Volunteer Recruitment FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions

The recruitment process begins when an applicant completes a Volunteer Application Package and returns it to the Administration Office in person or by mail. Applications are reviewed to ensure they are completed with the necessary required information including a completed notary near the back of the application.

Recruitments for different positions begin at different times of the year. Recruitment cycles include a physical ability test to ensure applicants can physically perform the duties associated with the position they have applied for.

Upon passing the physical ability testing a statement of personal history questionnaire will need to be completed and submitted. A thorough background investigation including but not limited to driving records, criminal history and psychological screening will take several weeks to complete. Upon completing the background check you will be directed to make an appointment with our occupational health and drug screening provider at our expense.

Once you have passed all required screening processes you will be directed to our Training Division to begin orientation training followed by specific training related to the position you applied for.

MCFD1 uses their own Firefighter Quarter Mile Physical Ability Test (PAT). We will also accept the certification letter from NTN certifying your successful completion of their CPAT if it is dated within the past calendar year. To see a summary video of either or both tests, click on the link below. Both links open in a new tab or browser.

MCFD1 Firefighter Quarter Mile PAT
NTN Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

All positions have a relevant physical ability test related to the essential functions of the position and are timed. While we do not have videos of these tests available at this time, their summary can be reviewed here.

EMS Volunteers are tested to ensure they can perform the following tasks safely;

  • Enter and exit a Medic Unit utilizing a seatbelt.
  • Carry two actual gear bags with medical equipment and supplies up and down steps and be able to set them down and pick them up again by bending at the knees and keeping your back straight.
  • Perform high performance CPR for two minutes to the proper depth and rate as measured by an electronic CPR mannequin.
  • Lift one end of a backboard with 130 lbs of weight from the ground to waist high by squatting down and keeping your back straight.
  • Lift and hold an EZ Curl bar with 75 lbs of weight (simulating 1/2 of a stair chair and seated patient) while stepping forward and backwards going up and down a set of 5 steps.
  • Remove and install a patient gurney from the rear of a Medic Unit.
  • Perform 3 minutes of stair steps without stopping with the ability to change step pattern as needed to accomodate fatigue.
  • Accurately assemble an adult bag valve mask (BVM) assembly, attach to a standard oxygen delivery system and flow 15L of O².

By clicking on this EMS Physical Ability Test link (opens in a new window) you can read more detailed information about and how to successfully pass the test. Practice tests are not available.

Operations Support Volunteers are tested to ensure they can perform the following tasks safely;

  • Enter and exit a Tender utilizing a seatbelt.
  • Remove an empty 2500 gallon portable water tank from the stored position on the side of a Tender to the ground. An assistant will be provided to equally lift and lower the opposite end of the portable tank.
  • Retrieve from side compartments two valve appliances, hydrant wrench and two 25 foot rolls of 3 inch fire hose.
  • Carry items from compartments to a designated fire hydrant 50 feet away.
  • Remove the caps from a fire hydrant using a hydrant wrench.
  • Attach two valve appliances to the side of the fire hydrant.
  • Advance a dry 50 foot long 3 inch hose approximately 50 feet.
  • Roll up a 50 foot long 3 inch piece of hose.

By clicking on this Tender Operator Physical Ability link (opens in a new window) you can read more detailed information about and how to successfully pass the test. Practice tests are not available.

Yes. All Emergency Medical, Firefighter and Operations Support positions are required to complete specific coursework from FEMA’s National Incident Management System (NIMS). The free courses listed below must be completed and the associated certifications provided to the Training Division before you will be assigned to a station and allowed to respond to incidents. You do not need to submit paper copies of these certifications with your application materials. You may note on your application in the appropriate space that you have completed these courses if you have done so.

  • ICS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System
  • ICS-200: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
  • IS-700: National Incident Management System, An Introduction
  • IS-800: National Response Framework, An Introduction

Firefighters are also required to complete (at minimum) the course work related to NWCG Firefighter Type 2 available for free at the National Wildfire Coordinating Group Training and Qualifications website. You do not need to submit paper copies of these certifications with your application materials. You may note on your application in the appropriate space that you have completed these courses if you have done so. Please note that you must follow the website instructions and PC requirements precisely to ensure that coursework completed is recorded accurately. That coursework includes the following.

  • S-190, Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior
  • S-130, Firefighter Training
    (Recent NWCG Red Card Training and Certification may substitute for this training.)

Several community colleges around the country offer the academic coursework through an associates of applied science program. Not all college programs will offer an NFPA Firefighter 1 certification due to additional hands-on training requirements that may not be available at that institution.

Individual college transcripts will need to be evaluated by our Training Division to determine what additional requirements will be needed (if any).

Nationally recognized certifications including US Military Department of Defense (DOD), IFSAC and Pro-Board generally qualify for reciprocity.

  • Information about what a Notary Public is can be found here. (Opens in a new Tab/Window)
  • A Notary Public can be typically found at a financial institution where you have an account. Alternately, you can search for them locally on the internet.

If an applicant is unable to attend a specific date listed in the recruitment timeline due to a conflict, we may be able to accommodate you with an alternative date and time depending on the topic. For example, if a Firefighter applicant is unable to attend skills testing on the specific date offered he/she may optionally take the CPAT in addition to arranging a date/time during normal business hours to take the psychological screening test. Arrangements must be made in advance before the missed event occurs. Every effort is made to communicate important dates ahead of time. With limited staffing and resources we are not always able to accommodate all requests.

The Training Division will make every effort to communicate firefighter recruit academy timelines to applicants as far in advance as possible. It is not always possible to know the availability of outside resources or instructors until competing priorities are confirmed, outside resources are released and made available.

The classroom/academic coursework is self paced with assignments that are due prior to specific dates in the training schedule. The dates in the schedule are spanned wide enough to allow Recruits the flexibility to do assignments on their own schedule providing they are self disciplined to completing the assignments on time. Assignments include reading textbooks, watching video based demonstrations of skills and recorded lectures, taking timed quiz’s and tests and reviewing topic specific papers. Recruits should plan on committing between 8 and 10 hours a week for academic assignments and testing. All fire district personnel are expected to maintain a ‘B’ average or better on all graded assignments for both fire and EMS coursework. Additional content and opportunity is usually available for personnel who find some topic matter difficult. It is up to the Recruit to initiate this conversation with the Training Officer.

The hands on portion or skills days are typically scheduled on Saturdays to meet most of the applicant populations availability. Saturday’s are typically scheduled three weeks apart, avoiding recognized holiday weekends. Skills days are typically all day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. allowing for breaks and a lunch period. There are occasions when a skills day runs late due to the size of a class or other unforeseen factors. Skills days are done rain or shine but may be cancelled and rescheduled due to snow, ice or generally freezing conditions for safety reasons. We recognize that not everyone has Saturday’s available. Depending on your particular situation options may be available. You should realize that the availability of personnel, outside resources or outside training props cannot always be obtained for the needs of one individual, however some resources are acquired for a range of dates allowing some accommodation if known far enough in advance.

Recruits who miss skills days due to family emergencies, illness or personal injuries will need to make time available soon afterwards to make up those skills days and hours before completing the academy. As the Recruit Academy nears the end of the schedule, opportunity to schedule make up skills time becomes more scarce. Recruits unable to complete the academy due to a lengthy illness or personal injury may be recycled to the next scheduled academy. Beginning near the middle of the academy schedule, Recruits will begin attending regular skills drills on Tuesday nights with Volunteer personnel.

Basic skills testing is performed at the end of the firefighter 1 level before live fire training exercises. Recruits will physically demonstrate learned skills practiced on previously scheduled skills days and Tuesday drill nights. Firefighter 1 academics and other online coursework are required to be completed before the live fire training exercise date. If a Recruit fails any skills tests during skills testing days, a retest can usually be offered the same day depending on how many failures occurred and size of the class. If the Recruit fails two or less skills a second time the same date, a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) will be offered that must be completed with retesting within 90 days. Failing any skills at the end of the PIP will result in dismissal.

Recruits who complete the firefighter 1 level and other online coursework, attend required skills days, demonstrate basic skills competencies during skills testing will attend the live fire training exercise that completes the firefighter 1 coursework. After successfully completing the live fire training exercise, Recruits will be assigned to a station, first level supervisor and allowed to begin running calls on district apparatus. Recruits will continue to complete the required academy coursework related to the firefighter 2 level.

Recruits who complete the firefighter 1 level coursework and accumulate 216 hours of time working with career firefighters on duty will promote to the rank of Firefighter and may apply for state ‘certification’ at the NFPA Firefighter 1 level. If you have additional questions related to training requirements or academics, you may email the Training Division at training@mcfd1.com.

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