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PREDICTING LONG-TERM FIREFIGHTER PERFORMANCE FROM COGNITIVE AND PHYSICAL ABILITY MEASURES

Authors


and requests for reprints should be addressed to Norman D. Henderson, Department of Psychology, Severance Laboratory, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH 44074, USA; nhenders@oberlin.edu.

Abstract

Firefighters from 1 academy training class were observed for 23 years, beginning with their selection test consisting of a g-saturated written exam (GCA) and firefighting simulations loaded on a strength/endurance (SE) factor. Operational validity coefficients for both GCA and SE were high for training success and remained consistently high for job performance ratings throughout the study. The operational validity for combined GCA and SE predictors was .86 for a composite job rating measure covering 21 years of service. A structural model produced similar results for more broadly defined GCA and SE latent variables. Both analyses suggested approximately equal weighting for GCA and SE for a fire service selection test. Results indicate considerable latitude in choosing cognitive and physical predictors for firefighter screening if the predictors are highly loaded on GCA and SE.

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