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General Testing Process

General Testing Process

Learn more about our Non-Firefighter Paramedic Lateral Process or our Career Firefighter Paramedic Lateral Process here


Once the written examination and oral board assessment processes are complete, applicants will receive a final score, by which they will be rank-ordered on the hiring list/register. The final score is comprised of a standard score which combines your final written examination score, and your oral board score, weighted appropriately.

The hiring register developed as a result of this testing process will be good for a maximum of one year.  Once the register expires, individuals still interested in employment will be required to retake the examinations. 

When the Fire Chief decides to fill a vacant position, the Human Resource Director will certify active applicants from the hiring register following appropriate certification rules. 

Applicants who are certified, interviewed, and not hired, remain on the list and are considered again when additional openings occur.   It is your responsibility to keep Unified Fire Authority informed of your current contact information the entire time the list is active.  You may email contact information changes to scardenas@unifiedfire.org, or mail them to Sylvia Cardenas, Unified Fire Authority, at 3380 So. 900 W., SLC, UT  84119 or fax them to Sylvia Cardenas at (801) 743-7211.

2023 Recruiting Timeline


Written Examinations – After you register for the written test you will receive an email with a link to schedule your specific test time and date. Registration will run from May 15, 2023 through June 30 2023.

2021 Paramedic Lateral Workshop Webinar Links:
June 2nd Meeting Recording
June 3rd Meeting Recording
Non-Firefighter Paramedic Lateral Skills Evaluation

Written Exam Registration May 15, 2023 to June 30, 2023
Written Exam Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Saturday, July 15, 2023
Wednesday, August 2, 2023
Saturday, August 5, 2023
Oral Board Assessments & Physical
Performance Test
August 21 through August 24, 2023
Selection of Candidates
August 24, 2023
Background InvestigationsAugust 24 through December 1, 2023
Final Job Offers
September – Mid December 2022
New Hire OrientationJanuary 8, 2024
Start of Recruit Camp
First Week of February 2024


Only registered and qualified applicants will be allowed to take the exam.  Please do not attach any other materials, such as a resume or employment application, when registering for the written exam. We will collect copies of certifications, resumes, applications, etc. at a later date from those individuals who advance past the Written Exam phase.  Those items should not be submitted when registering for the written test.  Our primary means of contacting you throughout the examination process will be email.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your email address is correct and any change to your email is updated with the Human Resources Division.

Written Examination:

The first part of the testing process is the written exam.  The exam is an Entry Level Firefighter Exam.  This test is designed to assess critical cognitive skills and abilities (e.g. reading comprehension, mathematical reasoning, map reading), mechanical aptitude and personal characteristics related to success as a Firefighter.

Applicants may order the practice National Fire Select Test (NFST) Candidate Orientation Guide by clicking this link (www.fpsi.com/fire-candidate-orientation-guides). The NFST Candidate Orientation Guide is a helpful tool to prepare for the exam and can be downloaded as a PDF file and saved or printed. Please read through the disclaimer on the order page in order to have a successful download. Payments will be submitted through PayPal via an account or credit/debit card. Once payment is submitted, PayPal automatically redirects you back to the FPSI site where access to the download link will be located on the Order Details-Checkout Status page. Applicants must pay close attention to ALL instructions on both FPSI and PayPal’s websites in order to access the instant download successfully.

Unified Fire Authority offers preference points to eligible veterans or spouses of veterans in accordance with state and federal legislation. Also, individuals who have been employed by Unified Fire Authority may receive preference points if eligible. Please refer to the Preference Eligibility Form for more information. Preference points are added to the applicant’s final written examination score. Individuals claiming preference as identified above must submit a Preference Eligibility Form along with all required documentation. This form is available on our website or by emailing the Human Resources Division at preferencepoints@unifiedfire.org.  The form itself details the specific eligibility requirements as well as the necessary documentation. 

Once the written exam is administered, a cut-off score will be determined.  At least the top seventy scoring individuals, plus any individuals tied at the same score, will automatically move on to the oral board interview and physical performance exam.  Additional candidates may be considered based on the number of potential vacancies and the anticipated duration of the registry. Those individuals whose final written score, with applicable preference points added, is above the established cut-off score will also be eligible to advance to the oral board interview and physical performance exam. Candidates will be notified for further testing by email.

Preference Point Information:

Section 3130 – Preference for Entry Level Examinations Policy


Once a hiring list/register has been established candidates who rank high enough on the final hiring list will be eligible to participate in the Oral Board Assessment and Physical Performance Test. Those candidates who are eligible to advance will be notified by email, of the exact date, time and place of the oral board assessment, and Physical Test.

Once the written examination and oral board assessment processes are complete, applicants will receive a final score, by which they will be rank-ordered on the hiring list/register.  The final score is comprised of a standard score which combines your final written examination score (adjusted by any preference points for eligible applicants), and your oral board score, weighted appropriately.

The hiring committee evaluates each candidate individually and places them into “Hiring Bands” based on the likelihood of success during recruit camp and in a career as a Firefighter. To make these determinations, the group considers a variety of information about the candidates, including their performance in all components of the examination, their resumes, the information shared during their oral board interviews, their expressed level of interest or commitment, and their past work history.

