FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHEN ARE WE HIRING?

During inactive application periods, to receive notification as soon as exact dates become available, subscribe to the Firefighter position on our jobs website. 

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET HIRED?

The hiring process includes a pre-screen, cognitive/behavioral assessment, completion of the Physical Agility Exam, oral exam, and interview. Due to there being several steps in the process, following directions and meeting deadlines throughout the process is very important.

HOW LONG IS YOUR ACADEMY?

All new recruits are paid to attend the GRFD training Academy, even if they already have firefighter certifications. This is an approximately 4 month course of instruction in the classroom and hands on environments designed to give new firefighters the knowledge and hands on skills to save lives and stay safe.

Upon successful completion of the Academy, recruits will have the following certifications:

  • Michigan Firefighter Training Council:  Firefighter I & II

  • Hazardous Material Awareness & Operations

  • Licensed as a State of Michigan Basic Emergency Medical Technician

HOW CAN I PREPARE?

Update your resume:

  • Include relevant work experience and close employment gaps

  • Update references, know what they will say

  • Visit Michigan Works for assistance

Prepare for cognitive/behavioral assessment:

  • The cognitive/behavioral assessment is an entry-level Firefighter exam developed and published by Industrial/Organizational Solutions (IOS) Inc., National Firefighter Selection Inventory (NFSI). Study guides are sold by the test publisher and may be purchased from their website iosolutions.com.

  • Additionally, study guides are available for reference at these Grand Rapids Public Library branches: Main, Madison Square, Ottawa Hills, Seymour, Van Belkum, Westside, and Yankee Clipper.

Prepare for interview:

  • Practice out loud and with others

  • Have examples to support your answers

  • Attend community interview skill workshops

  • Research interview tips

  • Do independent research

  • Learn about Grand Rapids and its history

  • Learn about the Grand Rapids Fire Department

Know your criminal history:

  • Acknowledge mistakes and lessons learned

  • Stay out of trouble

Gauge your cultural competency & community engagement:

  • Do an honest inventory of your cultural competency and diverse community experience

  • Learn key community issues that residents have

  • Identify key diverse organizations in the city

  • Volunteer in the community; American Red Cross, Civil Groups, Neighborhoods

Get fit physically and mentally:

  • Maintain physical fitness, upper body strength & stamina

Seek out First Aid training:

  • Attend a First Aid or other medical class/training