FIREFIGHTER RECRUIT

The application process is now closed. We have reached the 350 applications.

FIREFIGHTER CANDIDIATE REFERENCE INFORMATION

Northwest Fire District offers a great work schedule, competitive pay and benefits package!

The District is seeking approximately twenty (20) individuals for our next Firefighter Recruit Academy Class with no experience necessary. As you apply, please note, this is an online-only application process.

Employment Applications will be accepted until October 31, 2020, or once 350 completed applications of qualified applicants are received, whichever occurs first.

IMPORTANT:  During this process applicants/candidates should not be contacting employees, visiting District work sites or requesting ride-alongs. 

The 22 week Academy has a tentative start date of March 10, 2021 and is scheduled for 40 hours a week with pay at $21.70 per hour with an approximate annual pay of $45,136.00. Once graduated, the Firefighter Recruit is promoted to Firefighter and begins to work a 56 hour a week shift in which pay transitions to $15.68 per hour plus overtime and has an approximate annual pay of $47,792.64.

 

Work with Purpose. Serve with Pride.

We’re looking for key members of our team to help us achieve our mission. We hope you are among those individuals.

So, why should you consider joining us?

We believe every individual who is a part of the Northwest Fire District plays a vital role in achieving our mission to save lives, protect property, and care for our community. We believe our firefighters, paramedics, and investigators can only provide the highest level of emergency response on the streets when that same standard exists throughout our entire organization.

We’ve promised our community exemplary leadership and performance, and to do so, we expect every employee to excel in their area of expertise. We have high standards at Northwest Fire and hold our team to that measure. In turn, every Northwest Fire team member innovates and improves our emergency services by bringing their best to the table every day. The dynamic ideas and dedicated work of our employees result in another life saved, another home or business salvaged, and more care brought to the very people who make up our towns, neighborhoods, and even our homes.

Our team knows they are making a difference with each emergency response and every harmful incident we’ve worked to prevent. It’s not easy work, but our employees excel with the support of a community that values their contribution and an organization with a clearly defined purpose. The challenge of advancing our mission drives us to new levels every day and the result is a sense of pride beyond compare.

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.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AT TIME OF APPLICATION SUBMISSION

Firefighter Recruit

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • At time of application, must be at least 18 years of age.
  • At time of application, High School Diploma, General Education Development (GED). If home schooled, a GED or AIMS Test Score. We will accept a higher degree, such as: Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s in place of a High School Diploma/GED/AIMS.
  • At time of application, Valid Driver’s License. You must obtain an Arizona driver’s license by the start of the Firefighter Recruit Academy.
  • Basic computer skills.

FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

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.

Employment Application

To complete the application, you will need your education and entire employment history for the last ten (10) years including contact details, regardless of time in position.

PLEASE NOTE: This online application requires much of the information typically found in a resume. As such, you will not be required, or provided an opportunity, to upload or submit your resume at any time throughout this process.

Questions? Please email hr@northwestfire.org.

Please no visits or phone calls.

The selection process begins now with the application and following instructions.  If invited to the selection process you must be the most qualified applicant to move forward to the next activity.  The activities consist of: a Remote Proctor Online Test, Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), Credibility Assessment and first interview and second interview.  The applicant will be contacted after each activity by email as to their status in the selection process.

If successful, a contingent job offer is made and the following must be passed: psychological testing to include an interview with a psychologist, drug testing, background checks, driver’s license check, employment reference checks/public record request, and pre-employment physical.

