Are you prepared to become a Milwaukee
Fire Cadet or Firefighter?
Milwaukee Firefighters and Fire Cadets are among some of the most highly trained emergency response professionals in the nation. As an all hazards response organization, MFD firefighters have to be diversely skilled in operational areas that range from firefighting basic life support to advanced life support (which includes the insertion of advanced airways and the administration of cardiac drugs) to technical rescue. Even in non-emergency situations Milwaukee Firefighters are tasked with teaching residents about life safety interventions in patients homes. Although it may be surprising to some, most individuals find the academics of the training academy to be more challenging than the physical requirements. The links and resources below will help you prepare to enter the academy.
Math Skills: Khan academy (www.khanacademy.org) is totally free web based resource that helps develop skills in math and other areas. Individuals should work to develop their math and science literacy skills in preparation for EMT or Paramedic coursework. Khan academy offers curriculum spanning from basic math to calculus. If you want to sign up for a "class" that only consists of arithmetic and algebra and enables you to view your progress compared to other firefighter or fire cadet applicants, you can use the instructions below.
- Visit khanacademy.org/coaches (the “Coaches” tab in your profile).
- Sign up or log in if you already have an account).
- In the “Add a coach” field, enter the class code:vwfmmb9w
- You’re all set. Now click "Home" to start learning!
Prefer customized practice? Try the following "Missions" below to create customized lessons that identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Reading Comprehension: Read Theory (https://readtheory.org), like Khan academy, is a totally free website that assess reading comprehension and offers free exercises to improve reading comprehension. Wether preparing for firefighting or medical academics, this website will help students and adult learners alike. If you want to sign up and view your progress compared to other firefighter or fire cadet applicants, you can use the instructions below.
- Navigate to www.ReadTheory.org on any device (computer, tablet, mobile).
- Sign up as a student and log in.
- Go to the the "My Teachers" page.
- Enter firstname.lastname@example.org in the space provided.
- Click the "Send Invitation" button.
Science Review: Coursera (https://www.coursera.org) is a hosting website for thousands of MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses). The MOOCs hosted by Coursera cover every subject imaginable and while some can be taken for college credit (for a fee) all are free. There are MOOCs available for anatomy and physiology and basic biology at the college level which can be very helpful for adults who have been away from formal learning for a while and need to get re-acclimated to classwork.
Nutrition Resources: Nutrition can be confusing subject with the abundance of fad diets and our bust lifestyles some people are challenged to eat and maintain a level of activity that reflects their lifestyle. In providing nutrition advice to prepare to become a firefighter, the best strategy that any person can use is to avoid fad diets of any type, and to adopt eating habits that support your weight and activity goals. Very few people require special nutritional additions or modifications to their diet. The USDA recommends that Americans eat a balanced diet, the the ChooseMyPlate website contains calculators that can suggest appropriate caloric intake, and examples of how to build a healthy plate to meet your goals. The instructions below will help you estimate your optimal caloric intake and give you the tools to identify how much of what types fo food you should eat on a daily basis.
- Navigate to the ChooseMyPlate website (https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate-Daily-Checklist-input website)
- Enter your age, sex, weight and activity level
- The subsequent pages will provide your estimated daily caloric intake (at your optimal weight) as well as food recommendations
- You can also use the other free resources on the website such as the SuperTracker (https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/supertracker) which is an interactive food, physical activity, and weight tracking tool that serves as the public interface for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Note: these sights also account for the biological difference between men and women and provide recommendations for women who are breast feeding and pregnant. If you have special nutritional or medical concerns, you should consult your physician before changing your diet.
Physical Fitness Resources: Modern firefighting training is more focused on functional fitness that brute strength. Our training focuses on strength, conditioning, nutrition and injury prevention. The playlist below include body weight exercises that do not require any equipment, while at the same time building upper body, core and lower body strength. These exercises are suitable for someone entering the Junior Fire institute or someone who desires to become a Fire Cadet or Recruit.
Entry Level Physical Testing: There are different entry level physical tests for firefighter and fire cadet, as the two positions are very different and have very different training programs. Firefighters are required to take the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) as part of the pre-employment process, prior to entering into the training academy. Fire cadets will take a totally different physical agility test which is designed to assess their ability to be successful in the cadet training program, which is substantially longer. As fire cadets are primarily recruited from high school, they are unable to make the time commitment necessary to complete the CPAT.
