Join our paid-on-call Fire Department

Bloomington's paid-on-call firefighters include the young, as well as veterans; they are accountants, insurance sales people, computer technicians, mechanics, stay-at-home parents and the self-employed. Many are full-time police officers, career firefighters with other cities, paramedics and emergency medical personnel. They are your neighbors. In some cases, the Bloomington Fire Department is a family tradition that includes grandfathers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers and, even, husband and wife teams. Some firefighters are also allowed by their employers to respond from their workplace.

Position description

Primary Objective

  • To extinguish and prevent fires, to effectuate rescues, render first aid, respond to and mitigate hazardous materials incidents, and to respond to and operate at other emergencies as required.
  • To assist as needed in providing fire and life safety education to building owners, homeowners and other employees in Bloomington.
  • To assist fire investigators as needed.

Essential Functions 

Fire Fighting 

  • While wearing personal protective ensembles and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), perform firefighting tasks, rescue operations, and other emergency response actions under stressful conditions. 
  • Function as an integral component of a team, where sudden incapacitation of a member can result in mission failure or in risk of injury or death to civilians or other team members. 
  • Must have the ability to quickly read and interpret hazard warnings and labels in emergency situations. 
  • Must be able to quickly and effectively communicate with the public and other firefighters during emergencies. 
  • Upon emergency alarm, must respond immediately and quickly to the fire station, staff the appropriate fire department vehicles and apparatus, and respond with other firefighters to the emergency. 
  • Respond to all alarms as designated by the Fire Department and such other alarms and emergency calls as directed. 
  • Participate in Department drills and training activities and maintain proficiency in all firefighter skills. 
  • Keep stations, apparatus, tools, and equipment clean and in good operating condition. 
  • Assume command of their company in the absence of a ranking officer. 

Physical Demands and Working Conditions 

  • While wearing full protective clothing (turnout coat and pants, helmet, boots, gloves, and hood) and SCBA including working in extremely hot or cold environments for prolonged time periods, is required to safely perform a variety of firefighting tasks that require upper body strength and aerobic capacity. The following are specifics inherent to essential job tasks:
    • Lifting and carrying tools and equipment (e.g. axe, Halligan tool, pike pole, chain saw, circular saw, high-rise pack and hose) that weigh between 7 lb. and 20 lb. and are used in a chopping motion over the head, extended in front of the body, or in a push/pull motion. 
    • Advancing a 1¾ in. or a 2½ in. diameter hose line, which requires lifting, carrying, and pulling the hose at grade, below or above grade, or up ladders. In addition to the weight of the hose itself, a 50 ft. section of charged 1¾ in. hose contains approximately 90 lb. of water, and a 50 ft. section of 2½ in. hose approximately 130 lb. of water. 
    • Performing forcible entry while utilizing tools and equipment (e.g. axe, Halligan tool, chain saw, circular saw, or hydraulic tool) that requires chopping, pulling, or operating these items to open doors, windows, or other barriers to gain access to victims or possible victims or to initiate firefighting operations. 
    • Performing ventilation (horizontal or vertical) utilizing tools and equipment (e.g. axe, pike pole, chainsaw, or circular saw) while operating on a flat or pitched roof or operating on a ground or aerial ladder. This task requires the firefighter to chop or push tools through roofs, walls, or windows. 
  • Wearing an SCBA, which includes a demand valve-type positive-pressure facepiece or HEPA filter masks, which require the ability to tolerate increased respiratory workloads. 
  • Exposure to toxic fumes, irritants, particulates, biological (infectious) and non-biological hazards, and/or heated gases, despite the use of personal protective ensembles and SCBA. 
  • Climbing 6 or more flights of stairs while wearing a fire protective ensemble, including SCBA, weighing at least 50 lb. or more and carrying equipment/tools weighing an additional 20 to 40 lb. 
  • Wearing a fire protective ensemble, including SCBA, that is encapsulating and insulated, which will result in significant fluid loss that frequently progresses to clinical dehydration and can elevate core temperatures to levels exceeding 102.2 °F 
  • While wearing personal protective ensembles and SCBA, searching, finding, and rescue-dragging or carrying victims ranging from newborns to adults weighing over 200 lbs. to safety despite hazardous conditions and low visibility.
  • While wearing personal protective ensembles and SCBA, advancing water-filled hoselines up to 2½ in. in diameter from fire apparatus to an occupancy (approximately 150 ft.), which can involve negotiating multiple flights of stairs, ladders, and other obstacles. 
  • While wearing personal protective ensembles and SCBA, climbing ladders, operating from heights, walking or crawling, walking or crawling in the dark along narrow and uneven surfaces that might be wet or icy, and operating in proximity to electrical power lines and other hazards.
  • Unpredictable emergency requirements for prolonged periods of extreme physical exertion without benefit of warm-up, scheduled rest periods, meals, access to medication(s) or hydration.
  • Operating fire apparatus or other vehicles in emergency mode with emergency lights and sirens. 
  • Critical, time sensitive, complex problem solving during physical exertion in stressful, hazardous environments, including hot, dark, tightly enclosed spaces, that is further aggravated by fatigue, flashing lights, sirens, and other distractions.
  • Ability to communicate (give and comprehend verbal orders) while wearing personal protective ensembles and SCBA under conditions of high background noise, poor visibility, and drenching from hoselines and/or fixed protection systems (sprinklers)