As a federal grant recipient, the Northwest Fire District must maintain a
Drug Free Workplace
EOE

Applicant Required Notices

This is an online only application process – faxed or emailed resumes or printed applications will NOT be accepted.
What We Offer

Paid Time Off (11 days accrual first year of employment)
Ten (10) Paid Working Holidays
Tuition Reimbursement (after the first year of employment)
Professional Development Opportunities

Employer SponsoredShared ContributionsVoluntary
Medical - Qualified High Deductible Health PlanDental - Two Plans (to include orthodontia for Adults & Children)Life Insurance (up to $300k, includes spouse)
Life Insurance ($50k)Vision - (to include discounts on Laser Vision Correction)Accidental Death & Dismemberment may include dependents (up to $300k)
Accidental Death & Dismemberment ($50k)
and Accident Travel Plan ($250k)
Retirement Plan offered - Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS)Accident with or without Disability may include dependents (includes a Wellness Rider)
Short-Term Disability (up to $1k/per week)Critical Illness with a Cancer Rider
may include spouse
Post Employment Health Plan (qualified health expenses)Deferred Compensation for Retirement
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Flexible Spending Accounts (health/daycare expenses)
Tuition Reimbursement after first year of employmentLifeLock
Educational Assistance (in house District sponsored certification classes)

Firefighter Recruitment and Selection Process 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.

The District reserves the right to change or eliminate any of these activities, and candidates will be notified in advance of any changes and given the opportunity to withdraw. If an accommodation is needed for any of the activities, the applicant must inform the scheduler or email hr@northwestfire.org in advance, so that the District has sufficient notice to try and accommodate the applicant.

At Northwest Fire District, we are following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Arizona Department of Health Services for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting candidates and our staff.  Rest assured your safety is of a primary concern for us.

Please click on Testing Details for descriptions of activities.

PROPOSED SELECTION PROCESS TIMELINE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND DUE TO THE PANDEMIC THERE MAY BE DELAYS DURING SCHEDULING:

2020

  • Application process closes October 31st or once 350 completed applications of qualified applicants are received, whichever occurs first
  • Week of November 16th – CPAT Orientation
  • Week of November 30th – Remote Proctor Online Test – General Aptitude
  • December 12th and 13th – CPAT Practice
  • Week of December 14th – Credibility Assessment

2021

  • January 9th and 10th – Official CPAT
  • Week of January 11th – First  Interviews
  • Week of January 18th – Second Interviews
  • Week of January 25th – Contingent Job Offers

Testing Details

The testing process will consist of five (5) phases: Remote Proctor Online Test, Credibility Assessment, CPAT, First Interview, and Second Interview.  Details on each are below. You will be notified by email if you are invited to the online remotely conducted test.  If so, you will receive a link by email that provides you with access to sign up for a scheduled time.  A preparatory test and video of the remote testing is provided.

Remote Proctor Online Test

The Remote Proctor Online Test measures general aptitude and is a 2 hour multiple choice test, comprised of 100 questions.

Remote Proctor Online Test will be conducted and scheduled by an outside contractor.  We are providing you with some key points and a link to a video on how to prepare for the test:

  • Candidates are required to test alone in a quiet, distraction-free area using a reliable computer with a high-speed internet connection, a microphone, a webcam (internal or external), and a Windows or Apple Operating System.
  • Exams with oral passages are not available for remote proctoring services.
  • Click on Important Information Regarding Your Online Test for further details.

 

SectionsNumber of Questions
Reading Comprehension 20
Written Communication20
Mathematical Ability20
Mechanical Reasoning20
Interpersonal Relations20
Total Questions:100

Credibility Assessment

Is based on technology used to assess truthfulness. This assessment is evaluating an individual’s honesty which is one of the District’s core values. This is a pass/fail assessment. The District is interested in measuring your truthfulness in the following areas:

  1. Your employment application information. Did you include every job you have had in the last ten (10) years?  You will be able to review your application before taking the assessment, and add anything you may have forgotten to include; and
  2. Use of illegal drugs (including illegal steroids and abused prescription drugs in the last five years) and marijuana within the past 12 months; and,
  3. Criminal history.

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 not be accepting CPAT cards from other agencies or companies. Candidates are required to participate and pass the District’s CPAT process to move forward.

The District will offer CPAT orientations, practice sessions, and an official test is part of this recruitment process. CPAT sessions will be held at our training center. The CPAT process does allow candidates to opt out of the Orientation and Practice sessions, by signing a waiver, and schedule 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.

