Mayor Richard M Daley and Fire Commissioner Cortez Trotter today announced details of a new Fire Department entrance exam and urged young men and women to "answer the call" by considering a career as a firefighter-emergency medical technician (EMT).
"The theme of this campaign is 'answer the call' - and itís a high calling," the Mayor said at a news conference at the Fire Department Candidate Graduation at Navy Pier. "It's a job that gives you the opportunity not just to help your fellow human beings, but to actually save their lives. Itís a job that provides plenty of excitement and the satisfaction of working with a team of solid professionals."
Daley added, "We not only want the best-qualified set of applicants. We also want the most diverse set of applicants. We want a Fire Department that looks like Chicago, and that means we want more women and minorities in the ranks."
"I want children in Chicago - regardless of gender or background - to see Chicago firefighters in action and think, "That could be me some day'."
The last firefighter eligibility list was posted in 1995, the last year an exam was administered.
"It is the goal of this Fire Department to never again let a decade go by between tests," said Trotter. "It is our desire from this test forward to have an entrance exam for Chicago Firefighter/EMT every three years."
Registration for the new exam will be between March 29, 2006 and April 11, 2006. The exam will be administered in May.
Trotter outlined a marketing plan that will involve outreach to educational, civic and faith-based organizations in every neighborhood of Chicago and throughout the Midwest.
"We will go wherever ever we can to locate the best and the brightest young people of varied backgrounds who need to hear our message and see what a great department we have to offer," he said.
The outreach will include advertising on billboards, bus shelters, radio and television, as well as a traveling recruiting team, which will hit the streets this week.
Starting salary for a firefighter-EMT is over $44,838 per year with a raise after six months. The job offers competitive benefits, continuing education, reimbursement for college tuition and the opportunity for career advancement.
Trotter challenged young people to "Answer the Call" by signing up at Chicago Public Library branches or on the Internet at www.cityofchicago.org/fire
Candidates must be at least 19 at the time of the exam and have a high school diploma or G.E.D. Applicants need not live in Chicago, but they must reside in the city at the time of employment. Applicants must also be under 35 at the time of appointment.