The Philadelphia Fire Department hires state-certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to work in one of the busiest EMS systems in the nation. In addition to providing excellent emergency medical care, the ideal candidates will be able to comfort patients; keep accurate records; and cooperate with fire and police officials. Our motto is “Dedication + Service,” and members live those values every day in the City of Philadelphia. 

How do I apply to be a Fire Service EMT in the Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD)? 

The City’s Office of Human Resources last accepted EMT applications from Sept. 5-23, 2022. For more information, contact our Recruitment Unit at 215-685-3748. 

Do I have to be a Philadelphia resident to be hired? 

Yes. The residency rule enacted in 2020 requires you to have established bona fide residence in Philadelphia at least one year prior to appointment. For additional information on residency, please contact the Office of Human Resources. 

I applied to be an EMT in the PFD in 2020 and was placed on a hiring list. Do I need to apply again? 

Yes, you must apply again. That list expired and we cannot use it for hiring.  

I’m not an EMT but would like to be one. Will the PFD train me to become an EMT? 

No. The PFD only hires individuals who are already Pennsylvania-certified EMTs with a valid state-issued driver’s license.

What if I’m certified as an EMT in a state other than Pennsylvania? What if I’m a certified EMT on the National Registry and working in another state? 

Out-of-state certified EMTs and National Registry-certified EMTs need to contact the Regional EMS Office (215-685-4216) to obtain a Certification by Endorsement packet. The packet provides step-by-step instructions to obtain a Pennsylvania EMT certification. 

How does the hiring process work? 

  1. The online application process requires candidates to submit all relevant documentation, including college transcripts, licenses and certifications. You must also provide a detailed description of your education, experience and credentials.
  2. Applicants are evaluated and scored based upon their training and experience credentials.
  3. The list of qualified candidates is published about a month after the application period closes. When the PFD forms an EMT class, candidates will be contacted in their rank order. The pre-employment process includes a physical exam, background check and a review to identify potential indebtedness to city agencies.
  4. After accepting a position as a cadet in an EMT class, cadets must complete a 12-week training program at the Philadelphia Fire Academy. Cadets are paid as employees during this training.
  5. Once EMTs have completed training, they are sworn in and mentored in the field for several weeks before being assigned to a medic unit. Each new EMT must complete a one-year probationary period. EMTs work on a platoon schedule: two day shifts, then two night shifts, followed by four days off.

If I rank high on the hiring list, when would I actually get hired?  

The PFD anticipates hiring off the list sometime after it is established during the week of Oct. 24, 2022. The list will remain active for two years. The PFD cannot estimate when new EMT cadet classes will be formed during that time. 

What can I expect during the 12week cadet training program at the Fire Academy? 

EMT cadets participate in daily physical workouts in addition to classroom learning and field exercises. Training covers basic vehicle rescue; hazardous materials awareness and operations; how to treat children who are seriously ill or injured; how to respond during active shooter incidents; and the rules, regulations and procedures of the PFD. 

How much does an EMT earn in the PFD? 

The annual salary for a first-year Fire Service EMT is $49,832. There are scheduled increases in pay to the present maximum of $69,208 a year. Overtime is paid at the level of time-and-a-half. EMTs are paid biweekly. Salary does not include your annual uniform allowance or holiday time. There are promotional opportunities, which include a raise in salaries. 

What are the opportunities for promotion? 

EMTs who continue their EMS training could be eligible for a promotion to Advanced EMT; further training could result in a promotion to Fire Service Paramedic. 

Does the PFD hire paramedics? 

Yes! The City’s Office of Human Resources last accepted paramedic applications from Sept. 5-23, 2022. Contact our Recruitment Unit for more information. 

What if my question isn’t answered here? 

For questions about the application process, please contact the Office of Human Resources at or 215-686-0880. For questions about job duties, please contact the PFD Recruitment Unit at or 215-685-3748.