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Exercises

Listed below are nine promotional exercises.  Select the plan most suitable and beneficial to your needs.  The Assessors will be Chief Fire Officers, or recently retired Chief Fire Officers, trained in observation skills and Assessment Center techniques.  Public Act 95-956, effective on August 29, 2008, provided new requirements relative to the use of an “assessment center” in the promotional process (50 ILCS 742/50). Effective January 1, 2010, only individuals who are certified in accordance with the provisions approved by the Office of the State Fire Marshal may be employed to grade candidates participating in the assessment center testing process. All our assessors are certified with the Office of the State Fire Marshal.  All Exercises are the sole possession of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association © 2016 – IFCA PEAS and may not be duplicated, reproduced or published in whole or in part or used in any fashion without the expressed, written consent of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association.

 

Exercise A: In-Basket Exercise

Dimensions: 

Decision making skills, organization and planning, perception and analytical-ability, sensitivity, decisiveness, oral communications, poise, energy, delegation and adaptability.

Approximate Time Per Candidate:

60 Minutes to complete & 20 Minutes to present

Description: 

Candidate is told he has been promoted to a higher level management position.  His predecessor has left much material in his in-basket, such as memos, letters and reports of varying importance.  Given approximately one-hour the Candidate must deal with in-basket contents.  He must write down every action he would take including notes, letters, and conference agenda and phone calls.  Following the written portion of the exercise the Candidate is interviewed by the Assessors to determine his decisions, the reasons for his decisions and other related information.

 

Exercise B: Structured Oral Interview

Dimensions: 

The structured interview is to assess both attitudinal and background information on the Candidate.

Approximate Time Per Candidate:

30 Minutes

Description: 

Candidate may be questioned in the following areas:

  • Fire Service in general
  • Local department rules, regulations, ordinance and operating procedures
  • Candidate’s desire to become a manager/leader
  • Candidate’s view of management functions

 

Exercise C: Writing Exercise

Dimensions: 

Conforms to assigned objectives and group consensus, presents problems and solutions, and writes completely and accurately, Logical order and format.

Approximate Time Per Candidate:

20-60 Minutes

Description: 

This exercise is given to evaluate the Candidate’s written communication skills utilizing memos, letters, etc. or a narrative format.  Often, the Writing Exercise is used in conjunction with another Assessment Center Exercise for more realism and relativity. Examples include writing a Tactical Narrative after a Tactical Assessment Scenario, writing an After Action Report after an employee counseling session, and writing a consensus report from a Group Problem Solving Exercise.

 

Exercise D: Tactical Exercise

Dimensions: 

Knowledge of common fire ground practices, knowledge of standard operating procedures, critical thinking, reading smoke, problem solving techniques, safety, judgment, adaptability, perception, leadership, interpersonal skills and delegation, situational awareness.

Approximate Time Per Candidate:

30 Minutes

Description: 

This exercise is a computer generated simulated incident in the community that may occur during officer’s tour of duty (we use material supplied by the department for accuracy and relative realization).  The Candidate is given an emergency fire/EMS/Haz-Mat situation in his community.  The Candidate is evaluated on the decisions he makes during this simulated emergency incident as they relate to common industry practices, standard operating guidelines and local policies, procedures and expectations.

 

Exercise E: Presentation Exercise

Dimensions: 

Ability to plan and organize their presentation, Written and oral communication skills, Problem analysis and Presentation skills.

Approximate Time Per Candidate:

15-30 Minutes

Description: 

This exercise requires the Candidate to prepare an outline and then give a presentation before a group (the Assessors).  A wide range of topics, both traditional and current, are used to evaluate the Candidate’s public speaking ability based on a limited preparation time. This exercise is intended to demonstrate the candidate’s ability to present an idea, plan a presentation to various groups such as a workforce, civic group, and media, Village/City Manager and/or Board. This exercise is also routinely tied to a Chief Officer Hiring Process where the candidates start out with a Group Exercise. 

 

Exercise F: Group Exercise

Dimensions: 

Communications, problem analysis, planning, organization, leadership, sensitivity, decision making, decisiveness, development of subordinates, initiative, listening and persuasiveness.

Approximate Time Per Candidate:

60 Minutes

Exercise F.1

Problem Solving Group

Description: 

This exercise is designed for first level supervisors.  Candidates work in a small group utilizing their oral and writing skills to arrive at a solution to a problem and justify their position.

Exercise F.2

Leaderless Group

Description:

This exercise is designed for middle and top management positions.  The Candidates are required to work together in a group (of 4 to 8); to reach a consensus with very limited information and limited direction.  The exercise is used to evaluate the individual’s ability to establish and work with informal leadership roles while making decisions and solving problems.

 

Exercise G: Problem Employee Exercises/ Fact Finding and Decision-Making

Dimensions: 

Communications, problem analysis, planning, organization, leadership, sensitivity, decision making, decisiveness, development of subordinates, interpersonal relations and description and development of an action plan.

Approximate Time Per Candidate:

30 Minutes

Exercise G.1

Employee Interview Simulation, Disgruntled Citizen, Community Encounter

Description: 

The exercise is based on a simulated situation that would require the Candidate to conduct a one-on-one interview with an employee (an Assessor).  Situations include employee counseling, a superior/subordinate interview, a problem employee scenario and other similar situations.  The Employee Interview Simulation Exercise most often will deal with some type of a disciplinary or deficient performance problem.  However, other scenarios such as interviews with dissatisfied citizens, grievance situations, or almost any other type of one-on-one situation encountered on the job.

For more information:

Slivinski Program Director
Dave Slivinski
dslivinski@illinoisfirechiefs.org
PO Box 7, Skokie, IL 60076-0007
Tel: 847.966.0732 / 800.662.0732
Fax: 847.966.0782
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