Ottumwa Fire Department holds entrance exams for new firefighter hire

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 10:59 PM CST
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - Eight months ago, Ottumwa’s fire department lost five firefighters after cuts to the budget.

However, Tuesday’s entrance exams, as Deputy Chief Cory Benge explains, aren’t to replace those lost jobs.

“The number’s still the same. We’re not adding any additional staff.”

Instead, a resignation created the vacancy.

Which means, out of these four applicants…

Benge says: “at this point, we’re looking to hire one person.”

The entrance exams were held at the Bridgeview Center, filling the expo hall with a fire truck, hoses, and dummies.

That’s all for the first part of the exam, a physical agility exam.

That consists of climbing the full extended fire truck ladder, following a hose blindly, and tests of speed, such as breaking through a roof, dragging a body, and pulling a hose.

Then, an oral interview with the Chiefs, and then a written exam.

The Fire Department is moving fast in the hiring process.

The Deputy Chief told KYOU they plan to hire someone by next week.

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