An ordinance revising the promotional procedures for the Columbus Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services; and for other purposes.
THE COUNCIL OF COLUMBUS, GEORGIA HEREBY ORDAINS:
Sec. 11-17.1. - Administrative responsibility.
The chief of the department of fire and emergency medical services of the consolidated government of Columbus, Georgia, shall have administrative responsibility for all matters relating to the promotional procedures of the department, except as otherwise may be provided for herein.
Sec. 11-17.2. - Use of external sources.
In order to provide for an impartial implementation of this article, the city manager, upon approval of the Columbus Council, shall contract with, or otherwise arrange with, an examination administrator outside the consolidated government of Columbus, Georgia to prepare and administer all written examinations and assessment centers. No member of the consolidated government of Columbus, Georgia shall serve as an evaluator in any assessment center conducted specifically to implement the provisions of this article.
Sec. 11-17.3. - Definitions.
The following definitions shall be used to administer and interpret this division:
(a) Applicant: Employees who assert they are eligible for promotion to the rank of fire sergeant, fire lieutenant, fire captain, fire battalion chief in the department of fire and emergency medical services of the consolidated government of Columbus, Georgia.
(b) Appointed/provisional rank: Employee appointed to a specific rank by the chief in compliance with this division. Appointed ranks include fire prevention division chief, training division chief, fire prevention division chief, deputy chiefs and assistant chief.
Non-Chief appointed provisional rank: assistant training officer (captain), fire prevention (captain), training instructors (lieutenant), fire prevention inspectors (lieutenant), fire prevention investigators (sergeant), logistics/support (sergeant), logistics/support (lieutenant), rescue coordinator (captain), EMS coordinator (captain), logistics/support (captain) and administrative captain.
(c) Candidate: Any participant whose name appears on the promotional roster established for the rank for which the employee is competing.
(d) Chief: The chief of the department of fire and emergency medical services.
(e) Department: The department of fire and emergency medical services.
(f) Eligible: Any applicant certified in writing by the chief to participate in the applicable promotional procedure.
(g) Eligibility date: The date from which an employee's time in service or time in rank requirement is calculated. October 15, 2015 shall be the eligibility date set at subsequent 24-month intervals. The examination date for each position shall be determined by the examination administrator. The written test may occur prior to the eligibility date.
(h) Examination administrator: An agent outside of the consolidated government of Columbus, Georgia contracted to prepare and administer written examinations and assessment centers.
(i) Fire apparatus: Any engine truck, ladder truck or squad truck.
(j) Fire officer: The ranks of fire lieutenant, fire captain, and fire battalion chief.
(k) Participant: Any employee who, upon being certified as eligible by the chief, actually engages in any or all of the promotional procedures for the rank for which the employee has been certified as eligible.
(l) Permanent rank: Employee who was promoted from the promotional eligibility roster and has successfully completed the probationary period of 18 months.
(m) Proficiency for fire apparatus operations (PFAO): Performance-based examination administered by the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services Training Division. Once a candidate successfully completes the Proficiency for Fire Apparatus Operations test, the candidate will not be required to retake the Proficiency for Fire Apparatus Operations test, provided the candidate maintains the appropriate annual apparatus proficiency certification. The PFAO may be administered at any time prior to the announcement of the promotional cycle.
Sec. 11-17.4. - General provisions.
(a) It shall be the policy of the department to select only from among the best qualified employees for appointments and promotions to positions of greater responsibility. Concurrently, it shall be the policy of the department to administer promotional procedures which yield valid and reliable information on which to base promotional decisions and to insure rigorous and fair competition among all employees eligible for promotion.
(b) Separate eligibility requirements, promotional procedures, promotional rosters, and other provisions relating to the ranks of fire sergeant, fire lieutenant, fire captain and fire battalion chief are specified herein. Policy shall be promulgated by affected departments of the consolidated government of Columbus, Georgia to implement the provisions and intent of this or related enactments.
(c) Each promotional rank contained herein shall have a separate promotional roster. Promotional rosters shall expire on December 31st at 2400 hours with subsequent establishment and expiration dates at 24-month intervals thereafter. As such, each promotional roster established on or after January 1, 2016, shall have an initial duration life of 24 months from the date on which it is established.
