Preparing to Join CFD

Preparing for the Written Test

Candidates will need to pass a written test held by the City of Chicago prior to being hired as a member of the Chicago Fire Department. While candidates will be notified of specific topics prior to the written examination, the City of Chicago Department of Human Resources offers a preparation guide which is strongly recommended reading for any candidate:

Preparing for City of Chicago Employment Tests: A Guide for Test-Takers


Emergency Medical Services (EMT and Paramedic) Training

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) training includes of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic and those who successfully complete the training are licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Firefighter/EMT candidates are NOT required to have any EMT or Paramedic training completed prior to applying or being hired. That said, candidates who are already EMTs and Paramedics when they enter the Fire Academy are typically better prepared to handle the academic challenges of the EMT curriculum. Candidates are REQUIRED to successfully complete EMT training, including becoming licensed by the State of Illinois during their time in the Fire Academy. While holding an EMT or Paramedic License does not increase a candidate's chances of being hired by the Chicago Fire Department, there are many career opportunities in healthcare and public safety that can be accessed by completing EMS training.

Paramedic candidates are required to hold State of Illinois EMT-Paramedic Licenses at the time of application.

More information about Emergency Medical Services Training


CPAT Candidate Preparation Guide

One of the requirements of Firefighter/EMT candidates prior to hire is a Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) completed within the last 12 months.

The job of a fire fighter is one of the most physically demanding jobs in North America. It requires high levels of cardiopulmonary endurance, muscular strength and muscular endurance. The Candidate Physical Ability Test consists of eight critical physical tasks that simulate actual job duties on the fire ground. This test is physically demanding and requires that you be physically fit to be successful. This guide was developed to assist you with physically preparing yourself for the test.

CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) Candidate Preparation Guide


Preparing for the Chicago Fire Academy

Once hired, Candidate Firefighter/EMTs undergo a mentally and physically demanding 6 months of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Firefighting training. Preparing your mind and body for the rigors of the Chicago Fire Academy is a great way to maximize your training and overall success. The instructor staff at the Chicago Fire Academy includes some of the best firefighters and paramedics ever to serve the City of Chicago and are prepared to lead candidates to successfully begin their careers of service.

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