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A Career in Firefighting: The Adventure of a Lifetime
A Noble Career
The Chesapeake Fire Department is a "Family" promoting teamwork, innovation, and compassion. We are committed to fairness, honesty, and respect. We are motivated by an environment of trust and driven by the desire to help others. Our dedication is to protect and improve the quality of life by providing responsive and caring service to the citizens of and visitors to the City of Chesapeake. Our services include, but are not limited to:
- Providing emergency medical care and transportation
- Extinguishing fires
- Providing code enforcement inspections
- Providing public education programs
- Protection of the City's environment through code enforcement and mitigation of environmental issues
- Providing assistance in other hazardous situations
Who is a Firefighter?
A person interested in a career as a firefighter should possess the following qualities:
- A desire to help others Physical stamina
- The ability to work well under pressure
- The capacity to function as a cooperative and effective team member
- Applicant must be a United States citizen
- Applicant must be 18 years of age at the time of application
- Applicant must be a high school graduate or possess a GED*
- Applicant must posses a valid motor vehicle operator's license and an acceptable driving record
- Applicant must have no felony convictions or any convictions resulting from acts of dishonesty, deceit or immorality
- All applicants must pass a written entrance examination.
- *Documentation is required at the time of application.
Those who pass the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), will advance to a panel interview and a written test.
Once all steps of the process have been successfully completed, an eligibility list is established.
All successful applicants, upon employment, must attend a recruit school. Some of the many skills taught during this training program include driving and operation of a fire engine, search and rescue techniques, use of ladders, structural fire fighting, handling hazardous material incidents, and basic investigation of fire and arson. Each recruit must qualify as a state certified emergency medical technician. During the approximately 7 month recruit school, instruction in emergency medical procedures is also provided.
The Work Schedule
Each firefighter works an average of ten, 24-hour shifts each month. The shift begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 7 a.m. the following day. During a typical 21-day work cycle, a firefighter will be on-duty for seven shifts and off-duty for fourteen with one, two, three, or five days off between shifts.
A Firefighter's Duties
The firefighter reports for duty at the assigned station at 7 a.m. Each station is equipped with all the necessities of home as well as some of the luxuries of home.
The day typically begins with an inspection of equipment and fire apparatus to ensure that all equipment is ready to perform its function or task.
Remaining hours of the shift are devoted to a combination of tasks: training, inspections, public education, pre-fire planning, emergency response to fire, medical and emergencies as well as the routine chores associated with life at the fire station.
Opportunities to Advance...
Several levels of responsibility create the rank structure of the Chesapeake Fire Department. As training and required in-service time is acquired, the firefighter can advance by either of the two paths: the Command Ranks (firefighter, lieutenant, captain, battalion chief) or Career Path (firefighter, firefighter specialist, senior firefighter, master firefighter).
Another option is service with the Fire Prevention or Training Divisions of the Fire Department. A firefighter assigned to the Fire Prevention Bureau would typically support the Operations Division with fire code enforcement, fire and arson investigation, hazardous materials investigations, public education and plans review.
Individuals assigned to the Training Division would spend their day preparing for fire recruit schools and ensuring the overall training program provides the components necessary to sustain the individual firefighter's ability to perform effectively.
Pay and Benefits
The starting salary for firefighters remains competitive with other area fire departments. Holiday leave, annual, sick and military leave, funeral leave, worker's compensation, health insurance, paid retirement, life insurance, educational incentive pay, college tuition reimbursement for select majors, continual in-service training and uniforms are all benefits provided each firefighter.
Where to ApplyFor more information, call the City of Chesapeake Department of Human Resources at 757-382-6492. The city of Chesapeake adheres to the principles of equal employment opportunity. This policy extends to all programs and services supported by the City. The City's EEO Coordinator can be reached at 757-382-6058.
City of Chesapeake
Department of Human Resources
Post Office Box 15225
Chesapeake, Virginia 23328
Let Us Know How to Contact You
If you wish to be notified the next time the fire department is hiring, please complete a Candidate Interest Card. Your information will be stored in a database to be contacted upon our next posting. Candidates are encouraged to update their information once a year or when there's any change in contact information.