Policy 12-1 PROMOTION SYSTEM FOR UNIFORM FIRE DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL


DISTRIBUTION:    Fire Department
            Human Resources

SUBJECT:        Promotion System for Uniformed Fire Department Personnel

PURPOSE:    To establish procedures for use by the Fire Department in determining eligibility  and ranking of uniformed members of the Fire Department for promotional consideration.

BACKGROUND:    A promotional procedure involving the selection of persons who are qualified by meeting certain minimal standards has been in effect since May, 1974.  The procedure is now in need of revision to up-date the qualifying standards.

PROCEDURE:    1.    General

A)     These procedures are for use by the Fire Department in determining eligibility and ranking of uniformed members of the Fire Department for promotional consideration.  In general, these procedures involve selecting persons qualified to enter the promotional process.  This qualification is attained by meeting certain minimal standards as outlined in detail in this policy. Generally, these standards are:

    a)     Meeting a specified minimal time in grade in the present classification; and

b)     Successfully accomplishing all assigned training requirements for the next higher classification; and

c)     Possessing minimal personal health and physical standards.

B)     All persons who meet the minimum qualifications shall be eligible to enter the promotional process.  Those remaining unpromoted shall be eligible to re-enter the promotional process each time a new list is to be established.  It will not be mandatory for any individual to enter the promotional process except when less than three individuals (i.e. two (2) or less) enter by personal decision.  In the event less than three (3) individuals enter, then additional individuals will be required to enter until at least three (3) eligible persons are available and competing for each position.  Eligible individuals will be required to enter by length of time in their present grade with the most senior being chosen first for inclusion into the process.

C)     The complete promotion process, including the required written examinations, shall commence during the same monthly time period each year, so that a new eligibility list will be available and in effect on the date the previous years eligibility list expires.

2.    Prerequisites for Entry into the Fire Promotion System

All uniformed Fire personnel who meet the following minimal requisites shall be eligible to enter the promotional system:

A)     Accrued a prerequisite time in the classification to which they are currently assigned as outlined here-in-after. For the purposes of this promotional process, the individual’s

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time in grade and cumulative time with the City of Lawton will be as determined on July 1, 1972, when this information was officially determined for purposes of longevity pay, and is recorded in the individual’s personnel record.

If an individual, for whatever reason, has terminated his employment with the City of Lawton after July 1, 1972, he will be required to re-enter the system as a firefighter thereafter competing for promotion to the next higher rank without consideration of prior service.  There will be no adjustment for prior service or time with the City of Lawton.

B)     Each person in a classification to which this promotional process applies must have completed the established training program for the next higher classification prior to the date of any written examination which they are to participate and be so certified by the Fire Department training officer.  Failure to receive this certification will automatically deny entry into the promotional system by the taking of the written examination even though his time in grade for competition may be met within the next twelve (12) Months as here-in described.

    3.    Prerequisites for the City of Lawton Fire Department Uniform Personnel

    All uniform persons within the City of Lawton Fire Department, who are to enter the evaluation system, must meed the following minimal requirements:

A)     Accrue a minimal time in the classification presently assigned to as indicated below:

1)     For promotion to the classification of Fire Apparatus Driver, an individual must have a minimum of three (3) years of acceptable prior experience with the Lawton Fire Department, measured as of one (1) year beyond the date of the written examination.

2)     For promotion to the classification of Fire Lieutenant, an individual must have met one (1) of the following criteria, measured as of one (1) year beyond the date of the written examination:

a)     Have had less then seven (7) years total acceptable prior experience with the Lawton Fire Department but more than five (5) years, two (2) years of which have been served in the classification of Fire Apparatus Driver.






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b)     Have had more than seven (7) years total acceptable prior experience with the Lawton Fire Department and who have competed in a written examination after January 1, 1974 for the classification of Fire Apparatus Driver, and received a score of seventy-five (75) points or better.

3)     For promotion to the classification of Fire Captain, an individual must have a minimum of two (2) years in grade as a Fire Lieutenant measured as of one (1) year beyond the date of the written examination.

