Becoming a Firefighter

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Bloomington Firefighter Position

Minimum Requirements For Becoming A Bloomington Firefighter

 Bloomington Fire Department Logo

Becoming a Bloomington Firefighter 


Step 1: Application

Firefighter applications are available online here.  Applications may not be submitted via paper copy, faxed, or emailed. 

Step 2: Online Exam

The City of Bloomington Fire Department is testing through the National Testing Network (NTN). National Testing Network directly contracts with public safety departments across the country to test candidates for jobs. Once a candidate completes this simple process, information and test scores will be sent directly to each department. Testing is available year round. You can get more information about their site here.

Step 3: Oral Interview, Background Check, and Polygraph

Prior to applicants being placed on a final List of Eligible Candidates, applicants will be required to interview with a panel of Fire Department / Human Resources staff and Commissioners.  Applicants will be subject to a Background Investigation and Polygraph Exam prior to being placed on the final List of Eligible Candidates.  You will be scheduled for an oral interview if you progress in the process and then you will meet with background investigators right after your interview. It is typically a two (2) hour process from start to finish. If you successfully complete these steps you will be contacted for a polygraph examination.   

Establishment of List and Preference Points 

Applicants will be ranked by the order of their test score.  In addition, applicants may receive 5 Veterans preference points in accordance with statutory requirements.  Applicants will also be eligible for 5 points for a Fire Science or Emergency Medical Services Associates degree or a Bachelor’s degree in any subject.

*Copies of your DD214 and college transcripts must be submitted with your application at the time of application.   

Medical Examination

A physician designated by the Board of Fire & Police Commissioners will complete the medical examination.  This is a comprehensive physical which includes a psychological exam and drug screen. 

Testing procedures listed above are subject to change

Basic Requirements for Probationary Firefighter 


Minimum:        20 years-old to test as of test date and 21 years-old at time of appointment
Maximum:       34 years-old as of test date

Age exemptions for individuals who were previously employed as a full-time firefighter in a regularly constituted fire department, see State Statute 65 ILCS 5/10-2. 1-6.3

Physical Requirements

Proof of successful completion of the CPAT test and documentation of ability to climb ladders required at time of hire. CPAT card with ladder climb that is no more than one year old from the issuance date at the time of job offer. 

Clink on the link for a video on how the CPAT is performed. CPAT VIDEO

CPAT Testing Information  



Far visual acuity shall be at least 20/30 binocular corrected with contact lenses or glasses.  Far visual acuity uncorrected shall be at least 20/100 binocular for wearers of hard contacts or glasses.  Successful long-term soft contact lenses shall not be subject to uncorrected criterion.Peripheral Vision- Visual field performance without correction shall be 140 degrees in the horizontal meridian in each eye. Must be able to distinguish red from green for color blindness.  


High school diploma or its equivalent.   


Within eighteen months of initial appointment employees must reside within a 25 mile radius from the intersection of Locust and North Main Streets in Bloomington.  A copy of this map can be viewed and downloaded here.  

Service Agreement

Prior to employment with the City of Bloomington a signed service agreement is required. The agreement is for reimbursement for training and equipment costs if a probationary firefighter terminates their employment with the City of Bloomington prior to successful completion of their probationary period.  

Licenses and Certifications

Must possess an Illinois Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic (EMT-P) license at the time of job offer.  Candidates are eligible to test if they submit proof of enrollment in certified Illinois Paramedic Program. 

If the candidate has a National Registry paramedic license, they may participate and apply for the IDPH license later. Candidates with an out-of-state or National Registry paramedic license can receive information and apply for the Illinois paramedic license reciprocity process by contacting the Illinois Department of Public Health (217-278-5900 or  Typically this procedure takes approximately six to eight weeks.  During the candidate’s probationary year he/she will need to be accepted into the McLean County Area EMS System. For more information contact: 309-827-4348 or .

Certification as a firefighter is not required to test or for original appointment. Probationary firefighters will attend and must graduate from an Office of the State Fire Marshal approved recruit firefighter academy.  They must obtain OSFM Advanced Firefighter and Hazardous Materials Operation certifications.  Candidates with out-of-state or military firefighter certifications will attend the recruit academy.  The OSFM does not offer reciprocity for certifications.   


Must be of good moral character as determined by a background investigation.  Must agree to be fingerprinted and found not to have been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors as listed in the Illinois State Statutes.  A copy of offenses can be viewed and downloaded at:       Board of Fire and Police Commissioners Rules and Regulations 2/2018

Other Resources

Community colleges such as Heartland Community College  offer programs to obtain Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic certifications. Many firefighters also start their career as a volunteer or paid on-call firefighter in another communities to gain experience. The Bloomington Fire Department does not offer paid on-call or volunteer firefighting opportunities.

If you are a high school student interested in becoming a firefighter, one consideration is the Bloomington Area Career Center  EMT BASIC program and the Fire Science program which give a great head start into a very rewarding career. 

 Any further questions regarding becoming a firefighter can be sent to our Public Information Officer at or contact Lindsey Denny Human Resources Employment Coordinator