Houston Fire Department
Senior Captain - 2018
Sample Test

Following are 20 multiple-choice questions. Select the best answer for each question.

Each question in this sample test is based on one of the sources in the Official Book List for the 2018 Senior Captian's examination. Answer each question based on the text or document from which it was taken. Following each question, in bold face, is the page and paragraph or section from which the question was taken.

The test preparation workshop for the Senior Captain's Examination will consist of five original practice tests averaging 100 questions. Three of the tests will be administered in class under realistic test conditions and two tests will be given via the Internet.

For more information write to or call 303-322-6890 or 800-664-8518.

There is a link to the Answer Key following the last question.

Questions 1-3 are taken from Effective Supervisory Practice 5th edition and are to be answered in accordance with this text.

1. Ethics is a standard of conduct for professional and personal behavior based on:

A. moral standards.
B. the law.
C. tradition.
D. shared values.

p. 33; para. 1

2. A goal is a target that defines an outcome to be achieved. The most useful goals are clear, challenging, and:

A. attainable.
B. measurable.
C. visionary.
D. concrete.

p. 52; para. 2

3. The Performing Stage in team development is when:

A. the group has embraced its value structure to govern behavior, and members accept the rules and standards management has presented to them.
B. the group is performing the tasks needed to accomplish goals, but there is minimal coordination and cooperation. They are just "getting by."
C. the group moves to accomplish goals through sustained and continuous cooperative activity.
D. all members know and accept their assigned or adopted roles in the group.

p. 109; 2nd Bullet

Questions 4-8 are taken from Mittendorf, Truck Company Operations, 2nd edition, and are to be answered in accordance with this text.

4. The first priority of truck company operations is to:

A. perform search and rescue operations.
B. support fire attack operations.
C. enable access to the fire area.
D. accomplish incident priorities.

p. 17; col. 1, para. 3

5. The ladder effect is why a room can flashover so quickly today compared to yesterday. This term primarily refers to:

A. the greater amount of toxic and flammable gases emitted by newer synthetic materials.
B. the fact that modern Class I construction confines gases and allows for more rapid heat build-up.
C. improper nozzle selection and stream application.
D. the way ignition temperatures of common gases accelerate the flammability of other gases that are present in a compartment.

p. 154; col. 1, para. 2

6. The three-strike rule is primarily based on the co-principle of firefighter safety and risk assessment. Strike One is smoke with heat. Strike two is less than acceptable visibility. Strike three is:

A. the environment is not improving.
B. self-ventilation.
C. loud, crackling noise.
D. the fire clock is moving.

p. 168; col. 2, bottom to p. 169

7. One of the most important considerations in formulating a forcible entry size-up is:

A. the type of occupancy.
B. the size and number of openings and exit points that are needed.
C. the size of the building.
D. the incident priorities.

p. 173; col. 1, para. 3

8. Which of the following types of walls is an excellent barrier to the extension of fire, particularly in an attic?

A. Partition walls.
B. Party walls.
C. Division walls.
D. All of the above.

p. 300; col. 1, para. 3

Questions 9-13 are taken from Dunn, Collapse of Burning Buildings, A Guide to Fireground Safety, 2nd edition, and are to be answered in accordance with this text.

9. The fire problem associated with a noncombustible/limited combustible building is:

A. the flat, combustible asphalt roof deck covering that can ignite during a fire.
B. failure of light-weight structural members.
C. fire and smoke spread throughout concealed spaces.
D. flames shooting out the windows quickly spread fire to nearby buildings.

p. 42; para. 3

10. The structural hierarchy effect means the destructiveness of a collapse depends on:

A. the first structure to fail and where this structure is positioned within the building supporting system.
B. the time the strongest structural support fails.
C. the cause of the collapse; e.g. explosion, wall failure, weight of water and other loads, etc.
D. how the floors are connected to bearing and nonbearing walls.

p. 78; para. 2

11. Which of the following types of sloping roof construction is the safest to walk on?

A. The rafter roof.
B. The plank and beam roof.
C. The heavy timber truss.
D. The collar beam.

p. 96; para. 1

12. The most important lessons learned from 9/11 were from the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7. Building 7 collapsed because of:

A. fire destruction.
B. failure of the transfer truss beam.
C. vast amounts of stored diesel fuel.
D. all of the above.

p. 293; top

13. Early floor collapse is most often caused by:

A. bad renovations.
B. rapid failure of pre-engineered floor construction or lightweight truss construction.
C. old construction.
D. high fuel loads with rapid heat build-up.

p. 319; para. 3

Questions 14-17 are taken from the HFD Guidelines and are to be answered in accordance with these documents.

14. Documentation on member's performance used in the classified EPE process needs to support three criteria: Relevance, Fairness and:

A. Timeliness.
B. Directness.
C. Completeness.
D. Quantifiable.

I-35, Classified Employee Performance Evaluation; p. 7, 6.02 (E)

15. Which of the following statements about employees signing the Informed Consent and Notification Forms permitting release of test results to city officials is correct?

A. These forms shall be completed and signed by the employee in the presence of the employee's supervisor or a departmental supervisor.
B. If the employee refuses to sign the consent form, testing will not occur.
C. Any employee who refuses to consent to a drug test shall be indefinitely suspended/terminated.
D. All of the above.

I-06, Controlled Substances and Alcohol Abuse; p. 4 , 6.08 (C)

16. Which of the following will make up the Fire Attack Group at a high rise fire?

A. First and second engine companies and first ladder company.
B. First engine and first ladder companies.
C. Second and third engine companies.
D. First ladder company and second and third engine companies.

II-05, High Rise Firefighting; p. 8, 6.02 (B)

17. If the Company Officer selects the command mode, all of the following options regarding the assignment of the remaining crew members are available except:

A. "move-up" a member within the company and place the company into action with the remaining crew members.
B. transfer command to a crew member and supervise the tactical operations.
C. assign the crew members to work under the supervision of another company officer.
D. assign crew members staff functions to assist command.

II-06, Incident Management System; p. 11, 6.05 (C)(1)(a)b)(c)

Questions 18-20 are taken from Bucher, Diversity Consciousness, 4th edition. and are to be answered in accordance with this text.

18. An experiment with pictures of a white man holding a knife and a black man without a knife showed:

A. how our racial biases can radically alter what we perceive.
B. that white people are more racially biased than black people.
C. that white people perceive themselves as victims of black people.
D. that both white and black people perceive themselves as victims of the other group.

p. 64; para. 4

19. Social distance refers to:

A. the degree to which we are willing to interact and develop relationships with certain racial and ethnic groups.
B. attitudes of the socially elite toward the socially disenfranchised.
C. the level of understanding between and among people from different cultures.
D. the changes that occur when one cultural group reaches out and attempts to understand the attributes of a different cultural group.

p. 106; #3

20. Effective communication requires constant practice and self-examination. To improve our communication skills we need to:

A. suspend judgment when those with different views are expressing themselves.
B. value diversity.
C. be open to feedback.
D. develop a preferred communication style and practice it.

p. 136; para. 5

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