The Colorado Division of Fire Safety has launched an investigation into examinations given to certify firefighters following a discovery that a testing proctor may have provided advance copies of the tests to certification candidates, Division Director Kevin Klein said Tuesday.
The Division tests and certifies the training of firefighters in Colorado.
The proctor, who assisted in delivering tests to firefighters, is alleged to have copied several versions of the DFS Firefighter I, Firefighter II, HazMat Operations and Fire Instructor I examinations. He is suspected of giving copies of the tests ahead of the actual exams to an unknown number of candidates.
DFS said it believes the number of firefighters who were given advance copies to be no greater than 100. Candidates from multiple jurisdictions may have received copies of the tests. The cheating may have begun within the past three years, although the exact date has not yet been determined.
As a result of the investigation, DFS has suspended all testing for the time being. In addition it has developed new versions of the tests. Before the testing compromise was discovered, DFS planned to implement a secure online testing system that should prevent any form of cheating, Klein said. He announced also that DFS has launched a thorough administrative investigation into the alleged cheating and is working with the office of the Colorado Attorney General and local prosecutors to determine the need for a criminal investigation.
Depending on the outcome of the DFS investigation, other steps may be taken by the Division to change the testing process, Klein said.
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