Candidates for firefighter position move on to agility test

EAST LIVERPOOL – Results from a recent Civil Service Commission exam for a firefighter position showed 14 of the 20 people taking the test passed.

The top scorer received an 88.35 percent, with 70 being a passing score. The lowest passing score received was 70.85 percent. Three candidates who scored in the 75 to 78 percent range were granted veteran service credits, bringing those scores to 91.03, 93.17 and 94.13.

Several of those who passed the test are volunteer firefighters in the area, and there was one woman who passed.

Those who passed the written test must now take an agility test, which has been set for April 16 at Central Station, at which time candidates will be required to perform a variety of maneuvers aimed at testing their physical agility and stamina.

Once that test is completed, the commission will certify the top 10 scorers from both the written and agility tests and provide that list to the administration.

According to Service-Safety Director Ryan Estell, all 10 of those on the certified list are guaranteed an interview.

While city council has earmarked $60,000 for the hiring of a firefighter, Chief Bill Jones has said it is possible up to three could be hired due to pending retirements in the department.

Traditionally, the service-safety director and fire chief have conducted interviews, but Estell said he and Jones have had some preliminary discussion on possibly adding community members into the mix.

This, he said, would provide more transparency in the interview process and allow those with an interest in the success of the fire department to offer their points of view.

He said possibly members of the chamber of commerce or just regular citizens might be tapped to participate, although he said they would shy away from having those from the firefighter community involved since they might have ties to some of the candidates.

During the last round of hiring for the fire department in 2012, there was an outcry when Jones’ son, Aaron, was hired as a firefighter in August, just after the March hiring of Jason Glista of Canfield, a “casual boyfriend” of the chief’s daughter.

Each was determined to have been the best qualified at the time, with Jones not participating in either of the men’s interviews.

In this round of testing, Estell’s brother, Alex, was among those who passed the written portion. He is currently a volunteer with Liverpool Township Fire Department and, should he pass the agility test, could be among those granted an interview.

Estell said he would obviously not take an active role in any such interview.