Becoming a Firefighter-Paramedic-PHRN

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.

Firefighter Applications 

East Peoria firefighter applications will be accepted Thursday, November 9 through Wednesday, November 29, 2023. The Fire Department has immediate openings. To get started on your new career with the East Peoria Fire Department, fill out the online application. 


Firefighter qualifications include:

  • Attend the mandatory orientation.
  • Be the minimum age of 21 at date of hire.
  • Be under age 35 unless otherwise exempt by statute.
  • Citizen of the United States.
  • High school graduate or having a G.E.D.
  • Ability to pass each phase of the firefighter examination process.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Must become a licensed Illinois paramedic within two years of hire, unless a PHRN.
  • Must have a current CPAT card by the date of the mandatory orientation.

You can schedule a CPAT test by visiting these sites:

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

New Hire Training

The fire department will pay for fire academy and EMT-B training (if needed) for all new hires. The fire academy has rigorous physical components. Firefighting is a physical profession. Those considering firefighting as a career are encouraged to get into good physical condition.

Every member of the East Peoria Fire Department is required to be a licensed paramedic (an EMT-P license). New firefighters must complete paramedic training and obtain their EMT-P license within two years of being hired, unless they are already a PHRN.

Those who are a licensed paramedic or PHRN at the time of hire are eligible for a $15,000 non-pensionable bonus, paid in three installments upon meeting these milestones:

  • First $5,000 paid after the new employee is counted toward minimum manning.
  • Second $5,000 paid once they have been counted as manpower for six months.
  • Third $5,000 paid upon completion of first probationary year.

Firefighter Candidate Testing Steps

Once it is announced that applications are being accepted, the process begins with completely filling out the application. The application is now available online and in a paper version. Candidates should read the application directions.

Copies of the following documents must be brought with you to the mandatory orientation:

  • Current CPAT card
  • Driver’s license or other photo I.D.
  • Birth certificate
  • High school diploma or G.E.D. certificate
  • Social Security number (Only the number is required, not the actual card. The number is needed for polygraph and psychological testing.)

Failure to provide all required information on the application and failure to bring the required documents to the mandatory orientation will result in the application being rejected. Bring COPIES of the documents because they will be left with the members of the Fire and Police Commission.

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.


If there are questions about the firefighter qualifications or hiring process, call East Peoria Fire Chief Bobby Zimmerman, 309-427-7677.