Frequently Asked Questions

Updated July 8, 2024

Which list will PF&R select from for the July 2024 academy?

PF&R may select a combination of EMT's and paramedics for the July academy (subject to change).  The actual number will be based on operational needs. 

How many candidates will be considered for the July 2024 fire academy?

Approximately 12-16 candidates will be considered for the first academy. Candidates being considered for the July 2024 fire academy will be notified no later than June 4th.  

I am currently in the selection process for entry level firefighter Recruitment 2024-00172 (EMT) and Recruitment 2024-00173 (Paramedic). Any general advice on how to prepare for upcoming interviews?

Congratulations on your placement on our equally ranked eligibility list. To ensure a fair process for all candidates, we cannot offer specifics about the interview format or questions. Specific details will be provided on April 19, 2024. However, we can offer some general advice that is useful in interview preparation:

  • Pre-recorded interviews are one-way, filmed recordings of a candidate answering pre-set questions. 
  • Candidates do not need to schedule a specific time slot for the interview.  It can be done at a time that best suits the candidate.  The interview must be completed between April 19-22, 2024.  The interview portal link will be sent on April 19, 2024.  
  • Candidates will have an opportunity to test their connections and equipment before starting their interview. A desktop, laptop, or mobile device may be used. It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure any Bluetooth devices are continuously paired throughout your entire interview.  
  • VidCruiter provides 24-hour customer support if there are any technical issues during the interview. 
  • Even though there is no physical interview panel during the pre-recorded interview, dress professionally and appropriately for the position. 
  • Spend time reflecting honestly on your motivations for pursuing a career as a firefighter, what you anticipate the job to entail, and how you feel you align with the work.
  • Practice, practice, practice – spend time answering any anticipated questions out loud. Your voice memo app on your phone is a great resource to listen back to your answers to see if you’ve said what you hoped to convey.
  • Mock interviews are very helpful preparation. Reach out to your community to create a mock interview panel or consider knocking on the door of your neighborhood fire station and asking if they would be interested in hosting one for you. The NW Fire Diversity Council is also a great resource for mock interview preparation for people who are members of demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the fire service. The NW Fire Diversity Council is a resource available to all.
  • Start considering where you want to conduct the interview. The recording space should be quiet and try to eliminate any possible distractions. 

Hopefully, this advice will give you a good starting point!

What is the projected hire date from Entry Level Recruitment 2024-00172 or 2024-00173?

Projected hire dates for upcoming academies are July 2024 and January 2025.  Subject to change. 

When is the next application period for entry-level firefighter? 

Portland Fire & Rescue anticipates an open recruitment in Spring 2025. Visit the website frequently for updates

Scroll down for requirements to apply. When the application period opens, click the following link to apply. Job Opportunities | Sorted by Job Title ascending | City of Portland Job Opportunities (   

How do I access the Entry Level Firefighter application? Note: PF&R does not currently have an open recruitment. 

For Entry Level Firefighter Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), click the following link. Entry Level Firefighter Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) | Job Details tab | Career Pages (

For Entry Level Firefighter Paramedic, click the following link. Entry Level Firefighter Paramedic | Job Details tab | Career Pages (

What agencies in Oregon and Washington host the CPAT?

National Testing Network NTN Physical and Written Exams (

Public Safety Testing Public Safety Testing - Category

I am on the eligible hire list 2022-01564 and 2022-01563. What is the status of the list?

This eligible hire list expired May 31, 2024. 

Does Portland Fire & Rescue have any open recruitments?

No. We are currently not accepting any applications for entry or lateral firefighter positions. Continue to visit the website for updates. 

What are the minimum qualifications required to apply as an entry-level firefighter?

  • At least 18 years of age at the time of conditional offer of employment 
  • Excellent health, free from any mental or physical condition that would interfere with effective performance on the job
  • Possession of a high school diploma or GED at the time of conditional offer of employment 
  • Possess a valid driver’s license and successfully pass a driving evaluation by the City of Portland Risk Management. 
  • An EMT is not required to apply for an entry-level firefighter. However, a minimum of a valid Oregon Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) license is required prior to offer of employment. Contact the Oregon Health Authority for more information. These Oregon organizations offer EMT courses, click the following link. Non-Oregon EMT's or paramedics should contact the Oregon Health Authority for details on how to request Oregon reciprocity
  • Valid Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). See above question for details. 
  • Valid FireTeam test from the National Testing Network. See above question for details.  
  • Have no criminal conviction that would prevent certification from the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) and the Oregon Health Authority
  • United States citizen or ability to show proof of eligibility to work in the United States

Do I need fire experience or fire education to apply?

Fire experience or fire education is not required for entry-level firefighter recruitment.  A valid Oregon EMT license is required before an offer of employment. 

What can I do to prepare for an upcoming entry-level firefighter recruitment?

  • An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) license is not required to apply but is required at time of conditional offer of employment. Because EMT classes often fill up quickly, and may take 3-6 months to complete, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to pursue EMT certification as soon as possible. Find a list of EMS educational institutions in Oregon here
  • The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is required to apply. Become familiar with the minimum physical ability test required at time of application. Maintaining a valid CPAT card prior to the application period is HIGHLY ENCOURAGED. Scheduling the CPAT close to or during the application period may be challenging with limited time slots. The date range for an acceptable CPAT for an upcoming recruitment will be posted here and on the job posting.  
  • Review the National Testing Network website for information on the written test requirement. A valid FireTeam test must be completed at time of application. Visit the National Testing Network website for information on how long the FireTeam test remains valid.  Potential applicants may complete the FireTeam test prior to the application period.  If completed prior to the application period, applicants must log in to their NTN account during the application period and select 'Portland Fire & Rescue.' Failure to select 'Portland Fire & Rescue' during the application period may result in disqualification. Contact an NTN associate for assistance. 
  • Maintain and/or establish continuous and relatable work experience that may transfer over to a career as a firefighter.
  • Learn basic firefighting skills and concepts by enrolling in a fire science course at a local community college
  •  Maintain and strive for a high fitness level, cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility. For fitness workouts follow us @pfrwellness. 
  • Schedule a ride-along at one of the fire stations to meet with firefighters and have an opportunity to observe various types of emergencies safely.  
  • Sign up to be notified by email when an application period opens. 

