Northwest Fire District

Firefighter Recruitment Highlights

This process is dedicated to hiring those who best demonstrate the qualities our community expects of their first responders. Successful candidates will possess the right attitude to learn and lead throughout an entire firefighting career with Northwest Fire.

To enter into this process, applicants must be certified as an Arizona or Nationally Registered EMT, Advanced-EMT (AEMT), or Paramedic .  Alternatively, you have the option to obtain and present these certifications by September 25th. Prior firefighting or medical work experience is NOT required to participate in this recruitment. All applicant qualifications are listed here. As with previous recruitments, we expect this to be a highly competitive process.

The District is seeking approximately nine (9) individuals for our next Academy Class. Please note, this is an online-only application process. Employment Applications will be accepted from July 9 – July 30, 2017, or until 500 applications have been received – whichever occurs first.

If you have questions about your eligibility or the recruitment process, please refer to our FAQ section.

Still have a question about the recruitment process?  Submit your question here.

Firefighter Recruit

Annual pay is approximately $44,282, with an actual hourly pay of $14.81*

*Hourly pay based on an average of 2912 hours worked annually plus scheduled overtime

 

Full Job Description

We expect anyone seeking employment with us can demonstrate that they work hard, work smart, have good judgement and integrity. We’re looking for those who are as committed to this community as we are… that’s the ‘fit’ we are seeking.

Michael J Brandt

Fire Chief, Northwest Fire District

Employment Application

Applications will be accepted through July 30, 2017 at 12:00 PM or until 500 applications have been received, whichever occurs first.

Applicant Required Notices

Apply Online
Drug Free Workplace – EOE
This is an online only application process – faxed or emailed resumes or printed applications will NOT be accepted. No phone calls or visits, please.

Have a question?

Check our FAQ section for answers.

FAQs
Application

Details on the required qualifications for this position

Details on the Recruitment Timeline

*Please note – all dates are subject to change

Details on the testing process

NWFD offers an extensive benefits package

Learn more about Northwest Fire District

Want to know more about what it is like to be a Northwest Fire District Firefighter?

Learn more about what it is like to be in our Fire Academy

Check our FAQ section for answers.

Minimum Qualifications

FIREFIGHTER

Preference Points for Veterans are granted to applicants who apply for an entry level (i.e., Firefighter) position and earn a passing score at the end of the testing process.

Have a question about your eligibility?

Check our FAQ section for answers.

FAQs

Benefit Information

The benefits listed below are effective on the first day of employment:

Life, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Short-Term Disability, Employee Assistance Program, and the employee may elect to participate in Deferred Compensation.

After 30 days of full-time employment, these benefits are available:

Medical, dental, vision, and voluntary beneftis.

Employer SponsoredShared ContributionsVoluntary
Life Insurance ($50,000)Medical - Traditional PlanLife Insurance (up to $300k)
Accidental Death & Dismemberment ($50,000)Dental - Two Plans (to include orthodontia for Adults & Children)Accidental Death & Dismemberment (up to $300k)
Short-Term Disability (up to $1,000/per week)Vision - (to include discounts on Laser Vision Correction)Accident with or without Disability (includes a Wellness Rider)
Medical - Qualified High Deductible Health PlanCritical Illness with a Cancer Rider
Post Employment Health Plan (qualified health expenses)Deferred Compensation for Retirement
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Flexible Spending Accounts (health/dependent expenses)
Tuition Reimbursement after first year of employment (i.e., graduation from academy)
Educational Assistance

RETIREMENT PLAN

Current Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) members transfer and continue participation on date of hire (First day of the Fire Academy). For those who may not already be members of the PSPRS, eligibility begins on the first day after Academy graduation date.

More Information

Further details on our benefits can be found on our Benefit Information page.

Benefit Information

Firefighter Recruitment Timeline

The recruitment process is an involved process consisting of many steps, and it is date and deadline driven.  We have compiled a timeline you can refer to that contains all of the important dates for each step of the recruitment process.

You can access a printable PDF copy you can use as a reference here.

Testing Details

The testing process will consist of four phases:  General Aptitude Test, First Interview, Second Interview, and CPAT.  Details on each are below.
General Aptitude Test schedules will be posted on July 16, 23 and 30, 2017 by 5:00 PM. You can find the test schedules on the Applicant Status and Test Scheduling page.

