Hattiesburg contracts company to help promote within fire department

Hattiesburg contracts company to help promote within fire department
The City of Hattiesburg will have the help of Texas-based company for promotional testing. Source: WDAM.

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The City of Hattiesburg will now turn to a Texas company to help promote individuals within the fire department.

"It's been a while since we've done promotions in the Hattiesburg Fire Department, and you have a lot of folks who have earned the opportunity to try and take the next step in their career," said Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker.  "We have, quite frankly, several vacancies in our officer positions."

City council voted Tuesday to authorize a contract with Fire Department International, Inc. to provide promotional testing for four positions. According to the company's website, FD International has provided training, equipment and staffing for dozens of fire and emergency services.

"Bringing this company in to do this testing, it just continues our city's push to elicit best practices on how we do things and it brings consistency and standardization to the process," said Barker.

Around this time last year, council voted for a moratorium on promotions within the fire department. Barker said this is one step in a long process to fill those vacant officer positions.

"There have been discussions over the last few years on the need to go to some sort of group to come in and do testing, again to keep things consistent," Barker said. "So, glad the council took this step tonight and we look forward to getting some good officers promoted and improve the moral of the fire department."

The tests will be administered for four positions within the department: Engineer/Driver, Lieutenant, Captain, and Battalion Chief.  According to the contract, applicants will have to pass a 100-question, multiple choice exam.

The fire training agreement states a contract payment in the amount of $7,500 will be remitted within 45 days after tests results are provided to City of Hattiesburg.