Thread: Omaha Test

  1. #1

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    Default Omaha Test

    Anybody hear anything yet? How many are they interviewing? Hiring?

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    I recently got my letter saying how I did on the test. Without saying where exactly I placed, I can say that I did really well and am looking forward to the next round, hopefully getting an interview with the chief. The letter didn't say anything about how many or when they will be hiring, only that the list goes into effect on May 5, 2007 and lasts for one year. Good luck to everyone else, and let us know if you hear any more information. Also, someone that might have gone through the interview before, what is it like and what type of questions do they ask? Thanks for the help.

    Mack

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    I'm really surprised this list is only good for one year. I don't ever remember the list only lasting one year for Omaha. I did better than I thought I would...I just don't know if it's going to be high enough to get an interview or not. I would have better odds if they extended the list for another year.

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    The word on the street is that 100 letters will be sent to random people on the list for background packets.

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    Thanks for that info, firefightertobe. If I hear anything, I'll try to keep everybody updated, too.

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    Default Omaha Test

    I received a letter the other day wanting more information about EMT history, FFI, Hazmat, etc. I assume everyone on the list got this letter?

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    Any new information on when Omaha will be hiring and how many? I got a letter recently asking about the different qualifications I have and to send it back, but it didn't say anything about background packets, hiring (how many and when), or anything else. Thanks.

    Mack

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    Yep. I got that same letter, too. I haven't heard anything else yet. It's pretty hard to find out how many Omaha will hire. I think the union contract negotiations may play a role in how many retire soon. I've been told that this is a good list to be on.

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    Study says police, fire departments should downsize
    BY KAREN SLOAN
    WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER



    The Omaha Police and Fire Departments should downsize in order to save money, according to a much anticipated efficiency study.

    Full details on the $275,000 taxpayer-funded study are being released Tuesday, but The World-Herald has learned of several key recommendations.

    The Police Department could eliminate 36 officer positions and hire some lower-paid civilian employees to help fill the gap.

    The study also recommends reducing the number of firefighters from four to three on each pump and ladder truck.

    The City Council hired Matrix Consulting Group, a California-based firm, to conduct the study. The firm has examined police and fire departments in more than 20 cities in the past two years.

    Matrix President Richard Brady outlined the study's findings for Mayor Mike Fahey, City Council members and several city administrators Monday.

    Fahey will wait to read the full study before commenting on the recommendations, said his Chief of Staff Paul Landow. Brady told Fahey that the study concluded that both departments are meeting performance standards, Landow said.

    "The mayor was told we have outstanding police and fire departments," Landow said. "We're pleased with that."

    There's no certainty that the mayor or City Council will make any of the recommended changes.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out.....hopefully the city council and mayor are for keeping 4 on a truck.

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    Saw this little tidbit in the Omaha World Herald last night. If this number stays the same or increases, looks like there could be quite a few new hires this next year or so. I wonder if they will extend the current eligibility list, if needed?

    "The City of Omaha is seeing a wave of retirements this year in both the police and fire departments, largely because those who retire under current union contracts will have pensions that are a larger percentage of their salaries than ever before. City officials are pushing for changes in the new union contracts.

    So far, 103 — 54 firefighters and 49 police officers — have filed papers indicating they will retire in 2007, said Carol Ebdon, finance director for the city."

  11. #11
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    Default Hope it's true!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCrow1994 View Post
    So far, 103 — 54 firefighters and 49 police officers — have filed papers indicating they will retire in 2007, said Carol Ebdon, finance director for the city."
    If that's true, then you guys are in nearly a once-in-a-lifetime event. With that many retirees, this is the year to be an Omaha candidate. My cousin's on the oral board in Lincoln and sounds like Lincoln doesn't need too many FF's this year so it's Omaha's turn.

    I shouldn't have read that. It makes me sick to know that I couldn't have made it to the test this year.

