[IPAC-List] Ideal PPT for FF

Reed, Elizabeth EReed1 at Columbus.gov
Mon Mar 15 10:01:30 EDT 2010

Jeff, in response to your question, "Are we saying that some level of fast/strong is "good enough" rather then more of those being better?" I say yes. We conducted a validation study in which we ran incumbents through a physical exam that we intend to use for the next Firefighter exam. We compared the incumbent results to performance ratings provided by supervisors (the performance ratings were related to physical aspects of the job). The results seemed to suggest that while there is a correlation of performance on the job to performance on the exam, it was such that it was not suitable for ranking. In fact, the study seemed to suggest what we've been doing, using this as a hurdle is most appropriate. This is the second time we conducted such a study and have had similar results. The stronger and faster they are doesn't meant that they are better, but a certain level of competence in these domains is required.

As a more practical debate, sure if I'm in a burning building I do want someone strong enough to get me out. But there are other important life-threatening concerns, in our jurisdiction most firefighters are also required to become paramedics. If they are assigned to such a role, I'm less concerned with strength. Did they have the ability to learn the things they needed to do a proper assessment? And what about the interpersonal skills? Firefighters often see people on the worst days of their lives, how they interact with victims in such dire straights could have a lasting impact.

The list of things that are important aspects to job of firefighter goes on--best thing to do is the obvious, refer to the thorough job analysis conducted and let that be your guide. I understand that there is much room for interpretation, but that what makes this field so interesting. Trying to weigh in all the issues of important elements of the job while minimizing adverse impact, it what keeps me going. If there was one easy answer then we'd all be doing the same thing and the court challenges would be non-existent.

We've decided to have a multiple-choice, assessing such things as reading comprehension, map reading, gauges, tool identification, etc. (with study guide provided), as a pass/fail. Then we give an oral exam and physical capability test. The physical is pass/fail, which has demonstrated less impact on women but higher discrimination of candidates than the popular CPAT, by that I mean comparing the pass rate of women, more women pass our exam and more men fail our exam compared to CPAT. Bringing our pass rates for men and women closer in comparison to CPAT. Finally, our oral board is used to band candidates who have passed all phases.


Elizabeth A. Reed
Police and Fire Assessment Supervisor
Columbus Civil Service Commission
750 Piedmont Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43224
Office: (614) 645-6032 Fax: (614) 645-0866
Email: Ereed1 at columbus.gov

-----Original Message-----
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Joel Wiesen
Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2010 10:17 PM
To: Jeff Feuquay; IPAC-List
Subject: Re: [IPAC-List] Ideal PPT for FF

Hi Jeff,

Perhaps endurance should be considered as well as maximum performance, given the way FFs fight fires. If focusing on max performance has max adverse impact, and if focusing on endurance has less adverse impact, then we should be particularly careful about what we choose to measure.

Any thoughts from PPT users? Job analysts? Exercise physiologists?


- -
Joel P. Wiesen, Ph.D., Director
Applied Personnel Research
62 Candlewood Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583-6040
(617) 244-8859

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Jeff Feuquay wrote:

> Neither have I hit the current research, but I am aware of some of the

> legal issues. Still . . . are we saying that some level of fast/strong

> is "good enough" rather then more of those being better? As in: Must

> have sufficient strength and speed to extract an unconscious victim from

> a burning builiding, including a single flight of stairs, prior to the

> victim exceeding medium-rare. Candidates may substitute one year

> experience for each degree of victim doneness, up to but not

> exceeding medium-well.


> Ya know, I'm thinking I could care less the gender of the firefighter

> who shows up at my burning house, but I want the strongest, fastest one,

> with the best combination of judgment, agility and bravery. (and a

> number of other competencies we know are important)


> Jeff

> -----------------------------------------

> Dr. Jeffrey P Feuquay, I/O Psychologist & Attorney

> CEO of the Psychology-Law Center, LLC

> 108 W. Walnut, Nevada, Mo 64772

> ofc: 417-667-5076 cell: 417-549-0997



> On Sun, Mar 14, 2010 at 10:40 AM, Joel Wiesen

> <jwiesen at appliedpersonnelresearch.com

> <mailto:jwiesen at appliedpersonnelresearch.com>> wrote:


> Perhaps an ideal physical performance test for firefighter would:

> - be safe

> - reflect job tasks

> - provide a basis for ranking applicants, and

> - not have undue adverse impact on women.


> What existing tests best approximate this ideal?


> Thanks.


> Joel



> --

> Joel P. Wiesen, Ph.D., Director

> Applied Personnel Research

> 62 Candlewood Road

> Scarsdale, NY 10583-6040

> (617) 244-8859

> http://appliedpersonnelresearch.com

> <http://appliedpersonnelresearch.com/>



> _______________________________________________________

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