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Fire & Rescue

Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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Frequently Asked Questions


When is Portland Fire & Rescue’s (PF&R) next firefighter entrance exam?

PF&R’s written exam will be held August 1, 2011 at the Oregon Convention Center (777 NE ML King Blvd., Portland, OR 97232).

Is there any flexibility on the written exam date of August 1, 2011?

No, August 1, 2011 will be the only day PF&R will hold the written exam. 

**Note – You must sign up during our open enrollment period beginning June 20, 2011 and be approved to take the written exam.

What type of exam is PF&R giving?

PF&R will give a multiple choice written exam.  There are four components of the test:

  1. Questions from study material provided by PF&R
  2. Mechanical aptitude questions
  3. Math questions
  4. Reading comprehension questions

What are the important dates that a candidate needs to know for the 2011 exam?

  • April 18, 2011 – The first day the study material will be available to download on PF&R’s website.
  • June 20, 2011 – The first day candidates can sign up to take PF&R’s written exam.
  • August 1, 2011 – Written exam will be given at the Oregon Convention Center.
  • October 7 through October 9, 2011 – Anticipated Physical Agility Testing (for those applicants who passed the written test)
  • Mid November 2011 – Interviews for Firefighter Trainee candidates and interviews for top ranking Firefighter EMT-Basic/Paramedic candidates.

What are the minimum qualifications to become a Portland Firefighter?

  • At least 18 years of age when job offer is extended; PF&R has no maximum age (this means people under the age of 18 can take our exam)
  • Excellent health, free from any mental or physical condition which would interfere with effective performance on the job
  • Possession of a high school diploma or GED equivalent when a job offer is extended
  • Possession of a valid drivers license (does not have to be an Oregon license)
  • Ability to pass an in-depth background investigation
  • Ability to pass a medical evaluation
  • Minimum certification of EMT-Basic (not necessary for the Firefighter Trainee position)

Which application should I complete, the Trainee or EMT-Basic/Paramedic?   

The Firefighter Trainee position is for those candidates that have little to no fire experience.  The Firefighter EMT-Basic/Paramedic position is for those candidates who have a minimum of EMT-Basic certification by the time a job offer is extended.  Firefighter EMT-Basic/Paramedic candidates should have some fire experience (paid or volunteer) or an education background in fire science.  Make sure to read the job announcement carefully when it comes out on June 20, 2011. 

When will PF&R begin hiring from the 2011 exam?

PF&R anticipates hiring the first group in February 2012.

Do I need my EMT certifications to be Oregon State certifications or is my out of state certification or National Registry EMT acceptable?

If a candidate possesses an out of state certification or National Registry EMT, the candidate will not need an Oregon certification until after hire. Once the candidate begins at the Training Academy, the candidate will begin the reciprocity process with the state of Oregon. 

***Note – you will need to have your certification current. 

Does PF&R accept lateral transfers?

No, if you work for PF&R you will need to go through the testing and training processes.

What is included in the medical evaluation?

PF&R’s doctor follows the NFPA 1582 “Standard on Medical Requirements for Firefighters”.

How many Paramedics do PF&R have on apparatus?

PF&R staffs each engine in the city with one Paramedic and three EMT-Basics.  PF&R also has several Truck companies that are staffed with one Paramedic.

How many sworn firefighters are currently employed with PF&R?

As of March 2011, PF&R has 706 sworn firefighters.

What shift schedule does PF&R have?

PF&R firefighters work a 24-hour on and 48-hour off schedule.

How much money do Portland Firefighters make?

A beginning firefighter earns about $48,000 in their first year and progresses to about $72,000 per year.  If you are a paramedic out of training, you will earn an additional 11%.

I have completed and achieved a passing score on the CPAT.  Will this count towards the physical agility portion of PF&R’s testing process?

All candidates will need to take and pass PF&R's Physical Agility Test (PAT). PF&R will not accept the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) or any other physical ability test in lieu of the PAT.

What is the benefit and retirement package for PF&R firefighters?

As a PF&R Firefighter, you will receive an comprehensive benefits and retirement package. Learn more about benefits here and retirement here

Does PF&R transport patients to local hospitals?

PF&R firefighters do not transport sick and injured residents to local hospitals. Citizens that need emergency care receive initial treatment from PF&R firefighters and are then taken to local hospitals by a private ambulance company.

Contact PF&R's Recruiting Officer Terry Foster at or (503) 823-3811 with any additional questions.