SWFD candidates take endurance test

Lead Staff Reporter

Due west of the armory in Newman Park stands a single brick edifice. It is the fire training tower. The tower has stood in the Park since 1959, to be exact. The structure is hard to miss, as it is a three-story red brick building in an area dotted by intermittent quonset huts.
The steel, wood and brick tower sits in the middle of the fire training field and has witnessed countless fire fighting hopefuls. Some newbies make it through the timed ten-minute test; while others wash out. There are some that don’t even make it past the written exam, let alone the physical endurance test. There were twelve this morning. Now there are only seven remaining. Six men and one woman have made it through to sweat it out in the fitness challenge.
Under the watchful eye of Fire Chief Grant Madden, these applicants are under pressure as well as the clock to complete their feats of stamina as Madden holds a stopwatch to time them. He writes their times neatly next to their names on the list of recruits who have made it past the difficult entrance exam to this point.
To qualify, applicants must be 18 to 35 years of age, a high school graduate or have an equivalent GED, possess a valid Texas driver’s license and pass a satisfactory background check. Applicants must also be able to read and write in English and have a photo i.d. 
If applicants are not certified by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Personnel Standards and Education (TCFPPSE), he or she must be eligible for certification by TCFPPSE in the future.
Candidates would preferably possess certification as an EMT-Basic or higher by the Texas Department of Health at time of appointment. At or before the time of entrance exam, applicants shall provide either an EMT Certificate issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services, or evidence of current enrollment in an EMT course approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services.