WHAT IS THE COMMUNITY RELATIONS EXERCISE?
Fire Departments are increasingly under pressure to deal with a variety of requests, as well as complaints, by members of the public; and as a consequence, fire department personnel must have excellent skills in dealing with members of the community. Community support is vital to fire organizations. If fire department personnel are unresponsive, or ineffective in dealing with the community, there is a high risk of losing community support. The Community Relations exercise is designed to identify those who have the skills necessary to deal effectively with concerns expressed by members of the community. Candidates must meet with a citizen (role player) to discuss a complaint. They are given background information on the complaint prior to the meeting, but are also expected to develop additional information during the meeting.
POSITIONS USED FOR?
The Community Relations exercise may be used for any fire department supervisory or management position.
COMMUNITY RELATIONS USED FOR:
>>>>• Fire Lieutenant
>>>>• Fire Captain
>>>>• Fire Battalion Chief
>>>>• Fire Assistant Chief
>>>>• Fire Deputy Chief
The Community Relations exercise is an oral simulation. It consists of a detailed problem related to a member of the department. The candidate (who assumes the role of the fire department supervisor assigned to meet with a citizen regarding a complaint) must review background information, then meet with the citizen (i.e., role player) to discuss the situation. Candidates are given 20 minutes to review the background information, then up to a maximum of 15 minutes to meet with the citizen. Role players are supplied with detailed information regarding the problem, as well as explicit instructions on how they are to relate to the candidate.
SCORING AND REPORTING OF RESULTS
MPS does all of the scoring for you. Results are reported in the form of a rank-ordered list of the candidates. In addition, MPS uses a behavioral checklist approach to provide performance feedback for candidates on each of the factors measured. Behavioral checklists include both positive and negative behavioral descriptors, and are designed to assist candidates in identifying strengths, weaknesses, and developmental needs. Results are supplied via email in pdf format.
VIDEOTAPING THE EXERCISE
All necessary instructions and diagrams to properly set up and videotape the exercise are supplied. All that is required is a standard video camera and 1/2" VHS videotaping system and/or digital system to produce a DVD. No camera work is required.