If you find yourself on the General Aptitude Test schedule, your application and education documents were accepted and you will be moving forward in the process. If you are unable to locate your ID on the schedule, you have not been invited to the General Aptitude Test. For confirmation of not moving forward in the process, you will receive an email within one (1) to three (3) business days from receipt of your application, which will be followed up by a letter in the mail as confirmation.

IMPORTANT:  You will not be contacted by phone or email regarding the General Aptitude Test and/or Interview scheduling.  It is your responsibility to check our website to view your status throughout the process. You can check your status here.

General Aptitude Test

The candidate’s score must be within the top 100 to proceed in the recruitment process.  The General Aptitude Test is a 2 hour multiple choice test, comprised of 100 questions. Items that are allowed into the testing room include Driver’s License, bottles of water and car keys.  Items that are not allowed into the testing facility include: jackets, hats, bags/backpacks/purses, or electronic devices.

SectionsNumber of Questions
Reading and Understanding Written Information 20
English Language Skills 20
Numerical Skills20
Mechanical Ability20
Interpersonal Skills20
Total Questions:100

First Interview

The First Interview is scheduled after the General Aptitude Test. The schedule for First Interviews will be posted on Tuesday, August 15. 2107 by 5:00 PM to the Applicant Status and Test Scheduling page. Candidates who are invited to participate in the First Interview should anticipate it lasting approximately one hour.

Second Interview

Candidates who are selected to proceed will be scheduled for a Second Interview.  The schedule for Second Interviews will be posted on Saturday, September 2, 2017 by 5:00 PM to the Applicant Status and Test Scheduling page. Candidates who are invited to participate in the Second Interview should anticipate it lasting approximately one hour.

Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

The Northwest Fire District utilizes the fire service CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) as part of the recruitment selection process for our academies.  The test is used throughout the country and is a pass/fail test.  The District will offer CPAT orientations, practice sessions, and an official test that coincides with this current recruitment process. CPAT sessions will be held at our training center. Dates for our CPAT process are listed below, but please note the CPAT process starts early if you want to participate.

If you already have a CPAT card/certificate issued September 25, 2016 or later, or will be receiving your CPAT card/certificate from another licensed agency by September 25, 2017, the District will accept that card/certificate and you will not need to take another CPAT Official test with Northwest Fire District.  The District will only accept cards/certificates issued between September 25, 2016 and September 24, 2017.  There are testing centers located in various cities (Phoenix has a couple) that run the CPAT more frequently than we will as part of this academy selection process. Candidates are welcome to go to those centers to get their CPAT card/certificate. You can search for “Phoenix CPAT testing” into your search engine of choice and get several options.

For those participating in our CPAT process:

The CPAT process does allow candidates to opt out of the Orientation and Practice sessions, by signing a waiver, and show up for a CPAT Official test.  However, if you are new to the CPAT, we highly recommend going through the entire process. At NWFD, the CPAT is administered by the District’s Peer Fitness Team.  This group of firefighters have special training designed to help firefighters successfully do their job. They are a great asset in helping people through the CPAT process.

CPAT Orientation will take place on July 15 and 16, 2017 beginning at 9:00 AM and will end no later than 12:00 PM.  No appointments are necessary.  Please wear athletic attire to this session.

CPAT Practice Sessions will take place August 12 and August 13, 2017.  The CPAT practice schedule will be posted on August 7, 2017 by 5:00 PM to the Applicant Status and Test Scheduling page.

The CPAT Official test will occur on September 16, 2017.  If you are selected to proceed from the Second Interview phase, you will be scheduled for the CPAT Official test.  The test schedule will be posted on September 11, 2017 by 5:00 PM to the Applicant Status and Test Scheduling page.

The following documents can help you prepare for the CPAT:

CPAT Orientation Guide

CPAT Preparation Guide

EMS Certifications

The NWFD will not be offering an EMT class as part of this academy. As such, all applicants are expected to possess a valid EMT, Advanced-EMT, or Paramedic certification. However, to assist out-of-state candidates or candidates that are in the final portions of their EMT/Advanced-EMT/Paramedic training, proof of Arizona certification will not be required until September 25, 2017.  Please read the following points closely.

What EMS certifications are required:

  • If you’re an EMT or Advanced EMT you must also possess a valid AHA CPR card.
  • If you’re a Paramedic you must also possess the following AHA certifications: AHA CPR, PALS, and ACLS.

