Becoming a Firefighter

Becoming a Firefighter


Why would I want to be a firefighter?

Firefighting isn’t for everyone. This is a career that involves much more than fighting fires. It is emergency medical calls, educating the public, fire alarm calls, car wrecks, inspections, and training, often in the middle of the night. It requires you to be physically fit, mentally sharp, flexible, a team player, and able to think on one’s feet to solve a variety of problems. You can’t be afraid of heights, confined spaces, the heat, the cold, and hard work. You have to be able to function well in a crisis. You must want to continually learn, on your own and with your firefighter brothers and sisters. This is shift work. Many departments, like us, work 24 hours on and 48 hours off. You will miss family events. This is the kind of job that requires us to always have a certain number of firefighters on duty. That means sometimes you will have to work on your scheduled day off. There are inherent risks in this career. No day is ever the same so if you don’t like change, this may not be the career for you. 

However, for the right person, this can be one of the most exciting and rewarding careers you will ever find. The benefits of working a 24 on - 48 off schedule allow you time with your loved ones that you might not get in a typical 8-5 career. Job security is typically strong when the economy gets tough. If you like a constantly changing environment, building relationships with crew members that become your family, and using your physical and mental strengths to get a job done helping people on what may be their worst day, then this may be the career for you! 

Greenville Fire-Rescue Firefighter Requirements

*All requirements are current as of the time of this posting.

Applicants must be: 

  • Currently certified for structural firefighting by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection  (TCFP); or 
  • Certifiable for structural firefighting duty by the TCFP by virtue of having completed a TCFP-approved basic firefighter training program by the date of testing; or
  • Is enrolled in a TCFP-approved basic firefighter training program and can be fully certified by the TCFP as a structural firefighter by the hiring date. And 
  • Applicants are required to hold a minimum certification of Emergency Medical Technician through the National Registry or the Texas Department of State Health Services by the hire date.  
  • Applicants who have passed the National Registry Test for Paramedics or currently possess a Paramedic Certification acceptable to the TDSHS may be given priority. 
  • Applicants who have additional TCFP certifications or other specialized skills, like Fire Inspectors, Arson Investigators, Instructors, or Communication Specialists, may also be given preference. 
  • Applicants already certified through TCFP may be considered for the City's Lateral Entry Program with a starting pay of up to $ 4,226/month with four years of previous service.

Applicants must also be:

  • Between 18 years of age and not reached their 36th birthday. 
  • A high school graduate or have a GED.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Have no prior felony convictions.
  • Vision must be a minimum binocular 20/200 correctable to 20/20.

Benefits include: 

  • Medical, Dental, Vacation, Sick Leave, Longevity Pay, 11 Paid Holidays, Fireman’s Retirement and Relief Fund (FR&R).

Optional benefits include: 

  • AFLAC Supplemental Insurance, Vision, Accidental Death/Dismemberment, Life Insurance (Standard and Texas Life), AIG Accident, Cancer, Specific Illness.
  • The current starting salary is $54,180 annually. 
  • Prior fire service lateral entry is available.


The City of Greenville is an equal opportunity employer, working under a state civil service system. A local Civil Service Commission consists of three members appointed by the City Manager for two-year terms. 

The Department typically gives a Firefighter Entrance Exam (Civil Service Exam) once a year. 

  • After the Civil Service Exam, the candidate must pass a physical agility test, a background check, a medical exam, a functional exam, a drug screen test, and two interviews.

To find out when the next test will be held, contact Deputy Chief Jordan at 903-457-2943, via E-mail:, or the City Human Resources Office at 903-457-3118.

Firefighter Lateral Entry

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