(a) The Firemen’s Civil Service Commission in each municipality shall require individuals applying for admission to any competitive examination provided for under the civil service provisions of this article or under the rules of the commission to file in its office, within a reasonable time prior to the proposed examination, a formal application in which the applicant shall state under oath or affirmation:
(1) His or her full name, residence, and post office address;
(2) His or her United States citizenship, age, and the place and date of his or her birth;
(3) His or her state of health, and his or her physical capacity for the public service;
(4) His or her business and employments and residences for at least three previous years; and
(5) Any other information reasonably required, touching upon the applicant’s qualifications and fitness for the public service.
(b) Blank forms for the applications shall be furnished by the commission, without charge, to all individuals requesting the same.
(c) The commission may require, in connection with the application, certificates of citizens, physicians, and others, having pertinent knowledge concerning the applicant, as the good of the service requires.
(d) Except as provided in subsections (e), (f), and (g) of this section, the commission may not accept an application for original appointment if the individual applying is less than 18 years of age or more than 35 years of age at the date of his or her application.
(e) If any applicant is an honorably discharged veteran of any branch of the United States armed forces, armed services reserve, or National Guard, then the individual may apply for an original appointment if the applicant is not more than 40 years of age.
(f) If any applicant formerly served upon the paid fire department of the municipality to which he or she makes application for a period of more than one year, and resigned from the department at a time when there were no charges of misconduct or other misfeasance pending against the applicant within a period of two years next preceding the date of his or her application, and at the time of his or her application resides within the corporate limits of the municipality in which the paid fire department to which he or she seeks appointment by reinstatement is located, then the individual is eligible for appointment by reinstatement in the discretion of the Firemen’s Civil Service Commission, even though the applicant is over the age of 35 years, and the applicant, providing his or her former term of service so justifies, may be appointed by reinstatement to the paid fire department without a competitive examination. The applicant shall undergo a medical examination; and if the individual is so appointed by reinstatement to the paid fire department, he or she shall be the lowest in rank in the department next above the probationers of the department and may not be entitled to seniority considerations.
(g) If an individual is presently employed by one paid fire department and is over the age of 35, he or she may make an application to another paid fire department if:
(1) The paid fire department to which he or she is applying is serving a municipality that has elected to participate in the West Virginia Municipal Police Officers and Firefighters Retirement System created in §8-22A-1 et seq. of this code: Provided, That any individual applying pursuant to this subdivision is to be classified as a new employee for retirement purposes and prior employment service may not be transferred to the West Virginia Municipal Police Officers and Firefighters Retirement System; or
(2) The paid fire department to which he or she is applying is serving a municipality that has elected to participate in the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System created in §5-10-1 et seq. of this code: Provided, That any individual applying pursuant to this subdivision is to be classified as a new employee for retirement purposes and prior employment service may not be transferred to the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System, except for individuals and their prior employment service already credited to them in the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System pursuant to §5-10-1 et seq. of this code.
(h) Individuals who are authorized to apply to a paid fire department pursuant to subsection (f) of this section shall be in the lowest rank of the department and are not entitled to seniority considerations.
(i) Notwithstanding charter provisions to the contrary, any applicant for original appointment need not be a resident of the municipality or the county in which he or she seeks to become a member of the paid fire department.