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Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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Follow the Journey to Becoming a Portland Firefighter


A lot of people would like to be firefighters, very few know what it actually takes. 

Seven of Portland Fire & Rescue’s (PF&R) newest Firefighter Trainees are about find out first hand what it takes.  

For the next eight weeks, the seven firefighters of Class 10-03 will participate in an extensive Training Program. The Trainee Program is designed to increase the Bureau’s diversity will consist of firefighting methods, basic hose and ladder practices,  safety and survival techniques, physical fitness, and other basic firefighting skills and topics. Trainees who successfully complete the Trainee Program will be sworn in as Firefighter Recruits at the completion of the 8-week program.  

Prior to physical training and conditioning activities,

Firefighter Trainees of Class 10-03 stretch and warm-up.


Firefighter Trainee practices raising a 25-foot straight ladder

from the ground to the building and back down.

Firefighter Trainee climb 80 feet to the top of an

extended truck ladder and back without pausing.

A typical 10-hour day at PF&R's Training Academy is very busy.  The average day starts with a morning roll call, housework, and written exams. Trainees then prepare for physical fitness and climbing the fire escape.  There are academic and physical fitness components to the day, and a lot of information is compressed into the schedule.  PF&R takes pride in its extensive training and, as a result, PF&R's Training Program is one of the longest, most arduous training programs in the country.

The following is sample daily schedule. There are weeks when there will be more classroom time than drill ground time. The schedule is dynamic and will vary depending on the educational and training opportunities.

Sample Daily Schedule

  • 7:00-7:15 am: Roll Call
  • 7:15 - 8:00 am:  Housework and Apparatus Checks
  • 8:00 - 9:00 am:  Written Examination
  • 9:00 - 10:00 am:  Physical Training & Conditioning
  • 10:00 - 12:00 pm:  Drill Ground Skills & Evolutions or Classroom Lecture
  • 12:00 - 1:00 pm:  Lunch (Closed Campus. Recruits must bring a lunch/snack
  • 1:00 - 4:00 pm: Drill Ground Skills & Evolutions
  • 4:00 - 5:00 pm:  Housework
  • 5:00 pm:  Dismissal

To be successful in the Training Program, the seven Firefighter Trainees are expected to be professional at all times, be in good physical shape, use good time-management skills, work hard, and take pride learning the skills necessary to be a professional firefighter.

It is essential for the Firefighter Trainees to be team players and help others around them and recognize when to ask for help. PF&R is looking for people that possess leadership qualities, and take initiative to be a leader when appropriate and know when to be a good follower.

What’s Next for Class 10-03?

  • Recruit Academy: After successful completion of the 8-week Training Program, Firefighter Trainees in Class 10-03 will join with six Recruit Firefighters and attend the 16-week Recruit Academy as Firefighter Recruits.  The curriculum includes fireground hydraulics and pump theory, more complex hose evolutions and ladder raises, and a more in-depth understanding and application of fireground tools and equipment, including the self-contained breathing apparatus.
  • Station 2: Successful Firefighter Recruits from Class 10-03 will then transfer to Station 2, a working fire station.  At Station 2, Firefighter Recruits will learn bureau Emergency Medical Service protocols, practice challenging scenario based evolutions while being available to respond on emergency calls.  Under the supervision of training officers and firefighter specialists, the Firefighter Recruits spend three months training on an engine company, then three months with a truck company.
  • Stations Around the City of Portland: After completing six months of training at Station 2, successful Firefighter Recruits from Class 10-03 will then be transferred to stations around the City of Portland where they spend another eight weeks of independent learning and continuing evaluation.

Check back on the Fire Blog as we follow the new firefighters of Class 10-03 through the Training Program, Recruit Academy, Station 2 training, and transfer to fire stations within the City of Portland.

Additional photos of Class 10-03 have been posted on PF&R's Facebook page.


Add a Comment


Kelly Dow

July 23, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Hi my name is Kelly Dow and I am fresh out of high school and ready to start my dream career. I am fit and ready to do what it takes to become a fire fighter. This Fire fighter Trainee Program is the right step for me towards me goal in life. I will work hard, learn ever thing there is to learn, be there early and leave late. There is nothing I wont do to become a fire fighter. you wont regret recruiting me.


jeremy ingebrand

December 31, 2010 at 2:17 PM

I've been interested in becoming a firefighter and currently live in Portland Metro area. Do you need to have EMT training prior to these test? Are there age limits to join the program. I do feel physically able but I am 31 years of age.

Thanks for the additional info.

Jeremy Ingebrand


Gabe Kearns

November 6, 2011 at 2:33 PM

It is a ways out and I still have time to think about it, but I am a junior in high school, are there any programs I can do to gear up for training and where can I go about the most basic things needed to enlist (age,grades, ect.)

Thank You


Heather Parmley

December 9, 2011 at 12:04 PM


i'm interested in becoming a Portland Firefighter. Im 41 years old a personal trainer and runner. Im in great physical health, however wondering if my age is a negitive factor? Please advise.

Thanl you,




January 30, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Hello there Portland Firefighters! I just recently moved up here to Gresham and am wanting to become a Firefighter and was wondering what it takes? I'm 21 years old and meet all the requirements. Should I take the EMT-B course before I even try and get in? Thanks a lot, Rex.


Chris Martin

July 30, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Hello. About ten year's ago I was on the path of becoming a fire fighter. I had not actually enrolled in a school or applied as a volunteer but was about to. I have been an Arborist for almost 20 year's now & belive that my climbing skill's could be an important asset to any fire team I could join up with. However, before I could get the ball rolling I got into some legal trouble & aquired a felony, & from my understanding anyone with a felony charge is automatically disqualified. It has been 10 year's since my conviction & was even released from my probation nine month's early due to "good behavior". I am currently unemployed & very depressed. I have not done much of anything usefull with my life. I feel "drawn" to this carreer none-the-less, pulling me toward's a greater good, pulling me to a place where I could make a differance & help people. I want to be proud of myself again. I want to feel as if my life has a purpose. I want my son's to look to me for strength & guidence. I feel that this could give those thing's back to me. I dont want to be looked at by my family, the community, & the world as a good for nothing waste of space. I am 36 year's old now, & not in the greatest shape anymore, but I am willing to do WHATEVER it take's to make this happen. Please, what must I do...?


Louis Pribble

August 3, 2012 at 5:08 PM

I am interested in becoming a firefighter. I was a volunteer firefighter for the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District. I am 45 years old and would like to know if my age disqualifies me. I am in average shape and I currently work construction. Please let me know if I am still able to go through the training program or not. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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