Reference Materials: CPAT Guide  |  CPAT Preparation Guide

First Interview

Once you pass the Official CPAT you will receive an email and/or text inviting you to the First Interview.  Please expect to be with us for one (1) hour.

Second Interview

Should you be selected to move forward from the First Interview, you will receive an email and/or text inviting you to the Second Interview.  Please expect to be with us for one (1) hour.

 

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.

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

Answer: The application period begins on (add date/time). The deadline to submit all applications to Northwest Fire District is (add date/time). 

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. 

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 points?

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 start date of the Fire Academy?

Answer: The Fire Academy will start on (add date/time) and is anticipated to last 22 weeks.  Please note – dates are subject to change.

Question 7: 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
3. 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 also review our information on what it is like to be in a Fire Academy. You can find that information here.

Question 8: 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. 

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

Question 9: 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, you must obtain an Arizona driver’s license by the start of the Academy.

Question 10: 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.

Question 11: 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 hr@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 12: Will I be paid during the Fire Academy?

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

Question 13: 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 hr@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 hr@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 hr@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 14: I am currently an EMT/Advanced-EMT/Paramedic student. Can I apply?

Answer:  Yes.

*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.

ABOUT THE NORTHWEST FIRE DISTRICT

The Northwest Fire District is an internationally accredited, award-winning, innovative provider of all-hazards emergency response. We ensure our community receives high-quality and cost-efficient fire, emergency medical, and prevention services. Bordering the City of Tucson and 100 miles south of Phoenix, the Northwest Fire District spans areas of unincorporated Pima County, the majority of the Town of Marana, and touches into areas of the Town of Oro Valley.

The District covers 117,000 residents and 3,500 commercial occupancies over a 140-square mile area. Northwest Fire maintains ten strategically located stations with two new stations slated for construction in the fall of 2018, and two additional stations on the heels of those to keep up with our community’s growth. All of our firefighters are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians or Paramedics. We provide advanced life support (ALS) ambulance transportation for the most injured or ill patients within the District and we’ve been designated by the State of Arizona as a premier EMS Provider. In addition to the full spectrum of fire suppression activity, Northwest Fire manages a Hazardous Material Team and a Technical Rescue Team for swift water, confined space, and rugged terrain rescues. We also provide an expansive schedule of community education programs and support progressive fire prevention codes.

More information is available on https://northwestfire.org/about/

ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY

If you’re not already familiar with our community, we’re eager to tell you about the amazing people and unique landscapes that make up the Northwest Fire District. If you’re already in-the-know, it’s a great reminder of what makes the place we call home so unique, special, and unforgettably Southwest.

Our District borders Arizona’s second largest city, Tucson, and spans into the communities of Marana and Oro Valley. Between these municipalities and the areas of unincorporated Pima County that we protect are a variety of urban, suburban, rural and undeveloped wilderness expanses that make up our jurisdiction. The areas where we work include modern, fast-paced and innovative cityscapes as well as undeveloped landscapes that are steeped in culture and history. Both perspectives present scenic views of populated or open spaces found in the deserts of Arizona. We have an amazing mix of high-level business professionals intertwined with genuine cowboys and cowgirls in dust-covered boots and hats.

In addition to the neighborhoods, schools, and businesses where we keep watch, we also protect vast stretches of I-10, the Union Pacific Railroad, Marana Regional Airport, and hiking trails that wander through the Saguaros and traverse into the mountains. Our residents and visitors are sports enthusiasts, high-end shoppers, stargazers, bird watchers, little league coaches, cuisine coinsurers, homemakers, adventure seekers, college kids, retirees and everything in between. Whatever their “thing” is, they all seem to appreciate our Southwest sunsets that are second to none.

There’s so much more to say about our community, but in short, we believe we have it all. What’s more… there’s so much that we know can only be found right here in our backyard. You can read more about the many areas in and around Northwest Fire District through the links below:

Marana  |  Pima County  |  Oro Valley  | Tucson

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