4)     The criteria for promotion to the classification of Deputy Fire Chief shall be as determined by the Fire Chief and the City Manager.  The criteria for promotion to the position of Fire Chief will be as determined by the City Manager.

B)     Successful completion of the assigned training program as indicated below prior to the date of the written examination and be so certified by the Fire Department Training Officer.  The measurement as of one (1) year beyond the date of the written examination as applied to the above time in grade requirements does not apply for the training requirement.

(1)     Fire Apparatus Driver - Three (3) units of the IFSTA training program; these are units #3 Hose Practice; #5 Fire Streams; and #6 Fire Apparatus.

(2)     Fire Lieutenant - All ten (10) units of the IFSTA training program.

(3)     Fire Captain - The above and the officers training program.

C)     Special staff personnel:

(1)     Special staff personnel are defined as those individuals who occupy the mob titles of Fire Marshal, Assistant Fire Marshal and Training Officer.  Other positions may be so designated by the City manager as required.

(2)     Special staff personnel shall be classified as designated by the position classification and pay plan.

(3)     Individuals may be considered for assignment to special staff positions utilizing the promotional process described herein except that time in grade and training requirements will be as determined by the City Manager.





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(4)     For promotional purposes special staff personnel will be considered eligible based on their combat rank prior to serving in the staff position and must have met the criteria for the next higher classification prior to special staff assignment as outlined above regardless of tenure in the staff position.  For promotion in the the classification of Deputy Fire Chief refer to Section 3 - A - 4.

(5)     Special staff personnel do have the right, when an approved vacancy exists in their prior combat rank, to request to be returned to that rank and status which they held prior to serving in the special staff position, but only when said vacancy occurs in the normal process of events.

4.    Procedures for Promotion

The promotional process for uniformed members of the Fire Department will be conducted in two phases.  The first phase will be a written test used only for the purpose of determining that person's position on the promotion list and will not be combined with any other score(s) other than the driving practical test score for aspiring apparatus drivers.  The second phase will be an evaluation by the Fire Chief and the Deputy Chiefs.  However, for the promotional position of apparatus driver in the Fire Department, a third phase will be required in the process, consisting of a practical driving, maneuvering, and handling of fire apparatus test, and shall be given a numerical grade compiled by the three Deputy Chiefs and Training Officer.  The     average driving test score shall be added to the written test score of each apparatus driver aspirant prior to compiling the eligibility promotional list for posting.  Only in the aforementioned instance shall the written test score be combines with another test score of a person aspiring for promotion.  The practical driving test and grading shall be completed prior to the written examinations.

The following areas will be considered as having the percentage of the whole as     indicated:

    (a)    Evaluation                        100%

    1)     leadership ability                 20%

    2)     personal aggressiveness                 20%

    3)     health and physical fitness              20%

    4)     Qualifications in job performance
                    related to past experience              40%





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    A)     SEQUENCE OF EVENTS:

    The following steps will be followed when a vacancy is approved to be filled:

1)     A determination will be made of those who will compete for the announced approved vacancy based on the criteria here-in-before established.  Said names will be posted on all bulletin boards including the details of the written test program such as time schedule, reference materials, etc.

2)     A written test will be conducted.  Details of the examination are outlined below.  Each individual will be notified by personal mail to his home address of his individual score on the written test.  This notification will not, however be accomplished until after the initial promotion sequence immediately following the conduct of the written test.

3)     The results of the written examination will be posted in the appropriate areas by ranking from the highest to the lowest by name.  Individual scores will not be posted. Ties will be indicated.  The list will also indicate the date that the individual will be considered for promotional consideration. However, the posting of the list will not be accomplished until after the initial promotion sequence after the written test has been conducted.

    EXAMPLE:

ELIGIBILITY LIST FOR THE CLASSIFICATION OF APPARATUS DRIVER

    This list will be in effect until February 21, 1975            
    Jones
    Smith            (March 2, 1974)                         
    Jefferson                    Date these individuals
    Adams                                       /    would be considered    
    Tied-    [*Washington         (April 21, 1974) /    the promotional process
    [*Monroe                    cess.  No date indi-
    [*Johnson                    cates eligibility for
    Doe                        consideration is as
                            of the date of the
                            examination.