What were the requirements to apply for the December 2023 lateral firefighter recruitment? 

Full details on the application requirements will be posted on the job posting. Additional requirements may apply. Below are general requirements to apply and are subject to change without notice: 

  • The FireTeam test and CPAT are NOT required to apply. 
  • Will be required to have a minimum of 4 (four) years of current and continuous professional experience as a full-time career firefighter with no separation time or break in service longer than 60 days at time of conditional offer of employment. Part-time, volunteer, sleep/resident, paid-on-call, or seasonal employment does not apply to the lateral firefighter recruitment. Upon verification, lateral firefighter recruits with 4 or more years of experience shall be compensated at step 4 payrate as provided by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
  • Firefighter I and II
  • Hazardous Materials Operations 
  • Proof of a valid EMT or Paramedic, regardless of state, at the time of application.
  • Proof of a valid Oregon EMT or Oregon Paramedic at the time of conditional offer of employment. Paramedics must pass PF&R's field training evaluation program and will receive an additional 12% of top-step firefighter pay (increasing to 13% on July 1, 2024) upon completion. Paramedics must maintain their license for five years from the date of hire. The job posting will provide full details regarding paramedic requirements and compensation. 
  • Additional requirements may apply. 
  • Click the following link to be notified when the application period opens. Sign Up for Portland Fire Hiring Notifications | 

What does a recruitment process consist of?

Review General Recruitment Information for an overview of the application and selection process.  Subject to change.

What shift schedule does PF&R have?

Portland Fire and Rescue firefighters work a 1-3-2-3 shift schedule for members assigned to Emergency Operations.  Shifts begin at 0800, although it is common practice to arrive closer to 0700 to relieve the off-going shift.   

What is the salary range for a PF&R firefighter?

As of July 2024, the salary range for a firefighter starts at $81,555- $108,382. Upon successful completion of PF&R's paramedic field training evaluation program, firefighter paramedics are compensated an additional 13% of top-step firefighter pay. 

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

As a PF&R Firefighter, you will receive a comprehensive benefits and retirement package that includes healthcare coverage, leave accrual proportionate to years of service, life insurance, and optional disability insurance and retirement contributions. Click the following link for the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP) information. PERS: What plan am I in?: Nonretired members: State of Oregon

How many fire recruits will be hired in the fire academy? 

Currently, fire academies range from 8 to 16 recruits, but class sizes vary and are subject to change.

Does Portland Fire & Rescue use the National Testing Network for the written exam?

Yes, for entry-level firefighter recruitments only.  Click here for more information on the FireTeam test. 

Does Portland Fire & Rescue use the Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT) for the physical requirement?

Yes, for entry-level firefighter recruitments ONLY. The CPAT is a nationally standardized physical abilities test to assess minimum fitness requirements for entry into the fire service. Washington and Oregon testing locations are available through National Testing Network and Public Safety Testing.  Applicants must use an authorized and licensed institution to complete the CPAT.  Contact the recruiting office at fire.recruiter@portlandoregon.g… for questions. 

Can I complete the CPAT before the application period opens? (CPAT only required for entry-level recruitment)

YES! And, highly encouraged. A valid CPAT is required and must be completed within the time frame indicated on the job posting. We always encourage potential applicants to prepare for the test and maintain a high level of fitness as a lifestyle.  Note that during an open application period or close to the application period, scheduling a CPAT may be challenging. Schedule a CPAT through National Testing Network or Public Safety Testing

Is there more than one location in Oregon and Washington to test? 

Yes! National Testing Network has two locations: Salem, Oregon, and Everett, Washington. National Testing Network.  An additional location is Public Safety Testing, which is located in Kent and Spokane, Washington.  Public Safety Testing.

Do I need my Oregon EMT at the time of application? 

Entry Level Firefighter: No. Entry level firefighter applicants do not need an EMT certification at time of application. A valid Oregon EMT or paramedic is required prior to an offer of employment.

Lateral Firefighter: Yes. A valid EMT or Paramedic is required at time of application, regardless of state.  A valid Oregon EMT or Oregon Paramedic is required prior to an offer of employment. 

Oregon EMS schools can be found here as well as frequently asked questions

I currently possess a non-Oregon EMT and/or a National EMT license.  How do I proceed?

Visit the Oregon Health Authority for information on applying for Oregon reciprocity. 

When should firefighter candidates with a non-Oregon EMT file for Oregon reciprocity with the Oregon Health Authority?

Email the recruitment team at with questions.  For more information on how to file for reciprocity, visit the Oregon Health Authority.

I have a question regarding my driving record. Who should I contact?

Review the driving policy for City of Portland employees. You can contact the recruiting office at for specific questions regarding your driving record.

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

In 2023, PF&R had approximately 671 sworn firefighters. You can review the demographics of sworn personnel here.   

Does PF&R have an upper age limit for applying or being hired?