Forcible Entry Training

Paid-On-Call Firefighter

A paid-on-call firefighter is a homeowner or other resident of our city who, just like you, has an interest in helping his or her neighbors whenever a fire or other natural disaster strikes. As a combination-staffed department, the Fitchburg Fire Department (FFD) depends upon the timely and determined response of these citizen members who selflessly serve their community when the alarm sounds.

Under the general direction of the Fire Chief, a paid-on-call firefighter is responsible for answering calls, and extinguishing fires, protecting life and property, operating and maintaining fire equipment, apparatus and quarters. The position requires extensive training in the use of apparatus, tools, and equipment and the performance of hazardous tasks under emergency conditions, which may require strenuous exertion under such handicaps as smoke and cramped surroundings, and in the inspections of buildings for fire hazards to prevent fires from starting.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • While not all-inclusive, the following duties are normal for this position:
  • Respond to fire and other emergency calls
  • Drive and operate firefighting vehicles and equipment
  • Select hose and nozzle depending on the type of fire and direct stream of water or chemical onto fire
  • Position and climb ladders to gain access to upper levels of buildings or to assist individuals from burning structures
  • Create openings in buildings for ventilation or entrance using an ax, chisel, crowbar, smoke ejectors and power saws
  • Administer first aid and artificial respiration to injured persons and those overcome by fire and smoke
  • Communicate with supervisor during fire using portable two way radio
  • Participate in drills, demonstrations, and courses in hydraulics, pump operation and maintenance, and firefighting techniques
  • Attend training courses, read and study assigned materials related to fire prevention, suppression, rescue, training and public fire safety education
  • Perform assigned duties in maintaining apparatus, quarters, buildings, equipment, grounds, and hydrants
  • Inspect buildings for fire hazards and compliance with fire prevention ordinances
  • Issue forms to building owners listing fire regulation violations to be corrected
  • Participate in public fire safety education

Physical Demands & Work Environment

Firefighting is very heavy work. You will be exerting in excess of 100 pounds of force occasionally, and/or in excess of 50 pounds of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds of force constantly to move objects.

The job is performed both indoors and outdoors in approximately equal amounts. Firefighters are occasionally exposed to hazards or risk of bodily injury. They are also occasionally exposed to extreme heat, extreme cold, and wet or humid conditions. There is also occasional exposure to odors, toxic conditions, dust, poor ventilation, vibrations, and moderate noise.

Minimum Requirements for a Paid-On-Call Firefighter

  • 18 years of age
  • Posses a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Live within the City of Fitchburg or within four miles of a Fitchburg fire station
  • Posses a valid driver’s license issued by the State of Wisconsin
  • No felony convictions
  • Not subject to restrictions that would interfere with firefighting duties
Previous education or experience in the area of firefighting is not necessary. Successful applicants will be provided with the equipment and support needed to complete State of Wisconsin entry-level firefighting training requirements.

Desired Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

  • Ability to think clearly and react effectively in emergency situations
  • Ability to understand and follow oral or written instructions
  • Ability to use reason and good judgment in dealing with all kinds of people
  • Ability to climb ladders and work at considerable heights
  • Ability to work in restrictive clothing and confined spaces
  • Ability to work in hazardous environment

Application Process

The department accepts applications one or twice per year, depending on the number of vacancies.  Applications are only accepted when the recruitment process is open and must be completed online.  To complete an application, or sign up for email notification of job openings, please visit: Human Resources Current Job Openings page.


If you do not have previous firefighting education, or experience, you may qualify for the Sponsorship Program. Participants are provided with the equipment and support needed to receive the following State of Wisconsin certifications, provided through Madison College: Entry-Level Firefighter (60-hour course), Firefighter I (36-hour course), and Hazardous Materials Operations (20-hour course).

When a new recruit joins the FFD, they are required to complete the Department’s New Recruit Training (approximately 72 hours). This training covers the use of Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, Engine Company operations, Ladder Company Operations, Extrication and Radio Communications. The training culminates with a written examination and a minimum skills test.

The purpose of this training is to provide a consistent curriculum for all new recruits, to ensure all recruits are exposed to a standard set of requirements and skills, and have a uniform understanding of the Department’s policies, procedures, Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGs) and evolutions prior to being authorized as a responding member of the Department.

Active Member Responsibilities

Paid-on-call firefighters are expected to attend regularly scheduled training sessions throughout the year and respond to the fire stations when paged and instructed to do so (at those times when available).

Full department drills are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month from 6:30 - 9 p.m. A firefighter is also required to complete platoon-level drills that assigned for the month in addition to the monthly full department drill. 

Paid-on-call firefighters are paid for drill attendance and are encouraged to attend one full department drill and complete assigned platoon-level drills each month. Using a 12-month rolling average, paid-on-call firefighters are required to attend at least 50% of the scheduled full department drills and 50% of their assigned platoon-level training.

Who to Contact

If you would like to explore this opportunity further, please contact via email, or by calling 270-7070 and leaving a message.