Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Dec. 17, 2001

Winsted Fire Department formalizes application process

By Julie Yurek

What is a Winsted firefighter?

This is the question the Winsted Fire Department recently decided to put down on paper.

Previously, the qualifications for fire fighters were not written down, Fire Chief Paul Herbolsheimer said.

The department decided it was time for something to be recorded that could be given to interested applicants, he said.

Currently, the department plans to fill a number of positions, Herbolsheimer said.

Volunteer firefighters are always needed, said Fire Chief Paul Herbolsheimer.

The first application filing date is Jan. 1 to March 1. There is a second application filing date from July 1, 2002 to Sept. 1, 2002, he said.

Creating a document with specific guidelines is something that every fire department does, or should do, in order to keep up with new regulations or codes set by the state or city, Herbolsheimer said.

Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush urged Americans to "become a September the 11th volunteer" by making a commitment to service in our own communities.

"You can become a volunteer in an emergency medical, fire, or rescue unit." Bush said.

Some basic qualifications of firefighter candidates include a high school diploma or GED, a valid Minnesota state driver's license with a good record, and effective communication, both verbally and written.

All candidates must pass a written exam, be in physical condition to successfully pass a physical agility test, complete a medical exam including a hearing and vision test, and must meet or exceed established standards.

The firefighters' written exam includes questions on reading comprehension, basic math, basic sciences, mechanical aptitude, and communication skills, he said.

All eligible candidates will be interviewed at an oral interview board. This interview will include a discussion of the candidate's education, employment experience, and military background.

Also discussed is the person's driving history and other related skills and qualifications.

Applicants should direct their questions to the Winsted Fire Department, Herbolsheimer said.

Applications will be available Jan. 1 at the city office.

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