Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) demands responsibility, leadership, initiative, adaptability, stress management, attention to detail and a high level of leadership from their firefighters.
The following information is designed to help each Firefighter Recruit familiarize themselves with the expectations of the Firefighter Training Academy prior to being hired.
- The year ahead will be very intense in terms of your academic and physical commitment. This can be a very taxing time for your family and friends. "Family Night" is scheduled early in the Recruit Academy. This informal event is intended to explain and clarify the time and effort that are required to be successful during the probationary year.
- The citizens of Portland place a high level of trust in Portland firefighters, especially when we enter their homes or businesses. Integrity is paramount.
- Safety, safety, safety. Firefighter safety is the number-one priority of PF&R. Recruits are expected to always wear their seatbelts and to never take shortcuts.
- PF&R is a paramilitary organization. Officers are addressed by rank. All other members will be addressed by "sir" or "ma'am" until told differently.
- Chain of Command will be observed in all matters.
- Firefighter Specialists at the Training Academy will be treated with respect equal to that of all officers. This level of respect also applies to interactions among Firefighter Recruits.
- The Training Academy work day begins at 07:00. The training staff arrives at 06:30. Training Academy schedule is typically Monday through Thursday, 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. All Recruits will be dismissed at 5:00 pm. The schedule may be changed due to unforeseen circumstances.
- Working a second job while in training will interfere with the time commitment required to maintain pace in the Training Academy program. This includes serving with another fire department or emergency provider, paid or volunteer.
- Firefighter Recruits must maintain optimal health throughout the academy, prepared to report to duty each day, and be ready to put in a full day.
- Recruits are expected to bring all of their personal protective equipment, lecture materials, physical training attire and all other necessary equipment every day.
- PF&R has a long-held tradition of maintaining facilities, apparatus and equipment in a semi-inspection-ready condition. You are expected to measure up to this level in all that you do. From housework to hose evolutions and ladder raises, do everything well and completely.
- The Firefighter Training Academy officers and trainers understand that there may be times during the Academy that personal issues arise that are not related to the academy. Communication between Recruits and officers is vitally important at these times. The officers and trainers are available and willing to help with any problems that may arise, but only if informed of the problems that the Recruit may be experiencing.
- Physical fitness is the responsibility of each Recruit. Preparation for the job of firefighter should start months to years prior to the first day at the Training Academy. Each day includes some form of physical fitness drill in addition to regular hose evolutions and ladder raises. As a candidate, if you have embraced a physical fitness mindset, you will greatly improve your ability to keep pace in the training program, both physically and academically. Again, physical fitness is your responsibility.
- As a Firefighter Recruit, your trainers will intentionally induce stressful situations to help you better understand the demands of firefighting, and train you to mentally and emotionally handle work-related stressors. Mental toughness is a character trait of successful recruits.
- The Firefighter Training Academy will place emotional, academic and physical stressors on life outside of the academy as well. Though it is not a requirement, studying at home and signing up for and participating in voluntary evening and weekend drills is a contributing factor to success.
- Treat every piece of equipment with the utmost care, at all times, in all circumstances. No tool or piece of equipment should ever be dropped during maintenance, while drilling, or during physical agility and/or fitness training.
- Firefighter Recruits will not succeed in this program as individuals. The fire service requires teamwork to accomplish its goals. In this program, the Recruit will need the help of their crew, and will need to assist struggling members of their crew.
- Training Academy Recruits should show initiative and look for opportunities to help whenever possible. Successful recruits should always be busy when given assignments, and look for ways to help out fellow recruits or complete additional work as needed.
Remember, the ten to twelve months that are spent at the Training Academy and Station 2 may be the greatest challenge you have encountered. However, the rewards you will receive over your career and life will make it worthwhile.