Civil Service chiefs these days are pushing for independent assessment centers to replace the traditional civil service promotion test. They claim that the independent, in-depth panels produce the very best candidates for promotion. The City of Methuen employs about 100 sworn firefighters, only 3 of whom are women. No female firefighter is currently above the rank of private. No female has ever served as a Captain in the city’s history.
Tracy Blanchette is a 25 year veteran firefighter. She is a former firefighter of the year, has a file full of advanced training and certifications and no discipline. Recently, the Methuen Chief pushed for an independent assessment center for promotions. After a grueling day-long exam process, FF Blanchette found herself at the top of the promotion list. When it came time to promote her, however, the City skipped her for a lower ranked male candidate, who it claimed performed better on a 20-minute interview with City employees, including the Fire Chief who for many years was employed as an electrician by the lower ranked male candidate. So much for the value of the thorough, independent assessment center…Share