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Becoming a Firefighter

What does it take to become a Firefighter-Paramedic with the City of Tracy?

The Tracy Fire Department is "committed to providing a diversity of services for a better quality of life." The Department takes pride in its culture, diversity, and participatory style of leadership. Are you up for the challenge of working as a Firefighter-Paramedic in this fast-paced field?

As a Firefighter you may be called upon to perform a variety of duties. They include, but are not limited to, emergency medical calls, fires of all types, vehicle accidents, hazardous materials incidents, and a variety of customer service calls. During the 48-hour shifts you will also perform a number of non-emergency duties, such as training of all types, fire prevention and education, maintenance of fire apparatus, equipment and stations. Shifts will also include a number of public relations activities which require a genuine desire to serve the community.

During the one year (minimum) probation you will be required to pump hand lines, move heavy equipment and operate with a minimum amount of supervision. You will also need to demonstrate self-initiative, teamwork, a desire to learn, and a strong customer service attitude.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the testing process like?

Generally, candidates will have to fill out an official City of Tracy application. But you need to stay on top of when we are hiring, as we only hire about once every other year and accept applications for a very short period only! The best way to ensure that you will receive an application is to fill out an interest card with the City Human Resources Department.

Those who meet the minimum qualifications (currently, Firefighter I and EMT P) will be invited to a competitive written exam process. The written exam is designed to test your general knowledge in areas like: reading comprehension, spelling, math, oral comprehension, and mechanical aptitude.

The next step in the process is an oral examination, in which you will be asked a number of questions pertaining to your experience, attitude, and knowledge. This is where you tell us about yourself and why you want to be a firefighter for the City of Tracy.

The department also requires candidates to demonstrate fire service specific physical abilities.  Candidates can show proof of physical ability by providing a current Candidate Physical Ability Test or (CPAT) card.  To learn more about obtaining a CPAT card, click here.

Finalists are invited to a Fire Chief's interview. Here is where the boss will meet you.

And finally, if you have what it takes to be hired, you will enter a one-year probation to prove yourself.

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How much schooling do I need?

Most firefighters possess a basic Fire Academy or Firefighter 1 certificate. The process takes about three months to a year. They will also have an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT1) certificate which takes about one semester to achieve. Because the Tracy Fire Department provides Advanced Life Support, our minimum requirements include Paramedic (EMTP) certification at the time of application. This takes an additional year of education. And today's candidate will have an Associate's degree in Fire Science, which takes about two to three years. Lastly, the future firefighter candidate will have a Bachelor's Degree, so stay in school!

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What is the pay like?

Firefighters in the City of Tracy make a competitive salary in a range similar to other fire departments. You can expect to earn approximately $60,000 to $90,000 as you promote up the ladder.

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Do I get a lot of days off?

Yes and no. You work about 10 to 12 days a month, but you work 48-hour shifts. That means you work 56 hours per week. There is no guarantee that you will sleep when you are on shift. And you will work under all types of conditions. The rewards aren't in the days-off, it's in knowing that you make a difference.

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Should I do ride along’s with the Fire department?

Most definitely, Yes! This is the best way to ask questions and learn about what we do. Contact the Tracy Fire Department at (209) 831-6700 for more information regarding a ride along.

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Will volunteer or reserve firefighter experience help my chances of getting a full-time job?

Most definitely! Reserve or volunteer firefighting experience is exactly that... experience. That experience will assist you in learning the fundamentals of the job, gaining hands-on experience, and will allow you opportunities to work side-by-side with the "full-time" firefighters. Lastly, it offers you a chance to build a reputation, hopefully a good one, and a chance to see if you really like the job.

If you are interested in our reserve firefighter program, please visit our Human Resources page or contact the Tracy Fire Department at (209) 831-6700.

If you have the desire and dedication required to become a firefighter, the Tracy Fire Department is looking for you. If you would like more information in becoming a Firefighter, just visit the Human Resources page.

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