The oral board assessment will consist of a structured, behaviorally-based interview questions.  Your responses will be evaluated by fire officers and other firefighters or firefighter specialists.

The following attributes may be assessed in the oral board assessment:

  • Assertiveness – Assert oneself when necessary to exert control over others.
  • Emotional Self-control – Maintain one’s composure in stressful situations.
  • Interest in People – Exhibit an active interest in understanding and working with people.
  • Interpersonal Skills – Be sensitive to others; resolve problems without arousing antagonism; be courteous and respectful; resolve conflicts through persuasion and not force; influence people and inspire their confidence and respect.
  • Oral Comprehension – Understand spoken communications.
  • Oral Expression – Communicate various types of communication orally in a clear and understandable manner; project one’s voice clearly; communicate over radios and other electronic transmission equipment.
  • Situational Reasoning – Make prompt and effective decisions quickly in both routine and non-routine (life and death) situations; evaluate alternative courses of action and select the most acceptable alternative.
  • Teamwork – Establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, supervisors, and other fire service officials.
  • Writing – Express oneself clearly and concisely in writing; use acceptable grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Dependability – Be conscientious, reliable, thorough, punctual, accurate and assume fair share of workload.
  • Flexibility/Adaptability – Adapt to changes in working conditions.
  • Initiative – Proceed on assignments without waiting to be told to do so.
  • Integrity – Be honest and impartial.
  • Learning – Comprehend new information quickly and apply that which has been learned on the job.
  • Mechanical and Trades Knowledge – Knowledge of mechanical principles in operating a variety of complex equipment.
  • Recall – Remember various types of information (laws, codes, written or oral instructions, etc.); visual information (photographs, physical characteristics of a given area, etc.).


The Physical Performance test is a pass/fail test. This test is strenuous and is based on the general firefighting duties performed by firefighter employees.  The exam will be comprised of components in which you will have to lift, carry, pull and climb.  Each exercise will demonstrate one of the specific physical abilities listed below.


  • Agility – Perform physical actions or movements quickly and adeptly.
  • Balance – Maintain one’s balance in unusual contexts (such as when climbing, carrying objects, equipment, etc.)
  • Coordination – Integrate the actions of one’s arms and legs to produce coordinated movement (such as running, jumping, etc.)
  • Endurance – Maintain physical activity over prolonged periods of time.
  • Strength – Exert muscular force, such as lifting, pulling, pushing, carrying or dragging hard to move objects, etc.


 Watch a video of our physical performance test!!!

The Physical Performance Test is designed as an obstacle course to closely simulate the endurance a firefighter employee must possess at the scene of a fire.  There are seven events in the obstacle course.  The order of these events may be different than listed here.

Event #1 – Hose Drag:  Applicants will be required to pick up the 100 foot uncharged 2 1/2 inch hose line, place it over their preferred shoulder, drag it 100 feet in one direction, place it on the ground, walk to the other end, pick up the hose line and drag it 100 feet in the opposite direction.

Event #2 – Hydrant Connection:  Applicants will be required to unscrew and remove two small caps from the sides of the hydrant, screw the two hydrant gates onto the hydrant, hook up two 50-foot 21/2-inch hose lengths to the hydrant and open the hydrant 10 complete turns with the hydrant wrench. Applicants will then close the hydrant with the wrench, remove the hoses and gates and place the caps back onto the hydrant.

Event #3 – Roof Ventilation:  Applicants will be required to pick up the nine-pound sledge hammer, straddle the I-beam by standing on the foot walks and strike the I-beam on the Keiser Force Machine until the sled moves backwards to the designate markings.

Event #4 – Maze Crawl:  Before applicants begin this event, a proctor will help them put on a blackened-out face mask and guide them to the beginning of the maze.  Applicants will be told to crawl on their hands and knees through the maze carrying a hux bar (similar to a crow bar) following the right wall at all times to guide them through the maze.

Event #5 – Dummy Drag:  Applicants will stand behind the starting line, lift the dummy and drag the dummy 30 feet around the cones at the other end, turn around and drag the dummy back to the starting line.

Event #6 – Stair Climb with Hose Bundle:  Applicants will place a hose bundle over their preferred shoulder, climb up two stories (4 flights), turn and walk back down the stairs.  Applicants should use the handrails, step on every step and remember not to run.

Event #7 – Ladder Raise:  Applicants will be required to kneel down by bending the knees to lower themselves down to reach the top rung of the ladder and lift the ladder using their leg strength (not their back).  Applicants should lift the ladder using hand under hand motions to full upright position then immediately lower the ladder to the ground using hand over hand motions until the ladder is back on the ground. Applicants missing a rung must start over.

The physical performance test is a timed, pass/fail test.  Candidates must complete the test within the established cut-off time in order to complete.


UFA’s Special Enforcement Division will conduct reference/background checks on all potential candidates once they have been identified to receive a job offer


Recruit Camp is anticipated to begin February 2024.