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Firefighter Hiring Process
Fire Helmet
Required Open Position
Gainesville Fire-Rescue will only begin the employment process when an allotted position becomes vacant.

Human Resources Posting
The Human Resource Department for the City initiates the job posting. An advertisement is placed in the local newspaper (Gainesville Daily Register). Notices of employment are mailed to a list of area Fire Academies. The notice generally is open for 12-14 days.

Applicants complete a City of Gainesville employment application. This application is returned to the Human Resource Department.

Fire-Rescue Applications Review
After the Notice closes, all applications are sent to Gainesville Fire-Rescue for review. This review determines if the applicant meets the minimum criteria to continue the application process.

The primary criteria is that the applicant has completed the requirements for certification by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP). Completion of the requirements is generally proven by the applicant stating they have received TCFP certification or attaching a copy of the certificate to the application. Another means of proof is stating completion of a TCFP recognized Fire Training Academy or attaching a certificate of completion from the academy or a letter signed by the lead instructor of the academy stating the applicant has successfully completed the academy or providing a completion date.

Invitations to Test
Applicants meeting the minimum criteria are mailed an Invitation to Test letter. This letter provides the applicant with information concerning a test date for the Physical Agility Test and an arrival time. The letter also sets a time period in which the applicant must respond by telephone of their intention to attend and take the Physical Agility Test. A telephone number is provided and information is given that leaving a voice mail confirmation is acceptable.

The Orientation is held on a Saturday morning immediately preceding the Physical Agility Test (PAT). Only those applicants who confirmed their intention to test are allowed to continue the employment process. Applicants are required to be in the assigned orientation room by 0800 hours. Applicants arriving after the 0800 hours deadline are not allowed to continue in the employment process. A roll call is taken based on those applicants who confirmed to test.

During the Orientation, the applicants driver’s license is checked for identification purposes, applicants are reviewed on the minimum requirements for employment and wages and benefits are explained.

The following forms are completed by the applicant:

Physical Agility Test Liability Waiver

Applicant Physical Agility Test

Each event of the PAT is explained in detail during orientation. Applicants are encouraged to ask questions at any point.

The final step in the Orientation is the drawing for testing positions. Numbered slips of paper coinciding with the number of applicants are placed in a container. Each applicant draws a slip from the container. The number on the slip indicates the testing position for that applicant. The container is taken in random around the room for the applicants to draw.

After the drawing for positions, applicants are given directions to the restrooms and water fountains and to the PAT area. Applicants are allowed ample time to change clothes and begin stretching and warm-up preparatory to taking the PAT.

Physical Agility Test (PAT)
The PAT is based on the nationally recognized Candidate Physically Agility Test (CPAT). Variances have been made for specific equipment and evolutions. However, the PAT has remained true to the intent and function of the CPAT.

Applicants are walked through each event of the PAT. All events are explained in detail and automatic failure points identified. Applicants are encouraged to ask questions at any point.

All applicants are then placed in an area off of the PAT course but with a relatively unobstructed view of the course. The applicant drawing the first test position is allowed ample time to stretch and warm-up before beginning the test.

Written Test
Following the PAT, applicants successfully completing the PAT are brought back to the Orientation room to take a written test. This written test covers general fire service subjects that a person completing a fire academy is expected to know. The test questions are based on information included in the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) book, “Essentials of Firefighting”. This is a common fire service textbook used in many fire academies across the nation. Applicants are given one hour to complete this test.

Personal History Statement (PHS)
Applicants who complete the written test are required to complete the PHS. This packet must be filled out by the applicant and returned at the time of the oral interview. Applicants are advised to complete the packet in full, leaving nothing blank. Applicants are advised to have the last page notarized in order for Fire-Rescue investigators to be able to obtain confidential information about the applicant during the background investigation. Failure to have the packet notarized when it is returned will result in the applicant not being allowed to continue on in the employment process.

Applicants are generally provided seven to ten days to complete the PHS. Applicants are encouraged to make a personal copy of the PHS for their records.

Oral Interview
Applicants are scheduled for oral interview times in the same manner as scheduling for PAT position. Once scheduled the applicant is required to be at the location of the oral interview at the appointed time. Failure to be present at the assigned time will result in the applicant being removed from the employment process.

The oral interview board generally consist of the Assistant Fire Chief as the facilitator, three Battalion Chiefs, one Captain, and one Apparatus Operator.

The oral interview last approximately thirty minutes. The interview is started by asking the applicant to tell about their self. The interview board then questions the applicant on various aspects of their application, their fire knowledge, etc.

The interview concludes with the applicant given the opportunity to ask the interview board any questions he/she may have concerning the Department.

Background Investigation
The Chief of the Department makes the final decision on which applicants to initiate a background investigation on based on applicant rankings following the oral interviews.

Chief’s Interview
If the background investigation proves favorable, the selected applicant is scheduled for a personal interview with the Chief of the Department. If this interview is acceptable, a conditional offer of employment is given. The Chief schedules the applicant for a medical exam and a drug screen to be performed by the assigned city physician.

Offer of Employment
Upon successful completion of the medical exam and drug screen and approval by the city physician, the applicant is offered employment by the Chief of the Department. A start date for employment is then scheduled.