1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Gulf Coast of Alabama

    Default Background checks on new applicants

    There is one old thread on this subject that I would like to bring up again to see what some newer members to the forum may have to offer.

    Past experience has taught our department a cruel lesson on how you take on new members on a volunteer fire department. Two seperate firefighters have proven to be clepto-maniacs, habitual liars and just not of the caliber we want to become a firefighter in our department. Both were "asked" to resign and they did.

    However, past recruitment and hiring actions of the chief have not been corrected in our volunteer departments hiring/firing practices - that is about to change now that I am in charge of the verbal interview of the candidates wanting to join our ranks, we have a committee of 3 firefighters interview the applicant. We do require applicants to fill out a 5 page application and under go a 90 day probationary period.

    Now I have a few questions:
    1. Do you have local/state law enforcement authorities check for an NCIC criminal history and other databases ?

    2. Do you interview the applicants present and past employeers?

    3. Do you check the applicants driving record?

    4. Do you contact personal references in a cascade methodology ( keep asking for other references as you interview those that were originally submitted by the applicant - this will take you to the real truth about the individual the further away you get from the original list of reference supplied by the applicant ).

    Any other items that you include in you new hiring of individuals that our department should consider?


  2. #2
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Westerly, R.I.

    Default Points to consider

    My department does run a quick background check via the local P.D. We are also writing a new driver certification SOG that will require driver training applicants to agree to a motor vehicle violation check, also via the local P.D. That application will also require the applicant to agree to submit to drug testing at the department's request and expense. We do not conduct regular drug testing, but want the option available in case of apparatus accident or if the need to ensure compliance to a no drug policy is needed.

    Whatever you do, I would recommend that you have applicants sign a permission statement at the bottom of your membership application. In addition, I would recommend that you consult with a local attorney in order to insure that you are in no way violating anyone's rights with any actions you may take or policies you may put into effect

    In the sue-happy society we live in, it is necessary to protect yourself and your department from litigation, plus it is the right thing to protect members rights.

    Also, in the effort to achieve fair and equal treatment for all applicants and members, you should spell out in a policy or SOG exactly what are grounds for non-acceptance. Putting it down in writing (again, be sure it is legal) gives you something to fall back on to show a decision made was not arbitrary.

    Ask the attorney to advise you regarding the confidentiality of personnel files and information, also.
    Last edited by SafetyOff33; 03-21-2002 at 03:04 AM.
    Lead by example...
    Safety first...

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2002


    A background check will help to eliminate some of the problems we have. Does this person have a felony record or prior criminal activity that could point towards arson behaviour. In light of some recent examples, does the person hold certifications, degree's or diplomas from agencies that exist? How do you find out? Easy - look it up.

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