Frequently Asked Questions

Does SFFR allow tattoos?

Yes, visible tattoos are permitted with a few caveats. Any tattoos that are visible cannot be racist, sexist, vulgar, gang related, anti-American, anti-social, or prejudicial to the good of the order. The Fire Chief or their designee will make the final determination as to whether it is offensive or not.

Do I get paid while in Cadet Academy?

Yes, firefighters will earn full salary and benefits while attending the Cadet Academy.

How long does the testing process take place?

Please visit the application process page to learn more.

If I have a background investigation done with another agency, or have a top-secret clearance in the military, will SFFR still do a background check?

Yes, SFFR will conduct its own background investigation.

How many trips will out of state applicants need to make to complete the selection process?

Applicants may complete phase one testing, the oral interview, in person or virtually. Applicants who move to phase two testing and live a considerable distance from Sioux Falls may be invited to complete the testing over a pre-scheduled timeframe. Applicants must pass each test to move to the next day’s testing.

How long is the Cadet Academy?

The cadet academy is 22 weeks long.

Is it a live-in academy?

The Cadet Academy is a 22-week long training that will test your physical and mental ability and focuses on the essential skills needed to be a part of the Sioux Falls Fire Rescue team. The academy starts with a 6 week training on Emergency Medical Service skills, by the end of the first 6 weeks cadets will obtain their National Register Emergency Technician certification. The remaining 16 weeks of the academy will focus on the basic aspects of firefighting. After the Cadet Academy has been completed, the cadets will earn their National ProBoard 1 and 2 certifications. The Cadet Academy is located in Sioux Falls and is not a live-in academy.

Do I have to be a United States Citizen?

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the Immigration Act of 1990, and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 require employers to hire only individuals who may legally work in the United States: U.S. citizens, noncitizen nationals, lawful permanent residents, and aliens authorized to work. The act requires newly hired employees to present evidence of identity and employment authorization. Human Resources or its designee will be responsible for complying with the laws' verification and documentation requirements using Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

How can I submit an application?

What is the age limit?

Per City of Sioux Falls Ordinance 39.069, candidates must be at least 21 years of age at the date of interview and no greater than 44 years of age at the date of interview.

Is there a mandatory retirement age?

Per City of Sioux Falls Ordinance 39.070, Mandatory Retirement for Uniformed Police and Fire Positions is Age 60.

Will I have to purchase my own gear or will the department pay for it?

No, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue will provide all personal protective equipment. Once you graduate from the Cadet Academy, your first set of duty uniforms will be provided. Additionally, a uniform allowance is provided by contract each year.

Do I need any college credits to be eligible to apply?

  • Firefighters must annually pass the Individual Physical Ability Test (IPAT).
  • Graduation from high school or GED certification, or any such combination of education, experience, and training as may be acceptable to the hiring authority.
  • Must possess or be able to obtain prior to hire a valid driver’s license.
  • Applicant must be at least 21 years of age at the time of the entrance civil service examination, and no greater than 44 years of age at the time of the entrance civil service examination.
  • Vision must be correctable to at least 20/30 in each eye.
  • Must be a nonsmoker.
  • Applicant must pass all phases of the hiring process designated by the Rules of the Civil Service Board.
  • Must possess or be able to obtain National Registry or South Dakota Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification within one year of hire.

What kind of specialty training is available?

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue has a variety of different specialty programs and training. These include the following: Advanced Life Support, Hazardous Materials, Urban Search & Rescue, Community Risk Reduction, SWAT Medic, Bomb Squad Medic, Wildland, Rapid Extraction Module, Emergency Medical Services Educator, and Training Officer.

Do I need to have EMS experience?

No. While EMS experience is appreciated, it is not required. Additionally, a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT) curriculum and certification is offered through the Cadet Academy.

What retirement plan does Sioux Falls Fire Rescue offer?

Newly hired firefighters will become Generational Members of the class B plan of the South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS). Review the Generational Member Class B Public Safety Handbook.