A New Legal Advisor Would Help, Too
THE JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, FIRE DEPARTMENT has got itself in a pickle after 26 recruits in a class of 28 flunked the State Certification Exam. It was learned that the final exam was administered in November, but after the massive fail rate the fire department has been trying to get the Minimum Standards Board to permit the city to re-test the recruits themselves. The recruit schools run for 12 weeks in Jackson's own academy which has recently started another school of 12 recruits.
The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports:
Jackson Fire Chief Raymond McNulty would respond to questions from The Clarion-Ledger only in an email through city spokesman Chris Mims. Some of McNulty's responses were not clear or did not appear to directly answer the questions.
The Minimum Standards Board established a committee to inquire into the situation regarding Jackson recruits when the board discussed the matter in November.
The situation with the recruits apparently arises from a discrepancy between what JFD taught and what actually is on the minimum standards test, though the Minimum Standard Board approved Jackson's curriculum.
WLBT-TV posted this video report on the situation:
In the meantime, the 26 FF's that failed have been getting paid while they await the settlement of the problem. The fire chief says that state law requires them to be certified before they can be allowed to perform as firefighters, so they remain in limbo.
Not true, says Joel Jones, attorney for the Mississippi Fire Personnel Minimum Standards and Certification Board.
"Jackson apparently has an internal policy that they don't actually use guys as firemen until they've passed the course. That's a Jackson policy," Jones said. "State law says after they hire someone they have to be certified in a year. There's no restriction in the state law as to how they use that person, they just can't pay them after a year unless they're certified."
The Clarion-Ledger says that this isn't the first time that Jackson has had learning problems:
An internal affairs report dated Sept. 20, 2005, obtained by The Clarion-Ledger, states that "approximately 80 percent of 2005 recruit class felt that the class was poorly organized and did not receive the quality of training expected."
The report further states: "The class stated that they were given a book for Jackson Fire Department Training Class and later it was determined that this was the wrong book. Instructor (Keith) Simpson told them that they will continue to train from the book. The recruit class felt that improper material affected their academic performance on the Minimum Standard Test."
The report concludes that "The overhaul of (the training) division may be the key to better this department in the future."
Apparently they didn't get a new key.
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Also on FireGeezer…
- Another Unauthorized Video Has a Fire Chief Fuming – July 6, 2012
- Teaching the next generation – October 12, 2012