How to Become a Firefighter







What does it take to be a City of Lake Oswego Firefighter/Paramedic?

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The City of Lake Oswego recruits highly trained and motivated people with exceptional customer service skills who are interested in becoming Firefighter/Paramedics.  The Firefighter/Paramedic position is responsible for the protection of life and property through the suppression and prevention of fires, and response to medical and other emergency calls.

Candidates must meet several requirements to apply for a position within the fire department.  At minimum, candidates must be 18 years old, EMT Paramedic with firefighting experience and have a valid state driver’s license.  In addition to the minimum requirements the most desirable candidates would have the following abilities:

• Ability to learn firefighting tactics and EMS techniques
• Ability to operate and  maintain firefighting equipment
• Ability to deal with injured patients, including fatalities
• Ability to understand and follow oral & written communications
• Ability to communicate effectively with co-workers, supervisors, citizens and other customers
• Ability to read, write and use a computer for basic functions
• Ability to make public presentations
• Ability to keep records & make reports
• Ability to recognize fire code violations
• Ability to do strenuous physical activity for extended periods of time
• Ability to act calmly & effectively in emergency situations
• Ability to maintain harmonious relationships with others in a group-living environment

Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are invited to take a written test.  This test may cover basic firefighting knowledge, reading, writing, math, and communication skills.

Top scoring candidates will move on to the Physical Agility, Skills Evaluation, and Oral Interview portion of the testing process.
• Physical Agility test is an obstacle course that is conducted while applicants wear firefighting turnouts and an SCBA.  The course consists of a tower climb carrying a hose bundle, hand over hand hoist of a hose roll to the 4th floor, use a 11.5 lb sledge hammer to drive a weighted sled 6 feet, pull a charged 1 ¾” hose line  100 ft, then drag a 140lb dummy 100’.  This is a pass fail evaluation.  The evolution must be done safely within 6 minutes to pass.
• Skills evaluation is a scored component of the test process.  Candidates will be asked to perform a variety of fire ground skills utilizing provided equipment.  This is an opportunity for candidates to display their fire ground skills.  Tasks may include deploying hose lines, raising ladders, taking hydrants, and utilizing tools carried on a fire engine.
• Oral Interview is a scored component of the test process.  Candidates will sit before a panel of 3 to 6 evaluators.  They are asked questions that will allow evaluators to score them based on their past experiences, presentation skills, ability to work with others, ability to work under stressful situations, and ability to communicate.

The top scoring candidates will move on to a Chiefs interview.  This is where the Fire Chief will make a hiring decision after personally interviewing each top scoring candidate.

The job offer is contingent upon successful completion of a background investigation and medical evaluations which will include drug and psychological testing.

The City is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.  Minorities, women and qualified individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.  If you wish modification of the selection process in order to accommodate a disability, please make your request in writing and submit it with your required application materials before the application deadline.