(d) The chief shall fill each promotional vacancy within 30 calendar days from a valid promotional roster; provided, however, that if a vacancy occurs within the last 30 calendar days of the life of a promotional roster, such vacancy or vacancies shall be filled before the promotional roster can lapse. If a vacancy occurs after the expiration of a roster and before the establishment of a new roster, that vacancy shall be filled within 15 working days after the new roster is established.
(e) Written examinations and examination scoring keys will not be released, except as may be otherwise legally required. Participants desiring to appeal particular items on the written test must do so at the time of the testing session using the procedures specified by the examination administrator. Upon completion of all phases of the promotional process, each participant will be provided with his/her test score and a rank so as to allow the participant to determine where he/she fell in that ranking. A participant desiring to challenge his/her score must make a written protest within five days of receiving his/her examination score. The vendor shall respond in writing within 15 days of the receipt of a written protest as to its disposition. Only those participants who pass the written examination will be allowed to proceed to the next promotional process. The passing score (or method for determining the passing score) for the written examination shall be specified on the posting announcing the promotional procedure.
(f) With respect to the performance-based assessment results, candidates who personally participated will receive their own scores and may make protests and receive responses as provided for in section 11-17.4(e) above.
(g) All promotions shall be probationary and no employee shall be permanently assigned to a rank until an 18-month probation period is satisfactorily completed. Such probationary period may be extended six months in accordance with the personnel rules and regulations of the consolidated government of Columbus, Georgia. During either the original term or an extension of a probationary period, the chief may return a candidate to his/her previous rank for cause.
(h) Any candidate who declines a promotion shall do so in writing. Said written declination shall be submitted to the chief and director of human resources within seven days of the promotion offer. Any candidate declining a promotion offer shall be eliminated from further consideration for the duration of the promotional roster on which the candidate's name appears.
(i) Eligibles shall be responsible for providing documentation verifying their claims to educational certification.
(j) Other appeals: The right of an employee to challenge any aspect of the administration of the promotional procedure which has a direct impact upon his/her promotability is fundamental to any equitable system. Appeals not specifically provided for elsewhere in this division may be made and shall be disposed of in the manner described in section 11-17.4(e); provided, however, the selection of an individual(s) for promotion shall not be subject to such appeal process.
(k) Availability of source material: No announcement of the beginning of a fire sergeant's, fire lieutenant's, or fire captain's promotional procedure can be made until sufficient source materials from which written examination questions are to be drawn are available for eligible candidates. The department shall confirm that source material may be purchased from the publisher or another source and internal documents are available within the department.
Sec. 11-17.5. - Eligibility for promotions.
(a) Computation of service: For purposes of computation of service, all employees must meet the required time in rank or time in service (however stipulated below) as of the eligibility date established in 11-17.3(g). Further, time in rank or time in service requirements refer to continuous full-time service in the Columbus, Georgia Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
(b) For promotion to fire sergeant: To be eligible to participate in the promotional procedure for fire sergeant, the employee must hold:
(1) Hold an associate's degree (or equivalent two-year degree Ord. 06-87 Sec. 8 (c)) and a total of three continuous years of service or,
(2) Four additional years for a total of seven continuous years of service and
(3) A Firefighter/EMT-I, Firefighter/AEMT or Firemedic certification and
(4) successfully complete the Proficiency in Fire Apparatus Operations Test administered by the department's division of fire training.
(5) The requirements described in (3) shall not apply to those personnel that are within five years of their normal retirement date.
(c) For promotion to fire lieutenant: To be eligible to participate, all candidates must:
(1) Hold an associate’s degree (or equivalent two-year degree) or have a service date prior to September 16, 2010 and
(2) A total of two continuous years serving as a fire sergeant.
(3) Be at a minimum certified as an EMT by the 2015 promotional testing cycle
(4) The requirements described in (3) shall not apply to those personnel that are within five years of their normal retirement date.
(d) For promotion to fire captain: To be eligible to participate, all candidates must:
(2) A total of two continuous years serving as a fire lieutenant
(e) For promotion to fire battalion chief: To be eligible to participate, all candidates must:
(2) A total of two continuous years serving as a fire captain.
