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  1. #1
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    Question Battalion Chief exams

    During our Battalion Chief promotion process, we will have to complete an In-Basket portion. I have taken it in the past (without much success)and need some pointers. If you would be willing to help, I'll trade some knowledge in worthless worrying. I feel that I'm getting pretty good at it. Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
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    Default In-and-Out Basket:

    During the in-and-out basket exercise you will be given tasks to make a decision and complete in a specified time. You probably won’t complete all the tasks. The “Nugget” here is to go through the in basket completely and separate the tasks in order of importance and amount of time they would require to complete. Do the simple tasks first. It will help you feel less overwhelmed with the pile. Try to handle the task the first time you pick it up. Make a decision and move on.

    Some items just need your signature of approval. Leave the tasks that will require the most time until last. You may never get to some of them. That is O.K.. If you can do a hard in-basket item the raters will know you can do the simple ones.

    Many candidates get bogged down trying to complete every task. The secret “Nugget” here is to delegate, delegate, delegate as much as possible. If you're lucky, just a quick note to delegate and calendar a follow up date in your day timer will get it to the out basket and onto the next task. Often though they will want you to write out what you would actually do.

    The format is changing. Don't be surprised if you show up and they hand you a pass word for a computer. They want to see if you can log on, do response and training reports, line ups, schedule vacations, and answer e-mail. You could also answer voice mails from citizens and other complaints.

    I bumped into Ray after his promotional test. He started talking about the guys with less seniority, the salesman type that jumped ahead of him on the list. When he told me it wasn't fair he had lost value points in the In and Out Basket because those newer medics had the advantage of doing all their reports, I said don't tell me you were not helping your captain out with his reports? He said he didn't it would be part of the test. Ray ended up number six, when he should have had a badge.

    At the end of this exercise they will want you to justify what you have done. This is another great opportunity to use your personal experience stories.


    Check for items that could relate to each other. In one test a firefighter turned in a form for 24 hours overtime. Another form showed the same firefighter going off on sick leave after 14 hours on the same shift. Both should have been denied and returned to the firefighter for correction.

    Another test gave the candidates the assignment to prepare a speech to be delivered to the mayor at 6:00 p.m. that same evening. Some candidates lost valuable time attempting to write the entire speech. A simple outline of an opening, three major points, a summary, question and answer time, and a conclusion would have covered this assignment. It’s time and presentation that’s being tested, not the subject.

    During an in and out basket exercise with several candidates, a rater went around and handed each a notice that they would have a staff meeting in a half an hour. They were to discuss ways in cutting the fire department budget by 10%. All the candidates showed up with the notice in their hands except David. He had picked up the cue and used the outline formula from the previous paragraph, already knew the department budget and was prepared to start the meeting off with direction. As the other candidates floundered, he made the major point from his outline: Our budget is made up of 90% salaries. How can we cut the budget 10% without cutting salaries?

    David not only demonstrated he was prepared, but also knew this would be a difficult task. As the other candidates were still trying to gear up, David had the solution to put off hiring a new recruit class until next year when attrition would balance the budget.
    Bravo David for seizing the opportunity to capture that badge!

    For more on promotional interviews, click here:

    http://www.eatstress.com/promo.htm

    Captain Bob

    www.eatstress.com

  3. #3
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    Default In basket test

    We are setting up Battalion chief testing. Can you tell me about the in basket test?

  4. #4
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    Nov 2005
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    Default

    Here is a wealth of information you will find extremely helpful for your promotion to Battalion Chief (or Captain). I put it together from years of proctoring and writing promotional exams. It's free of charge. Shoot me an email if I can answer any questions for you.

    http://www.aspiringfirefighters.com/...s.html#capt_bc

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  5. #5
    Forum Member
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    Aug 2002
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nrspezz View Post
    We are setting up Battalion chief testing. Can you tell me about the in basket test?
    Check out www.fireprep.com

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