Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB4741
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Full Text of HB4741  98th General Assembly




HB4741 EnrolledLRB098 16875 JLK 51948 b

1    AN ACT concerning local government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Fire Protection District Act is amended by
5changing Section 16.06b as follows:
6    (70 ILCS 705/16.06b)
7    Sec. 16.06b. Original appointments; full-time fire
9    (a) Applicability. Unless a commission elects to follow the
10provisions of Section 16.06c, this Section shall apply to all
11original appointments to an affected full-time fire
12department. Existing registers of eligibles shall continue to
13be valid until their expiration dates, or up to a maximum of 2
14years after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the
1597th General Assembly.
16    Notwithstanding any statute, ordinance, rule, or other law
17to the contrary, all original appointments to an affected
18department to which this Section applies shall be administered
19in a no less stringent manner than the manner provided for in
20this Section. Provisions of the Illinois Municipal Code, Fire
21Protection District Act, fire district ordinances, and rules
22adopted pursuant to such authority and other laws relating to
23initial hiring of firefighters in affected departments shall



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1continue to apply to the extent they are compatible with this
2Section, but in the event of a conflict between this Section
3and any other law, this Section shall control.
4    A fire protection district that is operating under a court
5order or consent decree regarding original appointments to a
6full-time fire department before the effective date of this
7amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly is exempt from the
8requirements of this Section for the duration of the court
9order or consent decree.
10    (b) Original appointments. All original appointments made
11to an affected fire department shall be made from a register of
12eligibles established in accordance with the processes
13required by this Section. Only persons who meet or exceed the
14performance standards required by the Section shall be placed
15on a register of eligibles for original appointment to an
16affected fire department.
17    Whenever an appointing authority authorizes action to hire
18a person to perform the duties of a firefighter or to hire a
19firefighter-paramedic to fill a position that is a new position
20or vacancy due to resignation, discharge, promotion, death, the
21granting of a disability or retirement pension, or any other
22cause, the appointing authority shall appoint to that position
23the person with the highest ranking on the final eligibility
24list. If the appointing authority has reason to conclude that
25the highest ranked person fails to meet the minimum standards
26for the position or if the appointing authority believes an



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1alternate candidate would better serve the needs of the
2department, then the appointing authority has the right to pass
3over the highest ranked person and appoint either: (i) any
4person who has a ranking in the top 5% of the register of
5eligibles or (ii) any person who is among the top 5 highest
6ranked persons on the list of eligibles if the number of people
7who have a ranking in the top 5% of the register of eligibles
8is less than 5 people.
9    Any candidate may pass on an appointment once without
10losing his or her position on the register of eligibles. Any
11candidate who passes a second time may be removed from the list
12by the appointing authority provided that such action shall not
13prejudice a person's opportunities to participate in future
14examinations, including an examination held during the time a
15candidate is already on the fire district's register of
17    The sole authority to issue certificates of appointment
18shall be vested in the board of fire commissioners, or board of
19trustees serving in the capacity of a board of fire
20commissioners. All certificates of appointment issued to any
21officer or member of an affected department shall be signed by
22the chairperson and secretary, respectively, of the commission
23upon appointment of such officer or member to the affected
24department by action of the commission. Each person who accepts
25a certificate of appointment and successfully completes his or
26her probationary period shall be enrolled as a firefighter and



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1as a regular member of the fire department.
2    For the purposes of this Section, "firefighter" means any
3person who has been prior to, on, or after the effective date
4of this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly appointed
5to a fire department or fire protection district or employed by
6a State university and sworn or commissioned to perform
7firefighter duties or paramedic duties, or both, except that
8the following persons are not included: part-time
9firefighters; auxiliary, reserve, or voluntary firefighters,
10including paid-on-call firefighters; clerks and dispatchers or
11other civilian employees of a fire department or fire
12protection district who are not routinely expected to perform
13firefighter duties; and elected officials.
14    (c) Qualification for placement on register of eligibles.
15The purpose of establishing a register of eligibles is to
16identify applicants who possess and demonstrate the mental
17aptitude and physical ability to perform the duties required of
18members of the fire department in order to provide the highest
19quality of service to the public. To this end, all applicants
20for original appointment to an affected fire department shall
21be subject to examination and testing which shall be public,
22competitive, and open to all applicants unless the district
23shall by ordinance limit applicants to residents of the
24district, county or counties in which the district is located,
25State, or nation. Districts may establish educational,
26emergency medical service licensure, and other pre-requisites



