Fire Department Employment

Procedure for Fire Department Applicants for Entry-Level Positions

An eligibility list shall be established and maintained for entry-level firefighter candidates. A testing and interview process shall be conducted in every odd numbered year during the month of June to keep the list of eligible applicants current. Applications for the position of firefighter shall be solicited and advertised. A deadline for applications to be returned to the Civil Service Secretary shall be established and advertised.

1. After the application deadline has passed, all firefighter applications will be forwarded to the Fire Chief to determine whether or not the applicants meet minimum standards for an entry-level position as follows:

  • Possession of a valid drivers license
  • High school graduate or equivalent
  • Twenty-one (21) years of age
  • No felony convictions
  • No more than one conviction for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and no convictions of this nature within the past three years
  • No drug related convictions
  • No use of any illegal drugs within the past two years

2. Notifications of scheduled physical agility tests and written Civil Service examination will be sent by mail or special messenger as the situation dictates.

3. Applicants are required to take and pass a written Civil Service examination. A minimum score of 70% is required. Failure to achieve the minimum score will eliminate the applicant from further consideration during this application.

4. The physical agility test used by the North Platte Fire Department is a pass or fail test. The test consists of several events that must be completed within specified time periods. A copy of the list of events in the physical agility test and the necessary completion times will be sent to each applicant along with notification of the date, time, and place of the test. If an applicant fails an event, he or she is entitled to a second attempt at that event after a thirty-minute rest period. Failure to complete the course as required will eliminate the applicant from further consideration during this application process.

5. An extensive background check will be conducted on applicants who pass both the written and physical agility tests. Background check may include but will not be limited to:

  1. Drivers Record
  2. Criminal Record
  3. Personal References
  4. Past Employers References
  5. Medical History
  6. Personal Background – History Information received from this investigation will be forwarded to the Fire Chief and the Civil Service Commissioners.

6. Notification of scheduled oral interviews will be sent by mail or special messenger as the situation dictates.

7. Applicants will be interviewed by a five-member board of Fire Department officers. All evaluations and recommendations of this board will be forwarded in writing to the Civil Service Commission.

8. After successful completion of the preceding requirements, all applicants will be interviewed by the Civil Service Commission to determine if each candidate is qualified for certification and placement on the entry-level eligibility list. The entry-level eligibility list will then be forwarded to the City Administrator.

9. All applicants, prior to employment, will be required to pass a complete physical examination. As part of all physical examinations, all persons applying for positions protected by Civil Service shall be tested for the use of drugs as a pre-qualification condition. Applicants who test positive for drug use or who refuse to submit to such testing on request will be disqualified from further consideration for employment. Terms used in this paragraph are used herein as defined in Nebraska Revised Statute, Section 48-1902.

Any results of any test performed on body fluids or breath specimen from any applicant for employment to determine the presence of drugs or alcohol shall not be used to deny employment unless the following requirements are met:

1. The positive finding of drugs by preliminary screening procedures has been subsequently confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry or other scientific testing techniques that have been or may be approved by the Nebraska Department of Health.

2. A positive finding of alcohol by preliminary screening procedures is subsequently confirmed by either:

  • Gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector or other scientific testing technique that has been or may be approved by the Nebraska Department of Health.
  • A breath-testing device operated by a breath-testing device operator. Nothing in the subdivision shall be construed to preclude an applicant from immediately requesting further confirmation of any breath testing results by a blood sample if the employee voluntarily submits to give a blood sample taken by qualified medical personnel in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the Nebraska Department of Health. In the event the confirmatory test results do not confirm the presence of drugs, the applicant shall be considered for employment as otherwise provided in these rules and regulations. Except for confirmatory breath-testing as provided in subdivision (b) (II) of this paragraph, all confirmatory tests shall be performed by a clinic, hospital, or laboratory which is licensed pursuant to the Federal Clinical Laboratories Improvement Act of 1967, 42 U.S.C. 263a, or which is accredited by the College of American Pathologists.

Except for breath-test specimens as provided in subdivision (b) (II) above, all specimens which result in a finding of drugs shall be refrigerated and preserved in a sufficient quantity for retesting until the specimen is no longer required.
Except for breath-test specimens as provided in subdivision (b) (II) above, a written record of the chain-of-custody of the specimen shall be maintained from the time of the collection of the specimen until the specimen is no longer required.

The City, the Civil Service Commission, or its agent, shall not release or disclose the test results to the public, except that such results shall be released as required by law or to the applicant upon request. Test results may be released to those officers, agents, or employees of the City or Civil Service Commission who need to know the information for reasons connected with their employment or position with the City or Civil Service Commission.
Any applicant tampering with body fluids at any time during or after the collection or analysis of such fluids for the purpose of altering the results of any test to determine the presence of drugs shall immediately be dismissed from consideration for employment.

Any applicant refusing the lawful directive to provide a body fluid or breath sample as provided herein may be subject to denial of employment.
Applicants employed will be required to successfully complete a six-month probationary period, the requirements of which will be identified for the employee upon reporting to work.


For initial employment a physical agility performance test is conducted. This test consists of the following:

1.  Aerial Ladder Climb – This test is to determine if the candidate has a fear of heights, not his or her climbing ability. The candidate, wearing an air pack, will be required to climb to a point seventy-five feet (75’) above the ground and return on an extended aerial ladder attached to an aerial apparatus. This exercise is not timed but only a reasonable amount of time will be allowed to complete this portion of the test.

The candidate shall complete all of the following:

  • Pull-ups – Minimum of 7 (palms away)
  • Push-ups – Minimum of 25 (standard)
  • Lift and Carry Exercise – This exercise determines the strength of the lower extremities, upper body strength, and endurance of the candidate. The candidate, dressed in a bunker coat, bunker pants, gloves, and a helmet, will be required to pick up a set of barbells, weighing 125 lbs., and carry it one-hundred feet without stopping.
  • Hose Drag Exercise – This test is to determine the candidate’s agility and strength while moving a charged hose line. The candidate will be required to drag a one hundred foot (100’) long length of 1¾” fire hose that is pressurized to 100 psi. The hose must be dragged 200 feet in the allotted time of 30 seconds.
  • Bent Knee Sit-Ups – The candidate will perform 35 bent knee sit-ups in 2 minutes.
  • Weight Lift – Starting from an erect position with feet spread shoulder-width apart, the candidate will move a fifteen-pound weight in the following manner: Bend over, grasp the weight both hands while it is on the floor between the feet, lift weight to waist level, place weight on floor approximately twelve inches outside the left foot, and, without letting go, raise the weight back to waist level then touch it to the floor approximately twelve inches outside the right foot. Repeat this motion in the opposite direction. The weight shall be moved in this fashion until it has been moved seven times in each direction with the total horizontal distance being at least twenty-four inches more than the space between the feet for each of the fourteen moves. This exercise shall be performed in 35 seconds or less.

The candidate shall choose one of the following to complete:

  1. Run 1½ miles within 13 minutes
  2. Walk 3 miles within 38 minutes
  3. Bicycle 4 miles within 12 minutes (Schwinn Air Dyne)
  4. Swim 500 yards within 8 minutes and 20 seconds