Become a Firefighter


This is skilled work in combating, extinguishing and preventing fires, patient care and medical emergencies, responding to hazardous materials incidents, responding to emergency calls, and in the operation and maintenance of Fire Department equipment, apparatus and facilities.

Firefighters are required to learn and participate in the operation of apparatus and the performance of hazardous tasks under emergency conditions. These conditions may require strenuous exertion under such handicaps as smoke and cramped surroundings. Although firefighting is the most difficult responsibility of a firefighter, the majority of time is spent training, studying methods and techniques of firefighting. Additionally, firefighters have routine daily duties on the care and maintenance of Fire Department property and equipment. Firefighters need to take specific orders and directions from superior officers, but the work requires initiative, motivation on a daily basis and a thorough understanding of firefighting methods.

Application and Selection Process

Persons interested in applying to the Michigan City Fire Department must complete a firefighter application packet. You can download and print a copy here or obtain a pre-printed copy from the Personnel Department at City Hall. Applications should be mailed or delivered to the Personnel Department at City Hall.

Persons completing the application process successfully will be eligible to take the written examination. The written examination has been prepared by a certified testing company that is EEOC approved. Those participants receiving a score of 70% or higher will move on to the physical ability test. The first part of the physical will be conducted immediately following the written test. Applicants must successfully perform a Ladder Climb to be eligible for the physical ability test. The department currently utilizes the CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) program. Those passing all parts of the ability test will then be given a personal interview.

Applicants who successfully complete all of the above requirements are placed on an eligibility list, contingent upon successfully completing a background check.

As openings occur, firefighter recruits must attend and graduate from an 18 week program at the Central Indiana Fire Academy and are then placed in the field as a probationary firefighter for a period of 12 months.

PLEASE NOTE: Successful completion of all phases of the selection process does NOT automatically guarantee a position with the City of Michigan City Fire Department. Position vacancies, academy class size, and time constraints dictate if a candidate will be hired. 


Applicants must possess the following:

  • A high school diploma or GED Certificate
  • A minimum of 21 years old at the time of application and under 35 years old at the time of appointment to the Department.
  • A valid vehicle operators license (prior to application).
  • A certified copy of their birth certificate.
  • Must agree to a personal background check and fingerprinting.

Extra points are awarded for Michigan City residency, military service, and/ or child of a firefighter or police officer killed in the line of duty.

The physical ability test consists of eight separate events. This test is a sequence of events that requires the candidate to progress along a predetermined path from event to event in a continuous manner. This is a pass/fail test based on a validated maximum total time of 10 minutes and 20 seconds. This sequence is as follows:

  • Stair Climb—75 LB weight vest for 3:20 minutes.
  • Hose Drag—1 1/2 inch hose line for 100 feet.
  • Equipment Carry—2 saws for 75 feet and return to shelf.
  • Ladder Raise and Extension—hand over hand, lift ladder using each rung.
  • Forcible Entry—use a 10 LB sledge hammer until buzzer rings.
  • Search—crawl through a 65 foot tunnel.
  • Rescue—drag a 165 LB mannequin 75 feet.
  • Ceiling Breach—push and pull a 60 LB hinged door with a pike pole—8 times. 

Apply to Become A Michigan City Firefighter

To apply to become a Michigan City Firefighter, potential candidates must complete the Michigan City Fire Merit Commission Application for Employment and deliver/mail it to the Personnel Department at City Hall in an envelope addressed to the Secretary of the Fire Merit Commission. 

Before returning, please re-check  your application. The information must be truthful, neat and completed in full.  We will not return incomplete applications and failure to follow instructions may disqualify you.

PLEASE NOTE: The Personal Inquiry Waiver and Waiver of Liability on Physical Agility Test  require notarization.

Under the City of Michigan City’s selection system, applicants for the position of Firefighter must undergo a background investigation that includes, but is not limited to, their habits, experience, and character. It is necessary that the City have access to any information about you that may have a bearing on your suitability for employment.

To qualify for further processing, the following items must be appropriately completed in ink, signed and dated in legible form:

  1. Completed, signed and dated Application for Employment
  2. Copy of your birth certificate
  3. Copy of a high school diploma or certified copy of a G.E.D. certificate
  4. Copy of your valid state driver’s license
  5. The attached Personal Inquiry Waiver – signed by applicant, dated and notarized.
  6. The attached Waiver of Liability on Physical Agility Test – signed by the
    applicant, dated and notarized. This document must be on file in the event of your eligibility for the physical agility test.

Click to Download and Print the Firefighter Application