Fire Captain

Recruitment #13-1300-01

Work Schedule:24 hr on, 48 hr off; includes weekend and holidays
Opening Date:5/3/2013 5:00:00 AM
Closing Date:5/24/2013 11:59:00 PM
Type of Recruitment: Promotional
Salary:$7,165.95 - $7,512.96/month
Employment Type: Full Time Career
Bargaining Unit:IAFF

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The Salem Fire Department is seeking candidates for the position of Fire Captain to perform supervisory and technical duties in the areas of fire suppression, emergency medical care, emergency rescues, hazardous materials incidents, fire investigation, fire inspection, fire personnel training, and public education. 

This is an internal-only recruitment, open only to current sworn employees in the Salem Fire Department in accordance with Civil Service Rules. 




This is a first-line supervisory, public safety classification in the Fire Department. Incumbents are expected to exercise a high degree of judgment and initiative while making critical fire and life safety-related decisions under unpredictable high pressure and adverse conditions, and are responsible for directing both emergency and non-emergency activities of a fire/EMS company and/or support function personnel.    

Examination Components:


A Written Examination (weighted 10%) to measure leadership, basic technical knowledge, supervisory knowledge, problem solving and analysis. The written examination may include multiple choice, essay; fill in the blank and true false questions. The written examination will be developed largely from the list of reference material and from industry standards. There may be other resources used to develop written examination questions but the list of reference material is a guide to what candidates may wish to study.


A Role Play Exercise (weighted 40%) to measure communication skills, flexibility, interpersonal skills, leadership, basic technical knowledge, supervisory knowledge, problem solving and analysis.


An Oral Interview Exercise (weighted 20%) measuring supervisory knowledge, oral communication skills, problem solving and decision making skills, basic technical knowledge and planning and organizational skills.  Candidates will participate in an interview and/or other oral exercises relating to the position of Fire Captain.  Candidate’s application, cover letter and resume will be evaluated and scored as part of the Oral interview process.


A Tactical Simulation Exercise (weighted 30%) measuring basic technical knowledge, problem solving and decision making, planning and organizational skills, supervisory knowledge and oral communication skills.  This portion of the examination may simulate portions of any typical emergency response situation that a Salem Fire Department Fire Captain might meet.


Candidates must achieve a raw score of 70% or higher on the Tactical Simulation Exercise to be placed on the eligibility list.  An overall minimum passing score of 70% or greater must be achieved on all components combined to be placed on the eligibility list. 

The examination is tentatively scheduled for June 3rd-11th, 2013. Applicants will be notified of exact dates, examination times and locations.


Veteran’s preference points for those eligible and requesting them will be added to the final combined passing score.


Note: Candidates are encouraged to trade time for the examinations. It is the candidate’s responsibility to appear for each component of the examination.


This announcement is not an implied contract and may be modified or revoked without notice.


In order to successfully compete in this examination process the candidate will need considerable preparation in fire suppression, fire prevention methods and techniques and thorough operational knowledge of Salem Fire Department apparatus and equipment.  Candidates must possess thorough knowledge of departmental procedures, rules, directives, standards, agreements, contracts, regulations, ordinances and laws; use of personal computers and software programs; considerable ability to assume command during emergency or multi-alarm incidents; make effective, responsive decisions to ensure community safety and of personnel; and considerable ability to provide leadership to department personnel.  Candidates must also possess the ability to research information and analyze data; develop and implement long-term goals; communicate facts and present recommendations in a clear, concise logical manner both orally and in written form; and establish and maintain effective working relationships with other personnel, agencies, public officials, and the media.  Candidates must possess knowledge and skill in personnel management including the City of Salem Employee Assistance Program, the ability to accurately interpret and apply Civil Service Rules and Contract language used by the Salem Fire Department.


Manage the operation and maintenance of the apparatus and personnel assigned to a fire station. Captains supervise a fire crew and the apparatus dispatched to emergency scenes, including fire scenes, emergency medical calls, hazardous materials incidents. Captains may serve in the capacity of incident commander at emergency incidents.

Captains are responsible to a Battalion Chief or Division Chief of the Fire Department, and receive general direction in the performance of their duties. Captains will consult with their Battalion Chief or Division Chief regarding day-to-day operations, and unusual events at the station regarding personnel, apparatus, and equipment. Captains directly and indirectly supervise Apparatus Operators, Firefighter-paramedics or other personnel assigned fire station or support service.


Incumbents drill and instruct employees and are responsible for their performance. A Battalion Chief or the Deputy Chief of Emergency Operations will review company performance regularly and the outcome of this evaluation is based upon the performance of the assigned company and/or support function personnel.