4)     An evaluation of the top three (3) qualified contestants on the eligibility list made by the department head and his assistants and conducted as outlined below when a vacancy is approved to be filled:



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EXAMPLE A:    A vacancy occurred and was approved to be filled on February 25, 1974.  Based on the above list, the evaluation would be made by the department head and his assistants on Jones, Jefferson, and Adams (note: Smith is not eligible because of his date of consideration). Assume Jefferson is selected for and     promoted to the next higher classification, then the list would now look like this:

Jones
Smith        (March 2, 1974)
Adams
*Washington    (April 21, 1974)
*Monroe
*Johnson
Doe

EXAMPLE B:    Another vacancy occurs and is approved to be filled on March 15, 1974.  Based on the list of eligible contestants in Example A, the evaluation would be made by the Department head and his assistants on Jones, Smith, and Adams.  Assume Jones is selected for and promoted to the next higher classification, then the list would no look like this:

Smith        (March 2, 1974)
Adams
*Washington    (April 21, 1974)
*Monroe
*Johnson
Doe

EXAMPLE C:    Another vacancy occurs and is approved to be filled on April 5, 1974.  Based on the list of eligible contestants in Example B, the evaluation would be made by the Department head and his assistants on Smith, Adams, Monroe, and Johnson .  (Note:     Washington is not included because of his date of consideration).  Also both Monroe and Johnson are included because they hold the same relative rank even though this causes four (4) individuals to be evaluated instead of three (3).  Assume Monroe is selected for and promoted to the next higher classification, then the list would now look like this:

Smith        (March 2, 1974)
Adams
*Washington    (April 21, 1974)
*Johnson
Doe


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5)    The results of the evaluation would be forwarded to the City Manager in the most timely fashion.  The City Manager will exercise final authority regarding selection and promotion.

B)    WRITTEN TEST:

Each test, regardless of its nature and type, will be assigned, if necessary, bonus points by the test scoring agency sufficient to guarantee that a minimum of one-third (1/3) of the group tested for any individual classification will receive a minimum of seventy-five (75) percent.  An exception shall exist for the position of Fire Captain in that, if necessary, bonus points will be assigned sufficient to guarantee that a minimum of three-fourth (3/4) of these groups tested will receive a minimum of seventy-five (75) percent.  Therefore the only eligible individuals to be considered for further evaluation under this system are those who receive a passing score of seventy-five (75) percent (natural or adjusted).

In any competition for filling an approved vacancy there must be at least two persons eligible to compete for further evaluation.  If only one or non exist then a new written test will be conducted without regard to the previous test date.  in the case where one (1) individual is    available for further competition by himself he will not be required to take said examination unless he so decides.  If he does not take said examination, his test score will be accepted as the score received as if he had taken the new test and his time period for consideration will be extended to the date of consideration of other individuals.  The remaining individual has an option of standing on his previous test or competing in the new written test, the results of his test will be considered final and no further consideration of his previous position or written test score will be given.

Tests will be conducted by individuals designated by the City Manager.  The appropriate departments will provide non-interested supervisory personnel to assist test personnel.

Responsibility for selection and construction of tests for use in the evaluation system rests with the appropriate officials as selected by the City Manager.

C)    EVALUATION:

Evaluations will be performed by the appropriate department head and his assistants for all positions approved for filling by the City Manager utilizing the following procedures:


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1)    For all positions the department chief will require his assistant chiefs to provide him with a written rating of the top three (3) individuals, as determined by the results of the most recent written test as specifically approved in writing for each evaluation contest by the Human Services Director or his designated representative.

