What skills do I need?
Today’s firefighter must be a skilled, competent professional able to respond to every kind of emergency. Fort Lauderdale firefighters undergo continuous in-service training. This ongoing education provides knowledge of the latest developments in firefighting and rescue techniques. Training also includes such subjects as the control of hazardous materials incidents, confined space rescues and emergency medical procedures. Fire prevention and fire investigation are additional areas of training provided. Firefighters also acquire teaching skills to educate the public in fire prevention and fire safety.
What personal qualities are needed?
In addition to frequent contact with the public, firefighters spend extended periods of time together. A neat appearance and a pleasant personality are excellent qualities, as is the ability to get along with those whom you work and serve. Also, a firefighter must be able to accept orders without question and work effectively as a member of a team of professionals.
What licenses are required?
A valid Florida driver’s license, Florida Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and/or Paramedic certification, plus a Florida firefighter’s certificate are required at the time of application.
Where can I get more information about education and training locations to become a Florida certified firefighter/paramedic?
For additional information on becoming a certified Florida firefighter, you may contact the Bureau of Fire Standards and Training at the Florida State Fire College in Ocala, FL at (352) 369-2800, or visit their website.
For additional information on becoming a certified Florida EMT or Paramedic, you may contact the Florida Department of Health Bureau of Emergency Medical Services in Tallahassee, FL at (850) 245-4440, or visit their website http://www.floridahealth.gov/
What benefits are available?
- Life insurance
- Health - dental – vision insurance
- Sick leave
- Tuition reimbursement
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- Retirement - longevity
What is the starting salary?
Starting pay for 2017 was $52,311.24 plus 5% EMT - 15% paramedic certification pay.
What is the hiring process for the City of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue?
Applicants must successfully pass all of the following steps in order to complete the hiring process.
- Written examination (accounts for 50% of total score)*
- Oral interview (accounts for 50% of total score)*
- Conditional job offer
- Broward County physical ability examination (pass/fail)
- Final background examination (pass/fail)
- Medical examination (including drug screening) (pass/fail)
*Applicants must obtain a minimum score of 70 on each weighted portion of the examination in order to qualify.
For more information about applying and current openings, please visit the City of Fort Lauderdale's Employment page.
What are the pros and cons of being a firefighter?
It can be very gratifying and rewarding to be able to assist people in the community in their times of need. But it can also be very stressful; you sometimes witness the destruction of property and, unfortunately, the human toll that fire, vehicle accidents, medical emergencies and natural disasters can extract from the families in the community that you serve. This devastation can be difficult to cope with and very disheartening. However, one of the driving forces of the department is to limit exposure to risk and devastating losses through public education and emergency preparedness through the department’s fire prevention efforts.
What are the hours that firefighters work?
Firefighters assigned to the Operations Division work a 24-hour shift on duty and are then off duty for 48 hours, with a "Kelly Day" (shift off) every seventh tour of duty (three weeks).
What opportunities are available in the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue?
After successfully completing a one-year probationary period as a Fort Lauderdale firefighter, the following specialty positions are available within the department:
- Hazardous Materials Team (HazMat)
- Technical Rescue Team (TRT)
- Fire prevention/Fire inspector
- Special Weapons and Tactics Medic Unit (SWAT)
- Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Team Florida Task Force 2
What is the job?
Here is some down-to-earth information about what a day in the life of a Fort Lauderdale firefighter really entails. In addition to practicing fire rescue services to the community, firefighters can expect to receive training on a daily basis, and at times units are required to attend special night drills and classroom courses. There are also regularly scheduled duties throughout the day. A typical day in the station includes:
- Roll Call: At 08:00 hours the oncoming shift is briefed by the previous shift. The company officer and/or battalion chief disseminate daily plans and assignments to the crews.
- Apparatus and Equipment Check: All personnel check and maintain the equipment and/or apparatus he or she has been assigned to for that shift. Additionally, all emergency medical equipment is checked to ensure that everything is appropriately stocked and ready for use.
- Station Maintenance: Firefighters are required to maintain their assigned stations. Cleaning of the kitchen, bathrooms, floors, offices and station grounds is performed each day.
- Training: Shift firefighters train everyday. Training may include reviewing emergency responsibilities, changes in procedures and so forth. Hands-on sessions of hose layouts, truck operations and medical procedures are a large percentage of training provided.
- Public Services: Firefighters are often dispatched to non-emergency calls to help invalids back into bed, rescue people trapped in elevators, assist people locked out of their cars or homes and to enforce the City’s ban on open burning (rubbish/leaves). Citizens often visit the fire station for directions, blood pressure checks or just to find out how to dispose of old paints and chemicals around their homes.
- Administration: Each response requires a computer incident report, and firefighters must prepare paperwork to backup almost everything they do.
- Zone Familiarization: Firefighters must be prepared for emergencies anywhere in their first-response territory. A great deal of time is spent learning the neighborhoods, parks, apartment complexes and shopping centers in the First Due Area.
These are only a few of the many responsibilities of a Fort Lauderdale firefighter. If public service is what you are interested in, the job is a rewarding one. When you become a member of the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Department, you are part of an organization that holds itself to high standards and ideals. Our personnel are expected to do the right thing and go above and beyond with respect to the citizens we serve. If dedication, commitment and service are hallmarks of your character, then you may have what it takes to be a City of Fort Lauderdale firefighter.
"Working in a city like Fort Lauderdale gives you the opportunity to use skills and knowledge that you might not get the opportunity to use in other cities; not just in fire but in medical, trauma, TRT and HazMat. Not only do you get a multitude of calls, you get a variety of calls." - Captain John Heiser
“I chose Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Department because of its commitment to always be the best. Whether it’s in EMS or Fire, I can count on Fort Lauderdale to have the best and most up-to-date equipment to help me get the job accomplished. I think of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue as my extended family.” - Firefighter/Paramedic Renee Kelly
“After serving in the US Army for four years, I decided I wanted a similar job with a tight brotherhood, so I joined the fire service. The opportunities such as TRT, HazMat, promotions and call variety that the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Department offers makes it a great place to work. Being a firefighter means you are a honorable, caring person that puts the lives of strangers ahead of your own.” - Captain Rick Pardo
“Being a firefighter is rewarding wherever you go, but Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Department has the best of many worlds. I have been here for seven years and what I enjoy most is the variety. I have seen the department grow and I see it becoming one of the best in the country. I am proud to say I will have a part in that.” - Captain Jib Webster