Firefighter Vernon top scorer on test for lieutenant slot

Firefighter Ken Vernon was named the top scorer in Thursday’s Civil Service test for lieutenant on the Salem Fire Department, according to city Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst.

Fire Chief Jeff Hughes said Vernon is a seven-year veteran of the department and will become a lieutenant effective Jan. 24.

The opening was created with Lt. Rod Hughes retiring later this month after 23-1/2 years in the department.

His last shift is Jan. 23. He is the brother of the fire chief.

Chief Hughes said seven personnel took the test and a firefighter replacement for Vernon will be hired later this month.

Vernon, 38, is married and has one child.

The Salem Civil Service Commission administered the two-hour, 100-question test for lieutenant to eight firefighters on Thursday

The department includes Chief Hughes and 15 full-time firefighters, with three captains, three lieutenants, three inspectors and six firefighters.

Personnel with the rank of inspector and firefighter who have enough time in grade beyond the probationary period were eligible.

Civil Service Commission Clerk Moffett said the test, compiled by a private company, has a passing grade that includes in the raw score points awarded for years of service. The maximum amount of points allowed for years of service is 10.

Firefighters work shifts of 24 hours on followed by 48 hours off.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Rod Hughes was hired as a full-time firefighter in 1990.