Expiration Dates:

AHA Certifications:
All required AHA certifications must have certification dates that are good through March 31, 2018. So, if any AHA certifications expire prior to March 31, 2018, you should start working on getting those certifications renewed prior to September 25, 2017.  Candidates with AHA (CPR, ACLS, PALS) expiration dates between September 25, 2017 and March 31, 2018 will not be offered positions in this academy.

Arizona EMT/Advanced-EMT/Paramedic Certification:
Any candidate coming into the recruitment process whose certification has an expiration date between September 25th, 2017  – March 31st, 2018 must have enough Continuing Education credits (CEs) to match the National Registry re-certification for their provider level. Please review NREMT.org for your specific CE requirements. By September 25th, 2017,  these candidates must provide the required CE forms or proof of education (i.e. official transcript).

Out-of-State Candidates:

If you are an out-of-state candidate, you need to possess your current level of NREMT certification. In Arizona, the State’s Department of Health Services (AZ DHS) administers all pre-hospital certifications.  If you are an out-of-state candidate please check the AZ DHS’ website or call them to make sure you understand the requirements to obtain an Arizona EMT/Advanced-EMT/Paramedic certification. You will be required to present an Arizona EMT/Advanced-EMT/Paramedic certification to an NWFD Human Resources representative by September 25th, 2017 prior to NWFD offering you a position in the academy.

Please reference the Arizona Department of Health Services web page here:

http://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/emergency-medical-services-trauma-system/index.php

Final word on EMS cards/certifications:

You must be able to present a valid Arizona EMT/Advanced-EMT/Paramedic certification card, AHA CPR card, and if you’re a paramedic an AHA PALS and ACLS card to be offered a position in the Fire Academy.  These cards/certifications are all due September 25, 2017 and none of these cards/certifications can expire before March 31, 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions – Recruitment Process

In the FAQ section below, you will find answers to the most common questions we have received about our recruitment processes. Further, we continually update this section with answers to questions specific to this recruitment process for the benefit of all candidates, so check back often.

Just click on any of the questions below to view its answer.

If you are unable to find an answer to your question in this FAQ section, please submit your question to us here.

FAQ UPDATES

FAQ19 – added 07/10/2017: “My National Registry card/certificate expires on March 31, 2018. What do I need to do to meet the EMS Certification requirements for this recruitment process?”

FAQ 20 – added 07/11/2017: “I am currently an EMT/Advanced-EMT/Paramedic student. Can I apply?”

Question 1: When can I submit an application for a firefighter recruit position?

Answer: The application period begins on Sunday, July 9th 2017. The deadline to submit all applications to Northwest Fire District is 12:00 PM on Sunday, July 30th, 2017. The Northwest Fire District will stop accepting applications when 500 completed applications have been submitted. It is possible that 500 applications will be collected prior to the July 30, 2017 closing date and bring the application process to an early completion.

Question 2: What is the minimum age requirement to apply for a firefighter position?

Answer: All applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the time they submit their application.

Question 3: If I live outside of Arizona, can I still apply for the position of firefighter recruit?

Answer: Yes.  However, there are Arizona specific documents you will need to obtain and provide a copy of to us by September 25, 2017.  Please see the Minimum Qualifications section for details.

Question 4: What documents do I need to submit with my online application?

Answer: You will need to upload a copy of your Diploma, GED, Degree or Unofficial Transcripts (GED or AIMS Test Scores if home-schooled) with your online application.

Question 5: Do Veterans receive any preference status?

Answer: Yes. Preference Points for Veterans are granted to applicants who apply for an entry level (i.e., Firefighter) position and earn a passing score at the end of the testing process.

Question 6: What is the deadline for submitting my required documentation (CPAT cards/certificates, EMT/Advanced-EMT/Paramedic certification, etc.)?

Answer: Documentation must be submitted by September 25, 2017.

Question 7: I have a current Certified Physical Ability Test (CPAT) card/certificate. Do I need to complete the NWFD CPAT testing, as well?

Answer: No. If your valid CPAT card/certificate has an issue date of September 25, 2016 or later, we will accept your card/certificate and you can waive our CPAT testing.

Question 8: What is the start date of the Fire Academy?

Answer: The Fire Academy will start on October 23, 2017 and is anticipated to last 12-14 weeks.  Please note – dates are subject to change.

Question 9: How do I prepare for this recruitment process?

