Jonesboro Fire Department Tryouts

November 5, 2005--Posted at 8:00 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR--Do you have what it takes? Not just anyone off the street can become part of the Jonesboro Fire Department.

"It's something I have always wanted to do, I was on the Valley View Volunteer Fire Department for 2 years and it's just something that has always interested me," said applicant Robert Hagans.

Today sixty applicants like Robert came out to apply to be part of the Jonesboro Fire Department.

"I was ready to do it, I was excited six this morning to get up come up here I am looking forward to it I am ready to go," said Hagans.

"This is a very physically demanding job it is about as hands on as it gets so we need people who have basic coordination drills and can pass a basic amount of physical fitness," said Jonesboro Fire Department Training Officer Kevin Miller.

For the first part of the day an applicant has to pass a series of physical tests.

"All of them are based on actually activities that would be performed on a fire call, they have to do it wearing fire fighting gear and there is a time limit," said Miller.

What kind of tests make up the exam?

"You have to roll the hose, drag it, climb the very tall ladder, drag the dummy, chop the ax and climb the stairs," said Miller.

Part of the process involves carrying a one hundred and sixty pound dummy over one hundred feet but if you pass the physical part that is just part of the process.

"They have to pass the physical abilities test that makes them eligible to take a written test to be given later this afternoon," said Miller.

Once passed the applicants are interviewed, given physicals, and drug tests in addition to a  polygraph test.

"We are looking for a combination of people who are physically fit and smart enough to pass the test we want balance," said Miller.

It's this balance that makes members of the Jonesboro Fire Department one of the finest.

"We have some of the strictest standards in the state which we feel gives us a better quality of candidate and gives us better quality of people in the fire department," said Miller.

The Jonesboro Fire Department holds these tryouts on the first weekend of November every year and they encourage anyone who is interested to come out.