MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon should have a new fire chief by the beginning of November, according to City Safety-Service Director David Glass. The fire chief test, which is a competitive civil service test, will be given Oct. 18.
“I would hope we would have the results of the test and a candidate chosen within two weeks of the test,” Glass said.
The applications are due by Friday. As of this morning, Assistant Chief Chris Menapace and Capt. Joseph Jurkowitz have applied to take the test. Then there will be a 30-day study period before the test is given.
“Eligibility to apply is based on the civil service test being competitive,” Glass explained. “They have to be competitive. And obviously, the first one who is eligible is the assistant chief. Because that wouldn’t be competitive since we only have one assistant chief it would drop down to the next lower rank which is captain. All the captains (in the MVFD) would become eligible to take the test.
“When we wrote the ad for the position, we put at the bottom that if enough captains didn’t apply we would take lieutenants. We would have to have at least one captain to apply before that would drop down again.”
Glass said eligibility is limited to MVFD personnel, that it is a promotional test.
Determination of the winning applicant will depend, for the most part, on the final test scores according to Glass.
“There are some angles for us to skip down to a lower score if the evaluation of the candidate is such,” he said. “The criteria to go beyond the highest score is pretty limited. Unless you can disqualify someone it isn’t going to happen. And that would be pretty hard to do since all the candidates have been promoted several times and any qualification problems would have come up by now. So that’s not likely.”
The test will be sent back to the company that wrote it for grading and evaluation and Glass expects that should take about a week.
Final determination of the successful candidate is made by Glass based on the test scores and candidate interviews. Glass and Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis will also conduct interviews with the candidates but unless those result in any unsatisfactory information that would disqualify a candidate, Glass will hire the candidate with the highest test score. The hiring is done by Glass and is not dependent on a vote by city council.
“I would hope the process would be completed within a week after we get the test scores back,” Glass said. “So we should have a new fire chief by the beginning of November.”