Answer: There are three basic areas of the testing process that require your focus:
1. The General Aptitude Test – There are many resources to help applicants prepare for a General Aptitude Test and can be found with an online search.
2. CPAT – The CPAT is the physical portion of the testing process –
The following documents can help you prepare for the CPAT:
CPAT Orientation Guide
CPAT Preparation Guide
http://staging10.northwestfire.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/CPATOrientationGuide.pdf3. The Interviews – This process does not require that you have any previous firefighting experience, therefore the interview will not focus on firefighting specific topics.

You should review our EMS Certifications section for specifics on what EMT/Advanced-EMT/Paramedic documentation you will need for this recruitment process.

You should also review our information on what it is like to be in a Fire Academy. You can find that information here.

Question 10: I am unable to provide a copy of my diploma/degree. What can I provide in its place?

Answer: You may submit an unofficial copy of your transcripts indicating that you have graduated with your online application. You will be required to provide an official transcript by September 25, 2017.

If you were home-schooled, you will need to provide your GED or AIMS test scores with your online application.

Question 11: I don't currently have an Arizona driver's license. Can I still apply?

Answer:  Yes.  We require a valid driver’s license at the time of application – Valid: means that an individual’s current driver’s license is not revoked, suspended, expired, refused, cancelled, or restricted.

While all valid driver’s licenses are accepted to apply and to sign-in for the General Aptitude Test, you must obtain an Arizona driver’s license by September 25, 2017.

Question 12: How do I know if my employment application and the files I’ve uploaded have been submitted correctly?

Answer: When you submit your completed employment application, you will receive an on-screen confirmation message thanking you for applying.  You will also find information on the required Candidate Checklist and next steps.  To check your status and test schedules, refer to the Recruitment Status and Test Scheduling page.

Question 13: I’ve just submitted my application and realized that I made a mistake. What do I do now?

Answer: If you realize that you have made a mistake, email docs@northwestfire.org within 24 hours from submission of your application explaining your situation.  Please include your name and the ID number you established on your application.

Question 14: Will I be paid during the Fire Academy?

Answer: Yes. You will be compensated while in the academy.

Question 15: I’ve tried to upload documents as a part of the application process, but I can’t seem to upload them. What can I do?

Answer: If you’ve tried and not been able to upload your documents to complete your application, you may scan or take a picture of the documents and attach them to an email sent to docs@northwestfire.org. In your email containing the attached documents, please make sure you include:

  • Your first and last name
  • The Applicant ID Number you established in the application.
  • A description of the documents you’re attaching
  • A good contact number and email to reach you

When you submit your materials to docs@northwestfire.org, you will receive a reply email within one to three business days. Beyond that confirmation notice, the Human Resources Team will only contact you if there are issues with the materials submitted to the docs@northwestfire.org email address. If our team cannot reach you by phone or email to address any potential issues with your documents, YOUR APPLICATION WILL REMAIN INCOMPLETE and WILL NOT BE SUBMITTED. An incomplete application or application that has not been submitted means you will NOT be included among the applicants that proceed in this process.

Question 16: I understand that Northwest Fire is accepting 500 applications. I started my application process, but needed additional information to complete it and haven’t done so yet. Is my application reserved as one of the first 500 applications?

Answer: No. If your application has not been submitted, it will not be counted among the first 500 received.

Question 17: Am I allowed to bring a calculator for use during the General Aptitude Test? How about scrap paper to use in working through questions or math problems?

Answer: No. Electronics of any kind (including cells phones, tablets, etc.) will not be allowed in the testing room. Any testing material needed for the General Aptitude Test will be provided to you.

Question 18: I need the required Candidate Checklist for entry into the General Aptitude Test. What do I do?

Answer: You can access the Candidate Checklist on the Recruitment Status and Test Scheduling page.

Question 19: My National Registry card/certificate expires on March 31, 2018. What do I need to do to meet the EMS Certification requirements for this recruitment process?

Answer:

Please follow this three-step process:

  1. To assist out-of-state applicants or those in the final portion of their EMT/AEMT/Paramedic training, candidates may apply for our recruitment process now as an Arizona State certified or National Registered EMT/AEMT/Paramedic.
  2. The District is not seeking proof of an Arizona certification until September 25th. To ensure you understand what it takes to use your National Registry status to gain an Arizona State card/certification, please visit the Arizona Department of Health Services at http://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/emergency-medical-services-trauma-system/ and be ready to present your Arizona State card/certification to the District by September 25th.
  3. Additionally, any candidate coming into the recruitment process with a certification expiration date between September 25, 2017 and March 31, 2018 must have enough Continuing Education credits to match the National Registry re-certification for their provider level. Please refer to https://www.nremt.org for details. These candidates must provide the required continuing education forms or proof of education (i.e. official transcripts) by September 25, 2017.

