essential that our new recruits are taught, trained and evaluated properly within their
probationary period (first year) in order to help distinguish what kind of employee they
may be. Fire officers need to look for trainable, motivated and enthusiastic members
and develop them into a first-rate fire department employees. Once found, we need to
be fair to the new recruit and devise a system that evaluates them in all the right areas.
When done properly, the evaluation tool will help confirm that our findings are correct
about the ability and attitude of the rookie fire fighter. If the probationary evaluation
process is flawed, then both the department and a career minded fire fighter suffer.
Bloomfield Township Fire Department has a probationary employee process for
this purpose. However, is our process doing what we want? Is our process training the
new employee in the correct areas, are we evaluating the proper attributes of the
employee? Are department goals known for the new employee? Is our daily process
helping the employee reach their goal? Does the new recruit even have a goal? These
are just a few questions that need to be answered about the evaluation process we
have for new employees.
Therefore, an in depth study of the rookie fire fighter process is presented in
order to determine its validity. Through this study it was found that some basic
fundamentals of the probationary evaluation are excellent and that other areas are a
waste of time and resources. In this ever changing emergency business is there a
rookie evaluation program that accurately covers all the needs of both the new recruit
and the fire department?