Recently, the hiring practices and demographic makeup of the Rockdale County Fire-Rescue (RCFR) 2014 recruit training class has come into question. I take this as a welcome opportunity to share with the community the methods RCFR uses to hire the most qualified employees to provide protection and care for our citizens and visitors.
Let me first say that as your Fire Chief, I stand behind the recruitment, testing, selection, and training processes used to fill our recruit positions. After making several improvements and updates to fine tune the process, we have used the same methods for the past four years. These methods have allowed RCFR to select multiple groups of qualified applicants as new employees.
Our process involves numerous steps that allow RCFR to develop a view of the ‘whole' person instead of relying on just an application. We use several outside sources who are experts in their fields as integral parts of the entire process along with close interaction and supervision from the Rockdale County Human Resources department. The entire process from initial application to hiring takes approximately three months or more.
The outline of the process is as follows:
1. Firefighter job posted on the county website and the information is sent to the local bulletin boards of neighborhoods and churches. The information from the website is also picked up by local, regional and national firefighter job posting publications.
2. Applicants complete the online application.
3. List of the following needed documentation for a complete application packet is sent to each person who completed the online application:
a. 7 year driving record
b. Copy of driver's license
c. Copy of GED, High School diploma and/or college degree
d. Criminal history report
e. Work Ready certificate or exam scores
f. Any Fire or EMS credentials
4. All application packets returned to RCFR are reviewed for completion, including a detailed assessment of documents submitted.
5. Physical agility test invitation - Selection for the agility test is made from a register of eligible applicants established by education background, written test scores and criminal and driving history. Test activities include:
a. Aerial ladder climb
b. Ground evolutions (performance of simple tasks)
6. Oral interview invitation - Applicants are interviewed by a diverse group of RCFR employees and each applicant is asked a set group of the same questions. The interview group as a whole grades him or her on their answers.
7. Top applicants, based on their total score on all sections to date, are given a conditional job offer pending the successful completion of the following:
b. Psychological evaluation
c. Detailed criminal background check
d. Physical and drug screening
8. Job offer signed and hired as a firefighter recruit for RCFR
As you can see by this extensive selection process, RCFR and Rockdale County strives to find the most qualified and best suited employees for the job of protecting our community regardless of race, gender, or ethnic background. I am proud of our employees and the job they do for our county.
For more information on Rockdale County Fire-Rescue, call 770-278-8401.
Chief Dan Morgan
Rockdale County Fire-Rescue