How do I? close menu

Fire Department Recruitment

Firefighter Job Description - Click the Subscribe button on the description page to be notified of open fire fighter positions.

City of Des Moines Fire Department Mission Statement

To assist the public in the protection of life and property by minimizing the impact of fire, medical emergencies, and potential disasters or events that affect the community and environment.

About the City of Des Moines Fire Department

To protect our city, the Des Moines Fire Department (DMFD) has ten stations equipped with nine engines (four paramedic-level), five trucks, and nine ambulances in front line status with five reserve ambulances for use during special events and repairs. The Department is budgeted for 295 employees (12 non-sworn/283 sworn), and currently includes 192 trained paramedics and 89 trained EMT’s, making it the largest fire-based EMS service in the state.  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 7 counties and function as one of the statewide WMD response teams; a water emergency team; and a technical rescue team.

Why join DMFD

  • Largest and busiest Fire Department within the State of Iowa
  • Largest career and full-time staffed fire stations
  • No experience required
  • Great benefits and pay
  • Advancement opportunities

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 56 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 citizens of Des Moines.

Additional Information

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

  • Public Education
  • Building Fire Inspections
  • Hydrant Flushing
  • 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.

Hiring Process

Required Documentation for Application

  • Photocopy of driver's license
  • Certified state driving record for applicants with a driver's license outside the state of Iowa
  • High school transcripts, diploma, GED, or other proof of high school graduation (graduation date required)
  • Fire Fighter Physical Conditioning Waiver
  • Statement Concerning Your Employment in a Job Not Covered by Social Security
  • DD214 Form for military service, if applicable

Qualifications to Apply

  • 21 years of age or older
  • Valid driver's license
  • High School Diploma or GED

Qualifications for a Full-time Firefighter

  • Firefighter I and II certification
  • Class D Driver's License
  • Paramedic Certification
  • Hazardous Materials Operations

Step-by-step Hiring Process

  1. Electronic Application & Supplemental Documents
  2. Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) 
  3. Written Exam - Firefighter Recruitment Packet
  4. Civil Service Oral Exam
  5. Oral interview with Fire Department command staff
  6. Oral interview with the Fire Chief

Additional Resources

State of Iowa Fire Bureau-
Fire Fighter Written Exam Study Guide