Understanding the Murphy Fire Hiring Process

Thinking of becoming a Murphy Firefighter? Here is a step-by-step guide on what you need to know about the hiring process in order to become a firefighter including information on the physical ability assessment, psychological exam and pre-employment medical physical / drug screen.

Minimum Requirements to become a Murphy Firefighter:

  • High School Diploma or General Education Diploma (GED).
  • Current certification as a Basic Firefighter as issued by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection.
  • Current certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Paramedic as issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Valid Class “B” Driver’s License – driving record must be in compliance with City policy.

After meeting all the requirements to become a firefighter, you can take the first step toward preparing for the hiring process. There are many steps and the recruitment selection process can take up to a couple of months.

Step 1: 

Murphy Fire Rescue Physical Ability Assessment

Welcome to the Murphy Fire Rescue Physical Ability Assessment.  Your successful completion of this assessment is a mandatory part of our hiring process.  Our course is a modified Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT).  Your performance will be graded Pass or Fail for the entire course with a maximum total time of 7 minutes and 20 seconds.

The candidate must wear a Bunker Coat and SCBA Air-pack (provided by department), long pants (required: no shorts), footwear with no open heel or toe, hard hat, and leather work gloves throughout the course.  No running is allowed between events.  The candidate will be accompanied by a Murphy Fire Rescue employee throughout the course.  The employee is available to answer any questions.

Aerial Climb

The Aerial Event or Simulation is not counted for time.  The Candidate must successfully complete the task within the guidelines without marking a critical failure. The aerial ladder will be fully extended (75’) and will be set at an angle of 70 degrees.  

The Candidate will don the appropriate harness for aerial operation provided by the department for this portion only.  The candidate will begin their ascent up the aerial using a hand over hand, stepping motion.   The candidate will pause briefly at the tip of the ladder with their hands on the highest rung of the aerial ladder.   The candidate will then descend the ladder to the pedestal base. The candidate will return to the staging area until instructed to begin the next portion of the CPAT.

Critical Failures:  Failure to keep a continuous motion ascending and descending the ladder. Candidates are permitted to break momentarily to secure footing or grip.  If the candidate loses balance or releases from their grip, the candidate will automatically be disqualified. 

Stair Climb (Alternate to Aerial Climb)

The candidate will climb the step-mill for a 20 second warm-up.  The candidate will then immediately begin the test and will climb the step-mill for 3 consecutive minutes.  The candidate must place at least one foot on each step-in progression and must not skip any steps.

Critical Failures:  Failure to step on every stair. If candidate falls during the stair climb, they are eliminated.  During the test, candidates are permitted to touch the handrails for balance only momentarily.  If the handrail is touched or grabbed for an extended period of time, or is used for weight bearing, the candidate will be warned. Only two warnings will be given.  The third infraction will result in a failure of the assessment.

5" Hose Drag 

The candidate will walk approximately 40’ to a dry 5” hose.  The candidate will pick up the coupling end of the hose.  The candidate will place the hose over their shoulder or across their chest.  You are permitted to run during the hose drag.  Drag the hose 50’ to the designated line, placing the coupling on the ground and proceeding to the next event.

Critical Failures:  If candidate drops hose, one warning will be given, a second drop will constitute failure. Candidate is recommended to keep a constant forward motion, candidate can stop to adjust grip or footing, however placing hose on the ground will constitute a drop of the hose.  

High Rise Climb/Hose Hoist

Upon successful completion of the Hose Drag, the candidate will follow the assessor to the base of the training tower stairs.   The candidate will pick up a high-rise pack (50’ section 2.5” hose) from the ground and carry it to the third-floor landing of the tower.  At this point, the candidate will safely place the high-rise pack on the ground. The candidate will then hoist a rolled 50’ section of 2.5” hose from the ground floor to the third floor.  The candidate will raise the rolled hose, lifting the roll over the rail to the ground on the third floor before returning the hose over the rail and lowering the roll to the ground.  A hand over hand method must be used while lifting and lowering the rolled hose. The candidate will then pick up the high-rise pack and carry it to the base of the tower stairs, placing it safely on the ground. 

Critical Failures:  Candidate may not lean on rail while climbing or descending stairs.  Candidate will be allowed to use rail for balance if needed only momentarily. One warning will be given, a second warning will result in a failure.  Candidate must use hand over hand method when raising and lowering rolled hose, if candidate drops hose in an uncontrolled fashion to the ground at any time, candidate will be disqualified.  If a hand over hand method is not being utilized for lowering, the candidate will be given one warning, a second warning will constitute a failure. 

Ladder Raise

Upon successful completion of the High-Rise Climb, the candidate will move to the designated starting area for the Ladder Raise.  The candidate will walk to the top rung of a 24’ extension ladder that is laying on the ground, lift the ladder tip and walk it up until it is flat against the wall.  This will be accomplished by a hand over hand method using the rungs of the ladder.  You must not use the ladder rails to accomplish the raise.

