How to Become a Firefighter in Jacksonville
The JFRD (Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department) works around the clock to ensure safety in one of Florida’s biggest cities. It is one of the state’s 475 fire response services listed with the National Fire Department Registry. With over 1,400 individuals on its payroll, the JFRD expertly serves Jacksonville’s 900,000 residents over an area of 840 square miles.
It comprises of five divisions which include Rescue, Operations, Emergency Preparedness, Fire Prevention and Training. To perform its duties effectively, the JFRD has 58 fire stations, 56 full-time rescue units and 55 engine companies to call upon.
In 2017, Florida had averaged 2 casualties per 1,000 fires. This was below the national average of 2.3 and the JFRD played a major role in keeping this number down. If you feel you can also contribute to the good work done by the department every day, this guide has all the information to get you started.
Jacksonville Firefighting Requirements
- Must be 18 years old at least when applying
- Must have cleared high school. In cases where a candidate doesn’t have a high school diploma (HSD), they can also apply with the alternative GED certificate
- Must possess a State of Florida EMT or Paramedic Certificate
- Must have a legal driving license in Florida (class E)
- Must hold a State of Florida Certificate of Compliance for Firefighter
- Must not use tobacco or products containing significant amounts of tobacco
Steps to Become a Firefighter in Jacksonville
You must complete the following steps to join the Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department.
- Qualify the written exam
- Pass the physical abilities test
- Clear the polygraph test
- Clear all background checks
- Pass the interview
- Clear the post-employment offer drug screening and physical exam
How Long Does It Take to Become One of Jacksonville’s Bravest?
After applying for a position with the Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department (JFRD), you will have to go through their preliminary selection process. This takes a few months on average. After that, you will have to undergo firefighter training which normally lasts for 6 to 7 months. In total, depending upon open vacancies, it will take you about 8 to 12 months to join the ranks of firefighters in Jacksonville.
How Much Does a Firefighter Make in Jacksonville?
According to City of Jacksonville’s official website, firefighters in Florida draw an annual base salary of $33,384.
Jacksonville Firefighting Career Outlook
Between 2016 and 2026, there is a 14% growth in firefighting job opportunities projected for Florida (according to O*Net Online). You can expect a significant number of these to emerge in Jacksonville. On the whole, the career outlook for firefighters in this region is very good when you consider the 7% national growth rate from 2016 to 2026.