It’s Time To Get To Work
By: Steve Engler
On Thursday May 10, 2002, the San Francisco Fire Commission took the bold and much needed step of approving the Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT) for entrance into the San Francisco Fire Department. This is a test that has been worked on for years by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). San Francisco Firefighters Local 798 has been working on obtaining and implementing it for over three years, and three Chiefs of the Department.

As stated at the meeting, this is the first action by this Commission that will have any major effect on the Department for the rest of its history. The Commission commended Local 798 and the membership on having all employee groups come together and endorsing the CPAT, and also noted that this is a program that must be needed, having the approval of all employee organizations.

The first group of new employees will begin taking this test in the late summer of 2002. In the mean time, it is time for the membership to get to work on ensuring that we correctly implement the CPAT for this first group of employees, and for all future employees.

The Commission and the Administration has asked that we conduct a transportability survey, much like the one the membership participated in February 2001. The membership will be asked to participate in the test and give a rating of it as far as it being “job related”. This is the first step in obtaining the CPAT and it is the most important thing we can all do to obtain the highest standards possible to become a San Francisco Fire Fighter. For all members that have ever asked, what can I do, or would I like to see the highest caliber of employees hired into the SFFD? Involvement in this survey is it.

The transportability survey is being scheduled now and the membership will be notified as the dates are confirmed.

Thank you to Commissioner Conroy for proposing the motion to adopt the CPAT, the other Commissioners for supporting it, the Chief of the Department and his Administration, the IAFF, IAFC, CPF, and all SFFD employee groups. Thank you also to 10th District Vice President Jim Ferguson, John Hanley, Frank Kelly, Mark Hayes, and the rest of the Executive Board, all of whom without their hard work, persistence, and dedication, this great accomplishment could not have been realized.


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