Examples of Performance Criteria 

  • Upon emergency alarm, must respond immediately and quickly to the fire station, staff the appropriate fire department vehicles and apparatus, and respond with other firefighters to the emergency. 
  • Respond to all alarms as designated by the Fire Department and such other alarms and emergency calls as directed. 
  • Participate in Department drills and training activities and maintain proficiency in all firefighter skills. 
  • Work is completed on schedule. 
  • Oral communication is calm, clear and presented with confidence. 
  • Public communication is responsive, considerate and respects needs for confidentiality. 
  • Maintains effective work relationships with supervisors and coworkers. 
  • Keeps up to date and complies with administrative policies and procedures. 

Minimum Qualifications 

  • Must be at least 18 years of age. 
  • Must be able to pass required regular medical, psychological, and fitness exams. 
  • Must be able to read and write the English language effectively. 
  • High school graduation or GED equivalence. 
  • Must have and maintain a valid Minnesota driver's license. 
  • Must live within an approved response time to a Bloomington fire station. 

Training Requirements (to be completed during recruit training) 

  • Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 
  • Emergency Medical Responder or Emergency Medical Technician (complete and maintain certification.) 
  • Hazardous Materials Operations 

Desirable Qualifications 

  • Ability to speak a second language, in addition to English, that has a recognized presence in the community. (Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese, etc.) 

Supervision of Others 

  • None

Frequently Asked Questions

Must I live in Bloomington to be a paid-on-call firefighter?

All firefighters are required to live approximately within a 4 minute response time to one of the six fire stations. 

What kind of training is involved?

Bloomington firefighters are trained in a wide range of technical skills. Some of these skills include fire suppression, hazardous materials incidents, confined space rescue, water and ice rescue, vehicle extrication, disaster response, alarm and CO detector response and fire prevention education.

Is there a cost for the required Emergency Medical/First Responder training?

No. Training is done at the fire stations or off-site classes are arranged through Hennepin Technical College by the training Chief with expenses paid by the Bloomington Fire Department.

If I have prior fire/rescue training and experience, will it count towards Bloomington training requirements?

Yes. Proof of your training, such as class records and/or grades must be approved by the training Chief and added to your Bloomington Fire Department personnel file.

Do men and women have equal requirements for entry and training?

Yes. Medical and physical requirements follow OSHA and NFPA standards. The Bloomington Fire Department is an equal opportunity employer.

Are the Bloomington firefighters directly paid or compensated?

Yes. You receive $65 per month on-call pay plus $5 per fire call and $4.12 per drill attended.


  • Must be at least 18 years of age and out of high school.
  • Must be able to read and write the English language effectively.
  • Must pass physical and psychological exam and agility test requirements.
  • Must be living within responding distance from station (board-approved address required).
  • Must respond to 30 percent of fire calls each quarter for assigned station.
  • Must attend weekly drills; three unexcused consecutive drill absences results in automatic dismissal.
  • Must attend 50 percent of scheduled drills each six month period.
  • Must attend rookie training through the Technical College and Fire Department.


  • Excellent retirement program.
  • Worker's compensation benefits.
  • Fellowship and education.
  • Extra work available.
  • Health Club membership to $150 reimbursement yearly.
  • Credit Union membership.
  • Tuition reimbursement program for fire science related classes.