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The City of Portland, Oregon

Fire & Rescue

Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Firefighter / Paramedic Application Process

Open Recruitment
The City of Portland does not take applications in advance of an open recruitment. Applications are only available during the active recruitment process.

Firefighter (EMTParamedic) Application Process
The City of Portland application process for Firefighter (EMT/Paramedic) consists of multiple phases. The number and order of phases are subject to change without prior notice. For each application process, the examination phases will be listed on the official job announcement. Only those candidates who pass each phase of the examination will be invited to continue in the process. Please note that all testing must be done in person.

The application process includes (but is not limited to) a written examination, a physical agility test, and an oral interview.

The Written Exam
The written exam is a multiple choice test that is designed to assess your knowledge, skills, and abilities to be a firefighter. There are four components to the written exam. The first is study material provided by PF&R in advance to the multiple choice test. The following three components are general knowledge and no study material is provided; this includes a mechanical aptitude test, math test, and reading ability test. Candidates who score highest on all components of the written exam are invited to subsequent phases of the examination process.

The Physical Agility Test
In the Physical Agility Test, candidates are asked to perform several tasks similar to those performed by firefighters on the job. These tasks are designed to test strength, stamina, endurance, agility, and ability to work at heights. Candidates must complete the Physical Agility Test within PF&R’s time standard of 8 minutes and 2 seconds.

The events in this test are as follows.  Please note that the events may be subject to change and other requirements may be added. This portion of the test is pass/fail:

  • Simulated Ladder Rack: Lift a 24-foot aluminum extension ladder by the rungs off the brackets, remove and place of the ground, then back on the brackets. Repeat event for a total of two times.
  • Hose Carry: Carry a 50-foot 2-1/2" hose bundle, with a nozzle attached, to the fifth floor and return it to the starting point at ground level.
  • Electric Fan: Lift a ventilation fan to a height of 7 feet, hang it in a simulated doorway, and return it to the ground.
  • Fan Placement: Lift a gas fan facsimile off of its two-foot high platform and carry the fan for 75 feet around a safety cone and place it back on its platform.
  • Ladder Raise: Raise a 25-foot straight ladder from the ground to the building twice.
  • Ladder Halyard: Raise and lower the halyard of a 35-foot ladder twice.
  • Body Drag: Grasp the nylon straps attached to the shoulder of a 165 pound hose mannequin and drag it around a drum and back to the start of the station for a total of 70 feet.
  • Foam Bucket Carry: Carry two filled 5-gallon foam containers (45 pounds each) 400 feet.
  • Simulated Hose Pull: Pull a 125 pound sled attached to a 2-1/2" hose and nozzle 100 feet. The nozzle must be placed over shoulder.
  • Truck Ladder Climb: Climb 80 feet to the top of an extended truck ladder and back without pausing.  The ladder climb is not timed.

Click here to access a Physical Agility Test preparatory fitness guide and view a video showing the test's events.

The Oral Interview
The oral interview involves a three member panel. This is the candidates opportunity to sell themselves. The oral interview panel is interested in any education or experience candidates may have, as well as reasons for seeking a career in the Fire Service and with specifically with PF&R. Following this interview, successful Firefighter (EMT/Paramedic) candidates will be placed on a hiring list.

Background Check & Medical Examination
Following the development of the hiring (eligible) list, offers of employment are then made to successful Firefighter (EMT/Paramedic) candidates with the condition that candidates pass an in-depth background check and comprehensive medical examination. The Chief of the Bureau has final authority to hire candidates.

Additional Information & Questions
For additional information or if you have questions, contact PF&R's Recruiting Officer at 503-823-3811.