How Do I Find Out Which Fire Departments Are Accepting Applications?

I’ve heard too many candidates that have missed out on the chance to put in their application to become a firefighter with their dream fire department because of a lack of preparation on their part.

Start out by penciling in a dot, which will designate where you live. Then take a ruler and go up to the legend that tells you how many miles each inch equals. This is the time to find out how serious you are with the testing process - how much you are willing to do, or how far you are willing to go to get a badge. Find out how many inches equal 50 miles, 100 miles, 150 miles, and 200 miles. Once you have that information, start drawing a circle around your residence (the dot you initially penciled in) to designate a radius of 50, 100, 150, and 200 miles around your residence. This is how you are going to start your search.

C. Start with the 50 miles that are closest to your residence.

On a piece of paper, write down each of the counties that are within that 50 mile radius, starting with the one you live in and then working outwards. On another sheet of paper, write the name of the county, and then list each city that is found within that county (alphabetical order) on the left side of the page. On the right side of the page, write the words "Fire Department." Then go to the next closest county, writing the name of that county down in addition to each of the cities found within that county. Do this for the 50 miles closest to your residence.

D. What your information will look like:

For example, I live in Santa Clara County. I would write the following information down in the following format:




Los Altos

Los Altos Hills

Los Gatos


Monte Sereno

Morgan Hill

Mountain View

Palo Alto

San Jose

San Martin

Santa Clara



Take the next closest county and do the same. There about seven other counties that are within 50 miles of my residence. Guess what, I would need to then list out those seven other counties and include every city or town found within those counties.

NOTE: If you notice, there is a blank to the right of each city underneath the words Fire Department. This information will be covered later.

In the next article, we will continue onto Phase 2, where we will discuss actually putting together the separate chapters of your binder to make the most out of your research to insure you are properly preparing yourself and using your time wisely!

Until then, good luck, and keep your head up - there is a badge out there with your name on it. It is up to you to find it!