Join MFD

If you have additional questions that have not been answered, please use the question form below or contact us at Fire Recruitment, (608) 513-3446.

  • I would like to know all the schooling and certifications I would need to even be considered. I also would like to know what would make me stand out. Thank you sir/mam

    Thank you for your interest in the City of Madison Fire Department.  Madison Fire does not require a degree or certifications to be considered for Firefighter.  Our Department offers a recruit academy to individuals who are hired which is designed to teach new firefighters the necessary skills needed for the job.  For a complete listing of what we look for in an individual, please visit our website at

  • Does the fire department offer a cadet or junior program??

    Thank you for your interest in the City of Madison Fire Department.  Madison Fire does not offer a cadet or junior program.  Individuals who are hired for the position of Firefighter in our Department are trained in our Recruit Academy.  This academy is only available to those individuals who have been hired to become a firefighter in our Department.  For information on how to join MFD, please visit our website at

  • I have a PADI Rescue Diver Certification. What do I need to do to join the lake rescue team?

    You must first become a firefighter with the Department and then complete the Department's internal selection process for Special Teams when positions are available. All City of Madison Fire Department Special Teams members are selected from within the Department.

  • I have XX years of experience as a firefighter and have many and/or all fire-related certificates; do have I still have to go thru the entire fire academy or is there a special academy for people that come in with experience?

    Yes. All new members of the Department are required to attend the Recruit Academy regardless of past years of firefighting experience. This academy is designed to help the recruit become a successful member the Engine/Ladder company to which they'll be assigned upon completion.

  • If you pass all the interviews, the PAT, and make it to the training academy, are you hired at this point, or are you then put on the list to be hired?

    You are officially hired the day you start the Fire Academy. An 18-month probationary period follows.

  • How much does one get paid while in training?

    Firefighter recruits are paid the base salary listed in the respective firefighter job posting during their time in the recruit academy and up to 6 months after their start date. After 6 months, firefighter recruits earn a "step" increase. The "Step 1" base salary for a firefighter hired in 2016 was $1,893.09/biweekly. 

  • What can I do to stand out amongst other candidates?

    This is a highly sought-after position, and the application process is competitive. There is no single answer to this question as everybody brings different assets to the table.

    In addition to doing well on the written exam, we encourage you to use the interview phase to effectively demonstrate the capabilities and values you would contribute to the Department and its mission.

  • Taking in consideration the requirement that an applicant be in good physical health, would someone with certain pre-existing medical condition still be considered as an applicant to the Madison Fire Dept.?

    Yes. We encourage anybody interested in applying to the Department to do so. The final component of the application process is a medical evaluation by our occupational medical provider, SSM Health. The medical providers will make a determination about an applicant's ability to fulfill the duties of the job based on standards set forth in NFPA 1582.

  • Is there any veterans preference taken into account during the hiring process?

    Veteran points are added to the overall score from the initial test for candidates who meet all of the following requirements:

    · Submitted a Form DD-214 with their application or no later than the test date;

    · Are eligible to receive veteran’s points in accordance with WI State Statute; and

    · Passed the test.

  • What can I be doing as a high school student looking for a career with the MFD that will maximize my chances of being hired?

    There are some great programs to explore if the fire service is what you really want to pursue. Here in Madison, Fire Service Certifications (FF-1, FF-2, and EMT programs) are available through Madison College. These types of programs will give you direct knowledge of the field itself.

    However, you do not need to pursue these types of classes in order to compete successfully in the firefighter recruitment process.

    What's equally important to us is finding candidates who are in tune with the needs of their community. Whether through volunteering, community outreach, or other life experience, the most successful candidates will be those who show genuine compassion for people and an active interest in serving the community.


  • Do you live at the academy while attending it or do you live at your own residence and report for each day's scheduled training?

    During the Academy, you live at your own residence and report for each day's scheduled training.

  • Is there an age limit to be a candidate in the hiring process for the firefighter position?

    You must be at least 18 years of age to apply to be a firefighter; however, there is no maximum age limit.

    See more pre-requisites and desirable qualifications on our "What We Look For" page.

  • Was wondering if there was an age cut-off for hiring.

    You must be a minimum of 18 years of age to apply to the Madison Fire Department; however, there is no maximum age limit or "age cutoff."

  • I am a FF/Paramedic out of state. Will my current state fire certifications and paramedic license transfer over, or will I have to re-do all the classes?

    If you carry national certifications, these will transfer over to the Madison Fire Department. Acceptance of state certifications will vary on a case-by-case basis. It is recommended that you submit your certifications at the proper time during the application process or at time of hire, and they will be reviewed for compliance with local requirements.

    Nevertheless, all new recruits do go through a pre-service Fire Academy. Those who carry EMT licenses often begin serving at a fire station immediately following Fire Academy graduation, while those who still need EMT certification will continue their studies before serving at the fire stations.

  • Is asthma an automatic disqualifier? Can you give more specific guidelines on fitness levels expected than what is provided in 'What we look for"?

