The life of a firefighter is full of dangers and challenging situations. It happens all too often that a firefighter finds himself in a position where he/she is required to make real-time decisions at a moment’s notice, which in return has a direct impact on people and property. It is a job which demands a lot out of a person; from mental to physical traits. The selection process of firefighters is fractured into three different phases. Usually, the first phase is the written test, which will be the prime focus of this article. Then comes the CPAT physical evaluation followed by the last step, the interview.
It is understandable that the institution that hires you wants to check if you’ve got what it takes. And that is why, apart from the written exam, a man is tested physically, too and fitness can be a deciding factor in the selection process. Some of the primary traits that you will need to have are – 20/20 eyesight, and good stamina and agility. Our advice to you, if you’re hoping to become a firefighter, is to start working on your fitness.
If you get through the first two phases, you will be required to sit in an interview. Relatively, it is not as demanding as the other two phases. You just need to be yourself and answer all the questions promptly, in a courteous manner. Don’t try too hard to impress here; people often don’t respond well to that. So make sure you don’t come across as vain and pompous.
Firefighter Written Exam
The first hurdle in front of you is cracking the written exam. Throughout the nation, firefighter tests are conducted on a regular basis by various local governments. While the passing rate varies from place to place, since different examination centers tend to grade differently, on average, a person needs to score at least 70% in his firefighter written exam to make it to the next phase. The format of the paper might be multiple choice or true and false.
It is to be noted as well that the exam throughout the country is the same, but is influenced by the rules and regulations of the local governing body. The prime focus of the written exam is to test exam-takers’ thinking and reasoning capabilities. The paper is designed to check the aspirants in basic mathematics, reasoning, personality traits, human relations, and oral and written communication capabilities. Based on the type of questions, the examination is divided into two parts.
Components of Firefighter Exam
The firefighter’s exam paper is divided into two portions by the type of questions. The exam paper is of moderate difficulty and a person with a high school degree can crack it with relative ease. The first part of the test is devised to assess the candidates in basic mathematics, reasoning, and reading comprehension. While nothing too hard is there in the test, an aspirant will need to know how to solve common addition, subtraction, multiplication along with percentage and ratio problems.
The second part of the exam focuses on the personality of the candidates. A person in this line of work is required to have integrity, the power to make tough decisions quickly, a certain amount of dignity along with the ability to follow orders. So, on top of being of sound mind and body, a person’s character is of vital importance in this line of work. There are no right and wrong answers in this section. The answer to each question varies from person to person, and each of them is valid. The answers you give will be matched against the answers that were marked by now successful firefighters when they took the exam. The whole idea behind this section is to test your compatibility for this line of work.
One thing to know before taking the exam is that before you can move on to the second section of the test, you have to pass in the first section. Although, if you are unable to crack the exam in your first attempt, then you can retake it. But ‘when’ depends on the local government as it depends on when they choose to conduct the next exam.
How to Crack Firefighter Written Exam?
As you now know the basics of the procedure and have a general idea of what beasts you might be asked to slay in your written firefighter examination, let us go over some of the tips that you can consider while preparing for your written test.
- The first thing that you will need to do is prepare. While the paper is of moderate difficulty, it will still be a good idea for you to go through all the basics once before you take the test. Brush-up your reading comprehension, solve some test papers and some previous exam papers as well if available, to get you in shape. Remember, practice makes a man perfect, and it will boost your confidence as you wouldn’t be wondering about the validity of your answer when you’re taking the exam.
- While preparing for the written exam, make use of the study material which is available on the internet. Many sites are providing mock tests and study material which can help you in tuning your problem-solving abilities. Reading comprehension is something many people suffer with, so you might want to give extra focus to it during your preparation.
- There are other resources that you can tap into if you want to give it your hundred percent. You can contact your local fire department via their website and leave your query to get a revert. It will not only help you in gaining knowledge but also build a relationship with your local fire station where you wish to work shortly. Furthermore, if you have someone in your contacts who is a firefighter, don’t be afraid to ask them questions. Understand that the person is a professional, so he/she might be able to provide you with some crucial insights about the job and prepare you for the personality part of the written test.
- Speaking of the second part, while taking the test you will be required to depend on your life experiences to solve this part. The person that you are, you’re upbringing and the things you picked up while growing up, are the fibers which weave your personality. These aspects will directly impact the answers you provide in this section. The personality section is the one where the examiners check if you have the mindset of a firefighter or if it can be turned into one or not.
