FAQ's and Applicant Requirements
What do firefighters do?
Firefighters today do much more than fight fires. They provide rescue services, handle hazardous chemical emergencies and conduct fire prevention investigation and inspection activities.
Firefighters also do most of the cleaning and maintenance work required to keep their tools, equipment, building and apparatus ready for immediate response. Many Illinois communities depend on their fire departments to provide emergency medical services, sometimes including ambulances. If you become a firefighter, you will be assigned to a team, called a company that provides some or all of these services.
What are the minimum requirements?
You must be a U.S. citizen, 18-35 years of age (36-40 years of age is accepted for applicants that are already certified FFII or higher through the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal), a high school graduate (or equivalent) and successfully complete a background check by the Geneva Police Department. In addition, you must live within a five-mile radius of Geneva.
How do I begin the process?
Applications can be downloaded or stop by Fire Department Headquarters, 200 East Side Drive, and request an application for a Paid-on-Call Firefighter. Complete the application and return it at your convenience. Include with your application the following:
- A copy of your birth certificate
- A copy of your high school diploma or equivalent (GED or College Diploma acceptable)
- A copy of your driver's license
What happens next?
The Geneva Fire Department screens Paid-on-Call Firefighter applicants between May 1 and July 31 of each year. If you meet the minimum requirements for the position, you will be notified of a mandatory orientation session that will be conducted by the department staff.
During this presentation, you will learn what expectations this department has for recruit firefighters and you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you like and meet some of the staff members you will be dealing with in your first year with the department.
Applicants who indicate they remain interested in continuing through the screening process will be notified of an oral interview with a panel comprised of veteran Paid-on-Call and Career members. At the same time the Geneva Police Department will conduct a background check of your character and criminal record. Following the interviews the panel will develop a list of candidates and submit that to the Fire Chief for consideration.
The available positions will be filled from the list and those candidates will be given a conditional offer of employment that will outline the final requirements for being selected for the position. These include but are not limited to: completion of the background investigation, medical examination by the city doctor, and drug screening. If all of the identified steps are successfully completed, then a final offer will be extended to the candidate.
So you've been hired, what's next?
You will begin a one-year recruit period. During this time, you will be a member of the Recruit Class and concentrate on obtaining your certification from the Illinois State Fire Marshal as a Basic Operations - Firefighter (BOF), as well as Hazardous Materials - Operations.
There will be a series of state administered examinations covering the topics taught in the course. You will also be taught and asked to demonstrate certain "practical" skills such as carrying and climbing a ladder, using breathing apparatus and the like. Upon completion of the Recruit Class, you will concentrate on the two remaining requirements of your recruit period. These are: obtaining your license to drive the fire apparatus and completing the "recruit proficiency guide" which is designed to orient you to the procedures used by this department and are not covered in the BOF course.
These two goals plus passing the Recruit Class examinations must be completed successfully before the end of your 12-month probationary period.
What can I do to improve my chances of becoming a Career Firefighter?
Look for colleges and universities that have programs in Fire Science and/or Emergency Medical Technician. Many departments prefer candidates who have already met state certification requirements for Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians, etc. If you are a recent high school graduate, and not yet 21, this is a good way to spend the time while waiting to meet the age requirements Fire Departments have for full-time firefighters.
All recruits must complete a 12-month orientation period before acceptance as a member of the department.
During this time, recruits will be evaluated by the Training Division based on information and observations provided by the instructional staff of the Southern Kane County Training Association and the officers of this department.
The classes for BOF certification are generally scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Recruits must successfully complete all goals and objectives in the recruit proficiency guide that is issued upon completion of the BOF curriculum and covers operations specific to this department and the equipment we use.
All practical and cognitive skills must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of a department evaluator. Attendance for all scheduled recruit training and department drills/meetings is mandatory.