The rating will include but is not limited to the following:
    
a)    Major Areas of Concern:

1)    Leadership Ability: (rating should be from 0 to 20)

    Factors to be considered:

    cooperation
    loyalty and integrity
    organization and planning
    initiative
    attitude toward others
    use and delegation of authority
    judgment
    personal effectiveness
    persuasiveness
    training and utilization of subordinates

    2)    Personal Aggressiveness: (rating should be from 0 to 20)

Factors to be considered:

enthusiasm and drive
creativeness
sustained effort
assumption of responsibility
initiative
self development
personal appearance
community program participation

3)    Health and Physical Fitness: (rating should be from 0 to 20)

ability to physically perform all functions of the job
attendance
frequency of on-the-job accidents
physical condition (i.e. overweight, heart problems, etc.)
sick leave activity
physical activity


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4)    Qualifications in Job Performance Related to Past Experience: (rating should be from 0 to 40)

Factors to be considered:
                            volume of work
quality of work
ability to understand instructions
work habits
attitude and loyalty
judgment and ability to appraise situations
attendance and punctuality
job knowledge
self-reliance
safety practice
ability to plan, organize, schedule and complete

In addition to a numerical rating of the individual in the above areas, the rater will explain in detail what he considered in determining his rating in each of the above areas.  Also he will answer the following questions:

1)     What do you consider his strongest points?
2)     What do you consider his weakest points?
3)     How do you rate him overall for the next higher classification?      (Without considering him as part of the competition but as an     individual).
4)     If you do not consider this individual to be promotable to the next higher classification, what, in detail, are your reasons for that option? What actions do you consider necessary to make the individual promotable?

b)     Conclusion Statement:

1)     A recommendation regarding whether the individual should be considered for promotion (a recommendation may be made that none should be promoted)




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2)     A ranking of those considered eligible for promotion.  That is number 1, 2, 3,     complete with your percentile points for     each.

2)     The department chief, independent of the ratings given by his assistants, will rate each of the top three (3) individuals as determined by the result of the most recent written test.  His rating will include, but is not limited to, the above listed areas.  His rating may be based on his personal information and knowledge or an overview of the ratings of his assistants. This reasoning is necessary in that the size of each department might limit the department head’s personal knowledge to such that he must rely on a composite overview of the assistant chiefs’ recommendations in order to formulate a recommendation to the City Manager.

3)     The department chief shall compile all of the above ratings into a portfolio which will be submitted to the City Manager in the most timely fashion after a vacancy is approved for filling.  He will also include a course of action he recommends to the City Manager.

4)     The City Manager will exercise the final authority regarding selection and promotion.

5)     In the event of promotion to a higher classification in the Fire Department, the promotion will be considered probationary for a period of six (6) months regardless of the classification to which promoted or the pay step he is initially given.  After six (6) months his performance will be reviewed by the department head and his assistants following the above basic steps which include but are not limited to the following:

A)     General rating in the above major areas of concern.

B)     Conclusion statement as outlined above.

C)     A rating by the department head as outlined above.

The department chief will compile all the above ratings into a portfolio which will be submitted to the City Manager with his recommendation regarding the individual’s overall performance.

In the event the individual’s performance is considered satisfactory, his promotion will be final, with his date of classification as the date he was initially promoted.



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In the event the individual’s performance is considered unsatisfactory, he will be returned to his prior classification and pay status.  In this case the entire promotional process will again be followed.

D:    EXCEPTIONS:

1)     An exception to the above policy will exist when an individual has not served the minimal amount of time in grade as determined by the date the vacancy is approved to be filled.  He will not be rated nor considered or rated based on his written score until he meets the minimum time in grade as outlined in Section 3-A.

2)     As outlined in Section 4-C, special staff personnel may request to be returned to their prior combat rank and status which they held prior to serving in the staff position but only when said vacancy occurs in the normal course of events.

If a special staff individual requests return, then the above outlined procedure will not be followed.

REFERENCES:    Section C-3 - 3 City Charger
            Section C-8 - 1 City Charter


RESCISSION:                This policy is effective March 1, 2000, rescinds Administrative Policy 12-1, dated October 1, 1997,and will remain in effect until rescinded.

RESPONSIBLE
DEPARTMENT:    Fire



Bill Baker
City Manager
March 1, 2000
        

[NOTE: LETTER OF CLARIFICATION ON THIS POLICY WRITTEN MARCH 21, 2000 -- PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE FOR A COPY]