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Firefighter Employment Opportunities
Please view the employment opportunities Human Resources.

Employment with the City of Bismarck, ND – Fire Department

Frequently asked questions for the qualifications, assessment, testing and information on salary and benefits for the City of Bismarck, firefighters.

When do we test?
Testing is held once per year. Additional test dates may be scheduled during the year depending on the status of the certification list. The certification list shall remain in force for one year unless depleted before that time.

What are the Qualifications for testing?
Is  a Fire  Science  Degree  Required  To  Become  a  Firefighter  in  the  City  of  Bismarck?

You must have at least one of the following qualifications:
• One year of progressive firefighting experience in a full-time fire suppression position.
• AA, AAS, AS, or BS degree with major coursework in Fire Science or Fire Technology.
• Three years of active firefighting experience in a combination or volunteer department as a part-time, paid, on-call or volunteer firefighter.

Other required qualifications for position of firefighter are:
• At least 18 years of age.
• Possess a valid driver’s license; must obtain a ND commercial license (Class B) with endorsements within 3 years of employment.
• High school graduate or GED.
• Must obtain Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification within 3 year of employment.
• Firefighter 1 certification (based on NFPA 1001). 
  • Pro-Board or IFSAC Firefighter 1 certification.
  • North Dakota Firefighter Association Firefighter 2 certification if obtained prior to 2011,
  • North Dakota Firefighter Association Firefighter 1 certification if obtained after 2011.  
  • Any state or accredited university approved Firefighter 1 certification.

Obtaining a degree in fire science or related education from a fire academy or community college is one way to qualify for hiring. The City of Bismarck wants the most qualified people to join their department.

A number of firefighter certifications may be submitted for the application process such as NFPA Firefighter I & II, Auto Extrication, Hazardous Material, Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and ICS 100 & 200 to become a City of Bismarck, firefighter.  All education and experience will be given additional consideration during the assessment process.

What is included in the assessment process?
Approximately 3 weeks prior to the scheduled test date, applications from qualified candidates will be reviewed. The highest scored applicants are invited to participate in the Firefighter Assessment process.

A written exam, interview and physical ability test is completed the day of testing.  Successful candidates must obtain a score of 70% or higher in both the oral interview and written test. Candidates must also pass the physical agility test.

Candidates will be ranked, placed on a certification list, and notified of their test results and respective ranking typically within 1 week of the test. Candidates will remain on the certification list for a period of 1 calendar year or until the entire list is closed by the Director of Human Resources. 

When a vacancy is to be filled, the Director of Human Resources will provide the department with the names of the three highest ranked candidates on the certification list. The department may make an offer of employment to anyone of the candidates. The offer is conditional upon successful completion of a medical examination, drug test, and background check.

What is the Salary and Benefits plan for the City of Bismarck, firefighters?
The 2015 firefighter annual salary range is $46,903.35 - $70,355.02.
Standard Benefits:
• Paid health insurance, including dependents
• Life insurance
• Medicare insurance
• Pension / disability plan
• Supplemental disability coverage
• Annual, holiday, and sick leave
• Annual medical examination
• Employee Assistance Program
• Worker’s compensation
• Unemployment compensation
• Average work week:  53 hours
• FLSA work period:  204 hours in a 27 day work period
• Uniforms and equipment
• In-service training
• Tuition assistance program available
• On-duty fitness training
• Annual fitness evaluation and fitness prescription
• Civil Service
• Performance related pay system

Optional Benefits:
• Deferred compensation retirement savings program
• Savings Bond program
• Dependent life insurance
• Additional life insurance available

What is it like to work as a firefighter?
Once hired with the Bismarck Fire Department, firefighters are scheduled for 2 to 3 weeks of training and review.  After that initial training, the firefighters are put on a shift, assigned to a crew and begin their 24-hour shift. The day begins at 7:00 am.  Every day begins with several routine duties. Each person checks their personal protective gear and equipment to ensure it is in proper working order.  After that, the fire trucks are checked and equipment is made ready for service.  Firefighters are also responsible for cleaning their station.  The firehouse is their home for the next 24 hours, which means that the crew cleans all living areas and bathrooms.  Physical fitness is another routine activity that takes place.  Some crews like to work out in the morning before their other activities and some crews like to work out later in the day, after other duties are done, but fitness is a priority that takes place every day.

After routine duties are completed, the Company Officer provides the crews a schedule for the day’s activities, knowing that one call could throw the whole day off.  The firefighters’ priority is to respond to fire and medical calls.  Beyond that, training is a priority and fills a great deal of many days.  Some of the other duties include fire prevention inspections, maintenance of the station and equipment, and public education. 

What happens in the evening?
After a full day of activities, the crew prepares their meals and has dinner. Following the meal and kitchen clean up, firefighters have time to relax, while still being ready to answer the calls for service. This time is often used to read, study, or work on department projects.  The shift ends the following morning at 7:00 a.m. with the in-coming shift change.  Time is spent sharing important information about the apparatus, equipment or the station before leaving.  This is a typical day for a firefighter.

What kind of training will I be doing as a firefighter?
Firefighters must train regularly in order to improve and maintain their firefighter skills. Each day brings a firefighter new training, opportunities and challenges. Firefighters regularly spend time training on  firefighting, emergency medical treatment, hazardous materials, computers and technology, public education, fire protection systems-alarms and sprinklers, apparatus and equipment operation, and public relations.

We will take great risks to save a life.
We will take some risk to save property.
We will risk nothing to save what is already lost.

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