THE ASSOCIATION OF SEQUENCE OF HIRING PRACTICE AND BIOPHYSICAL COMPONENTS IN SCREENING PROBATIONARY FIREFIGHTERS
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Variation in hiring procedures occurs within fire service human resource departments. In this study, City 1 and City 2 applicants were required to pass their biophysical assessments prior to being hired as firefighters at the beginning and end of the screening process, respectively. City 1 applicants demonstrated significantly lower resting heart rate (RHR), resting diastolic blood pressure (RDBP), body fat% (BF) and higher z-scores for BF, trunk flexibility (TF) and overall clinical assessment (p<0.05). Regression analysis found that age and conducting the biophysical assessment at the end of the screening process explained poorer biophysical assessment results in BF% (R2=21%), BF z-score (R2=22%), TF z-score (R2=10%) and overall clinical assessment z-score (R2=7%). Each of RHR (OR=1.06, CI=1.01-1.10), RDBP (OR=1.05, CI=1.00-1.11) and BF% (OR=1.20, CI=1.07-1.37) increased the odds of being a City 2 firefighter (p<0.05). Biophysical screening at the end of the hiring process may result in the hiring of a less healthy firefighter.