Application Process

Recuit TrainingCity of Madison firefighter recruitment is conducted approximately every 2 years. To receive instant hiring and department updates, subscribe to our email lists. The firefighter recruitment and selection process is extensive and generally takes 9-10 months from initial application to the first round of hiring. The recruitment & hiring process generally consists of the following components:

Candidates complete the online application. You must have a valid email address to create an account. All hiring process correspondence will be sent via email.

Video-Based Multiple-Choice Test

  • The first component of the video-based multiple-choice test is a human relations test that focuses on teamwork and human relations skills and was specifically designed for firefighters and emergency response personnel.
  • The three other components include a mechanical aptitude test, a math test, and a reading ability test, which were developed to measure specific aptitudes important to the occupation of firefighter and emergency response personnel.
  • In addition to the the above samples, a more comprehensive sample FireTEAM test is available for purchase through the Ergo Metrics website. The sample test is administered solely through Ergo Metrics and is presented as a tool to help with test preparation. It is not a mandatory component of the Madison Fire Department recruitment process.

Community Member Oral Board Examination

The members of the community will interview candidates on their communication skills, life experiences, and their personal core values to determine overall fit of the candidate for the organization.

Department Oral Board Examination

The Oral Board Examination is designed to measure a candidate's ability in several different areas: verbal comprehension, verbal expression, reasoning, fluency of ideas, and originality.

Fire Chief's Interview

The Fire Chief, along with one or two other individuals, interviews each candidate. Upon completion of the interviews, the Chief reviews the files and selects a number of individuals to move on to the next step in the process.

Physical Ability Test

  • The Physical Ability Test (PAT) consists of a series of events that simulate firefighting activities (e.g. dragging hoses, carrying equipment, searching for and rescuing victims).
  • It is never too early to start training to become a firefighter. Building strength and endurance is important in passing the exam and in keeping up with the physical demands of the position if hired.
  • Watch the PAT Training Video (Note: The Department's Physical Ability Test should be viewed ONLY via this website. Any other versions found outside of our website may be inaccurate.)

Future firefighters are encouraged to have a general knowledge of the physical demands of the job and the testing they may be required to accomplish. We recommend that you take your physical fitness seriously, not only to be a more prepared candidate but to have a long, healthy career as a firefighter regardless of where you may be employed.
In the Candidate Orientation Handout (“Handout") you can see details related to the PAT portion of the firefighter exam process.
There are several useful tools available to individuals who want additional training tips. These include, but are not limited to, the Handout and the FRF Intro to Firefighter Fitness booklet.  These are all tools to use at your discretion and in no way guarantee successful completion of the MFD PAT.

Background Check

A selected number of individuals will receive an extensive reference/background check. Candidates that reach this phase of the process will be required to fill out a history packet to accommodate the background check.

Medical Evaluation

The National Fire Protection Association Standard 1582 firefighter medical exam will be provided to candidates through Dean Occupational Medicine. Upon satisfactory completion of the pre-employment medical examination, employment as a Firefighter Recruit begins on a pre-determined date at the Firefighter Recruit Training Academy.

Candidates who successfully complete the steps are placed on the Police & Fire Commission's (PFC) Firefighter Eligibility List, which remains in effect for approximately 18 - 24 months or until such time as the list is dissolved by the PFC.

The City of Madison is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We encourage people of color and women to apply.

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND ACCURACY OF DATA. The information contained herein is merely an informal summary of the process. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, reliability, or usefulness of the information. Should you have any questions regarding the recruitment and hiring process for the City of Madison Fire Department, please direct your inquiry to Fire Recruitment.