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1for participation in an examination or for hire as a
2firefighter. Any fire protection district may charge a fee to
3cover the costs of the application process.
4    Residency requirements in effect at the time an individual
5enters the fire service of a district cannot be made more
6restrictive for that individual during his or her period of
7service for that district, or be made a condition of promotion,
8except for the rank or position of fire chief and for no more
9than 2 positions that rank immediately below that of the chief
10rank which are appointed positions pursuant to the Fire
11Department Promotion Act.
12    No person who is 35 years of age or older shall be eligible
13to take an examination for a position as a firefighter unless
14the person has had previous employment status as a firefighter
15in the regularly constituted fire department of the district,
16except as provided in this Section. The age limitation does not
17apply to:
18        (1) any person previously employed as a full-time
19    firefighter in a regularly constituted fire department of
20    (i) any municipality or fire protection district located in
21    Illinois, (ii) a fire protection district whose
22    obligations were assumed by a municipality under Section 21
23    of the Fire Protection District Act, or (iii) a
24    municipality whose obligations were taken over by a fire
25    protection district, or
26        (2) any person who has served a fire district as a



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1    regularly enrolled volunteer, paid-on-call, or part-time
2    firefighter for the 5 years immediately preceding the time
3    that the district begins to use full-time firefighters to
4    provide all or part of its fire protection service; or .
5        (3) any person who turned 35 while serving as a member
6    of the active or reserve components of any of the branches
7    of the Armed Forces of the United States or the National
8    Guard of any state, whose service was characterized as
9    honorable or under honorable, if separated from the
10    military, and is currently under the age of 40.
11    No person who is under 21 years of age shall be eligible
12for employment as a firefighter.
13    No applicant shall be examined concerning his or her
14political or religious opinions or affiliations. The
15examinations shall be conducted by the commissioners of the
16district or their designees and agents.
17    No district shall require that any firefighter appointed to
18the lowest rank serve a probationary employment period of
19longer than one year of actual active employment, which may
20exclude periods of training, or injury or illness leaves,
21including duty related leave, in excess of 30 calendar days.
22Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Section, the
23probationary employment period limitation may be extended for a
24firefighter who is required, as a condition of employment, to
25be a certified paramedic, during which time the sole reason
26that a firefighter may be discharged without a hearing is for



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1failing to meet the requirements for paramedic certification.
2    In the event that any applicant who has been found eligible
3for appointment and whose name has been placed upon the final
4eligibility register provided for in this Section has not been
5appointed to a firefighter position within one year after the
6date of his or her physical ability examination, the commission
7may cause a second examination to be made of that applicant's
8physical ability prior to his or her appointment. If, after the
9second examination, the physical ability of the applicant shall
10be found to be less than the minimum standard fixed by the
11rules of the commission, the applicant shall not be appointed.
12The applicant's name may be retained upon the register of
13candidates eligible for appointment and when next reached for
14certification and appointment that applicant may be again
15examined as provided in this Section, and if the physical
16ability of that applicant is found to be less than the minimum
17standard fixed by the rules of the commission, the applicant
18shall not be appointed, and the name of the applicant shall be
19removed from the register.
20    (d) Notice, examination, and testing components. Notice of
21the time, place, general scope, merit criteria for any
22subjective component, and fee of every examination shall be
23given by the commission, by a publication at least 2 weeks
24preceding the examination: (i) in one or more newspapers
25published in the district, or if no newspaper is published
26therein, then in one or more newspapers with a general



