Wis. FD to no longer require U.S. citizenship for firefighters, EMTs

The Madison Fire Department said it is adapting to a "changing economic and technological landscape since the COVID-19 pandemic"


By Daniela Jaime
The Wisconsin State Journal

MADISON, Wis. — After a three-year hiring freeze, the Madison Fire Department is accepting applications for full-time firefighters and EMTs, no longer requiring applicants to have U.S. Citizenship.

According to a news release by the City of Madison Fire Department, "in spirit of inclusion and accessibility," this year's process will incorporate new approaches throughout the hiring process to minimize barriers that previously limited people from applying, like time constraints, and also adapting to a "changing economic and technological landscape since the COVID-19 pandemic." In fact, the three-year hiring break was a COVID-19-specific issue, with recruiting and hiring typically happening every two years.

Candidates with any legal permission to work in the country are now eligible to apply regardless of citizenship status, and those who move on to the exam portion will be able to take a video-based multiple choice test online in place of the in-person test previously administered during traditional business hours. Additionally, candidates who don't have access to a personal computer or internet or simply don't have a quiet place to take the exam can take the exam at a local testing center within an eight-week window.

MFD has also reduced the number of in-person interviews needed in hopes of streamlining the process as a whole and reducing candidates' time commitment. "The goal is to keep qualified candidates engaged with the career opportunity amid existing demands at home and work."

In 2021, eight personnel were hired in March, four promoted to Apparatus Engineer, and 10 successfully completed the Lieutenant Promotional process, an in-house process allowing firefighters to become Fire Lieutenants. Though a hiring number isn't set for this year, the number of hirings is dependent on funding, anticipated retirements, and final approval by the Madison Police and Fire Commission.

People from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply through the city's employment website, with no similar experience needed. MFD says they are seeking out those who are, "interested in a career devoted to public service." The deadline to apply is set for midnight, November 30th.


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