We will not be offering an EMT class as part of this Academy and successful candidates must begin the Academy process with enough CEs to recertify as there will be no time to dedicate to re-certification classes while in the Academy.

Question 20: I am currently an EMT/Advanced-EMT/Paramedic student. Can I apply?

Answer:  Yes, if you can present your Arizona state card/certificate to the District by September 25, 2017.

*Note – All information submitted via this form will be kept confidential.  It will only be used by our team to contact you with an answer to your question.

Life As A Northwest Fire District Firefighter

Below you will find answers to the most common questions about life as a firefighter with the Northwest Fire District.

Click any of the questions below to view the answer to that question.

If you have further questions, please submit your question here.

What is the typical day like for a Northwest Fire District firefighter?

Each shift starts at 0800, that’s 8 A.M., with a shift change report from the off-going firefighter. Once your personal protective equipment (commonly referred to as Turn-Out or Bunker gear) is placed on the truck, a thorough check of the truck and it’s equipment is completed to ensure response readiness. After a daily truck check, the crew will meet with the station Captain to go over the schedule/plan for the day and any new organizational memos.
In addition to responses to emergency and non-emergency incidents, a typical 24-hour shift will consists of:
– Daily truck check and equipment maintenance
– Fire station maintenance, upkeep and cleaning
– A minimum of two hours of fire-related training via hands-on drills, multi-company drills, webcam/online training, individual online assignments, etc…
– 1 hour of individual or crew physical training
– Emergency medical training and drills
– Completion of electronic patient care and fire incident reports
– Public service truck demonstrations and public education
– Fire hydrant testing and basic maintenance
– Pre-incident planning of buildings in response area
– Fire station tours
– Crew dinner preparation
– Individual study

What is it like to be a Northwest Fire District firefighter?

Serving the public as a firefighter is a physically and mentally demanding profession. To succeed in this profession, you must maintain peak levels of physical fitness, continually strive to learn and improve, and be able to operate and remain calm in a variety of high stress environments. You will have to give a lot of yourself in this line of work, but it can give back so much more: the experience of serving your community, the lifelong friendships, and the relationships you can develop.

Working 24-hour shifts can be a difficult transition for some firefighters and their family. It is imperative to develop and maintain a strong support system for yourself as a firefighter as well as for your family.

What schedule does the Northwest Fire District work?

The Northwest Fire District works a “3/4” schedule. What this means is that you work 24-hours on shift followed by 24 hours off, for 3 shifts. This is followed by 4 days off. This averages to 56 hours worked per week.  For example, you might work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday followed by four days off.  Your next work pattern would be Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday followed by Monday through Thursday off.  The work shifts continue to cycle like this, sharing weekends and holidays equally over a three-year period.

What type of promotional opportunities are available as a Northwest Fire District firefighter?

Advancement opportunities available to members of the Northwest Fire District are:

  • Engineer (Driver/Operator of the fire engines and ladder trucks)
  • Paramedic (A Paramedic is an individual trained to provide advanced life support. There is one on each responding apparatus within the Northwest Fire District)
  • Captain (Supervises an engine company which includes an engineer, paramedic, and firefighter)
  • Battalion Chief
  • Deputy Chief
  • Division Chief
  • Assistant Chief
  • Fire Chief

In addition to these ranked positions, members of the Northwest Fire District have the opportunity to extend their responsibilities with specialty certifications:

  • Hazardous Materials Technician
  • Technical Rescue Technician
  • Peer Fitness Trainer
What type of incidents does Northwest Fire District respond to?

Northwest Fire District responds to a wide variety of emergency and non-emergency incidents.

Fire responses can include:

  • Residential fires
  • Commercial fires
  • Vehicle fires
  • Brush fires

Emergency medical responses can include:

  • Mass-casualty incidents
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiac and respiratory emergencies
  • Seizures
  • Diabetic emergencies
  • Strokes
  • Drug overdoses
  • Traumatic injuries
  • In addition to the above, a wide variety of other medical emergencies

Non-emergency responses can include:

  • Elderly/Invalid assists
  • Smoke detector battery changes
  • Snake and desert pest removals
Does Northwest Fire District provide any type of retirement plan?

