How to Become a Firefighter in El Paso

The El Paso Fire Department (EPFD) is one of 1,526 nationally registered firefighting services in Texas. It has consistently ranked as one of the top firefighting units in the country. In 2018 and 2019, its Fleet Maintenance Division made it to the list of the “100 Best Fleets in the Americas.”
Texas has a lot to thank the EPFD for. In 2017, the state had an average of 1.6 deaths and 6.8 injuries per 1,000 fires. In contrast, the national average during this period was 2.3 casualties and 9.3 injuries. The EPFD played a major role in maintaining these impressive numbers.
If you are interested in joining them, this guide has all the information.

Joining Requirements of the El Paso Fire Department

The El Paso Fire Department (EPFD) runs the following three programs for firefighting aspirants:

  • Firefighter Trainee
  • Certified Firefighter Trainee
  • Certified Paramedic – Fire Trainee

The basic requirements for the candidates are outlined below:

  • Must be 18 or older
  • Should have a high school diploma or an equivalent GED certificate along with two years of active military service (with honorable discharge). College students with at least 24 semester credit hours and a minimum 2.0 GPA in any field of study are also eligible
  • Must hold a valid Texas Class “C” Driving License or its equivalent issued in another state. This must be upgraded to a Class “B” Driving License by the time a candidate is about to enter the El Paso Fire Academy
  • Must qualify the preliminary written and physical evaluations
  • Must clear all background checks
  • Must pass the El Paso Fire Department Oral Board Interview

Position-Specific Certification Requirements

Firefighter Trainee
  • Health Care Provider Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (American Heart Association)
  • Basic Emergency Medical Technician (Texas Department of State Health Services)
  • Basic Structural Firefighter (Texas State Commission on Fire Protection)
Certified Firefighter Trainee
  • Basic Structural Firefighter (Texas State Commission on Fire Protection)
  • Basic Emergency Medical Technician (Texas Department of State Health Services)
Certified Paramedic – Fire Trainee
  • Basic Structural Firefighter (Texas State Commission on Fire Protection)
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – Paramedic (Texas Department of State Health Services)
  • National Registry Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – Paramedic

How Long Is Needed to Join the Firefighting Ranks in El Paso?

You will have to undergo firefighting training for about 6 months. Before that, the recruitment process of the El Paso Fire Department (EPFD) lasts for a few months. So, you are looking at a timeframe of 8 to 12 months to become a firefighter. Also, please remember that this is subject to the availability of vacancies.

El Paso Firefighter Salary

Following are the starting salary ranges for El Paso’s fire personnel.

Rank Base Salary Ranges
Firefighter Trainee $26,320.97 – $40,554.29 (Annual)
Certified Firefighter Trainee $29,018.87 – $44,711.11 (Annual)
Certified Paramedic – Fire Trainee $34,537.77 – $55,185.32 (Annual)

Future Outlook for Firefighter Jobs in El Paso

According to the data gathered by O*Net Online, firefighting job opportunities in Texas are expected to grow by a whopping 17% between 2016 and 2026.