Certified and Non-Certified Recruitment

Des Moines Fire Department Recruiting Pitch
DMFD Starting Salary

Plus comprehensive benefits package.

Paramedic Pay

With state paramedic certification & one year of DMFD service.

Special Events

Interact with community at special events with overtime compensation.


Technical Rescue, Water Rescue and Hazmat Teams earn specialty pay.

Take Your Career To The Next Level At DMFD

The Des Moines Fire Department responded to over 30,000 calls in 2021 and offers an impressive compensation and benefits package to its firefighters. Want a career serving the community? You'll have opportunities to make a difference every day at DMFD.

Certified Firefighters

To be considered as a certified firefighter recruit, individuals must possess Firefighter I, Firefighter II, and Paramedic certifications. Certification as an Iowa Firefighter I and Firefighter II issued by the State of Iowa Fire Services Training Bureau (FSTB) and certification as an Iowa Paramedic issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is required before a final offer may be extended.

Successful applicants would undergo an abbreviated version of the DMFD Academy program with 7:00-3:30 M-F hours for the duration of the 14-week program.

Click the button below to submit an interest card.

Certified Firefighter Hiring Timeline
  • Application Period: March 16, 2022 - April 15, 2022
  • Written Exam: May 9-11, 2022 (Study Guide)
  • Candidate Physical Ability Tests (CPAT): *June 11-13, 2022 
  • Civil Service Oral Exams: *June, 2022
  • Estimated Academy Start Date: *August, 2022

Non-Certified Firefighters

Want to start a new career as a firefighter? 

Becoming a firefighter is a rewarding career where you know you'll make an impact on the Des Moines community during each and every shift.

Because over 70% of DMFD's 30,000 annual calls involve medical services, all DMFD firefighters will be trained as firefighters and paramedics during the DMFD Academy.

Successful non-certified applicants would enter into the paid DMFD Academy program for 12-14 months before graduating as a DMFD firefighter.  

Click the button below to submit an interest card.

Non-Certified Firefighter Hiring Timeline
  • Application Period: March 16, 2022 - April 15, 2022
  • Written Exam: May 9-11, 2022 (Study Guide)
  • Candidate Physical Ability Tests (CPAT): *June 13-17, 2022 
  • Civil Service Oral Exams: *August-September, 2022
  • Estimated Academy Start Date: *January, 2023
*These are tentative dates and are subject to change

Des Moines Firefighters at the Iowa State Fair

  • Join a metropolitan fire department with ample opportunities for growth and career development.
  • Strong Defined Benefit Pension, including continuation for qualified 411 participants.
  • 5% pay for Paramedic Certification (after one year of service)
  • Comprehensive Health Benefits
  • Special events like the Iowa State Fair, local athletics events and races like the Ironman provide opportunities for overtime pay
  • 24 hours on, 48 hours off scheduling
  • Special Operations pay opportunities include Technical Rescue, Water Rescue and Hazmat Teams.
  • May apply for employee residency incentive program to purchase or rent within Des Moines City Limits.
  • Access to peer support team and peer fitness trainers

About the City of Des Moines Fire Department

To protect our city, the Des Moines Fire Department (DMFD) has 11 stations equipped with nine engines (four paramedic-level), five trucks, and nine ambulances in front line status with seven reserve ambulances for use during special events and repairs. The Department is budgeted for 306 employees (12 non-sworn/294 sworn), and currently includes over 200 trained paramedics and 90 trained EMTs, making it the largest fire-based EMS service in the state.

Des Moines Fire Station 11

All sworn personnel are trained to the NFPA 1001 Firefighter II and HazMat Operations level, as well. In addition to providing fire and EMS protection, the Department also includes a Fire Prevention Section responsible for permits and inspections, public education and fire investigations. Finally, the Department’s Special Operations Section oversees two hazardous materials teams which cover seven counties and function as one of the statewide WMD response teams, a water emergency team, and a technical rescue team.

Take a Tour of Your Future Workplace

Des Moines Fire Department Jobs

One of the most important parts of any career is the opportunity for advancement. That's an advantage of working at the largest department in the State of Iowa. Opportunities for promotion are abundant for those who seek them out. Below is a look at our organizational structure and the various positions and assignments firefighters can pursue at DMFD.

Additional Administrative Assignments

  • Fire Prevention Bureau: performing annual inspections, issuing permits, public education, new construction inspections, investigation of fires for cause and origin, juvenile fire-setter interventionalist, and interacting with media.
  • EMS Section: training compliance, protocol review, and interaction with medical direction.
  • Training Section: recruit academy administration, apparatus and equipment specifications, and leading training initiatives.
  • Special Operations Section: special teams training and emergency management initiatives. 

Working at DMFD

What a typical day would look like and required as a firefighter

City of Des Moines firefighters work a 24-hour shift with an average week consisting of 53 hours.  During a 24-hour shift, firefighters respond to emergencies, maintain the fire station and equipment, and present fire safety training and public education to the residents of Des Moines.

Des Moines Fire Department Testimonials


Senior Fire Medic Danyl Guiter
"Prior to joining the fire department, I worked as an emergency nurse. I had always been interested in the prehospital aspect of patient care and after joining a volunteer fire department, I grew to love the thrill of firefighting. I decided to join the Des Moines Fire Department because I was ready for a change and wanted to explore the excitement and challenges the fire department provided on a daily basis.

As a wife and mother, the fire department benefits my family in many ways. At DMFD, we work a 24 hour shift every third day. It can be challenging not being seeing my family for a full 24 hours, but thanks to video chat I can see them during my shift. Having two days off following my 24-hour shift allows me to spend quality time with my family and gives me with the option to not send my children to daycare.

By not sending my children to daycare, it not only has saved my family money, but it has also prevented our children from getting sick. It is a relief to know that my family is being taken care of in many ways because of the career choice that I made."


Fire Engineer John Eginoire
"It's a privilege to be a Des Moines Firefighter and serve the community that my friends, family, and I live in. Every day brings forth new experiences, challenges, and excitement. There's no better feeling than helping save someone's life, teaching other about fire and health safety, and making a difference in your community. Being a firefighter gave my life a higher purpose and a career that I could be proud of. "

Des Moines Fire Department On The Scene Of A FireAdditional Information

Emergency Medical Services and firefighting are not the only required duties while on a 24-hour shift. Other assignments may include:

  • Public Education
  • Building Fire Inspections
  • Hydrant Inspections
  • Training
  • Equipment maintenance*
  • Living at the fire station includes cleaning and cooking

*When fighting fires or responding to EMS calls, turnout gear and equipment exceed a weight of 45 pounds and can reach a weight of 130+ pounds. A significant amount of time is spent inspecting, cleaning, training with and maintaining this gear and equipment.

Required Documentation for Application

Qualifications to Apply

Qualifications for a Full-time Firefighter

Step-by-step Hiring Process

Additional Resources