We are well into 2022 and have completed an update to our Fire Officer Interview Book. This is our most popular book which contains questions and answers from fire Captain and Lieutenant Interviews around the country. Here is one of our recent additions to the book.

As a Captain, you have a new engineer who has had several minor accidents in the recent past including hitting curbs, backing into a parked car, and striking the side mirror on the fire house while leaving for a call. How will you handle this individual?

Key talking points: This question is addressing several things. First the behavior of the individual. Is this a carelessness issue? A failure to follow procedures? Or something else. You need to speak to expectations as his new Captain. Set clear standards. Finally you need to speak to crew development and training.

Example Answer: On my first day working with this individual I will set time aside to have an expectations meeting. I will let the individual know my expectations for an engineer. This will include following all SOPs on driving and backing the apparatus, not allowing distractions in the engine, and ongoing driver training. I would have these written out and provide him a copy. I would also ask the engineer about the incidents to see if there is a specific training issue that can be addressed. It is possible that a trend can be identified such as poor night vision. In this case I would also develop several strategies to help develop my new engineer and ensure these accidents don’t continue. One of the things I would try is to place him in charge of all driving and pumping training. We would work together on developing the training classes, but I would allow him some autonomy in delivering the classes. My goal is that this new responsibility would help him. Another strategy I would use is to make challenges during our cone course training. Small competitions such as who can do the best alley dock challenge might help to motivate him.

Fire Officer Interview Questions