- To follow up the previous point, we would like to say that the answers that you provide in this section should come naturally. While thinking a question over is necessary, the answers should not be overthought as well. It happens all too often that due to fearing rejection, candidates play it safe by answering the questions in a way that makes them seem like the optimal person for the job, and they get rejected all the same because their answers do not seem to be genuine.
- Time management is crucial. In general, you get two hours and thirty minutes to solve both parts of the test. You must go over the entire first part thoroughly and see which questions you are sure to address, and which ones need rumination. Target the items accordingly and give them all you’ve got by answering them as quickly as possible. Once you’re through them, you can go through the set of items you’re not sure about. It is not uncommon for candidates to waste their precious minutes over a problem they can’t solve. So, approach the paper with cunning and make the most out of the given time.
- Stay relaxed. If you’ve prepared well and solved mock papers, you’ve got this under control. So, don’t let unnecessary paranoia affect your focus. But sometimes, from no fault of your own, bad things happen even after all the preparation. Well if such a situation arises, fret not, because you can reappear for the exam.
The Firefighter Practice Test is a merger of different categories including Fire Science Basics, fundamental Mathematics, Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Aptitude, universal Judgement and Psychology questions.
Firefighter Exam Practice Questions
Below, please find the set of questions for preparation of your exam:
There was a fire in a popular eight floors and 80 room hotel located on the busy street of the town. At any time, the occupancy rate of the hotel is 75 percent. One of the housekeeping staffs saw the smoke and fire coming out from a room on the 2nd floor. She turned in the alarm and warned others. The hotel manager immediately called the fire service. The Flying Fire Engine Company got the alarm at 11.00 a.m., and immediately dispatched one fire engine. The firefighters reached the fire at 11.10 a.m., and on arrival, they saw hotel guests and staffs running out of the hotel. At the time of the fire, 60 rooms of the hotel were occupied, and there were 135 guests including men, women, and children, and 35 hotel staffs. Twenty hotel staffs and 110 guests managed to escape through the fire escape exit and the main entrance. Seeing the flames bursting out of the window and black smoke pouring out, the fire-fighters summoned five more fire engines to the scene. The fire-fighters immediately started a scaling rescue, and braving the intensity of the fire, they managed to keep the fire in the 2nd floor. Once the fire was brought under control, most of the firefighters returned to the fire department, but few remained back to extinguish the small fires completely. In the meantime, the firefighter Dimitri saw an empty gasoline canister and matchsticks near the rear exit. On seeing the fire-fighters, a nearby shop owner and one bystander came to the scene and informed that they saw a man in his early forties, with black hair, wearing blue denim and green jacket moving suspiciously near the rear exit with a gasoline canister.
Fire Fighters Test 2
A man broke through the ventilator of a closed single storey furniture shop, ABC Furnitures & Interiors, owned by George Thompson. The thief knocked open the cash box and collected all the cash. The man also stole one laptop lying on the side table. He put the laptop and cash inside a brown backpack, broke open the window and escaped. Before leaving, the thief set sofa on fire, and soon, the fire engulfed the fire. The fire was so intense that it spread to nearby shops also. One woman living in the nearby building panicked and jumped from the 2nd floor when she saw the blaze. She was critically injured on her head and broke her right leg and both wrists. One bystander immediately called the fire service, and within five minutes, 5 fire engines reached the fire scene. It took firefighters 4 hours to bring the fire under control. One of the customers, shopping in the nearby shop told the fire team that he saw a man, around 34 years, wearing a monkey cap, blue jacket, denim, and carrying a backpack jumped from the window of the shop and ran away. Another shopkeeper saw a girl around 23 years with blonde hair, wearing a red colored tee shirt, black leather jacket, tight jeans, and carrying a white tote bag loitering suspiciously in front of the shop, and when she saw the blaze, she ran away. At the time of the fire, few bystanders were also standing outside the shop. The CCTV camera footage showed the man with the backpack, woman with the white tote bag, and bystanders running away from the fire.
According to the NFPA research and survey report, the estimate firefighters injuries in 2017 was 58,835. Out of these, 7,345 were infectious diseases exposures, 44,530 hazardous conditions exposures, 17 percent or 10,155 lost time injuries or, and 60 firefighters died when they were performing their duties. As compared to 2016, the estimated injuries in 2017 were 5 percent lower.