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Becoming a City of Spokane Firefighter

Jessica Fisher, Public Information Assistant

Friday, February 24, 2017 at 2:36 p.m.

The City of Spokane is in the middle of hiring 40-48 additional firefighters after being awarded the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant (SAFER). Are you interested in becoming one of these new firefighters? Here is what to expect when applying.

Before submitting your application you must take the Public Safety Test. The PST test consists of a written exam and the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT).

The written exam can be divided into two broad areas; cognitive abilities and non-cognitive traits. It is important to know that the exam does not measure job-specific knowledge or any specific skills that require specialized training. The exam covers the following cognitive areas;

  • Deductive reasoning
  • Mathematical reasoning
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Information ordering
  • Spatial orientation
  • Visualization
  • Written comprehension
  • Written expression
  • Non-cognitive traits

Candidates must score at least 70% on the written exam to be considered passing. For more in-depth information on the written exam visit the PST website.

Candidates will also have to take the CPAT test. CPAT standards require candidates to attend two Candidate Orientations and two Practice Tests prior to their actual CPAT test. Candidates may waive these requirements but we strongly encourage you to attend. This test consists of eight job specific events;

  • Stair climb
  • Hose drag
  • Equipment carry
  • Ladder raise
  • Forcible entry
  • Search
  • Rescue drag
  • Ceiling breach and pull

More information on the CPAT test can be found on the PST website.

PST scores must be less than six months old when you apply for a firefighter position with the City of Spokane. So make sure to fill out an application on the city’s website soon after the PST test.

All qualified candidates will be ranked on a Civil Services list based on their test scores. Candidates ranking high on this list will be sent a pre-employment packet asking for a variety of information including education, employment, driving record, criminal history, and personal references. Any materials a candidate would want to be reviewed should be submitted with the employment packet, such as resumes, letters of references and certificates.

Following the submission of your pre-employment packet candidates will go through a series of interviews. The first interview is with a Spokane Fire Department panel, in a formal business setting. The most competitive candidates will have a final interview with the Fire Chief.

After the final interview with the Fire Chief you may receive a conditional job offer. The conditional job offer allows the Department to send the candidate to a medical and psychological exam, and to conduct a criminal background check.  Candidates who sign conditional job offers will be hired by the Department, barring any medical issues, a failed psychological exam or discovery of negative background information.

We wish all the candidates good luck during the application process! If you have any questions regarding the pre-employment process email the Spokane Fire Department Recruitment Office at sfdrecruitment@spokanecity.org.


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  • Spokane Fire Department

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