Fast Tracking…Lateral Transfer…Whatever you want to call it…The idea of bringing persons into your organization who are already trained (and possibly experienced) can be pretty enticing. It eliminates the insecurity of putting someone through a lengthy academy (which you have no guarantee they will graduate.) It’s vastly cheaper than spending $50,000 per recruit to hire and certify a firefighter (one metro-Atlanta department’s estimate), and it takes a fraction of the time. So it’s a hands-down win, right? Not so fast.
The whole idea of fast tracking is predicated on the certification component. It gets considerably more messy when we start to consider the different types of certifications for firefighters that are out there, and to what extent we are willing to trust a piece of paper to tell us about a person’s abilities before we put them on a truck or by our side in a burning building.
For this episode, we explore the complexities of fast tracking: How do you verify skills that the holder of a certification supposedly has? To what extent do you go? Why do we accept some certifications at face value but not others? What are the legal and moral obligations of fast tracking someone? Is there an acceptable level of risk and uncertainty involved in fast track programs?
As per usual, we have more questions than answers, but we hope our discussion prompts discussion wherever you are. Please follow us on Facebook, leave us your comments there or on this page, and you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening.