Division of Fire

Become a Firefighter


The Cleveland Division of Fire operates 26 fire stations across the City of Cleveland with a team of hundreds of firefighters and command staff.

Every year fire destroys thousands of lives and property worth millions of dollars. Firefighters help protect the public against this danger. 

Becoming a firefighter is not just about putting out fires, the role of a firefighter may also include providing emergency medical response, conducting building inspections to enforce fire safety standards and regulations, emergency preparedness and homeland security planning or community education. 

What does a firefighter do?

Firefighters don’t just put out fires. They respond to many types of emergencies and play an important role in the community with great opportunities for career progression and growth. 

Emergency response activities may include:

  • Suppression of all types of fires
  • Emergency medical response (EMR)
  • Search and rescue operations 
  • Road accident response 
  • Marine response
  • Industrial accidents and hazardous material handling and storage incidents
  • Assisting other agencies in emergencies
  • Fire investigation analysis

Community education activities may include:

  • Hosting clinics and career days in the community about fire safety
  • Attending community events where fire emergencies may occur i.e. sports stadiums, concerts 

Other activities may include:

  • Driving emergency apparatus 
  • Training - skills maintenance and acquisition
  • Maintenance of equipment
  • Involvement in exercises with the public through evacuation drills
  • Participation in joint emergency training exercises 
  • Building inspections
  • Checking water supplies
  • Cleaning vehicles and maintenance of fire station
  • House watch duties
  • Physical fitness training 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be eighteen years of age at the time of the test and under the age of 40 at the time of appointment to the Academy
  • Have proof of accredited High School Diplomas/GED’s
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Possess a valid Ohio drivers licenses
  • Apply to take the entrance examination during the identified filing period

Recruitment Process

Applicants must qualify in a series of competitive examinations before they are eligible for appointment which includes:

  • written examination to measure reading and math skills and the ability to recall factual materials and make judgments based on reasoning skills
  • physical agility test consisting of evolutions that simulate firefighting activities using actual firefighting equipment
  • thorough medical examination
  • thorough criminal history and background check
  • written psychological examinations and evaluations

Bona-fide residents of the City of Cleveland will receive additional points with a passing score of 70 percent or better. Veterans with proof of an honorable discharge (DD-214) will receive additional points with a passing score of 70 percent or better.

Training & Benefits

Once appointed as a Cadet Firefighter each successful applicant must complete an apprenticeship program and probationary period and maintain a satisfactory on-the-job rating. 

The initial emergency medical technician and firefighter training lasts 18 weeks, during which compensation is $16.00/hour. Upon completion of the Academy, each cadet is entered into a four year apprenticeship program. The remainder of the apprenticeship occurs in the field as cadets are assigned to an Engine Company, Hook & Ladder, or Rescue Squad. The company officers continue close monitoring and instruction for the cadet and upon successful completion of the four year program, the apprentice firefighter becomes a journeyman firefighter. The starting salary is $61,251.68  Candidates receive $16.00/hour while in training.

Fire Training Academy

The Fire Training Academy (FTA) educates, coordinates, and provides training for cadets and firefighters and logistical support for the Division of Fire.


The Fire Training Academy (FTA) primarily provides test, training and certification for new and incumbent members of the Division and ensures continuous improvement to ensure excellence and the highest standards of safety are achieved.

  • Teaching, testing, and qualifying for certification all newly hired members and  incumbent  members of the Division.
  • Teaching and certifying officers of the Division in Fire Officer I.
  • Teaching Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Education for Prehospital Providers (PEPP).
  • Conducting hands-on drills for incumbent members of the Division in all aspects of firefighting, technical rescue, emergency medical services, and hazardous materials response.
  • Conducting Emergency Vehicle Operator training for all members of the Division. This includes extensive use of the Division’s driver training simulator.
  • Facilitating training on all new equipment and software received by the Division.
  • Providing all necessary continuing education to ensure that members of the Division can keep all certifications current.
  • Quality assurance review of patient care reports generated by the Division’s first responder companies.
  • Providing training and logistics support for events and responses involving specialized equipment.