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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 must be 17-19 years old, graduating in the school year that they apply (or earlier) and must be US citizens or  authorized to work in the US.  Applicants who are 17-19 with a GED are eligible to apply as are those who have a HSED or haev completed a high school home school program that meets Wisconsin Department of Education standards.  Young adults who meet the above requirements can complete an application here during the application period, or contact a recruiter to have their name added to our mailing list.

The 2017-2018 application period for Fire Cadet is open!.  You can click here to contact a recruiter for more information. 

Fire Cadet Information and Upcoming Events

Come to one of the Milwaukee Fire Department's Fire Cadet Open Houses this fall to learn more about our nationally recognized Fire Cadet Program.  Becoming a fire cadet is a great career opportunity for young adults 17-19 years of age who are interested in earning a salary and receiving college credits while learning the skills necessary to become a professional Firefighter Paramedic with one of the best fire departments in the world!

Location Address Date Time
Station 32 30th & Galena Saturday October 21st 10am - 1pm
Station 31 8th & Hayes Saturday November 4th 10am - 1pm
MFD Training Academy 6680 N. Teutonia Saturday November 18th 12pm - 4pm

 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 22 months of training and work experience which includes college level coursework in firefighting, pre-hospital medicine, and general education subjects such as foreign language and anatomy and physiology. 
  • 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 Area Technial Colege, the MFD Training Academy and various clinical sites throughout the City of Milwaukee.
  • Fire Cadet Program Videos

  • 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.  

Minimum Requirements (2017)

  • High School graduation (from an accredited high school or home school program) or completion of a HSED or GED prior to July 1, 2018*.
  • Must be at 17-19 years old when hired.  Individuals cannot be older than 19 at time of hire.
  • Born on or between July 30, 1998 to November 27th, 2000*
  • Must be at least 17 years old at time of application; and may not be more than 19 years old on the starting date of the Fire Cadet Class.  (Individuals born after November 27, 2000 –or– before July 30, 1998 do not qualify
  • State of Wisconsin driver’s license within six months after date of hire, and maintain a valid driver’s license throughout employment with the department
  • United States citizenship**
    • **or must have resided in the United States for at least five years immediately prior to the date of application and be legally authorized to work for any employer in the United States.
    • **Non-citizen applicants should request information regarding Fire and Police Commission rules and citizenship requirements at time of application. [FPC Rule VI.4.(b). and Rule XI.2.(b)]

*Application birthday requirement change annually

2017-2018 School Year Calendar of Events




Application Period Begins

September 8, 2017

 Residency Preference Points Form Due

Veteran's Preference Points Form Due

November 27, 2017

Application Period Ends

November 27, 2017

Written Exam

January 2018

Oral Interview

February 2018

PHQ (Personal History Questionnaire)

Birth Certificate info

Passport photo link

Selective service registration

Call 286-5071 or 286-5068 with questions

March, 2018

Physical Ability Test

May 2018

Fire Cadet start date*

July 30, 2018

Preparing for the Academy  















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)
Anatomy & Physiology (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)

Paramedic Training (Accelerated) Cognitive/ Classroom
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.