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Fire Employment Frequently Asked Questions

What if I'm already a firefighter?
You must still successfully complete the hiring process and complete the academy training, as would any other firefighter recruit.

Does prior experience in firefighting help my chances?
TFD's minimum requirement is that applicants have a GED or a high school diploma. Prior work experience in any field will be taken into consideration; however, prior firefighting experience will not necessarily help or hurt your chances.

How long is the academy?
The Tulsa Fire Department cadet academy lasts approximately 20 weeks. It is located at the TFD Safety Training Center at 2819 North New Haven Ave. Cadets report to training Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., although your hours may vary due to training requirements.

If hired, do I have to pay for the training?
No. The training is free. In fact, TFD pays you a salary during your time in the academy.

What is the age requirement?
You must be between 18 and 45 years of age on hire date.

On the application, how far back do we need to go for the moving traffic violations?
On the application, you need to include any traffic violation convictions received in the past three years. Any charges for Driving Under the Influence, Driving While Intoxicated, or other alcohol-related charges must be listed whenever they occurred. 

What if I can't remember the dates, offenses or disposition of the tickets or other charges?
You must include the dates, offenses and disposition of any of the charges you listed. For accuracy, go to your state and local law enforcement agency and request a copy of your driving and criminal record. In Oklahoma, you can also obtain your three-year driving record from your local tag agent.

What is meant by the "disposition" of the charges or tickets?
Disposition means "how the matter was settled." Did you pay the fine or complete the probation, etc.?

If I have a Master's Degree or higher level education, will I get more education incentive pay?
The highest education pay you will receive is for a Bachelor's Degree at $100 per month.

Does it cost to take the entry-level written exam?
No. There is no cost to take the entry-level written exam.

How many questions are on the written exam and how long will the written exam take?
There are a total of 240 items on the written exam. Applicants will have 2½ hours to complete the exam. In addition, other information and instructions will be distributed. Applicants should plan on being at the testing facility for at least four hours from the report time.

What kind of shift do Tulsa firefighters work?
Tulsa firefighters work 24 hours on duty followed by 48 hours off duty. Every station is designed to accommodate firefighters for 24 hours. Each station has a kitchen, exercise equipment, sleeping room, restroom and showers. Sleeping is permitted, as is cooking, working out, and studying; however, you must be ready to respond to alarms and fulfill other duty requirements at all times.

Can I get hired even if I have a Police record?
All applicants will undergo a police background check before being hired. Any person with a felony conviction or a conviction for a crime of moral turpitude is ineligible for employment with the Tulsa Fire Department. Convictions for misdemeanor crimes other than those involving moral turpitude will not automatically eliminate you from the process. What are considered are: the crime(s) committed; when it occurred; your age at the time; the relationship between the crime and your position as a firefighter. Remember that police records never go away, so be sure and be totally straightforward on your application.

What does moral turpitude mean?
Examples of offenses which have been declared by the courts to involve moral turpitude are theft, swindling, burglary, tax evasion, forgery, perjury, bribery, sale of narcotics, etc.

Do I have to re-take the written exam if I'm not hired?
If you successfully pass through the entire selection process, you remain on the list of candidates eligible to be hired for two years from your written exam date.

What happens if I am not successful on any step of the selection process?
You must begin the process again. There is no waiting period before you may do so.

How often do I have to take the PAT?
Every candidate must have successfully completed the PAT within twelve months of the academy start date. This is a state pension requirement.

How many people will be hired in the next academy?
There are two main factors that determine the size of each academy. One factor is the number of open slots in the Fire Department. There are a certain number of pre-approved positions at the basic firefighter position. Some slots become open due to separations like promotions or retirements. Another factor in determining the size of the academy is the amount of money the Fire Department receives in the annual budget. The Fire Department tries to fill as many of the open firefighter slots as possible. Obviously, this is something that is different for every academy.

Is certification as an EMT required for employment?
Yes, EMT basic level certification is required for employment. You must be a nationally and Oklahoma state certified EMT before you are given a conditional offer of employment.

Is there any particular type of training or education that would be helpful in becoming a firefighter?
There are no required courses beyond the minimum requirements. Incentive pay is given for EMT certification at the Basic and Paramedic level. You may also receive incentive pay if you have either an Associate or Bachelor's degree if the degree includes Fire Protection classes. College hours (that include Fire Protection) are also required to promote to and beyond the Fire Captain level. While college hours are not employment requirements you can see that they can benefit you once you are hired.

What do I need to do to take the written exam?
To sign up for the written exam, is to call the City of Tulsa Employment Office at (918) 596-7427 to select a test date/time.