The current pre-employment assessment process for the position of firefighter is CLOSED. Check the “Career Opportunities” link under the Human Resources Tab for job postings.

The Civil Service Commission of the City of Decatur will conduct an examination and establish an eligible register for the following classification: FIRE FIGHTER

Starting Salary: $59,380 (As of Jan 1, 2019)

Job Summary

This is general duty fire fighting work in combating, extinguishing and preventing fires, providing first response emergency medical service, and operating and maintaining the protection of life and property by fire fighting, rescue and fire prevention activities.  The Decatur Fire Department operates on a three battalion schedule. Each battalion works a 24-hour duty shift (from 6:40 a.m. to 6:40 a.m.) followed by 48 hours off-duty.

Major Duties

Assignments include hazardous tasks performed under emergency conditions, frequently requiring strenuous exertion.  Duties include drill and study of fire prevention and fire combating work principles and practices, fire apparatus and mobile equipment operations and emergency medical care.  Duties also include routine equipment and quarters maintenance at an assigned fire station.  Fire combating work is performed in accordance with established rules and regulations.

Knowledge & Skills

To be eligible to take part in the examination process for fire fighter, applicants must possess the following qualifications:

  1. Applicants, on the last date on which applications will be accepted, must be less than 35 years of age, and must not be less than 21 years of age, provided, however, that in cases where an applicant has had previous full time service in a regular fire department of a municipality or fire protection district, the maximum age requirement shall not apply.
  2. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  3. Applicants must have no felony convictions and must not have misdemeanor convictions which preclude service as a fire fighter by statute (65 ILCS 5/10-1-7.1(i)).

At time of appointment, a fire fighter must have the ability to obtain a valid Class “B (non-CDL)” Illinois driver’s license.  Within the probationary period, the applicant shall be able to acquire Certification at the Fire Fighter II level as prescribed by the Personnel Standards Division of the State Fire Marshal’s Office.  Obtaining Illinois Department of Public Health licensure to the EMT-Basic level as well as certification for participation in the City’s EMS System shall be required for all applicants with such licensing and certification being maintained by departmental guidelines as a condition of continued employment.  The City reserves the right to require any employee to obtain and maintain Illinois Department of Public Health EMT-Paramedic or EMT-Intermediate licensure as a condition of continued employment.  Applicants should possess physical strength and agility sufficient to perform strenuous work under adverse weather conditions, be able to climb ladders and work at considerable heights and be able to think and act quickly in emergency situations.

Supplemental Information


The pre-employment assessment process will consist of the following:

  1. Review of Qualifications:  Applications will be evaluated upon receipt by the Human Resources staff.  Applicants not meeting the minimum qualifications as outlined in this Notice will not be allowed to continue in the examination process.
  2.  Physical Abilities Test:  Applicants are required to have a valid Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT) card, including confirmation of the successful completion of the Ladder Climb test, issued within the last 12 months before the deadline. Candidates who already have these certifications should attach a copy to their application.

CPAT and Ladder Climb tests are given by the Central Illinois Fire Chiefs (CIFC) facility located in Decatur, the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy (NIPSTA), the Southwestern United Fire District (SUFD) or the City of Naperville.  For registration and information about dates and fees, contact CIFC at; NIPSTA at or (847) 998-8090; SUFD at or (630) 910-2087; or City of Naperville at or (630) 420-6755.  The CPAT consists of eight critical physical tasks that simulate actual job duties on the fire ground.  The CPAT requires fire fighter candidates to successfully complete the following activities:

  • Stair Climb
  • Hose Drag
  • Equipment Carry
  • Ladder Raise & Extension
  • Forcible Entry
  • Search
  • Rescue
  • Ceiling Breach & Pull

Candidate success is measured on a pass/fail basis.  Failure to provide documentation of the successful completion of the CPAT and the Ladder Climb test will result in disqualification from the testing process.