(3) be at a minimum certified as an EMT by the 2015 promotional testing cycle
Sec. 11-17.6. - Promotional procedures for fire sergeant, fire lieutenant, fire captain and fire battalion chief.
(a) The promotional procedures for fire sergeant, fire lieutenant and fire captain, shall consist of a two phase process. Phase I shall be a written test, as described in paragraph (d) below. Phase II shall be a performance-based assessment, as described in paragraph (e) below. The promotional procedures for fire battalion chief shall consist of a performance-based assessment, as described in paragraph (e) below.
(b) Reading list. At least 90 calendar days prior to the date of the written examination, the chief shall announce in writing the material from which the questions on the written test are to be drawn including the sources.
(c) Certification of eligibility: The position announcement shall be distributed in writing by the chief at least 45 days prior to the administration of the promotional procedures. The position announcement shall state the passing point or the method to determine the passing point. Said passing point or method of passing point determination shall be set by the chief, human resources director and the public safety director in consultation with the examination administrator. At the end of the 14 calendar days following such announcement, the application period shall be deemed closed without exception and within another 14 calendar days, the chief shall certify in writing the list of those eligible to participate.
(d) Written test (Phase I): A multiple-choice written examination, based on the results of a current job-task analysis, shall be administered. After candidates complete the written test, a copy will be made of the answer sheet, and given to the candidate to self-grade (unofficial score). Final written examination scores will not be released to participants until all appeals and any appropriate adjustments have been determined and all test phases of the promotional process have been completed. Any adjustments arising out of any analysis of the test shall be specified in a written report and shall be provided to the chief and the director of human resources. Only those participants who successfully complete and pass the written examination will be allowed to proceed to Phase II (performance-based assessment) of the promotional process.
(e) Performance-based assessment (Phase II): A performance-based assessment, based on the results of a current job-task analysis, shall be administered. The performance-based assessment shall consist of multiple exercises such as oral presentation, role-playing, incident command, in-basket task, situational judgment, or other job-related exercises. Performance examination scores will not be released to participants until all appeals and any appropriate adjustments have been determined. Any adjustments arising out of any analysis of the test shall be specified in a written report and shall be provided to the chief and the director of human resources. Only those participants who successfully complete and pass the performance-based examination will be considered for eligibility for promotion.
(f) Final examination scores for those candidates successfully completing all phases of the promotional process shall be calculated. Final scores shall be calculated according to the component (i.e., phase one and phase two) weights specified by a test plan derived from a current job-task analysis. Said component weights shall be stated on the posting announcing the promotional procedure as specified by the examination administrator.
(g) Banding procedures—Rule of five.
(1) The chief shall receive a list (band) with the top five candidates (plus ties) on the eligible roster.
(2) The chief may select from any of the candidates in the band to fill vacancies. The chief may, at his/her discretion, use a strict rank-order or other process to fill vacancies, provided that vacancies are filled from the band until exhausted. Regardless of the specific procedures used by the chief to select from the band, the rule of five shall be exercised when providing the chief with a list from which to fill vacancies.
(3) Upon promoting all five candidates (plus ties) in the band, the chief shall receive the next band with the next top five candidates (plus ties). The selection process will then be repeated.
Sec. 11-17.7. - Promotional decisions.
The chief shall promote candidates as provided in section 11-17.6(g). The chief may consider the examination scores on each participant, as well as other job-related matters including, but not limited to seniority, education, performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, commendations and examination/performance-based assessment scores.
Sec. 11-17.8. - Appointed ranks.
Personnel who hold an appointed provisional rank, including logistics, administration, fire prevention and training appointees, shall, upon their reassignment to the operations division, revert to the rank they held prior to receiving their appointed rank. Personnel holding positions of appointed rank that elect to participate in the promotional process and are promoted from a promotional roster shall hold that promoted rank upon their reassignment to the operations division. Personnel holding an appointed provisional rank shall only be eligible to compete for the next higher position held prior to their provisional appointment.
Sec. 11-17.9. - Effect of disciplinary action.
