Norwalk Fire Department Announces Candidate Test Results

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A total of 87 candidates will be asked to take the upcoming oral portion of the the Norwalk Fire Department test.
A total of 87 candidates will be asked to take the upcoming oral portion of the the Norwalk Fire Department test. Photo Credit: Miguel Cruz

NORWALK, Conn. – A total of 87 Norwalk Fire Department candidates scored high enough on a recent written test to move on to the oral portion, the department announced Thursday.

Candidates needed a score of 86 or higher to advance. Nearly 1,000 candidates took the Dec. 8 test, and their scores were posted on the city’s website using personal identification numbers to protect their privacy.

The department expects to hire 10 to 15 firefighters from the current group of candidates over the next three years, according to Fire Chief Denis McCarthy.

The oral tests will begin Feb. 5 and run for three consecutive days, McCarthy said.

“There will be four recruits sent to the Fire Academy in September 2013, and the remaining recruits will be hired over the next three years,” he said. The candidate list is valid for two years, but the city’s Board of Fire Commissioners can vote to extend the list for an additional year.

Currently, the Norwalk Fire Department has 130 firefighter positions, with six posts of that group permanently held vacant and absorbed through overtime, according to McCarthy. With senior officers, fire marshals, support and other staffers, the full department has 145.5 positions. One mechanic position is part time.

The department usually hires “from the top 25 of the final list” of candidates in rank order, McCarthy said, taking their combined test scores from the written and oral exams. The candidate’s scores for the two components are weighted each at 50 percent to determine the final rank.

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A job at the Norwalk Fire Dept. is like hitting the lottery; starting salary (for someone with just a high school diploma or GED) higher than what most entry-level engineers can expect to make out of the gate, near or above six-figure compensation within just a few years, incredibly generous taxpayer funded retirements that may endure thirty or fourty years, new high-priced boat and truck and a palatial new headquarters.

It's no wonder that while property values in this city have fallen dramatically, the taxes on said properties has risen! A paradox indeed.

And all because the city's political forces have sold-out Norwalk's taxpayers in exchange for the fire union's backing.

Let the games begin Mayors math at work

Currently, the Norwalk Fire Department has 130 firefighter positions, with six posts of that group permanently held vacant and absorbed through overtime,

This all seems so innocent and to be this honest early in the year its certain we will see more firefighters on the high paid list than any year before.

That new fire boat will use all the overtime by itself ,driver training anything left over leaving the city with probably a big nut,and no room to use those six positions.

Any Norwalk taxpayer can follow the money trail but for now lets talk instead of dumoing all kinds of money into a free fireboat lets hear what the plans are to staff a boat now costing what another station would cost on land.

Norwalk has been sold on McCarthy yet some of hos men still are not on the same train out of the station.

Instead lets suggest a money maker and hear wht the department has to say.

If the fire dept had an ambulance it would make back its money in a short time.Ambuances on most fire dept pays for itself and adds to the fire fund.If this was not the case how does other local depts fire ambulances keep taking Norwalk patients and still afford to run?

They get paid just like any other ambulance does at times the average bill puts a $1,000 dollars back into their city or dept each run.This is no lie why would year after year ambulances from outside the city on the average of 5 times a day transport Norwalk patients so they could lose money working with Norwalk?I doubt any town aroound complains about the money coming in.

Where the fire dept simply costs us money and not privy to how much we get back in fines from what the fire marshals generate maybe its time to stop the $150,000 firefighters yearly nut and put things aback into perspective.

Someone with a gift for numbers could figure this out new skyrocketing costs to protect the city with no faster response or coverage unless outside towns help like Wiltons high water rescue comes into help is needed.

yes there are those who will not agree ,but bear in mind the department is building up for new construction that was already to be in place and now 5 years later no new buildings residential or commercial the equipment bought for such coverage in te city has left a aging fleet ready to replace before any of this new construction will be finished.

Odd how the fire dept mabe do without the new fire station once the old one came down,I think there is room to argue maybe Norwalk has been sold on a plan to simply increase salary lacking new equipment for land fires and decrease the drive to keep our tax base working without increase.There is no plus to running a dept without making some money back with those shifts of 20 plus men responding to what is called pick and choose calls.

There will be others who think this is attacking firemen while some agree the equipment and personal protection is more important to the firemen than window dressing.

Recently two firemen were almost hurt the circumstance to those close to the situation will tell you communication at a fire for safety is more important than the bells and whistles of needless equipment.Trucks boats and even creating overtime is not more important than the equipment needed to keep our firefighters safe.

A breakdown of expenses should be the next step in before suggesting what can be done an outside audit of equipment and manpower taking other fire depts data on adding an ambulance for revenue should be sitting on the top of the list.Its done in Ct as in all over the country larger the city more the savings and the reduce cost of running a department.A study may tell you what trucks will need replacing and what kind of short trucks are needed to fight fires in a city like Norwalk growning with high rise plans.

Norwalks plans are not always serving the needs when a city this size has to plan around developers sucking the city dry.