Becoming a Firefighter-Paramedic

Hiring Process

The City of East Peoria’s firefighter-paramedics are committed to compassionate and professional delivery of emergency medical and fire suppression services to residents and visitors. Firefighter testing occurs every two years or earlier if the final candidate list is exhausted.

The East Peoria Fire and Police Commission conducts all testing and hiring of firefighters for the East Peoria Fire Department. The East Peoria Fire Department is a paid department and does not utilize volunteers.

The Fire Department is not currently accepting applications. The next application process is expected to occur in May or June 2023. Check this page often for an announcement of when the application process will re-open.


Firefighter qualifications include:

  • Attending the mandatory orientation.
  • Having attained the minimum age of 21 years at the date of orientation.
  • Being under age 34.
  • Being a United States citizen.
  • Being a high school graduate or having a G.E.D.
  • Having the ability to pass each phase of the firefighter examination process.
  • Possessing a valid driver’s license.
  • Must be a current Illinois EMT-basic or eligible for licensure as an EMT-basic in Illinois. In addition, must have a valid EMT-basic or higher license at the time of orientation.
  • Must become a licensed Illinois paramedic within two years of hire.
  • Must submit a current CPAT card with the application or bring it to the orientation.

All applicants are subject to the rules and regulations of the East Peoria Fire and Police Commission.

Every member of the East Peoria Fire Department is required to be a licensed paramedic. It is not required to have the EMT-P license at the time of hire, but new firefighters must complete paramedic training and obtain their EMT-P license within two years of being hired. Those who are a licensed paramedic at the time of hire are eligible for a $10,000 non-pensionable bonus, half paid when they are counted toward minimum manning and the remainder paid once they have been counted as manpower for six months.

Firefighting is a physical profession. Those considering firefighting as a career are encouraged to get into good physical condition. Those hired to be East Peoria firefighters will be sent to a training academy which has rigorous physical components.

Firefighter Candidate Testing Steps

Once it is announced that applications are available, the process begins with completely filling out the application packet. Candidates should read the application directions and supply all required documents. Items that must be provided with the completed application are:

  • A copy of the applicant’s driver’s license or other photo I.D.
  • A copy of the applicant’s birth certificate.
  • A copy of the applicant’s high school diploma or G.E.D. certificate.
  • A copy of the applicant's EMT-B license.

Failure to provide all required information and documentation with the application will result in the application being rejected.

Mandatory Orientation

All candidates are required to attend a mandatory orientation meeting, and a driver’s license or photo I.D. is required for entry. Once the doors are secured, no late entries will be permitted.

Written Test, Ladder Climb and 1½-mile Run

Candidates must take a written test, successfully climb the fire department’s 75-foot aerial ladder and complete a 1½-mile run within an allotted time. Those who fail will be eliminated from the process.


The Fire and Police Commission will interview each candidate, grading them on speech, alertness, ability to communicate, judgement, emotional stability, self-confidence, social skill and general fitness for the position. Candidates who fail to successfully complete the interview will be eliminated from the process.

Initial Eligibility List

With the combined scores of the written test and the interview, candidates will be placed on the Initial Eligibility List in rank order, highest scoring first.

Final Eligibility List and Appointment

Once the preference points are added to the Initial Eligibility List, the Final Eligibility List is created and posted. Openings on the fire department are filled in the order on the list. Those offered a position on the fire department must satisfactorily pass a background investigation, polygraph test, psychological examination and medical examination, all paid for by the Fire and Police Commission. Those hired for the East Peoria Fire Department are considered probationary for 12 months.