Career Paths

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue values respect, integrity, service, and excellence. Your career at Sioux Falls Fire Rescue will provide diverse and robust opportunities for growth.  The department offers numerous internal promotions from Firefighter to Fire Chief.

Cadet Academy

All cadets will complete an 18-week academy before being assigned to a shift on operations.  The academy will cover emergency medical technician – basic, fire suppression, hazardous materials operations, urban search & rescue, and wildland fire suppression curriculum.  The academy is comprised of rigorous academic, physical, and task-based training scenarios.  Cadets will consistently be challenged to perform as a member of a team, execute problem solving skills, and think critically.  The City of Sioux Falls, its residents and visitors expect, and deserve, a highly trained, motivated, and compassionate force of first responders when it calls 911.  The lessons you learn in the Cadet Academy are only the foundation for a career full of success. 

Probationary Firefighter

Upon successful completion of your probationary period, you will earn the title of Firefighter.  Fortunately for you, your training and continuing education are just beginning.  Firefighters are expected to train each day in order to properly master their craft.  Sioux Falls Fire Rescue companies are comprised of one Captain, one Fire Apparatus Operator, and two Firefighters.  When they are not responding to calls for service, firefighters work each day to ensure that their apparatus, station, and equipment are prepared and ready for response.  Firefighters work with their crew to maintain operational readiness and are prepared to respond to calls throughout their 24 hour shift.  Firefighters, and the Department, are responsible for much for than fires.  Responsibilities, assignments, and specialty trainings for career development include:

  • Hazardous Materials
  • Urban Search & Rescue
  • Advanced Life Support
  • Wildland Fire
  • Training Officer
  • Fire Prevention/Community Risk Reduction
  • SWAT Medic
  • Bomb Squad Medic
  • EMS Educator
  • Emergency Management

Fire Apparatus Operator (FAO)

After three years, Firefighters will have the opportunity to promote to the position of Fire Apparatus Operator.  Fire Apparatus Operators are responsible for the safe and efficient of operation of emergency vehicles to, and from, emergency scenes.  Fire Apparatus Operators report to the Captain and are specially trained in the technical abilities of various fire apparatus.  Sioux Falls Fire Rescue has various types of apparatus, including, but not limited to, engines, rescues, trucks, and wildland fire apparatus. 


Upon the successful completion six years of service, Fire Apparatus Operators will have the opportunity to test for the position of Captain.  Captains are the leaders of each fire company and are responsible for their day-to-day operations. While on the scene of an emergency, Captains often fill supervisory roles to maintain safe and accountable command and control of their assigned work force. In station, Captains ensure the daily task are completed and lead training to ensure competency of their company. 

Battalion Chief

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is comprised of three shifts (A, B, C).  Fire companies work three alternating days, followed by four consecutive days off.  Battalion Chiefs are responsible for the strategic leadership and day-to-day operations of an entire shift, including multiple fire companies.  Daily tasks include staffing and ensuring the shift has an incident action plan to follow for that day.  Each shift has two Battalion Chiefs.  Additionally, there are Battalion Chief assignments in Training and Community risk reduction.  Battalion Chiefs also have the unique responsibility to serve in command positions at the scene of emergencies. 

Division Chief

Division Chiefs serve in high-level, strategic leadership positions for the department.  There are currently four Division Chief positions responsible for administration, operations, professional standards, and community risk reduction. 

Fire Chief

The Fire Chief serves by the appointment of the Mayor and at the advice and consent of the City Council. The Fire Chief is responsible for all administrative, operational, and leadership aspects of the Department.  Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is represented by the Chief in large incidents requiring the coordination and activation of the City of Sioux Falls Emergency Operations Plan – City Multi-Agency Coordination Team Incident Command organizational structure.