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Firefighter Hiring FAQ

What is the job of a Firefighter really like?

Firefighting involves extremely hard, skilled physical work, and firefighters must be able to think quickly and operate effectively in high-pressure emergency situations. Continuous training and education is required throughout their careers to keep them up-to-date on the newest technologies and latest fire suppression and rescue methods. Training in the fire service encompasses many subjects, such as building construction, emergency medical procedures, hazardous materials, technical rescue, fire prevention, public education, and community relations. Firefighters must have strong social skills, and the ability to think and communicate clearly in very stressful situations.

How much does the firefighting gear weigh?

Firefighters must carry an array of specialized tools and equipment that can weigh over 70 lbs, plus the breathing apparatus that weighs 40 lbs.

What if I have a police record?

All firefighter applicants go through a police background check before being hired. A criminal conviction will not automatically eliminate you from the process. Many considerations will factor into the potential for elimination, including the crimes committed, when they occurred, your age when the crimes occurred, and the relationship between the crimes committed and the job responsibilities of a firefighter.

What if I'm already a firefighter with another department?

You will be required to complete the entire application process, including all tests. If successful, and you are hired from the eligibility list, you will have to go through the training as any other firefighter recruit. Your experience as a firefighter may help in the testing and training process, but MDFR does not accept transfers.

How long is the Recruit Academy?

The Recruit Academy is 10 weeks for Florida State Certified Firefighters and 30 weeks for non-certified firefighters. Those who successfully complete the Recruit Academy are placed in the field to work as probationary firefighters.

Is it harder for women to get hired?

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against race or gender. However, some female applicants find that the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is very difficult. Therefore, we offer orientation classes so that all applicants can experience the entire test and identify any potential areas that might require improvement (i.e., cardiovascular, endurance, strength) prior to taking the test. The physical performance standards are the same for all firefighters and recruits. Women have to pass the same physical ability exam as the men, and they must complete the same training.

Can I pick up an application for a friend?

No. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue does not give out applications.  The application process is conducted online at:

Where do I turn in my application?

All applications are submitted online. There is no hardcopy submission, but we strongly suggest that you print a copy of your application and maintain it for your records.

Can the written exam be taken at another time?

No. All applicants must to take the exam on the date they are scheduled.

I don't live in Miami-Dade County, can I still apply?

Yes. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue does not have residential requirements for employees.

Do I need to be a certified firefighter or paramedic at the time of application?

Yes, we will only consider applicants who possess a current State of Florida Firefighter-II Certification AND a current State of Florida Paramedic (EMT-P) Certification.

If I have a valid National Registry EMT Certification, will I also need to be certified through the State of Florida?


If I have a valid EMT Certification in another state, will I need to be certified through the State of Florida?


What is the minimum age for applicants?

You must be 18 years of age by the date of application.

What is the maximum age for applicants?

There is no maximum age limit for application.

Do I have to be a citizen of the United States?

No. However, if you are a non-citizen, you must have acceptable documentation confirming that you are a legal resident of the United States. The documentation must be presented when you submit your Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ), at a specific date and time to be scheduled during the application process.

Do I have to be a high school graduate or have a GED?

Yes. You must submit proof of either one during the hiring process.

I have a relative that currently works for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. Can I still apply?


Will I need a copy of my birth certificate when I turn in my Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ)?

Yes. You will need a certified copy.

Will I need my Military Discharge Form (DD214) when I turn in my Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ)?


Will I need a photo I.D. card when I turn in my Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ)?


How many people will be hired from this application period?

The number of people hired varies from year to year, depending on many factors, including the number of employees retiring and the number of new stations and units placed into service.

What should I bring to the written exam?

Bring a picture I.D., proof of age, high school diploma, and your written exam notice. Do not bring study guides, pens, pencils, calculators, food, drinks, family or friends.

Is smoking allowed in the exam room?


When will I receive the results of my written exam?

Test results can be obtained by visiting the Test Notification System or by calling 305-375-0297.

Will I be allowed to use the restroom during the written exam?


I'm pregnant. Can I take the written exam?

Yes.  However, you should carefully review the CPAT Guide with your physician to determine whether or not you can safely complete that phase of the testing process.

When is the physical ability test?

If you pass the written exam, you will then receive a notice indicating the date and time you are scheduled to take the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT).

How will the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) be scored?

The CPAT is scored on a pass/fail basis. In order to pass, there are eight events that must be completed in 10 minutes and 20 seconds or less.

I recently passed the CPAT test for another agency/municipality. Will you accept my passing score so I don't have to take the CPAT again?

No. All applicants must take the MDFR CPAT.

Do I have to pass a medical (physical) exam and a psychological evaluation prior to being hired?

Yes and you may be tested up to three additional times a year.

I participated in the previous recruitment process and was on an eligibility list, do I need to reapply?

Yes.  All previous lists are now expired.

If I have any questions regarding the testing/hiring process, what should I do?

You may call the MDFR Hiring Information line at 786-331-5220.

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Wed May 6, 2015 3:27:06 PM

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