    Asthma is not an automatic disqualifier for people wishing to apply to the Madison Fire Department. The final component of the application process is a medical evaluation by our occupational medical provider, SSM Health. The medical providers will make a determination about an applicant's ability to fulfill the duties of the job based on standards set forth in NFPA 1582.
    More information about the required fitness levels, please visit our Application Process page and scroll to the section called "Physical Ability Test." There, you will also find a link to a training video that demonstrates elements of the Physical Ability Test.

  • Do you need to have a drivers license? I have a vision disability that inhibits me from getting a drivers license.

    Yes, a valid driver’s license is one of the requirements of the application process. A vision disability, depending on the severity, would likely cause a failure of the medical exam as well.

  • Hello, When is the next hiring process? Thanks!

    As of May 2018, we anticipate the next application period will begin in October 2019.

  • From what I am reading Recruitment Training Academy is daily. About how many hours a day is training? Will I be able to work another job at the time?

    Once you are in the Fire Academy, you are a full-time employee of the City of Madison Fire Department. The Academy will challenge you and require your full attention in order to be successful and graduate. Homework and study time should be accounted for when considering how much time you'll be dedicating to the Fire Academy. Working another job at the same time can be done at your discretion, on your own time, but may present challenges as you try to keep up with the demands of the MFD Fire Academy.

  • Do you have to become a paramedic or is it just for certain firefighters? Also, how does the apparatus assignments work? Are firefighters assigned to one piece of apparatus or do they rotate?

    You do not have to become a paramedic, though many choose to do so. Upon graduation from the academy, firefighters are assigned to a station and shift. They are not assigned to specific apparatus. Some fire stations house a ladder company and engine company; you may rotate among the two apparatuses if assigned at one of these stations.


  • If you are 17 when the applications open, but 18 when the first phase of the application process is scheduled to be conducted, can you still apply?

    You must be 18 years of age at the time you submit your application.

  • I would like to become a paramedic. When does the next (2019) class begin training? And is paramedic training offered immediately after fire academy training is completed? Will I have a better chance of academy acceptance if I already have some EMS experience or certifications?

    The hiring process for the 2019 recruit class began and ended in 2017, so there is no new opportunity for hiring in 2019. The next application process will begin in October 2019. Subscribe to our 'Join MFD' mailing list for updates.

    We do not offer paramedic training right after the fire academy.

    Yes, it will help your chances of getting hired if you have some EMS experience.

  • Does the MFD do any kind of internships for college students graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Fire Science?

    The MFD does not currently offer any firefighter internship opportunities.

  • Does MFD offer internship opportunities?

    The MFD does not offer internships at this time.

  • Am I eligible for any tuition forgiveness or reimbursement programs, if I join the MFD after I graduate college?
    Yes, thanks to a federal program, all members of the protective services are eligible for student loan forgiveness. Click for more information.

    Additionally, The City of Madison Fire Department offers tuition reimbursement for undergraduate classes at the UW-Madison rate. There are no reimbursement or forgiveness programs for graduate studies.
  • I am currently in the Marine Corps with 9 years experience in the Infantry. Will my years of service in conjunction with my military occupation benefit me in the hiring process? Also how far out from my end of service date should i start the application process?

    A DD Form 214 submitted at the time of application will earn you 10 points on the written examination.

    The application process is conducted once every 2 years, and applications accepted for a period of 2 months. Our next hiring process will open in October of 2019. You may apply while you are still serving, but you should be ready to be in Madison for the January 2020 written test.

    Following the written test, there will be three interviews over the next four months, and a physical ability test in summer of 2020.

    We expect to begin the fire academy in the fall of 2020. All of the exact dates are not known at this time.

  • Hiring

    • Is residency required?

      No, at this time you are not required to live in the City of Madison to be a firefighter with the Madison Fire Department. However, residency is a requirement for fire managers.

    • When will the next hiring process be?

      The City of Madison Fire Department, through the City of Madison Human Resources Department, accepts applications approximately every two years.

  • Recruit Training

    • What is the Recruit Training Academy?

      The Madison Fire Department Recruit Training Academy is a 16-week course designed to teach new firefighters and to challenge firefighters holding current State Certifications. During the Academy, recruits are taught the basics of firefighting and many advanced skills such as Smoke Divers, Advanced Rescue, Hazardous Materials Technician and Emergency Medical Technician. The Academy is physically and mentally challenging. Not all make it through to completion. The MFD Training Staff is committed to making the best new firefighters and making existing firefighters better.

  • Paramedics

    • How do I become a Paramedic?

      After becoming a firefighter with the City of Madison Fire Department and the application process for Paramedic has been opened by the Department, firefighters can apply to become a Paramedic with the Department. The amount of training required will depend on an individual's qualifications, as well as the Department's review of an individual's skill level.

    • I'm a Paramedic in my current department. Can I apply to be a Paramedic with the City of Madison Fire Department?

      You must first become a firefighter with the Department and then complete the Department's application process for Paramedic when positions are available. All City of Madison Fire Department Paramedics are selected (reclassification) from within the Department.

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