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    Beiner,

    I tested in Lincoln the last time they held the test. I'm on their eligibilty list, which got extended another year, but I'm not planning on seeing a second interview with them. I am extremely excited about the possibilities of getting an interview with Omaha. If they interview 2 or 3 people per position opening...I fall within that range.

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    More updated numbers....according to the Omaha World Herald.

    "The rush for the exit door has become more crowded than expected, as Omaha police officers and firefighters are retiring in bunches.

    The Fahey administration had expected about 100 police and firefighters to leave their posts before the end of the year. The number who have told the city of plans to retire has reached 115 and probably will grow to 125.

    Fifty-four firefighters and 49 police officers have filed their retirement papers. Twelve more firefighters have notified the department they intend to retire yet this year."

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    The Police Department could eliminate 36 officer positions and hire some lower-paid civilian employees to help fill the gap.

    The study also recommends reducing the number of firefighters from four to three on each pump and ladder truck.
    I have to say gents, I think it is pretty messed up when the mayor of a city needs to hire a consulting company for $275K to tell him his “departments are meeting expectations” and then tell him where cuts need to be made.

    I am going on record publically to tell all of you out there *(including you Mr. Mayor)*that reducing people on a truck in particular, from 4 to 3 is a big mistake. This kind of behavior is nothing new from Mike Fahey with his infamous “hands off” management. Quint means FIVE (5) operations. Four people should be a bare minimum.

    Back to your hire discussion gents and good luck! TL

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    With all due respect, TL, it was Omaha city councilman Dan Welch who spearheaded the consulting company study. Mayor Fahey was against the study from the beginning and is AGAINST the recommendation of reducing the number of firefighters on a truck. Either way though, you're right, that's a lot of wasted money.

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    Well good for him then! It appears I was wrong about his involvement in this. I have just been seeing alot of news on this downsizing lately and never saw him speak out against it.

    Too bad about the money though - there goes some good wages or proceeds toward a new apparatus. TL

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    Published Tuesday | August 28, 2007
    Omaha City Council approves 2008 budget; won't reduce fire staff
    BY RICK RUGGLES
    WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER


    A push to cut firetruck staffing from four to three firefighters failed Tuesday during Omaha City Council budget discussions.

    The issue dominated budget deliberations, provoking hard words between Council President Dan Welch, a proponent of the reduced staffing plan, and Omaha Firefighters Union President Darren Bates, among others.

    Welch and Councilman Franklin Thompson cast the only votes in favor of trimming the budget by $6.9 million by cutting Fire Department positions through attrition.

    The council passed virtually the same budget proposed in July by Mayor Mike Fahey. Fahey wanted to keep the property tax rate at 43.387 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, and the council agreed.

    The council voted down a proposal by Councilmen Chuck Sigerson and Jim Vokal to reduce that rate by a half-cent per $100 of assessed valuation.

    The argument over Omaha Fire Department staffing lasted 90 minutes. Welch repeatedly referred to an independent study issued this summer by Matrix Consulting Group. The study suggested, among other recommendations, that the Fire Department could cut firefighter positions without significantly reducing the level of fire-protection service it provides.

    Citizens offered the council conflicting views of the notion. Rodney Rea said reduction of the staff size on firetrucks is "long overdue. And it's a drain on city resources — it's got to be curbed."

    Stacey Anderson, however, said she lives next door to a fire station in northeast Omaha and respects the service they provide the city. "Every time I hear that alarm go off and they leave, I say a prayer," Anderson said.

    Before any debate took place, Councilman Frank Brown asked that a decision be made immediately by "calling the question" to a vote. Brown said it made no sense to have a budget proposal for three firefighters per truck when the city has an ordinance calling for four per truck. The council decided, however, to hold what amounted to a public hearing on the issue.

    Welch came back to Brown's call later in the debate. "I've been here for six years and never has anybody called the question before a proper debate on the issue," Welch said.

    Bates, the fire union president, accused Welch of having a personal political agenda in pushing for the staff reductions. "You don't care what we say," Bates said.