The following are considered Essential Duties for this job classification:

Respond to emergencies and calls for assistance as a company officer, supervising the performance and safety of assigned personnel and determining the necessity for additional resources at the scene of an emergency incident; direct firefighting and rescue operations until relieved of Command; respond to and take appropriate action at hazardous materials incidents; supervise and assist in the rendering of medical care at an emergency incident; instruct and drill fire department personnel in assigned duties, including firefighting, medical care, hazardous materials response, fire prevention, and related subjects; plan, supervise and execute work assignments of fire personnel; identify the training needs of personnel and provide or see that the necessary training is provided; direct the frequent inspection of equipment and apparatus to ensure that it is functioning properly; supervise, train and evaluate subordinates; plan, schedule, supervise and participate in the inspection of buildings, residences and installations for fire hazards and fire safety systems as required by State laws and City ordinances, and for pre-fire planning purposes; conduct station tours, participate in demonstrations of equipment and techniques, and make educational presentations to members of the public; direct the cleaning and maintenance of quarters, equipment and apparatus at a fire station; prepare reports related to assigned activities; maintain maps and records. 

In addition, employees may perform the following duties:

Perform a wide variety of general staff work and support functions as assigned; assist in coordinating the maintenance and repair of equipment and facilities such as apparatus, support equipment and fire stations; obtain and otherwise preserve evidence at an emergency scene; participate in department meetings as assigned; observe and report violations of laws and ordinances; conduct safety meetings; coordinate activities with those of other fire companies; inspect personnel to ensure compliance with department standards concerning uniforms, emergency gear, tools and equipment, grooming, and other related items; receive and process reports from the public; and other related duties as assigned.


Equipment and apparatus used in the daily functions of a firefighter. 

Desktop computer 


Miscellaneous office automation equipment, e.g. fax, phone, copier, etc.



This is a promotional examination; in order to apply and be tested, all candidates must:

1.     Possess five years of service with the Salem Fire Department, with one-year current service as a Salem Fire Department Firefighter, Firefighter/Paramedic or Apparatus Operator by June 3rd, 2013.

2.     Have completed the Salem Fire Department Career Development program for Fire Captain. (Candidates must complete the Career Development Workbook for Fire Captain and turn the training materials into the Training Division no later than 5:00 p.m. May 24th, 2013.)

3.     Possess current Oregon EMT-B certification or higher.



Knowledge of: Principles, practices, methods and techniques of modern firefighting and protection of lives and property; rules, regulations, Fire Department and/or City forms, operational guidelines and directives of the Salem Fire Department; emergency medical care; principles of supervision, training and performance evaluation; local geography, including district familiarization and the major fire hazards of the City; firefighting equipment and apparatus functions and repair techniques; principles and practices and common methods of working with computer software and hardware.


Ability to: Make effective use of personnel, equipment and apparatus; operate apparatus and equipment used in modern firefighting and emergency medical response activities; communicate clearly and concisely, orally and in writing, with individuals and in group settings; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work under both regular business and adverse conditions; supervise, train and evaluate assigned staff; comprehend and make inferences from written material; read and interpret maps; effectively resolve work-related problems; conduct preliminary fact-finding inspections and investigations, including gathering and preserving evidence.

Physically able to:

Perform the essential physical and mechanical functions of a firefighter. Sit, keyboard, write, hear and speak for extended periods. Stand frequently for extended periods on occasion. Work at heights. Bend, kneel, stoop or climb ladders and cross rugged and uneven terrain. Lift up to 100 pounds.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all job duties or roles performed by personnel so classified. It is as well intended to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.




Interested candidates must complete the application process online by going to the City’s job page (  All areas must be filled out completely. The application process must be completed by 11:59 pm, Friday, May 24th, 2013.


Candidates are to provide three (3) copies of their resume and cover letter, (recommended at not more than two [2] typewritten pages), candidates should identify specific skills which qualify them to become a Salem Fire Captain. Resume and cover letter are to be turned into the Training Division no later than 1600 hrs. Thursday May 30th, 2013.


The following dates are projections for applicant planning purposes, and may be subjected to change or modification depending on applicant volume.

May 28 -30, 2013 Application Screening

June 3 & 4, 2013 Written Exam

June 5-7, 2013 Tactical Evaluation

June 10-11, 2013 Oral Interview

June 10-11, 2013 Role Play


TO APPLY:  Please complete the on-line Application and submit electronically by the close date at Applications must be received by the Human Resources Department by 11:59 p.m. on the closing date. You will receive an email confirmation of your submitted electronic application. The City cannot be responsible for material that is illegible or missing as a result of transmitting or which may be lost through the mail.

All newly selected finalists for City employment are subject to a criminal background check and may be subject to testing for drugs.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Women, Minorities and Disabled individuals are encouraged to apply. ADA accommodations will be provided upon request.  TTD/TTY 503-588-6009

This announcement is not an implied contract and may be modified or revoked without notice.

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