Youngstown to offer test for firefighters


By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The city will give a firefighter test Aug. 6 even though there are no openings at the department.

But there should be two or three available positions at the 138-member department in September, and about 10 spots open over the next two years, said Fire Chief John J. O’Neill.

The results of civil service tests for firefighters is good for two years, and the city’s current list will expire June 18, O’Neill said.

Over the past two years, the city has hired about 20 firefighters at an entry-level salary to replace mostly senior and higher-paid employees, said O’Neill and Mayor Jay Williams.

An entry-level firefighter makes $24,000 annually in base-pay.

The city is accepting applications for the test from June 20 to July 1 at the Civil Service Commission’s office on the 7th floor of city hall, 26 S. Phelps St. The city is accepting applications from up to 300 people on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The written test will be at 9 a.m. Aug. 6.

A physical fitness and agility test will be given at a later date. That test includes running a half-mile, climbing a 100-foot high ladder and other strenuous activities including carrying fire hoses and a 150-pound mannequin.

The city’s board of control agreed Friday to hire FPSI — Fire & Police Selections Inc., a company based on Folsom, Calif., — for $11,300 to provide the Aug. 6 written test and grade them as well as use the firm’s services to conduct one or two practice tests for those wanting to take the exam.

The company’s test complies with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requirements, said city Law Director Iris Torres Guglucello.

The city changed its longstanding police and fire hiring practices because a federal appeals court ruled that a policy similar to it in Shreveport, La., is unconstitutional and because of criticism from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

The city used to have dual hiring lists — one for white men and the other for minorities and females — and would hire one minority or female for every two white men it hires. Youngstown will now offer jobs to those who score the highest on the tests.

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