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Morgantown Fire provides practice, learning opportunity for potential candidates

What does it take to become a firefighter?  The Morgantown Fire Department is opening its doors this Saturday and inviting potential candidates to see what it takes first-hand.

The open house will begin at 1 p.m. at the Northside Fire Station, 1000 Van Voorhis Road in Morgantown.  Anyone planning on taking the upcoming firefighter agility test or learning more about firefighter requirements and training is encouraged to attend.

MFD, which is looking to fill several positions, wants to give potential candidates the opportunity to see and practice elements of the required physical agility test in order to help more candidates move on to the written test portion.

“We want everybody to have an equal shot at it and know what they’re getting into so when they come to the actual test there’s a higher pass rate,” MFD Firefighter 1st Class John Moore said.

There are six components to the agility test: the stair climb, hose drag, equipment carry, forcible entry, search and rescue.  In order to pass, all elements of the test must be completed correctly in 7 minutes, 15 seconds or less.

Moore said during the open house current members of the department will give a walkthrough of the course and explain each of the components step-by-step.  Firefighters will also give participants tips and tricks that have worked to help shave time.

After the walkthrough, Moore said they will open the individual elements so participants can practice on whatever they want.

“People typically want to do the stair climber to see what that’s about,” Moore said.  “Then a lot of people want to do the keiser sled, which is our forcible entry prop, to see what that’s about. That’s where most people tend to focus.”

The department released a YouTube video — MFD Fire Agility Test — explaining how to properly complete each element of the test, including information on little things that can cause a failure.  Moore said he encourages anyone thinking about applying to watch the video before coming out so they have an idea of what to expect.

Applicants and open house participants are expected to wear long pants, a work-type shirt like a sweatshirt or T-shirt, and a work-type shoe that extends above the ankle area to ensure proper ankle support — these can be tennis shoes. 

Moore said gloves, helmets and the 50-pound weighted vests used for the test will be provided.  Anyone wanting to practice the test will be required to sign a waiver.

The official agility portion of the entry level process will be at 8 a.m. July 30 at the Northside Fire Station. Those who pass the agility test will be notified they can move forward with the written examination, which will be Aug. 31.

MFD will be accepting applications until July 28.  Applications are available on the city’s website or may be picked up at the city clerk’s office, 430 Spruce St., Morgantown.

More information regarding additional applicant requirements can be found at  

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