Whether you’ve been considering a career in public safety for years, or if you’re brand new to the idea, you likely already know that the community you serve is integral to your long-term career happiness. Park Ridge isn’t just a great place to work - it’s consistently rated one of the best communities to live and raise a family. We invite you to learn more about our community, and the role played by a Firefighter/Paramedic.Department Overview
The Park Ridge Fire Department was established in 1893 with volunteer firefighters. Today, the Department has 51 sworn members (from Probationary Firefighter/Paramedic to the Fire Chief) who are trained as Firefighters, and most as Paramedics.
To ensure the welfare and safety of our citizens and visitors to the City of Park Ridge, our fire department is prepared to manage a vast array of unpredictable and varied emergencies, including:
- medical emergencies
- hazard investigations
- water and ice rescue
- high rise and below-grade rescue
- vehicle extrication
- urban search and rescue
- hazardous materials mitigation
- vehicle and structural fires
- environmental emergencies
- mass casualty incidents
- natural disasters, and
- any other threat to the health and safety of the community
The Role of a Firefighter/Paramedic
There is never a dull moment being a Firefighter/Paramedic. Throughout the day, Firefighters/Paramedics use their training to serve the City of Park Ridge. A “day in the life” of a Firefighter/Paramedic begins with inspecting the vehicle you will be on today. These "Checks" are completed every morning to ensure that all equipment works properly and that the vehicles are prepared to respond to any emergency. After that, Battalion Chiefs and Lieutenants share information with the shift in order to get the day started, whether it has to do with recent significant incidents, or training to improve the skills and knowledge of the crew.
Crews are split between two stations. Station 35 houses an Engine, an Ambulance, a Heavy Rescue Squad, and a Boat. Station 36 houses a Tower Ladder, an Ambulance, a Rescue, and the Battalion Chief. Each day, these crews respond to emergencies throughout the City of Park Ridge to provide the best and quickest service possible.
The City of Park Ridge holds agreements with surrounding communities to ensure that emergency services are available to our residents even when Park Ridge crews are assisting other residents.
Throughout their careers, Firefighters/Paramedics can participate in special teams alongside firefighters from other departments. Some special teams include:
- Hazardous Materials Incident Response
- Technical Rescue Team
- Underwater Rescue and Recovery Team
- Fire Investigations
Salary and Benefits
The starting salary for Park Ridge Firefighter/Paramedic is currently $73,474. This competitive salary is in addition to a generous benefits package, including:
- Health insurance and dental insurance
- Enrollment in the Park Ridge Firefighters Pension Fund
- 17 paid vacation days annually, with annual increases in the accrual amount after ten years of service
- Paid sick leave
- Tuition reimbursement
Salary and Benefits are collectively bargained between the City of Park Ridge and the International Association of Firefighters Local 2697 and are subject to change.
The application and testing process isn’t your average job interview - as seen from the process below, candidates complete a thorough and competitive testing process before being hired as a Probationary Firefighter/Paramedic. The hiring process includes the following steps:
Note: Order of process may vary
- Candidate Physical Agility Test;
- Application and notice of exam posted online;
- Written exam;
- Candidates placed on an initial eligibility list and invited to apply for preference points (extra points for military service, education, and others);
- Top candidates participate in an interview with the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners;
- Candidates undergo a thorough background check and polygraph (lie detector) test;
- Selected candidates receive a conditional offer of employment and complete a medical exam, drug test, and psychological exam