Prior to applying applicants need to obtain a Candidate Physical Ability Test CPAT card. CPAT is a practical exam used to test a candidate's physical ability to perform job tasks related to firefighting. CPAT is a physically demanding test that requires a candidate to use their physical, mental abilities and, in some cases, balance. The CPAT involves eight events that must be completed within 10 minutes 20 seconds. There is a mandatory eight week waiting period and a two week administrative period for the test. The CPAT is administered by the Connecticut Commission of Fire Prevention and Control. For further information about CPAT please go to their web site at www.ct.gov/cfpc.
In addition to the CPAT card applicants must submit a job application, drug testing supplement, and a non-smoking statement. The job application and other forms are submitted online. If you have questions, please contact the Town Human Resources Department by calling 860-561-7480.
Applicants for the position of firefighter will go through a competitive multi-step examination process. Failure at any one of the steps will result in removal from consideration for a firefighter position. The steps include a written examination, an oral panel review, a physical examination, a background check, and one or more interviews with the Fire Chief.
A written examination is administered in the first step. All applications are reviewed and those individuals that meet the hiring requirements are invited to participate in a written examination. The written examination is a multiple choice exam. Applicants are given an allotted amount of time to complete the examination. A passing score is required to move on to the next step.
An oral review panel is the second step. Applicants that pass the written examination may be invited to participate in the oral review panel. The town reserves the right to limit the number of applicants that participate in this step. The oral review panel will ask the applicant a series of questions designed to determine how well suited they are for the position of firefighter. Applicants must receive a passing score of seventy percent or greater to move on to the next step.
Applicants that pass both the written examination and oral review panel will be placed on a hiring list. The list is ranked using the scores from the first two steps. The personnel department will provide names from the list to the fire chief. The fire chief will then interview each of the applicants from that list. Other members of the executive staff may also interview the applicants. Preference may be given to individuals with Firefighter II and EMT-Paramedic certifications. The Fire Chief may then make a conditional job offer. The conditions of the job offer include passing a background check and a medical examination.
The background check is conducted by the West Hartford Police Department. The background check includes finger printing. The West Hartford Fire Department will also contact the references provided on the application.
Applicants are required to pass a medical examination conducted by a doctor selected by the town. The purpose of the medical examination is to determine the applicant’s medical fitness for duty. The exam is based on NFPA 1582, medical standard.
This is the present hiring process and may be altered at any time by the Town of West Hartford.