City Of Sparks

How To Become A Firefighter

HOW TO BECOME A FIREFIGHTER
The City of Sparks Human Resources Division
Firefighter Application and Testing Process
 
GENERAL OVERVIEW:
Thank you for your interest in a Firefighting career with the City of Sparks. If selected, you will join a progressive Fire Department, working together as a team to provide the very best in fire safety service.
If you become an employee of the City of Sparks, your contribution will be a significant one. We encourage you to consider a career in firefighting and come join our team.
The City of Sparks is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
 
Important Notice:   All applications must be requested and handled through the Human Resource Department. This information is provided by the Human Resource Department and all questions or requests should be directed to:

Human Resources Division
431 Prater Way, Sparks NV 89431
Phone: (775) 353-2345
TDD (775) 353-2350, FAX (775) 353-1651

Truckee Meadows Fire Science Degree Program
Fire Science Technology


FIREFIGHTER EXAMINATION PROCESS

(The following outline is given as an example. The actual order of the various elements of the examination process is subject to change.)
  • Application & Questionnaire Filing Period
  • Notification for Written Testing
  • Written Testing
  • Notification for Physical Agility Testing for Top Candidates
  • Physical Agility Testing
  • Notification and Establishment of Eligibility List
SUGGESTED WRITTEN EXAM PREPARATION MATERIAL
  • The following books are optional aids that may be helpful in preparing for the written examination. Reading these books will not assure a higher score on the written examination, but will expose the reader to the type of questions which appear on the written examination. The books are available at local libraries and bookstores.
TITLE /AUTHOR
  • ARCO's Firefighter, Robert Andriuolo
  • The Complete Firefighters Exam Preparation Book, Norman Hall
  • BARRON's How to Prepare for the Firefighter Examinations, James J. Murtagh
  • Emergency Care, 8th Edition, Brady
WRITTEN TESTING
The test usually lasts 2-3 hours and is designed to measure the skills and abilities needed to be a Firefighter. Some areas that will be assessed are:
  • reading comprehension
  • mechanical reasoning and spatial scanning
  • reasoning and problem solving
  • mathematical calculations and comparisons
  • basic emergency medical care
  • interpersonal skills/teamwork

SPARKS FIRE DEPARTMENT

A Firefighter is the entry level position in the fire suppression series at the Sparks Fire Department. Additional promotional steps include Fire Apparatus Operator, Captain, Battalion Chief, Deputy Fire Chief and the Fire Chief. Most positions in the Fire Department are filled by promotional opportunities. Other positions within the Fire Department include Fire Training Officer, Fire Prevention Inspector I/II/III, Assistant Fire Marshal, Fire Marshal and support staff. The positions in the suppression career ladder at the Sparks Fire Department are:

Entry Firefighters will receive in-house training and are required to pass certain certification levels to receive pay increases and become eligible for promotion. Candidates must be 18 years of age, have graduated from high school or the equivalent, possess a valid EMT-Basic Certification and driver's license, and be able to lift and carry 150 lbs. with assistance. They must be able to obtain a Nevada Class A-Fire exempt driver's license. No experience is required.

A Fire Apparatus Operator operates and maintains all fire apparatus and equipment, and responds to fires and medical and non-medical emergencies. In addition to the requirements for Firefighter, candidates must possess a valid Class A-Fire exempt driver's license, be certified as an EMS First Responder, have successfully completed the Sparks Fire Department Operator Certification program, and have the equivalent to completion of 15 college semester credits in fire science or a closely related field and three years of experience as a firefighter.

A Fire Captain is the first supervisory level and serves as company commander. This position, under direction, plans, coordinates and assigns the emergency and non-emergency activities of a company during an assigned shift. In addition to the requirements for a Fire Apparatus Operator, candidates must possess the equivalent to 45 college credits with major coursework in fire science, fire administration or a closely related field and 6 years of experience in fire suppression with at least one year at a level equivalent to the City's class of Fire Apparatus Operation, which includes achievement of minimum certification equivalent to the City's Fire Officer I Certification.

A Fire Battalion Chief is the second level supervisor and, in addition to performing a variety of administrative support activities, is the tactical commander of multi-company fire, rescue and medical calls. In addition to the qualifications for Fire Captain, a Fire Battalion Chief must possess an Associate Degree with major coursework in fire science, fire administration or a closely related field and 2 years of command experience at a level equivalent to the City's class of Fire Captain.

A Division Fire Chief plans, organizes and directs, through subordinate supervisors, a major division (Prevention or Suppression) and/or programs of the Fire Department. A Division Chief must meet the requirements of a Fire Battalion Chief and must possess 5 years of command experience at a level equivalent to any combination of the City's classes of Fire Captain or Fire Battalion Chief.

The Fire Chief plans, organizes, coordinates and directs all activities and programs of the Fire Department and provides expert assistance to City management staff. The position requires the equivalent to graduation from a 4 year college or university with major coursework in fire science, fire administration or a closely related field and 3 years of command experience at a level equivalent to the City's classes of Fire Battalion Chief or Deputy Fire Chief.

Historically, the Fire Chief position has been filled promotionally from within the Sparks Fire Department, even though that is not a requirement. The Fire Chief is appointed by the City Manager with approval of the City Council.

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