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1circulation within the district, or (ii) on the fire protection
2district's Internet website. Additional notice of the
3examination may be given as the commission shall prescribe.
4    The examination and qualifying standards for employment of
5firefighters shall be based on: mental aptitude, physical
6ability, preferences, moral character, and health. The mental
7aptitude, physical ability, and preference components shall
8determine an applicant's qualification for and placement on the
9final register of eligibles. The examination may also include a
10subjective component based on merit criteria as determined by
11the commission. Scores from the examination must be made
12available to the public.
13    (e) Mental aptitude. No person who does not possess at
14least a high school diploma or an equivalent high school
15education shall be placed on a register of eligibles.
16Examination of an applicant's mental aptitude shall be based
17upon a written examination. The examination shall be practical
18in character and relate to those matters that fairly test the
19capacity of the persons examined to discharge the duties
20performed by members of a fire department. Written examinations
21shall be administered in a manner that ensures the security and
22accuracy of the scores achieved.
23    (f) Physical ability. All candidates shall be required to
24undergo an examination of their physical ability to perform the
25essential functions included in the duties they may be called
26upon to perform as a member of a fire department. For the



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1purposes of this Section, essential functions of the job are
2functions associated with duties that a firefighter may be
3called upon to perform in response to emergency calls. The
4frequency of the occurrence of those duties as part of the fire
5department's regular routine shall not be a controlling factor
6in the design of examination criteria or evolutions selected
7for testing. These physical examinations shall be open,
8competitive, and based on industry standards designed to test
9each applicant's physical abilities in the following
11        (1) Muscular strength to perform tasks and evolutions
12    that may be required in the performance of duties including
13    grip strength, leg strength, and arm strength. Tests shall
14    be conducted under anaerobic as well as aerobic conditions
15    to test both the candidate's speed and endurance in
16    performing tasks and evolutions. Tasks tested may be based
17    on standards developed, or approved, by the local
18    appointing authority.
19        (2) The ability to climb ladders, operate from heights,
20    walk or crawl in the dark along narrow and uneven surfaces,
21    and operate in proximity to hazardous environments.
22        (3) The ability to carry out critical, time-sensitive,
23    and complex problem solving during physical exertion in
24    stressful and hazardous environments. The testing
25    environment may be hot and dark with tightly enclosed
26    spaces, flashing lights, sirens, and other distractions.



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1    The tests utilized to measure each applicant's
2capabilities in each of these dimensions may be tests based on
3industry standards currently in use or equivalent tests
4approved by the Joint Labor-Management Committee of the Office
5of the State Fire Marshal.
6    Physical ability examinations administered under this
7Section shall be conducted with a reasonable number of proctors
8and monitors, open to the public, and subject to reasonable
9regulations of the commission.
10    (g) Scoring of examination components. Appointing
11authorities may create a preliminary eligibility register. A
12person shall be placed on the list based upon his or her
13passage of the written examination or the passage of the
14written examination and the physical ability component.
15Passage of the written examination means a score that is at or
16above the median score for all applicants participating in the
17written test. The appointing authority may conduct the physical
18ability component and any subjective components subsequent to
19the posting of the preliminary eligibility register.
20    The examination components for an initial eligibility
21register shall be graded on a 100-point scale. A person's
22position on the list shall be determined by the following: (i)
23the person's score on the written examination, (ii) the person
24successfully passing the physical ability component, and (iii)
25the person's results on any subjective component as described
26in subsection (d).



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1    In order to qualify for placement on the final eligibility
2register, an applicant's score on the written examination,
3before any applicable preference points or subjective points
4are applied, shall be at or above the median score. The local
5appointing authority may prescribe the score to qualify for
6placement on the final eligibility register, but the score
7shall not be less than the median score.
8    The commission shall prepare and keep a register of persons
9whose total score is not less than the minimum fixed by this
10Section and who have passed the physical ability examination.
11These persons shall take rank upon the register as candidates
12in the order of their relative excellence based on the highest
13to the lowest total points scored on the mental aptitude,
14subjective component, and preference components of the test
15administered in accordance with this Section. No more than 60
16days after each examination, an initial eligibility list shall
17be posted by the commission. The list shall include the final
18grades of the candidates without reference to priority of the
19time of examination and subject to claim for preference credit.
20    Commissions may conduct additional examinations, including
21without limitation a polygraph test, after a final eligibility
22register is established and before it expires with the
23candidates ranked by total score without regard to date of
24examination. No more than 60 days after each examination, an
25initial eligibility list shall be posted by the commission
26showing the final grades of the candidates without reference to