    Welch fired back at Bates. "You didn't like the Matrix study results," Welch said, calling himself a mere messenger for an important matter. Then he noted that Bates is a City Council member in Council Bluffs — a city in which firetrucks generally are staffed with three firefighters.

    Other council members, however, said the message they heard from Omahans is that they did not want to tamper with public safety. "If you don't have public safety," Sigerson said, "you have nothing."

    After his proposal went down, Welch was the sole council member to vote against passing the 2008 budget.

    That budget sets the general fund at $269 million, up about 3.4 percent from 2007.

    The budget the council approved featured only two minor changes from Fahey's proposal in July. The budget passed Tuesday included $1.1 million in the general fund for annexations approved this month on the West Maple Road corridor, and the council increased anticipated cable franchise fee revenues by $168,000 and allocated them to the contingency reserve account.

    The council also postponed until Sept. 18 a vote on the Omaha Capital Improvement Program, a six-year strategy for capital projects. That postponement means the overall budget could be tweaked by the council.

    Omaha property owners next year will pay the same tax rate they have paid since 2002. The rate of 43.387 cents per $100 of assessed valuation means the owner of a $100,000 home will pay about $434.

    The City of Omaha has managed to collect more property tax revenues without raising the property tax rate the past several years. Assessed valuation for a typical home in Omaha has gone up about 35 percent since 2002.

    Consequently, homes valued for tax purposes at $100,000 six years ago will have a valuation of about $135,000 now. That increase would raise the city property tax paid by the homeowner from $434 in 2002 to $586 in 2008.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This should open up the door for interviews to start soon. Good luck everyone!

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    I received a background packet from OFD's Background Investigation Bureau today. So be on the lookout for this to show up via the mail soon. Looks like things are progressing forward at this point.

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    I too received my background packet in the mail this weekend. I am finishing it today and getting everything in the mail as soon as possible. Hopefully they get things going soon, I am so excited to be at this stage, I just hope to be chosen for a chief's interview. I talked to HR and they said they weren't sure about a timeline for interviews or even when an academy would start, and didn't even think the chief knew for sure either. Keep us all posted to any new news about Omaha and the hiring process. Thanks and good luck to everyone.

    Mack

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    Keep your eyes peeled for a letter concerning making an appointment for a Chief's interview. They should be arriving this week to all that make it to that step in the process. Good luck!

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    Crow,
    How do you know that they are going out this week. I am just curious, but you seem to always have a lot of information and it is always correct, do you have a contact or something? Did they get all the background checks done this fast that they are sending out letters for chief's interviews? Any idea of what kind of stuff they will ask in a chief's interview? I have only made it to the civil service interviews but never chief's, so I am pretty anxious and nervous. Not to get ahead of myself, but I really hope I get the letter. Thanks for all the information and keep it coming. Good luck to you Crow.

    Mack

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    Mack,

    I'm not sure if they've completed all the initial background checks or not. I just got a letter in the mail today about the Chief's interview, that's how I know about the letters. I live in Omaha, so I'm sure I get the mail the day after anything is sent out. The letter states that we have until Friday at 4 pm to schedule an interview. Sounds like it is going to be a one on one interview, too. Good luck to you, too, Mack!

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    I know that not all of the Chief's interviews have been completed yet, but does anybody have any idea how much longer they will be doing interviews and what is the next step? Any information on notification process for those fortunate enough to continue?

    Thanks.

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    Crow,
    Sorry but I can't help you out as to when they will let us know about the next step, but I have my interview Oct 9, and I think that is probably the last week they are conducting interviews. I am not sure what the next step is, but like you, I am getting excited. Good luck in your interview and all the other steps.

    Mack

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    Mack,

    Good luck to you, too. Hopefully we both make it through to the next step in the process. I guess if there's one thing we learn through all this...it's patience. I'll let you know if I hear anything after the interviews are completed and if you could do the same for me, that would be great. Take care.

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