiest way to learn about the upcoming test is to look at previous tests. What was the recommended reading list? What components were tested during the exam? Was there an oral interview or a writing assignment? How was the emergency scene simulator structured? Gathering as much information as possible will help you decide how much time you will need to prepare and when you should begin. Don’t forget to ask current officers, which were successful in the last test, to describe the test and their experiences.
Once you have gathered all the information possible you need to get started with your preparations. Begin by determining if you meet all the minimum requirements to participate in the Fire Lieutenant promotional test. Candidates often overlook requirements and then find themselves unable to complete a class or other requirement prior to the test date. This effectively eliminates them from the testing process. Make sure you can qualify for the test early in your preparations so you have sufficient time to fill any gaps.
The next priority should be to get into the recommended reading list. You must build your knowledge of policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and a host of other topics before you can start preparing for the actual Fire Lieutenant promotional test. This is because every component of the test will be based on the things you learn from the recommended reading. As an example it would be a waste of your time to practice emergency scene simulations before you know your department’s policies related to two-in/two-out or the SOP for engine company operations. The recommended reading will establish the foundation for solid performance in all areas of the test.
As you build on your knowledge through the recommended reading list you can then start to work on developing skills in the areas that will be evaluated during your Fire Lieutenant promotional test. Areas like the emergency scene simulator, oral interview, in-basket exercise and the employee counseling will be easier to master once you have a solid foundation from the recommended reading. There are resources available to assist you with developing the skills needed for each component of the test, once you acquire the knowledge. Study groups, blog topics and the Internet can be invaluable as your preparations continue.
Look for future blogs that will discuss individual test components. Good Luck! Visit AspiringFireOfficers.com for more information.