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1priority of time of examination and subject to claim for
2preference credit.
3    (h) Preferences. The following are preferences:
4        (1) Veteran preference. Persons who were engaged in the
5    military service of the United States for a period of at
6    least one year of active duty and who were honorably
7    discharged therefrom, or who are now or have been members
8    on inactive or reserve duty in such military or naval
9    service, shall be preferred for appointment to and
10    employment with the fire department of an affected
11    department.
12        (2) Fire cadet preference. Persons who have
13    successfully completed 2 years of study in fire techniques
14    or cadet training within a cadet program established under
15    the rules of the Joint Labor and Management Committee
16    (JLMC), as defined in Section 50 of the Fire Department
17    Promotion Act, may be preferred for appointment to and
18    employment with the fire department.
19        (3) Educational preference. Persons who have
20    successfully obtained an associate's degree in the field of
21    fire service or emergency medical services, or a bachelor's
22    degree from an accredited college or university may be
23    preferred for appointment to and employment with the fire
24    department.
25        (4) Paramedic preference. Persons who have obtained
26    certification as an Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic



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1    (EMT-P) may be preferred for appointment to and employment
2    with the fire department of an affected department
3    providing emergency medical services.
4        (5) Experience preference. All persons employed by a
5    district who have been paid-on-call or part-time certified
6    Firefighter II, certified Firefighter III, State of
7    Illinois or nationally licensed EMT-B or EMT-I, licensed
8    paramedic, or any combination of those capacities may be
9    awarded up to a maximum of 5 points. However, the applicant
10    may not be awarded more than 0.5 points for each complete
11    year of paid-on-call or part-time service. Applicants from
12    outside the district who were employed as full-time
13    firefighters or firefighter-paramedics by a fire
14    protection district or municipality for at least 2 years
15    may be awarded up to 5 experience preference points.
16    However, the applicant may not be awarded more than one
17    point for each complete year of full-time service.
18        Upon request by the commission, the governing body of
19    the district or in the case of applicants from outside the
20    district the governing body of any other fire protection
21    district or any municipality shall certify to the
22    commission, within 10 days after the request, the number of
23    years of successful paid-on-call, part-time, or full-time
24    service of any person. A candidate may not receive the full
25    amount of preference points under this subsection if the
26    amount of points awarded would place the candidate before a



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1    veteran on the eligibility list. If more than one candidate
2    receiving experience preference points is prevented from
3    receiving all of their points due to not being allowed to
4    pass a veteran, the candidates shall be placed on the list
5    below the veteran in rank order based on the totals
6    received if all points under this subsection were to be
7    awarded. Any remaining ties on the list shall be determined
8    by lot.
9        (6) Residency preference. Applicants whose principal
10    residence is located within the fire department's
11    jurisdiction may be preferred for appointment to and
12    employment with the fire department.
13        (7) Additional preferences. Up to 5 additional
14    preference points may be awarded for unique categories
15    based on an applicant's experience or background as
16    identified by the commission.
17        (8) Scoring of preferences. The commission shall give
18    preference for original appointment to persons designated
19    in item (1) by adding to the final grade that they receive
20    5 points for the recognized preference achieved. The
21    commission shall determine the number of preference points
22    for each category except (1). The number of preference
23    points for each category shall range from 0 to 5. In
24    determining the number of preference points, the
25    commission shall prescribe that if a candidate earns the
26    maximum number of preference points in all categories, that



