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Fire Cadet Program

Are you a 17-19 years old, and looking for a uniquely rewarding career?  Apply to become a Fire Cadet

Fire Cadet applicants should be 17-19 years old, and have graduated high school plan on graduating in the year that they apply.  Applicants also need a 4 year cumulative highschool GPA of at least 2.0 from an accredited high school and must be US citizens or  authorized to work in the US.  Look below for more information, videos and upcoming events.

The 2015-2016 application period for Fire Cadet will close at 11:59 pm on December 4, 2015.  You can click here to contact a recruiter for more information about next years fire cadet application process.





 What is a Fire Cadet?

  • Fire Cadets aid in increasing the diversity of the MFD by bringing new ideas and problem solving skills to the fire service.  The Milwaukee Fire Department strives to develop a department that is reflective of the City of Milwaukee.
  • A job as a Fire Cadet is a gateway to a firefighting career with the Milwaukee Fire Department (MFD). Fire Cadets are full-time civilian employees that perform various support functions while completing training to become a Milwaukee Firefighter/Paramedic. 
  • Fire cadets who are residents of the City of Milwaukee earn an annual starting salary of $23,437($901 biweekly), non-residents earn an annual salary of $22,862 ($879 biweekly).  All fire cadets are eligible to receive full health and dental benefits.

What Will You Do as a Fire Cadet?

The Fire Cadet Program consists of academic and physical training conducted by the MFD along with several of our community partners at sites throughout Milwaukee County.  The organization of the Fire Cadet Program closely follows the semester schedule of most Milwaukee Area Colleges and Universities.  Cadets are required to complete the components of a given semester in order to maintain employment and progress in the program. 

  • The fire cadet program consists of 100 weeks of training and work experience which includes college level coursework in firefighting, pre-hospital medicine, and general education subjects such as foreign language and advanced sciences. 
  • During the first portion of the  program fire cadets will earn certification as a Wisconsin Level 1 Firefighter at the MFD Training Academy.
  • Following the completion of basic firefighting training fire cadets are required to become nationally registered emergency medical technicians (EMT) and will begin to prepare to become a Paramedics.  EMT Basic classes are taught by MFD instructors at our training Academy. 
  • Fire Cadets begin work towards an associate degree by completing college credits while maintaining a minimum 2.0 college GPA.  Tuition reimbursement is available.
  • Gain an understanding of the Milwaukee Fire Department as a whole, through rotating work assignments.  IN addition to MFD operational units, work locations include MFD Administration, Technical Services, Construction and Maintenance, teaching lessons in Milwaukee area schools and at the Survive Alive House, specialized response units, recruiting and more! 
  • The second year of the Fire Cadet program is spent preparing and completing training to become a Nationally registered Paramedic.  Paramedic education is completed at Milwaukee County EMS and various clinical sites throughout the City of Milwaukee.    

Fire Cadet Program Videos

Detailed list of Fire Cadet Program courses


Your Career as a Firefighter.

  • Upon successful completion of the Fire Cadet Program and passing a physical ability test, Fire Cadets may be promoted to the rank of fire recruit and placed in the next scheduled MFD recruit class.  Fire Recruits receive a salary of $30,061.
  • After successfully completing recruit training, fire recruits are promoted to the rank of firefighter.  The current starting salary for firefighter is $40,081 with regular pay increases up to $66,708.  Firefighters work a flexible schedule consisting of 24 hour work shifts followed by 48 hours off and receive leave, insurance, and education benefits.  


  • High School graduation prior to July 1, 2016*.
  • Must be at 17-19 years old when hired.  Individuals cannot be older than 19 at time of hire.
  • Born on or between August 15, 1996 to December 4th, 1998*.
  • 2.0 cumulative high school grade point average from an accredited high school.
  • US citizen or authorized to work in the US.

*Date specific application requirements change annually

Detailed list of Fire Cadet Program courses

2014-2015 School Year Calendar of Events



Application Period Begins

September 4,2015

 Residency Preference Points Form Due

Veteran's Preference Points Form Due


Application Period Ends

December 4, 2015

Written Exam

January 2016

Oral Interview

February 2016

PHQ (Personal History Questionnaire)

Birth Certificate info

Passport photo link

Selective service registration

Call 286-5071 or 286-5068 with questions

Due March, 2016

Physical Ability Test

May 2016

Fire Cadet start date*

August 15, 2016













Fire Cadet Program Plan

Semester 1 (fall)

Firefighter training and testing
Certification as Wisconsin Level 1 firefighter


Semester 2 (spring)

EMT Basic training
Wellness and Fitness
National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) Testing (practical and cognitive)
Introduction to MFD vehicle operations (passenger vehicles and Ambulances)
Licensure as Wisconsin Emergency Medical Technician


Semester 3 (summer)

Spanish 1 (university level)
Field rotations on MFD MED units and Engine Companies*
Field rotations with selected MFD special operations units
Dive Rescue
Tactical EMS
Hazardous Materials
Technical Rescue / HURT (Heavy Urban Rescue Team)
Community relations/ Introduction to public education
MFD Navigation and ambulance operation practice
*At this time all cadets are licensed EMT’s and practice at the EMT basic level as MFD care providers.  Cadets must maintain licensure to maintain employment with the MFD.


Semester 4 (fall)

Anatomy & Physiology (university level)
Milwaukee Survive Alive House
Spanish communication (focus on listening)
Field rotations on MFD MED units and Engine Companies**
Field rotations with selected MFD special operations units:
Dive Rescue
Tactical EMS
Hazardous Materials
Technical Rescue / HURT (Heavy Urban Rescue Team)
Community relations/ Introduction to public education
Milwaukee County Paramedic Program orientation
**All cadets are licensed EMT’s and practice as care providers for the MFD at the EMT basic level.


Semester 5 (spring)

Paramedic Training (Accelerated) Cognitive and clinical skills
NREMT-Paramedic Practical skills testing
Paramedic Field training
CPAT (Candidate Physical Agility Test)


Semester 6 (summer)

NREMT-Paramedic cognitive testing
MFD ambulance operations testing
Promotion to recruit***
***Promotion to recruit is contingent upon cadets completing all phases of the training program (including the CPAT), successfully completing all pre-employment screening and the recommendation of the Chief.
Milwaukee Fire Department Logo  

Contact a Recruiter

6680 N Teutonia Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233

Email a recruiter


Fire Cadet Brochure (English)

Fire Cadet Brochure (Hmong)

Fire Cadet Brochure (Spanish)