Northwest Fire District is a member of the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS). For more information on this visit http://www.psprs.com/

Are families allowed to come by the station?

Yes, the Northwest Fire District is a family-friendly organization and we welcome the families of employees to stop by from time-to-time for a visit.

How does the 24-hour shift work for families?

24 hours on shift can seem like a long time for families who are used to having their loved one home every night. On average, a NWFD firefighter works about 10 shifts per month, leaving the employee with much time at home for family activities. The shift schedule leaves the employee with more opportunities than just evenings and weekends to spend with the family, as well as some luxuries not typical to a normal 40-hour work schedule like volunteering in the classroom, going on field trips, and helping the kids with homework right after school.

How does the job and schedule of a firefighter affect holidays?

Firefighters do work on holidays, but because there are three shifts rotating throughout the year, each shift takes a turn on their assigned year. Holidays are worked just like the normal 24-hour shift, so if you are assigned to work, you will be at the station for the entire holiday. As mentioned before, families are welcome to come by the station, and some crews even invite family members for a holiday meal at the station. NWFD does pay a holiday differential to employees that are on shift.  Most NWFD employees have adjusted over the years and schedule family functions around the shift schedule.

Do firefighters sleep while on-duty?

The short answer is yes, but it’s not guaranteed. The long answer is that it depends on the assigned station and the number of emergency calls for that shift. The firefighter has an assigned room for the shift with a bed, but pillows and bedding are the responsibility of the employee as they are not provided by the District. Life at a busy station can be a challenge and it is possible for the firefighter to be awake and functioning for 24 hours.  It usually doesn’t take long to adjust to an abnormal sleep schedule, the adrenaline gets you going.

Do firefighters really cook meals at the station?

This depends on the preference of the on-duty crew, but most crews do share the responsibility of cooking the station meal at dinner. Traditionally, there is an assigned meal rotation based on the size of the station and number of crew members. Paying for the meal also depends on the preference of the crew. Some crews share the cost of the meal equally, while others have the person cooking pay for the cost of the meal. You don’t have to know how to cook to be a firefighter, but it doesn’t hurt. With so many opportunities to prepare meals, most firefighters end up with some decent cooking skills which is another benefit of the job.

What does it mean to be a Probationary Firefighter?

The first year of employment as a new firefighter is a probationary period. This can be a stressful experience. The probationary firefighter is expected to learn a large amount of information while demonstrating a strong work ethic. Upon completion of the Fire Academy, the firefighter is assigned to a fire station. Training continues at the station through book work, practical drills, and a significant amount of on-the-job training. During the probationary year, the new firefighter is required to complete a series of predetermined training modules while working their assigned shifts. After completing each module, the probationary firefighter must successfully pass both a written and practical skills test. If the firefighter successfully passes all the required modules, they will become a non-probationary employee.

Have another question about life as a Northwest Fire District firefighter?

If, after reviewing the contents of this page, you still have a question, please fill out the form below and we will get back to you.

What to expect from a fire academy

The purpose of the District’s Fire Academy is to turn Recruits into Firefighters.  The demands of the academy are hard, at times you will feel a bit overwhelmed and exhausted, but the effort is worth the reward.  Our academies are designed to create technically strong, mentally tough, and physically fit Firefighters.  There are academic and skills tests throughout the academy that will require passing scores.  While we would be hesitant to compare our academies to military boot camps, for many of our former recruits our academies are as close to a military boot camp as they’ve ever participated.  Having said this, the District assembles a group of its finest Firefighters, Engineers, Paramedics, and Captains to lead each group of recruits through the academy process.

When we asked our last academy what they wished they had known prior to entering their academy they focused on the physical aspects of the academy.  They suggested incoming recruits should be able to run a mile at a pretty good clip, be able to run for 30 mins without stopping, be able to do push-ups, pull-ups and bench presses.  Additionally, “cross fit” activities were mentioned as good preparation, for example “burpees” and “Murphs.” Focus on activities that involve continuous work with little to no rest between exercises.  Other helpful advice includes doing activities such as running stadiums, wearing boots to get acclimated to the increased weight factor, and going on hikes.

Remember good health begins with a good diet, if you’re not eating well start now.  If you’ve not been exercising regularly start slow and work on building up.  If you’ve not seen a doctor lately make an appointment to ensure you’re physically ready for your pre-academy training and the demands of the academy.

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