About the Process

We hire new recruits every two years. The firefighter/EMT recruitment and selection process is extensive and generally takes 9 – 10 months from initial application to the first round of hiring.

Once the application period starts, candidates may apply online. You must have a valid email address to create an account. We will send all hiring process information via email.

Candidates need to meet certain prerequisites to be considered.

Download our Candidate Study Guide for tips and other information about the process.

  1. Multiple-Choice Test

    The first part of the selection process is a video-based multiple-choice test. This test will measure your aptitude for skills that firefighter/EMTs use on a regular basis.

    The test has four parts:

    • Human relations
    • Mechanical aptitude
    • Math
    • Reading

    The Madison Fire Department has contracted with the National Testing Network to administer the exam online or at designated testing centers. Qualified candidates who apply through the City of Madison website will be provided specific instructions to test for free.

    Learn more about the multiple-choice test, and how you can prepare.

  2. Community Panel Interview

    The next part of the selection process involves a community panel interview. You must pass each interview to move on to the physical ability test.

    Learn more about the interview process, and how you can prepare.

  3. Physical Ability Test

    The Physical Ability Test is a series of events that simulate firefighting activities.

    During this test, you will need to demonstrate that you have the stamina, strength, and agility you need to accomplish the tasks of a firefighter/EMT.

    It is never too early to start training! Building strength and endurance is important to pass the test. We recommend you take your physical fitness seriously. This will not only help you to be a more prepared candidate, but to have a long, healthy career as a firefighter/EMT wherever you are employed.

    Learn more about the Physical Ability Test, and how you can prepare.

  4. Chief Interview

    Individuals who advance to this phase of the process will be invited to interview with the Fire Chief and a panel of two other chief-level officers. 

    Learn more about the interview process, and how you can prepare.

  5. Medical Evaluation & Background Check

    In addition to passing the Physical Ability Test, you will also have to pass a medical exam and background check. We will give you more information about the medical exam and background test if you move forward to this stage.

    If you pass the background check and medical evaluation, you will enter the Recruit Academy.

  6. Recruit Academy

    You will begin employment as a Firefighter/EMT Recruit on the day you start at the Academy.

    Not all recruits complete the Academy. Our training staff is committed to making the best new firefighter/EMTs and making existing firefighter/EMTs better.

    Learn more about the Recruit Academy.

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