(a) Candidates who are suspended without pay for 5 days shall be removed from the current promotional roster for the life of that roster.
(b) Eligibles suspended without pay for 10 days, 24 months prior to the October 15th eligibility date shall not be allowed to participate in the promotional process.
(c) Candidates deemed ineligible (suspended without pay for 5 days) during the testing process shall be removed from the process and no scores shall be calculated or provided.
Sec. 11-17.10. - Effect of promotion during the testing process.
A candidate who is participating in a promotional process and is promoted to the rank for which he/she is competing prior to the establishment of the new eligible roster, shall be deemed ineligible for purposes of score or rank calculation. Further, no scores shall be calculated or provided for said candidate. If said promotion occurs during the administration of the promotion process, said candidate will not be allowed to continue in the process.
Sec. 11-17.11. - Record-keeping requirements.
All examination scores, files, records, administrative directives and promotional results shall be stored in a secured area by the department of fire and emergency medical services for a minimum of four years following the publication of the promotional roster for each separate promotional procedure.
Sec. 11-17.12. - Annual review.
The department of fire and emergency medical services professional standards committee, shall annually review, evaluate and report to the fire and emergency medical services chief in writing as to the administration of the promotional procedures and recommend changes as may be warranted.
Sec. 11-17.13. - Position of assistant chief.
(a) The position of assistant chief is an appointed rank. Said appointment is to be made by the chief.
(b) The position of assistant chief shall be pay grade 24.
(c) To be eligible for the position of assistant chief, a candidate must have held the appointed or promoted rank of battalion chief, division chief or deputy chief for two years. A baccalaureate degree is required. A master’s degree is preferred but not required for this position.
Sec. 11-17.14. - Position of deputy chief.
(a) The position of deputy chief is an appointed rank. Said appointment is to be made by the chief.
(b) The position of deputy chief shall be pay grade 23.
(c) To be eligible for the position of deputy chief, a candidate must have been appointed or promoted to the rank of battalion chief or division chief or held the permanent rank of fire captain for a minimum of two years. An Associate’s degree is required. A baccalaureate degree is preferred, but not required for this position.
Sec. 11-17.15. - Position of division chief.
(a) The position of division chief includes the ranks of administrative division chief, fire marshal division chief, and training division chief. The position of division chief is an appointed rank. Said appointment shall be made by the chief.
(b) The position of division chief shall be pay grade 22.
(c) To be eligible for the position of division chief, a candidate must have held the permanent rank of fire captain for a minimum of two years. An associate's degree (or equivalent two-year degree) is required
Sec. 11-17.16. - Non-chief appointed positions.
(a) Non-chief appointed positions include the positions of assistant training officer (captain), assistant fire marshal (captain), training instructors, fire prevention inspectors, fire prevention investigators, logistics/support sergeant, logistics/support lieutenant, rescue coordinator (captain), EMS coordinator (captain), logistics captain and administrative captain.
(b) Any appointee who fails to perform the duties of one of these ranks satisfactorily may at any time be reverted to their former permanent rank at the discretion of the chief.
Sec. 11-17.17. - Certification
(a) All sworn personnel who have obtained State of Georgia firefighter certification will be required to maintain State of Georgia firefighter certification.
(b) All sworn personnel who have obtained State of Georgia Emergency Medical—Technician, Intermediate, Advanced or Paramedic certification will be required to maintain State of Georgia Emergency Medical—Technician, Intermediate, Advanced or Paramedic certification.
This ordinance shall become effective on January 1, 2017.
All ordinances and parts of ordinances in conflict with this ordinance are hereby repealed.
Day of _______, 2016; introduced a second time at a regular meeting of said council held on the ____ day of _________, 2016 and adopted at said meeting by the affirmation cote of ____ members of Council.
Councilor Allen __________________
Councilor Baker __________________
Councilor Barnes __________________
Councilor Davis __________________
Councilor Garrett __________________
Councilor Henderson __________________
Councilor Huff __________________
Councilor Thomas __________________
Councilor Pugh __________________
Councilor Woodson __________________
Tiny B. Washington Teresa Tomlinson