- Departments & Services
- Fire Department
- Becoming a Firefighter
Becoming a Firefighter
The Mendota Heights Fire Department is a paid-on-call department which means each of the men and women who serve with the Department do so in addition to their regular jobs. These individuals understand that providing outstanding customer service is why we exist. We continually evaluate, change, and evolve our programs and processes so that we can provide the best service possible in a timely, professional, and economic manner. Each member of the MHFD is proud to be a part of the team that responds when you call for help.
Few professions provide the sense of accomplishment and personal enrichment that fire service professionals enjoy. There is tremendous satisfaction in having saved a life, controlled a structure fire, comforted an accident victim, or taught a skill that prevented a child from becoming injured. Becoming a part-time firefighter may be one of the most personally rewarding things that one could ever do.
The Mendota Heights Fire Department recruits new firefighters to be enrolled in the Department's training program that begins in the fall of each year. The posting for new applicants to serve typically opens in early spring and the interview process takes place in early summer. If you have an interest in becoming a Mendota Heights firefighter, visit the MHFD recruitment booth or kiosk at upcoming city-sponsored events or email FDRecruiting@mendotaheightsmn.gov.
The Mendota Heights Fire Department's training program for firefighter recruits is designed to give new members a full understanding of basic firefighting, rescue equipment, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Department procedures.
During the first two years, new firefighters receive training to complete certification as Firefighter I, Firefighter II, Hazardous Materials Operator, and Emergency Medical Responder.
Additionally, new firefighters must attend regularly scheduled department trainings. These are scheduled throughout the month and offered at a variety of times, allowing firefighters to receive the required training at times that work best for individual schedules.
Continuing Education - Beyond initial recruit training requirements, all firefighters participate in continuing education, which includes mandatory and additional training opportunities. Additional training opportunities are available at regional, state and national fire schools, as well as at local technical and community colleges. All members are required to maintain and improve knowledge and skill levels throughout their career.
Because of the initial training requirements, the time commitment for the first year as a firefighter is considerable, typically requiring 40-50 hours per month including training, calls and other Department events.
I year two, that commitment decreases somewhat, but there will be some extra training the new firefighter needs to complete, such as Fire Apparatus Operator (how to drive a fire engine). After completing the first two years, firefighters typically work between 25-35 hours per month responding to fire calls, performing maintenance activities and attending training sessions.
- The average hours worked by a firefighter in a year is 280
- The average hours for a first-year firefighter is 450
Each firefighter is responsible for meeting the minimum attendance requirements for responding to emergency calls, attending required training, public education events, committee meetings, continuing education events and various other activities throughout the year.
- Participate in fire prevention, public education and pre-incident planning details.
- Do his/her part to establish and maintain good public relations.
- Aid in the orientation and guidance of fellow firefighters.
- Be punctual to, and attentive at, all required department functions.
- Actively participate in fire department committees (i.e. bylaws, social, planning, etc).
- Meet the attendance requirements for emergency calls, training sessions and meetings as specified in the policies and procedures manual.
Emergency Incident Response
- Responds when paged for emergency services, regardless of time of day or night, whether that is for fire suppression, medical or other hazards as a member of a team, under the supervision of a superior within the Fire Department chain of command.
- Communicates during emergencies in a calm, descriptive and articulate manner, using two way radios or person-to-person voice communications.
- Wears and uses appropriate protective clothing and equipment, including self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Follows safety rules and regulations to protect themselves and fellow firefighters.
- Provides medical services at an "Emergency Medical Responder" (EMR) level.
- Responds to hazardous materials calls and provides a level of service at Hazardous Materials Operations Level 472.
Maintenance of Apparatus and Buildings
- Keep department apparatus, tools and equipment in good condition, know their location, and report any deficiencies to the officer in charge.
- Participate in station and department work details including care and maintenance of the station, apparatus and equipment.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Be cognizant and adhere to department policies and operating guidelines
- Perform tasks as assigned by an officer.
- Work to constantly improve his/her skills and knowledge.
- Be familiar with streets and addresses.
- Be proficient with firefighting skills, fire prevention procedures, firefighting subjects, and the maintenance operation and function of all department equipment.
- Must be current with all training requirements as put forth by the training department. This includes the initial training requirements as well as ongoing monthly drills, department drills, and outside training as per the policies and procedures manual.
- Must be 18 years of age
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Valid Minnesota Class D Driver's License
- Reside or work within 6 minutes of the Mendota Heights Fire Station. If using place of work to time the firefighter, a written statement from the employer attesting to the person's ability to leave during work shifts will be required.
- Must be physically able and qualified to perform the duties of the position as determined by a medical examination and must be physically able to work in conditions and environments involving firefighting.
- If any individual fails to meet any of the position requirements or responsibilities at any time he/she shall notify the Chief as soon as possible but in no case more than 72 hours.
- Normal vision needed with or without correction
- May be required to lift very heavy loads: Ground to waist level- 100lbs.; waist to shoulder level-50lbs; above shoulder- 35lbs
- Must be able to walk and crawl while carrying or lifting
- Must be able to ascend and descend stairs and ladders while carrying heavy loads
- Must be able to balance and possess the ability to steady oneself and keep from falling when walking, standing, crouching, crawling on narrow, slippery or erratically moving surfaces
- Must be capable of the following physical acts:
- Reaching (extending hands or arms in any direction)
- Handling, seizing, holding, grasping, turning, or otherwise working with the hands while carrying items of substantial weight (e.g. fans, rescue equipment, foam containers, ladders) and using equipment such as axes, sledgehammers, hydrant wrenches, pulling ladder halyards, or using rope to lift heavy items, dragging victims and hose lines.
- Feeling (must be able to discriminate differences in items by feeling. Must be able to determined the difference between hot and cold by touch. Must be able to feel a patients pulse.)
- Applying a leg lock with either leg upon a ground ladder to provide a safe anchor when operating hose line or performing rescue work
A firefighter is required to work both inside and outside.
- At times conditions may be extremely cold where the temperature is sufficient to cause marked bodily discomfort.
- At times may be required to work in extremes of heat where temperatures are sufficiently high to cause marked bodily discomfort.
- Will frequently encounter noise and/or vibration exceeding 80 decibels, constant or intermittent, to cause marked distraction.
A firefighter will encounter a variety of physical hazards including but not limited to, moving mechanical part, electrical shock, working on high places, bodies of water, exposure to radiant energy, explosives, toxic chemicals, and biological agents.