  1. Written Test: The written test will take approximately 3 hours.  Candidates will be required to present a photo ID (e.g. driver’s license, school ID, etc.) to be admitted into the testing room.  Candidates will have the option to purchase a study guide for the written exam and take a practice test by going to or  No prior training or experience in the job of fire fighter is assumed of candidates taking this test.  The written exam consists of both a cognitive and a non-cognitive component.  The cognitive component consists of verbal comprehension, verbal expression, problem sensitivity, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, information ordering, mathematical reasoning and numeric facility.  The non-cognitive component of the written exam includes questions measuring stress tolerance, team orientation and motivation/attitude.  The minimum passing score for the written test will be 70.00%.  Candidates who pass the written test will be placed on the preliminary eligible register.
  2. Oral Interview:  All candidates on the preliminary eligible register will be scheduled for an oral interview.  The criteria for scoring the oral interview are: the ability to express ideas; problem-solving ability; educational background; judgment (depth and maturity of thinking); initiative; work traits; expressed knowledge of work to be performed; prior relevant experience; interest expressed in the position; and ability to work with others.  The oral interview scores will be combined with the written exam scores to form the initial eligible register.  The passing score will be in accordance with Public Act 97-0251.
  3. Preference Points:  The awarding of preference points is as follows:
    • Veterans’ Preference – 5 points
      To qualify for veterans’ points, you must have served at least one year of active military duty and have an honorable discharge;
    • Residency Preference – 5 points
      To qualify for Decatur Residency Preference, you must have lived within the defined
      corporate limits of the City of Decatur for at least twelve consecutive months.
    • Fire Fighter Experience Preference – 3 points maximum
      To qualify for Fire Fighter Experience Preference, you must have been either a paid full-time fire fighter (3 points) or volunteer fire fighter (1 point)
    • EMT Certification Preference – 5 points maximum
      To qualify for EMT Preference, you must be an EMT-P (5 points), EMT-I (4 points) or EMT-B (3 points).
    • Education Preference – 3 points
      To qualify for Education Preference, you must have an Associate’s degree or at least 60 hours of coursework in a fire science related field.

    Candidates who are eligible for preference points shall make a claim in writing within ten days after the posting of the initial eligibility list.  The final eligibility list, which includes all preference points, will be established in numeric descending order.  This register is good for two years or until exhausted.

  4. Selection from Final Eligible Register:  The Commission will select individuals to serve as Fire Fighter from the final eligible register in accordance with State law.
  5. Physical, Psychological and Background Investigation:  Applicants placed on the eligible register must pass a physical examination by a physician of the Commission’s choice following an offer of employment.  Applicants will also be subject to a drug screen, psychological evaluation and background investigation, including, but not limited to, police records check; credit check; inquiries of neighbors, relatives, employers, and other references; and Internet searches. Candidates may be eliminated from the process at any time based on adverse information obtained from the background check.  Final appointment is contingent upon the passing of all of these components.


Employees hired as Fire Fighters after January 1, 2017 shall be required to reside within the corporate limits of the City of Decatur for the first five (5) years of employment, and within the corporate limits of Macon County thereafter.  Upon original appointment, an appointee may reside outside said limits but shall be required as a condition of continued employment to comply with said residency requirement no later than ninety (90) days after the completion of said appointee’s probationary period.  This position requires a one-year probationary period of actual work time.  Absences of 30 days or more for any reason shall extend the probationary period for the length of the absence.


  • HEALTH INSURANCE: The City offers Preferred Provider Option (PPO) health insurance coverage administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois for employees and their dependents.
  • VACATION: 5 duty days after one year of service; 7 duty days after 7 years of service; 10 duty days after 14 years of service; and 11 duty days after 20 years of service.
  • SICK LEAVE: 20 hours per month granted, accumulative to 4,800 hours.
  • PENSION: Excellent pension benefits; retirement at half-pay possible at age 50 with 20 years of service. The City contributes to the Fire Fighters Pension Fund. Fire Fighters also contribute at the rate of 9.455% of base pay, but do not contribute to Social Security. Employee contributions are refundable if employment ends before retirement.
  • OTHER: One paid holiday per year and an additional 72 hours pay annually; longevity pay after five years of service; and uniforms provided by the City. Deferred compensation and dental insurance are available.

As an equal opportunity employer, the City of Decatur encourages all potential applicants, regardless of race, gender, color, religion, national origin or ancestry to apply.