When the Montclair Fire Department announced it had handful of openings to fill, it only took a day and a half for 400 people to apply.
The applicants will compete for seven probationary firefighters positions at the fire department. Director of Human Resources Katherine Dougher Berning said the department has been losing firefighters to retirement during the past few years, which has slimmed the force down to 82.
“We hadn’t had openings for a while,” said Berning.
The township began taking applications on Friday morning, March 1. By 11 a.m. Monday, Berning said the 400 limit was reached and applicants that came afterwords had to be turned away.
The entrance level test will be given April 13 and then the applicants will go through a physical test on May 4 and 5. A list of preferred applicants will be ready by May 15, which will then start the interview process.
Berning said Montclair residents who pass both entrance and physical examinations will be given preference for the positions.
The cost for the exam will be approximately $27,000. The township raised $20,000 through application fees for the exam.
Police Department Promotions
Officers in the Montclair Police Department can also apply soon for promotions.
The police department will be offering its members a promotional test on April 27. Berning said this will be the first test for promotions given in seven years at the department.
The test is open to police officers, sergeants, lieutenants and captains who have been on the force for at least five years and in rank at least a year.
A list of promotions will be prepared by the middle of May. The promotions will be given in rank order as they are available.
The test for police officers will cost $69,900. Officers do not pay to take the test.
The department held off on giving both entrance and promotion exams for nearly a decade due to budgetary constraints. It is customary for departments to give the test every four years.
The promotional test has been designed specifically for Montclair this time,said Berning. She noted the last time a promotional test was offered in town by the State Association of Chiefs of Police, the union complained the test unfair and that some officers were given the answers in advance.