Once flat against the wall, the candidate will safely lower the ladder and return the ladder to its starting position.  Again, the hand over hand fashion will be used.  You must not use the ladder rails to accomplish lowering the ladder.

Critical Failures:  If you miss any rung during the raise, you will be given one warning.  The second infraction will result in a stoppage of time and you will fail the assessment.  If you allow the ladder to fall to the ground, or the safety team uses the rope to catch the ladder because you released your grip on the ladder, time will stop and you will fail.  If you do not maintain control of the ladder using the hand over hand technique, you will fail the assessment and time will stop.

1 3/4" Hose Drag 

The candidate will walk approximately 50’ to a charged 1 ¾” hose.  The candidate will pick up the nozzle end of the hose.  Place the hose line over your shoulder or across your chest, the nozzle should not touch or drag the ground.  You are permitted to run during the hose drag. Drag the hose approximately 100’ to the designated area, safely placing the nozzle on the ground.

Critical Failure: If the candidate demonstrates an inability to safely advance the hose, the event is terminated and will be considered a failure.  If the nozzle touches the ground during the event, one warning will be given, a second warning will result in failure.  

Rescue Simulation 

Upon successful completion of the 1 3/4” hose drag, the candidate will walk approximately 60’ to the starting area of the Rescue Simulation. The candidate will grasp and drag the provided mannequin thirty-five (35) feet to a marker, turn around the outside of the marker, and return to the starting line.  The mannequin is allowed to touch the marker.  The candidate is not allowed to touch, or rest on the marker.  You are permitted to drop and release the mannequin to adjust your grip.

Critical Failures:  If the candidate grasps, or rests on the marker at any time, one warning is given.  The second infraction constitutes a failure of the assessment.

Forcible Entry 

Upon successful completion of the Rescue Simulation, the candidate will follow the marks to the Forcible Entry Simulator.  Using the 10 lb. sledgehammer provided the candidate must strike the target as many times as necessary to move the sled to the opposite end. The event and assessment are complete when the end of the sled breaks the plane of the track. 

Critical Failure:  If candidate is unable to maintain proper grip of tool while swinging, the event is terminated and is considered failure. Candidate may not push the sled with the dead blow hammer, one warning will be given, and a second warning will constitute failure.

Tire Simulation (Alternate to Sled) 

The candidate will pick up the provided 10 lb. sledgehammer and safely strike the side of the tire ten (10) times on the clearly marked target. The strikes may be delivered from the right- or left- handed position. The candidate will not step into the toe box during the skill assessment. The head of the tool must extend beyond the candidate’s body plane during the backswing of each repetition in order to count.

Critical Failures:  The candidate fails to control the tool.  The candidate fails to perform ten (10) full repetitions.  If candidate steps into the toe box while swinging, one warning will be issued.  A second infraction will result in a stoppage of time and the assessment will be recorded as a failure.

**This concludes the assessment**

Step 2: 

Interview Panel

The candidate will participate in an interview with a panel of fire personnel and the Human Resources Director. This interview is used to assess the candidate’s verbal communication skills and compatibility with department values.

Step 3: 

Background Check (Personal History Statement)

After completing and passing the physical ability test, Murphy FD will then ask you to fill out a Personal History Statement. This step is to make sure that nothing in your background will disqualify you from becoming a firefighter. Your personal history statement will be assigned to a background investigator. The investigator will research your personal history records including, but not limited to, civil, credit, criminal, driving, employment and military. They may also interview your co-workers, employers, neighbors, references and family members.  Copies of your diplomas, marriage license, driver’s license and other documentation is required.  Please look over the personal history statement for details.  Please read the instructions carefully.  The PHS must be notarized.   Failure to follow instructions can lead to a candidate being disqualified.

Step 4: 

Conditional Job Offer

At this step of the process a conditional job offer is made pending the candidate passing a psychological exam and pre-employment medical physical including a drug screen.

Step 5: 

Psychological Evalution

There are two parts to this step: an interview with a trained psychologist and a psychological exam. In the interview you may be asked questions about your background, current lifestyle and what your expectations are for the job. The psychological exam may include a series of multiple-choice exams asking you questions about yourself. The reason for this exam is to make sure that you are mentally fit to conduct the work that is required as a firefighter.

Step 6: 

Medical Physical / Drug Screen

This exam is given to you by a trained medical physician. During the exam the physician will make sure that you are physically fit for duty to become a firefighter. This exam may include checking your height, weight, vision, hearing, blood pressure, drug screen and other medical tests deemed necessary by the City of Murphy. 

Step 7: 

Final Offer

After all steps have successfully been completed within the City of Murphy’s defined standards, the candidate will be given a final offer of employment with a start date.

Fire Department Pay Plan