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Madison Fire Department
Committed to recruiting and retaining a qualified, diverse, inclusive and safe fire workforce.
Recruitment & Hiring Process
City of Madison firefighter recruitment is conducted approximately every 2 years. To receive instant hiring and department updates, subscribe to our email lists at 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:

Step 1

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

Step 2

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.

Step 3

Physical Ability Test
  • The Physical Ability Test 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 with the physical demands of the position if hired.
  • PAT Training Video
    The Department's Physical Ability Test should only be viewed on this website. Any other versions found outside of our website may be inaccurate.

Step 4

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

Candidates that successfully complete the first four 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. These candidates are scheduled for an oral interview with the Fire Chief (Step 5).

Step 5

Chief's Oral Interview
  • The Fire Chief, along with one or two other individuals, interviews each candidate on the PFC's Firefighter Eligibility List. Upon completion of the interviews, the Chief reviews the files and selects a number of individuals to receive extensive reference/background checks. After completion of these checks and additional review, the Chief presents the list of proposed hires to the Police and Fire Commission for their preliminary approval subject to successful completion of a pre-employment medical examination.
  • Pursuant to the PFC's preliminary approval, the Department makes a conditional offer of employment contingent on completion of a satisfactory pre-employment medical examination at the City's occupational health provider.
  • 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.
The City of Madison is an Equal Employment Employer. We encourage minorities 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.