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Bloomfield Township Fire Department has a probationary employee evaluation

program. In the program, the new employee is taught and trained in areas they will be

tested on during this one-year period. This system carries the proper format for an

evaluation. According to Robert Maddux, “Employees need to know what is expected of

them. Once they have been told it is up to them to perform. If expectations are not

clearly stated, understood and presented in measurable terms, performance will be

difficult to evaluate” (1987). The department follows this theory, however, are the

contents of the test appropriate? “We need to look at the job description in order to

figure out the job specifications. We must design our evaluation on the specifications

(characteristics, knowledge, skill and training experiences needed)” Singer (1990). With

this in mind we must concentrate the test material to specific job related functions.

The probationary fire fighter evaluation is an on going “performance appraisal”

throughout their first year of employment. As paraphrased from Fire Chief magazine,

“performance evaluations serve three purposes in the fire department. One is to inform

the subordinate on how they are doing, the second is to give supervisors an objective

method to evaluate performance. And the third purpose is to identify and correct any

deficient behavior” (Aurnhammer, 1996). Through the use of a daily evaluation form,

our officers have the opportunity to communicate the above information to the rookie

employee. The constant monitoring of the rookie’s progress should be well documented

with this tool. In theory, this form should help our new recruits reach their expected

goals of trained knowledge, work ethic, attitude and performance ability.


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