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1    number may not be less than 10 nor more than 30. The
2    commission shall give preference for original appointment
3    to persons designated in items (2) through (7) by adding
4    the requisite number of points to the final grade for each
5    recognized preference achieved. The numerical result thus
6    attained shall be applied by the commission in determining
7    the final eligibility list and appointment from the
8    eligibility list. The local appointing authority may
9    prescribe the total number of preference points awarded
10    under this Section, but the total number of preference
11    points shall not be less than 10 points or more than 30
12    points.
13    No person entitled to any preference shall be required to
14claim the credit before any examination held under the
15provisions of this Section, but the preference shall be given
16after the posting or publication of the initial eligibility
17list or register at the request of a person entitled to a
18credit before any certification or appointments are made from
19the eligibility register, upon the furnishing of verifiable
20evidence and proof of qualifying preference credit. Candidates
21who are eligible for preference credit shall make a claim in
22writing within 10 days after the posting of the initial
23eligibility list, or the claim shall be deemed waived. Final
24eligibility registers shall be established after the awarding
25of verified preference points. All employment shall be subject
26to the commission's initial hire background review including,



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1but not limited to, criminal history, employment history, moral
2character, oral examination, and medical and psychological
3examinations, all on a pass-fail basis. The medical and
4psychological examinations must be conducted last, and may only
5be performed after a conditional offer of employment has been
7    Any person placed on an eligibility list who exceeds the
8age requirement before being appointed to a fire department
9shall remain eligible for appointment until the list is
10abolished, or his or her name has been on the list for a period
11of 2 years. No person who has attained the age of 35 years
12shall be inducted into a fire department, except as otherwise
13provided in this Section.
14    The commission shall strike off the names of candidates for
15original appointment after the names have been on the list for
16more than 2 years.
17    (i) Moral character. No person shall be appointed to a fire
18department unless he or she is a person of good character; not
19a habitual drunkard, a gambler, or a person who has been
20convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.
21However, no person shall be disqualified from appointment to
22the fire department because of the person's record of
23misdemeanor convictions except those under Sections 11-6,
2411-7, 11-9, 11-14, 11-15, 11-17, 11-18, 11-19, 12-2, 12-6,
2512-15, 14-4, 16-1, 21.1-3, 24-3.1, 24-5, 25-1, 28-3, 31-1,
2631-4, 31-6, 31-7, 32-1, 32-2, 32-3, 32-4, 32-8, and subsections



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11, 6, and 8 of Section 24-1 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the
2Criminal Code of 2012, or arrest for any cause without
3conviction thereon. Any such person who is in the department
4may be removed on charges brought for violating this subsection
5and after a trial as hereinafter provided.
6    A classifiable set of the fingerprints of every person who
7is offered employment as a certificated member of an affected
8fire department whether with or without compensation, shall be
9furnished to the Illinois Department of State Police and to the
10Federal Bureau of Investigation by the commission.
11    Whenever a commission is authorized or required by law to
12consider some aspect of criminal history record information for
13the purpose of carrying out its statutory powers and
14responsibilities, then, upon request and payment of fees in
15conformance with the requirements of Section 2605-400 of the
16State Police Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois,
17the Department of State Police is authorized to furnish,
18pursuant to positive identification, the information contained
19in State files as is necessary to fulfill the request.
20    (j) Temporary appointments. In order to prevent a stoppage
21of public business, to meet extraordinary exigencies, or to
22prevent material impairment of the fire department, the
23commission may make temporary appointments, to remain in force
24only until regular appointments are made under the provisions
25of this Section, but never to exceed 60 days. No temporary
26appointment of any one person shall be made more than twice in



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1any calendar year.
2    (k) A person who knowingly divulges or receives test
3questions or answers before a written examination, or otherwise
4knowingly violates or subverts any requirement of this Section,
5commits a violation of this Section and may be subject to
6charges for official misconduct.
7    A person who is the knowing recipient of test information
8in advance of the examination shall be disqualified from the
9examination or discharged from the position to which he or she
10was appointed, as applicable, and otherwise subjected to
11disciplinary actions.
12(Source: P.A. 97-251, eff. 8-4-11; 97-898, eff. 8-6-12;
1397-1150, eff. 1-25-13.)
14    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
15becoming law.