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Fire Cadet Program

The 2018-19 application period for Fire Cadet is closed.  You can click here to contact a recruiter for more information. 

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.

 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 $24,140 ($928 biweekly), non-residents earn an annual salary of $23,437 ($901 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

  • High School graduation (from an accredited high school or home school program) or completion of a HSED or GED prior to July 1, 2019*.
  • Must be at 17-19 years old when hired.  Individuals cannot be older than 19 at time of hire.
  • Born on or between August 12, 1999 to November 28th, 2001***
  • 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 28, 2001 –or– before August 12, 1999 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

Application Period Begins September 21, 2018

Residency Preference Points Form Due

Veteran's Preference Points Form Due

November 28, 2018
Application Period Ends November 28, 2018
Written Exam January 2019
Oral Interview February 2019

PHQ (Personal History Questionnaire)

Birth Certificate info

Passport photo link

Selective service registration

Call 286-5071 or 286-5068 with questions

March 2019
Physical Ability Test May 2019
Fire Cadet Start Date August 2019


Fire Cadet Program Plan

Semester 1 (fall)

  • Firefighter training and testing
  • Fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Wellness
  • 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
  • BOAT
  • 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:
  • BOAT
  • 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.