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[Houston Captain 2002]




Fire Department Company Officer

Sample Test


Following are 20 multiple choice questions that test some of the knowledge needed by fire department company officers.  Practice tests sold to your jurisdiction will based be on the reading materials announced for your official examination.

The test is organized into four sections:

  1. Strategy, Tactics and Command

  2. Fire Company Supervision and Management

  3. First Responder

  4. Fire Science

Correct answers are listed on a separate answer key.  


Strategy, Tactics and Command
(Questions 1-7):

1.  The method of attack most highly suited for the free burning phase of fire is:

A.    direct
B.    indirect
C.    combination
D.    There is no one method best suited for this phase of a fire.


2.  Defensive operations are heavy-duty attacks that place emphasis on:

A.    protecting occupants and fire crews.
B.    holding the line until more resources become available.
C.    protecting exposures and stopping spread.
D.    extinguishment of the fire even as it is acknowledged that the building is lost.


3. Indoor and outdoor operations at natural gas fires should be similar. The basics of these operations are: call the utility, control evacuations, protect exposures, and:

A.    determine extinguishing agent.
B.    avoid the use of water until approved by utility personnel.
C.    avoid apparatus placement close to valves.
D.    let the fire burn until gas supply is shut off.


4. When a building is so smoke filled that the fire cannot be found, well placed openings for ventilation may be the only way to find it. Ventilation not only lets the smoke escape, it also:

A.    allows firefighters to track the flow of smoke to the source.
B.    controls the direction in which the fire spreads.
C.    allows an attack from the exterior of the building.
D.    allows the fire to burn brighter and become visible.


5. Overhaul should be systematic, with the starting point preferably made:

A.    at the center of the burned area.
B.    in the safest area for firefighters.
C.    in the openings and frames around windows and doors.
D.    at the fire's point of origin.


6. In the Incident Command System, direction of operational activities toward specific objectives takes place at which of the following levels?

A.    Strategic.
B.    Tactical.
C.    Task.
D.    Resource.


7. In the Incident Command System, which of the following Tactical Priorities is ongoing throughout the incident?

A.    Remove endangered occupants and treat the injured.
B.    Stabilize the incident and provide for life safety.
C.    Conserve property.
D.    Provide for the safety, accountability and welfare of personnel.


Fire Company Supervision and Management
(Questions 8-13):

8. The first step in problem-solving is recognizing the problem.  The next step is:

A.    analyzing the situation.
B.    collecting data and information about the problem.
C.    determining the cause of the problem.
.    brainstorming possible solutions to the problem.


9. The best way to overcome barriers to communication is to:

A.    obtain feedback.
B.    listen.
C.    define your terms.
D.    use as many channels as possible to get the message across.


10. How should the supervisor reduce tension, anxiety and fear that the employee probably feels in the performance evaluation interview?

A.    First talk about the employee's strengths covering each point in detail.
B.    Use the group interview process which helps employees feel less isolated or targeted.
C.    Stick to the facts, leaving feelings for counseling sessions.
D.    Allow the employee sufficient time to review the formal evaluation prior to the evaluation interview.


11.  Communications involve a sender, a receiver, a message, feedback, and:

A.    meaning.
B.    body language.
C.    a medium.
D.    conscious thought.


12.  The highest level in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is:

A.    Social.
B.    Self-Esteem.
C.    Security.
D.    Self-Actualization.


13. Which of the following statements about Unity of Command is correct?

A.    Unity of Command directs accountability for each company member to one company officer.
B.    Company officers must be given authority that is commensurate with their responsibility.
C.    The key to effective implementation of Unity of Command is open communications.
D.    A fire department's organization chart is the single most important document to the company officer.


First Responder
(Questions 14-16): 

14.  The single most important factor in determining survival from cardiac arrest is:

A.    early CPR.
B.    early defibrillation.
C.    early advanced care.
D.    patient history.


15. Prolonged inspiration indicates:

A.    upper airway obstruction.
B.    lower airway obstruction.
C.    injury to one or both lungs.
D.    drug overdose.


16. In the Focused History and Physical Exam for the trauma patient with significant mechanism of injury, the first step is to reconsider the mechanism of injury in order to determine:

A.    what immediate treatment is needed.
B.    if there are more serious hidden injuries.
C.    how quickly you must transport the patient.
D.    the need for life support.


Fire Science (Questions 17-20):

17.  The amount of oxygen in the atmosphere during the incipient phase of a fire is approximately:

A.    10%.
B.    15%.
C.    20%.
D.    25%.


18. The spread of fire through corridors, up stairwells and elevator shafts, and through attics is mainly caused by:

A.    radiation.
B.    explosion.
C.    convection.
D.    conduction.


19. Under which of the following conditions may water be used on Class D fires?

A.    Only when applied in sufficient quantities to cool the metal below its ignition temperature.
B.    Only in conjunction with chemical extinguishing agents.
C.    Only after extinguishment of the fire to keep the metal cool.
D.    Under no conditions should water be used on Class D fires.


20.   Which of the following statements about friction loss is correct?

A.    As the length of hose increases, friction loss decreases.
B.    As the velocity of flow in a line increases, friction loss decreases.
C.    The size of a nozzle opening is the single most important factor determining friction loss.
D.    As hose diameter increases, friction loss decreases.

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