Written Exam Requirements - Firefighter
The Firefighter Selection Tool (FST™) was designed to measure numerous areas that are related to successful performance as a firefighter. Specifically, the FST™ contains questions covering two broad areas: cognitive abilities and non-cognitive traits. It is important to note that the FST™ does not measure job-specific knowledge or any specific skills that require specialized training. You will not need any specific firefighting knowledge or skills to succeed on the FST™.
In order to better familiarize you with the diversity of questions you will experience in the cognitive section of the FST™, the following table will describe each cognitive ability area and the manner in which it might be demonstrated on the job.
- Deductive Reasoning: Deductive reasoning is the ability to apply rules and principles to make decisions about what to expect from a specific situation. During training, firefighters learn about basic principles of physics and chemistry. They often apply these principles on the job.
- Mathematical Reasoning: Mathematical reasoning is a combination of the ability to perform basic arithmetic and the ability to choose the proper arithmetic formulas based on a specific situation. Firefighters use mathematical reasoning to estimate how many hose sections are required to span a distance and estimate proper ladder lengths, among other things.
- Inductive Reasoning: Inductive reasoning is the ability to combine specific pieces of information to arrive at a conclusion about what the causal relationship is between those pieces of information and the resulting outcome. Firefighters frequently exercise this ability when they take in multiple pieces of information and then make decisions about how to react to a scenario based on that information.
- Information Ordering: Information ordering is the ability to identify the best or proper order of given actions or steps. This ability is fundamental to understanding the proper order of steps in performing a specific task safely. Firefighters are trained to perform complex tasks that require properly ordering steps. Raising ladders, deploying hoseline, ventilating roofs and responding to hazardous materials are examples of some of the tasks that require the firefighter to properly follow a set sequence of steps.
- Spatial Orientation: Spatial orientation is the ability to understand how to navigate within spaces or how to get from one point to another. Firefighters require this ability to travel from the fire station to the emergency scene, but also to navigate in and out of a building that is obscured by smoke and fire.
- Visualization: Visualization is the ability to imagine how one object will impact another or how something will look after it is manipulated or rearranged. In order to understand how a fire engine’s pump operates, how to use tools effectively or how complex firefighting equipment is used to achieve its objective, visualization skills are required. Visualization is not to be confused with mechanical reasoning. While related, mechanical reasoning requires a knowledge of how machines and tools operate; including an understanding of principles such as leverage, inertia, weight, torsion, etc.
- Written Comprehension: Written comprehension is simply the ability to read the English language and understand what is being communicated. This involves an understanding of vocabulary, grammatical structure, punctuation and literary style. Firefighters are required to read and understand a vast amount of training materials and are confronted with on-going professional training throughout their career that is presented in a written format. Firefighters also have to read and understand policies, directives and tactical plans.
- Written Expression: Written expression is the ability to communicate intended thoughts using the English language. This ability requires an understanding of vocabulary, grammatical structure, punctuation and syntax. Firefighters are responsible for writing incident reports and communicating information through logs and records; therefore, firefighters must be able to communicate intelligently and professionally via the written word. It is necessary to understand how to spell common words, properly use and pair parts of language (e.g., nouns, verbs, articles, etc.), punctuate sentences properly, and compose meaningful sentences.
- Non-Cognitive Traits: These fall into two main categories: work styles (personality) and biographical data. Your predisposition to respond to people and situations in a given way is your style or personality. These traits have been developed in you over a long period of time and are considered to be very stable. Your biographical experiences are those experiences in your life that result from your abilities, interests and personality.
Once your payment is received for your testing fees, you will be emailed an Introductory Test Guide for the written examination.
You must score at least 70% on the written examination to be considered "Passing" on this portion of the exam process.
Time Allowed - 3 1/4 Hours
King County Medic One EMT Examination
If you are testing for King County Medic One you are required to take both the FST and the EMT exams. The EMT exam is based off of the AAOS: Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured (11th Edition). You can purchase the textbook and/or student workbook from the publisher's website: https://www.aaos.org/EMS/?ssopc=1 to help you prepare for the written exam.
There are 100 questions on this exam. You must score at least 70% on the EMT exam to be considered "Passing" on this portion of the exam process for King County Medic One.
Time Allowed - 2 Hours
Once you complete your test registration process, you will be provided a free Introductory Test Guide to review prior to your test date.
For studying, we recommend the Combo Preparation Guide, which includes an advanced study guide and a practice test with answer key. This product, and more, is available for purchase in our online store.
Written Exam Requirements
This test measures skills and characteristics related to the job, however no prior experience is required.
Candidate Physical Ability Test Requirements
Mandatory CPAT requirements, resources, and downloadable CPAT guides.
Test Day Requirements and Policies
Important information so you can arrive prepared on test day.
TESTING IN WASHINGTON STATE CANCELED THROUGH MAY 31, 2020
All pre-employment tests in Washington State have been canceled until May 31, 2020 unless government restrictions are eased. With recent updates, facility closures, and government guidelines, this step is necessary and could be modified at any time. The health and safety of our customers, our staff, and their families is of the highest priority.
We will continue to evaluate developments and make changes to this policy as necessary. When we do resume testing, there will be plenty of events for everyone to test. We are in regular communication with our public safety agency partners, assessing alternatives to the traditional testing model and our testing policies. Any future updates will be posted on the PST website and our Facebook page.
If you have tested with PST in the past 12 months, there may be additional positions you are now eligible to add. Several departments have temporarily changed their testing policies due to the suspension in testing that COVID-19 has caused. Please login to your PST account and navigate to the ‘New Positions’ page to see what departments you can add! We will regularly update that page in your account as departments send updates.
FUTURE TEST REGISTRATION
We know that there will be testing in the future - we just don’t know when! We want you to be prepared for when testing begins again so we have created test events on our calendar that you can register for that will place you in a queue to be first notified. These tests are not “real” test events, they are essentially a holding area. You will be able to “reschedule” out of that event to any other event date/location at no cost. Registering now will also give you time to work on your Personal History Statement (PHS) so that your data will be ready and up-to-date to send to your departments once testing resumes.
To sign up for this placeholder event, select the June 15, 2020 test date in your category (police, fire, 911 dispatch, corrections, etc.).
You may also click on the test event of interest below to sign up:
Please check back here frequently and ‘Like’ our Facebook page to stay updated.
PST staff are working remotely and are available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We anticipate a high email volume and will respond as quickly as possible.