FAQ - Becoming A Firefighter

Q: Do I need to have special schooling or a degree to be an Elk River firefighter?

Experience is not needed. Once hired, all recruits go through the Elk River Fire Academy where they receive all required training and certifications to be firefighters. 

Q: Where is the Elk River Fire Academy held?

The majority of classes are held at Fire Station #2 (Orono Pkwy); however, a few classes will be held off site in or near Elk River such as a training house, Public Works, or Fire Station #1 (Jackson Ave).

Q: Is the Elk River Fire Department volunteer or paid-on-call?

Elk River Fire is a paid-on-call department meaning that firefighters are compensated for attending calls for service, training, meetings, work details, etc. Firefighters are issued pagers that alert them to calls for service, they then respond to the station from wherever they are (home, work, etc).

Q: What is the time commitment for the Elk River Fire Academy?

Once hired, all recruits must attend the Elk River Fire Academy to obtain required training and certifications. The Academy consists of approximately 160 hours of both hands-on and classroom training covering a multitude of topics. Classes are held every Monday and Wednesday evening from 1800 hours - 2200 hours, with a few Saturday all-day classes. A full schedule will be provided on the first evening of class.

Q: Do I have to live in Elk River to be an ERFD firefighter?

Yes. To ensure adequate response times, all Elk River firefighters must live within eight (8) minutes of an Elk River Fire Station. Station #1 is located at 415 Jackson Ave and Station #2 (headquarters) is located at 13073 Orono Pkwy.

Q: Is there any training besides the Elk River Fire Academy?

Elk River Fire firefighters have training every Thursday evening starting at 1800 hours. If you are unable to attend evening training, you can attend the morning training which starts at 0830. Per policy, firefighters must attend a minimum of 50% of all training throughout the year.

Q: Do I need to purchase uniforms for the Fire Academy?

All uniforms and books will be provided by the department. You will also be provided with an Academy Guidelines packet that outlines expectations.

Q: Do I have to respond to every single call for service that's dispatched?

Per policy, firefighters are required to attend a minimum of 30% of all calls dispatched per year. Failure to meet this minimum requirement may result in discipline. Elk River Fire currently responds to an average of 450 calls per year.

Q: Do men and women have equal requirements for entry and training?

Yes - men and women both go through the same pre-employment screenings (physical agility assessment, medical evaluation, psychological evaluation, and background check). The City of Elk River is an equal opportunity employer.

Q: Is there a cost for the required Emergency Medical/First Responder training?

There is no out-of-pocket cost to recruits. Elk River Fire partners with Allina to host classes on site at Fire Station #2. All expenses are paid for by the Elk River Fire Department.

Q: Are there any volunteer opportunities with Elk River Fire?

At this time, we do not have any volunteer opportunities available (i.e. washing trucks, cleaning the station, etc).

Q: Do firefighters have to stay at the stations?

Elk River Fire is a paid-on-call department, meaning that firefighters respond to their assigned stations when they are paged for calls. Firefighters remain at the station for the duration of the call until they are cleared.