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Career Firefighter

Interested in a Career?

A Career in the Fire Service!

Today's firefighters provide many services in addition to responding to fires. The varied and exciting duties of today’s firefighter include medical aids, vehicle accidents, rescues, hazardous materials spills, public assistance, fire prevention and public education. If you possess the commitment and dedication to serve a very important role in the community, then the fire service might be right for you! Careers in the fire service are exciting, rewarding, and challenging.

Become a Firefighter

The City of Visalia recruits for the position of firefighter whenever the need arises. If you are interested in participating in the next testing process, please look at the City of Visalia Human Resources job opportunity section of this website or click on the career firefighter link in the menu bar.


The City of Visalia is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants must be 18 years of age at the time of application submission, and have a high school diploma or G.E.D. A California class "C" drivers license is required at the time of hire, as well as certification in Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in the state of California. Applicants must also be certified as a Firefighter I by the California State Fire Marshal.

A strong desire to work hard and make a contribution to the community are attributes the Fire Department look for in the hiring process. Applicants should also be physically fit to meet the demands of the job. Employment may be contingent upon completion of a pre-placement medical exam, which may include a drug screen and a psychological evaluation.

Successful applicants will be asked to show proof of citizenship or provide documentation that gives the individual the legal right to work in the United States. The Fire Department does provide training to new fire recruits.

Qualified minority and female applicants are encouraged to participate in the examination process. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), qualified individuals with a disability that require assistance during the testing process should notify the City of Visalia Human Resources Department prior to the test to request reasonable accommodation.

Preparing for the next recruitment?

To obtain a firefighter position, applicants need to be very competitive. Any additional training and education received in the Fire Science field will be of benefit. Consult a local community college for course information and the location of the nearest fire academy, as well as the local fire department regarding Fire Reserve programs. A high level of physical fitness should also be maintained; firefighters must be in excellent physical condition at all times to safely perform the duties of their job. Cardiovascular fitness and upper body strength are essential. A good physical fitness program will help applicants pass the physical agility test.

What to expect during the testing process?

There are several phases to the testing process. Participation in a written test will measure reasoning skills, mechanical aptitude, and reading comprehension. Upon successfully completing the written test, applicants complete oral interviews and a physical agility test. The oral interviews will include an evaluation of education, experience, interest, and personal qualifications for the position. The physical agility test will include a series of job simulations that will test stamina, strength, and fitness.

City of Visalia

Visalia, the largest city in Tulare County, offers the potential firefighter a variety of working challenges. The fire department serves a community rich in diversity. With the potential for more growth in this region, Visalia’s Fire Department also is growing to meet the needs of its residents.

Fire Department

The City of Visalia Fire Department has one of the most modern, up-to-date departments in Tulare County. With the new high-tech communication/dispatch center, the city’s modern Pierce engines can roll onto a scene within minutes. The Visalia Firefighters are among the best-trained personnel in the county. The city’s training facility will soon be open in 2008 where firefighters will learn skills such as fire suppression, trench and confined space rescue, rappelling techniques, ladder placement and high-angle rescues.

Firefighter Facts

The fire department faces a variety of unique challenges because of the City’s expanding residential, commercial and industrial base. As the city’s population increases, the demand for fire and emergency services is expanding.

The City currently operates five fire stations; one more station is scheduled to open in 2008. Every year the Fire Department’s five engines and one truck, respond to nearly 10,000 emergency and non-emergency requests including fire, medical, rescue, hazardous materials, and public assistance calls.

There is also a state-of-the-art training center and extensive training grounds to provide the latest, up-to-date training possible for the Visalia Fire Department staff. New recruits start with an intensive 8 week formalized training academy. This program consists of classroom instruction as well as drills designed to prepare the new recruit for a career in the fire service. After the formalized training, recruits are then assigned to one of the fire stations for on-the-job training. After successful completion of the 8 week academy, the recruit will be assigned to one of our fire stations to work rotating shifts on a 24-hour basis, which includes weekends and holidays. Firefighters may be required to work back-to-back shifts and be on-call as necessary by departmental activities and staffing levels. Fire Recruits serve a 12-month probationary period.

To view current Fire Department Employment Opportunities click on the City of Visalia Human Resources Link.

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