During the entire test the candidate must wear a 50 lb. weighted vest (simulating the weight of a fire fighters protective clothing and equipment). Candidates have 10:20 to complete the test. The eight events are: Stair Climb (climbing stairs while carrying an additional 25 lb. simulated hose pack), Ladder Raise and Extension (placing a ground ladder at the fire scene and extending the ladder to the roof or a window), Hose Drag (stretching uncharged hose lines, advancing lines), Equipment Carry (removing and carrying equipment from fire apparatus to fireground), Forcible Entry (penetrating a locked door, breaching a wall) and Search (crawling through dark unpredictable areas to search for victims). Rescue Drag (removing victim or partner from a fire building), Ceiling Pull (locating fire and checking for fire extension),1. Stair Climb (climbing 180 stairs for 3 minutes while carrying an additional 25 lb. simulated hose pack).
2. Ladder Raise and Extension (placing a ground ladder at the fire scene and extending the ladder to the roof or a window).
3. Hose Drag (stretching uncharged hose lines, advancing lines)
4. Equipment Carry (removing and carrying equipment from fire apparatus to fireground).
5. Forcible Entry (penetrating a locked door, breaching a wall).
6. Search (crawling through dark unpredictable areas to search for victims).
7. Rescue Drag (removing victim or partner from a fire building).
8. Ceiling Pull (locating fire and checking for fire extension).
For adults who applied for firefighter positions in fall 2017
Fire Cadet (17-19)
For recent high school seniors or recent graduates 17 - 19 years old that applied for fire cadet.
During the entire test the candidate must wear a 50 lb. weighted vest (simulating the weight of a fire fighters protective clothing and equipment). The eight events must be completed in under 10:20 in the following order:
1. Stair Climb (climbing 180 stairs over 3 minutes while carrying an additional 25 lb. simulated hose pack)
2. Ladder Raise and Extension (placing a ground ladder at the fire scene and extending the ladder to the roof or a window)
3. Hose Drag (stretching uncharged hose lines, advancing lines),
4. Equipment Carry (removing and carrying equipment from fire apparatus to fireground)
5. Forcible Entry (penetrating a locked door, breaching a wall)
6. Search (crawling through dark unpredictable areas to search for victims)
7. Rescue Drag (removing victim or partner from a fire building)
8. Ceiling Pull (locating fire and checking for fire extension)
Local Fitness Resources: Its often much easier to adopt a lifestyle of fitness when you take part in group exercises. While there are dozens of local personal trainers and gyms in the metro area, the links below all feature groups in Milwaukee that host free fitness activities at least weekly.
Emotional Support: Training to become a Fire Cadet or a Firefighter is academically, emotionally and physically demanding. Preparing for a career in firefighting extends beyond the training day, as cadets and recruits spend hours each night studying as well as attending study groups on the weekends. Cadets and recruits can expect to experience dramatic changes their diets to meet their body’s caloric needs, changes to their personal schedules to accommodate study time and increased amounts of dirty laundry. One of the most important parts of this transitional phase is for cadets and recruits to have the support of their families, friends and loved ones.
Becoming a Milwaukee Firefighter is not an individual effort. In the months and weeks that lead up to an academy or cadet class, applicants for Fire Cadet and Firefighter Recruit should make a conscience effort to build a support team that will help with the above tasks, as well as child care, transportation and other normal household duties that will likely become a lower priority during the training period. Members of the support team should be able to provide a quiet place and time to study and to be very flexible when it comes to scheduling special events during the training period in addition to the previously mentioned items. Assisting with laundry, meal preparation, transportation and quizzing are also great ways to help a person succeed in our training programs. The support of families and friends multiply the efforts of our training staff and will exponentially increase the odds of successfully completing the training academy. With this team approach we can turn normal people into some of the best firefighters in the world.
*The Milwaukee Fire Department doesn't specifically endorse any particular preparation regimen or activity. The resources on this page are offered as free resources, but can be supplemented or wholly replaced with other activities that may prove more valuable for the individual applicant.