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Tumwater Firefighter 2019 Hiring Process

What are the minimum requirements to become a Firefighter in Tumwater?

Applicants must have a valid Washington State Driver’s License, a good driving record, a high school diploma or GED, pass Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) and be at least 21 years of age by September 1, 2019. 

How do I apply for employment as a Firefighter with the City of Tumwater?

To be considered for hire in 2019, candidates must first take Firefighter Assessment Tool written test through Public Safety Testing and score at least 80% or higher. Register at www.PublicSafetyTesting.com and choose Tumwater Fire Department. Note: a fee is required for the exam. Candidates that release their scores to Tumwater by June 7, 2019, will be invited to participate in a speed interview. 

More about the Firefighter Assessment Tool (written test).

What if I don’t score at least 80% on the written test?

Candidates can re-take the Public Safety Testing written exam after 90 days. If you are unable to take the test or achieve a minimum score of 80% by June 7, 2019, you are welcome to apply again in the future. 

What is a hiring list and how is it established and used?

Candidates build their score for the hiring list throughout the hiring process. A candidate’s final score is composed of 30% written exam score and 70% oral board score, plus veteran’s preference points (5-10% of total score, based on service). The hiring list is certified by the Tumwater Civil Service Commission. The Fire Chief can hire from the top seven (7) candidates on the hiring list.

What is a speed interview?

A speed interview is a brief, 9-minute interview where candidates are given three questions and they have the opportunity to demonstrate their readiness for the career in public safety service. These interviews are scheduled for June 24-28, 2019. All candidates that pass the written exam with a minimum of 80% will be invited to attend. Volunteer points are added to passing scores for those that qualify. Scores for speed interview are only used to rank candidates for participation in the oral board. A passing score in the speed interview process does not guarantee an invitation to the next step. 

What is an oral board? 

An oral board is a structured interview that takes place before a panel. Panelists rate candidates based on criteria measured in the interview.

What dates must I be available to participate in the screening process for 2019 Tumwater Entry Level Firefighter positions?

  • June 7, 2019
    All written tests must be completed
  • June 24-28, 2019
    Speed Interviews
  • July 8-11, 2019
    Oral Board Interviews
  • July 22-26, 2019
    Chief's Interviews
  • July 31, 2019
    Conditional offers of employment will be issued
  • August  1-16
    Candidates will be required to participate in pre-employment screenings
  • September 1, 2019
    Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) certification due
  • September 3, 2019
    Successful candidates will begin Firefighter Recruit Academy located at Bates Technical College in Tacoma

If I will not be available for the dates mentioned in the announcement, can I request alternate dates?

No alternate dates will be offered. You are welcome to apply in the future.

When can I schedule a speed interview?

During the week of June 10-14, 2019, all candidates that score 80% or more on Public Safety Testing’s Fire Selection Tool written exam and submitted (released) their scores to Tumwater will be invited to attend a speed interview. Candidates will sign up for a one-hour block of time. Details about the location will be included in the invitation from the City. Candidates will need to register online. Times will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Do I need experience as a volunteer firefighter to apply?

No previous fire or emergency medical experience is required. Candidates with volunteer experience in Tumwater Fire Department will receive one point for each year of service added to their speed interview score.

Do I need training as an emergency medical technician (EMT) to be considered?

Certification as an EMT is desired, but not essential to be considered for the position. Training is provided.

How will I know if I’m selected for the speed interview, oral board, and chief’s interview?

You will receive an email from the City, inviting you to the next step. Please check your inbox frequently throughout the process.

I’ve taken the Public Safety Testing written exam and have already sent my test score to Tumwater. What do I need to do?

Candidates that released their written scores of 80% or above to Tumwater between June 8, 2018, and June 7, 2019, will be eligible to participate in speed interview phase of the recruitment. Candidates will be notified by email to confirm their invitation to participate.

Am I required to pass the CPAT before I apply? 

No. The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) certification is required by September 1, 2019. If a candidate does not have a valid CPAT certification and receives a conditional offer, the City will pay the CPAT testing fee. 

Where can I take the CPAT?

CPAT certifications will be accepted from Public Safety Testing or another agency provider licensed by the IAFF/IAFC. Proof of certification must be provided prior to September 1, 2019. To be valid, CPAT testing must be completed between September 1, 2018 and September 1, 2019.

What if my CPAT expires before September 1, 2019?

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) certification is not required at the time of application. A valid CPAT is required by September 1, 2019. If a candidate does not have a valid CPAT certification and receives a conditional offer, the City will pay the CPAT testing fee. 

How should I prepare for the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)?

You should engage in advanced physical training prior to the CPAT, targeting muscle groups used in lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying and other actions related to Firefighter tasks. A workout program may include distance running, sprints, rowing, stair climbing with weight pack and weight lifting to develop both the upper and lower body. More information can be found on the Public Safety Testing website.

Firefighter CPAT Video 

When do I complete a City of Tumwater application?

A City of Tumwater application will be required for all candidates that are invited to participate in Oral Board interviews. Candidates selected will receive an email notification in the inbox provided to Public Safety Testing with a link to the City’s online application portal and instructions to complete an application.  

I’ve taken the Public Safety Testing written exam, but I did not send my scores sent to Tumwater. What do I need to do to be considered? 

Candidates may retake the written exam every ninety (90) days. Contact Public Safety Testing for more information.

How do I submit (or release) my written test score to Tumwater?

When you register for the written (Fire Selection Tool) test through Public Safety Testing, you must select Tumwater Fire Department (located under the Puget Sound section) as one of the agencies to receive your score. You can add Tumwater Fire Department as a designated agency up to the date of your written test. After the test, Public Safety Testing will release your scores to the City of Tumwater. You are not required to take additional action to forward your test score.

How many Firefighters will be hired in 2019?

The City of Tumwater has five (5) open Firefighter positions in 2019. The hiring list will be used to fill at least five positions. The list created from this recruitment will be valid for one year. 

What is the progression of wages throughout a career as a Tumwater Firefighter?

New recruits in 2019 are paid $5,287 per month ($63,444 annual salary) for their first six months of training, then $6,042 per month ($72,504 annual salary). A five-year employee earns an annual salary of $90,636 in 2019. A generous benefit package is also provided. The position is represented by the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 2409. The 2017-2019 Agreement is available online.

What is the work schedule for a Tumwater Firefighter?

Firefighters work one 24-hour shift on duty with 48 hours off. Within each 27-day work period, they also receive one shift off, called a Kelly Day. 

Can I do a ride-along with the Tumwater Fire Department?

During the open recruitment period, ride-along requests will not be honored. Two candidate open houses will be hosted during the month of April 2019, to learn more about the department and the profession. Candidates will be offered the opportunity to ride with a shift during the chief's interview phase.

What if I’m not ready to take the exam?

The City will host a similar recruitment program in 2020 for open positions. You are welcome to apply again.