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Firefighter Hiring FAQ

What is the job of a Firefighter?

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 however you must not have been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, nor have pled “nolo contendere” directly related to the position of employment sought.

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 10-12 weeks for Florida State Certified Firefighters and 30-32 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 a person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. 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, but they require to have a Florida Driver’s License.

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

No.  All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

Will there be any preferences given?

Preference will be given to qualifying U.S. Veterans, and qualified graduates of the Miami-Dade County Academy of Fire Rescue (MDCAFR) with EMT and State of Florida Firefighter II certifications, in accordance with Resolution R-480-07. Preference may also be given to certified State of Florida Firefighter II,EMT, and/or State of Florida Paramedic (EMT-P).  State of Florida Firefighter, EMT,  and EMT-P certification numbers should be entered in the online application under Licenses and Certification Sections.

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, two #2 pencils, and your written exam notice. Do not bring study guides, pens, calculators, food, drinks, family, friends, cell phones, or any other electronic devices.

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 at or by calling 305-375-0297 (option 2).

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 Candidate Physical Ability Test?

If you pass the written exam, you may 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 MDFR's 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.

Where can I get information regarding the CPAT?

You may find a printable version of the CPAT Candidate Review Guide at

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. The current eligible list expires end of November 2018.

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

You may call the MDFR Hiring Information line at 786-331-4770 or email at

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Thu May 3, 2018 5:17:00 PM

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