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Lateral Firefighter and Lateral Firefighter/Paramedic

Location: Bellingham
Posted on: June 1, 2021

Job Description:

Nature of Work

The Bellingham Fire Department is actively seeking qualified applicants for the position of Lateral Firefighter and Lateral Firefighter/Paramedic. Currently, we anticipate filling up to 12 vacancies for the Fall 2021 Academy.

You must have a CPAT dated September 1, 2020 or more recent and it must be included as part of your application. We will accepted CPAT certifications until 4:30PM on the closing date of June 25, 2021.

The Bellingham Fire Department will be hosting an optional virtual informational meeting about becoming a BFD Firefighter. Please click the link below to register. Registration is required to join the session.

  • Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 7:00PM PST

You are encouraged to print a copy of this job announcement for your reference as the process moves along.

The City of Bellingham is actively seeking qualified applicants for the position of Lateral Firefighter.

  • Lateral Firefighter - $6,999/mo
  • Lateral Firefighter with Paramedic License - $6,999/mo plus $787.30/mo Engine Medic Premium until placed as Paramedic. Paramedic Premium is $1,180.95/mo.

For more information on pay placement as an experienced firefighter, please refer to the IAFF 106 collective bargaining agreement.

Closing Date/Time: Friday, 6/25/2021 4:30 PM Pacific Time


Firefighters provide emergency assistance and protective services to citizens. They are trained and equipped to protect life and property threatened by disaster, fire, explosion, hazardous materials, illness, accidents and other hazards. Activities include emergency prevention, emergency and non-emergency response, fire code enforcement, building inspections, training and drill and maintenance of apparatus, equipment, fire station and grounds. They perform a wide range of emergency work under adverse environmental and strenuous physical conditions. There is frequent potential for exposure to toxic chemicals, extreme heat, and infectious disease which require the use of protective equipment such as heat resistant clothing, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), and medical masks, gloves and gowns.

Firefighters may be required to drive fire apparatus or medical units and perform special firefighting, pre-hospital medical care, rescue work or other skills acquired by work experience and specialized training programs.

Firefighters are subject to shift work and off-duty recall for major emergencies


  • Responds to fires and other emergencies. Places equipment; lays and connects hose; operates high capacity pumps and directs water streams; raises and climbs ladders; uses chemical extinguishers, safety belts, lines and hooks; uses self-contained breathing apparatus; performs ventilation tasks above ground; and performs salvage and overhaul operations. Uses ropes, harnesses, carabiners, and anchors for special rescue situations. Identifies, isolates and mitigates hazardous material incidents.
  • Provides basic and/or advanced life support medical assistance to citizens in non-emergency and emergency situations where life may be endangered. Sets up and operates equipment such as resuscitator, inhalator, oxygen, and cardiac monitor, defibrillation equipment, intravenous solution and medications.
  • Maintains contact with communications center and Department to report initial observations, progress on handling incidents, and receive orders and instruction on handling event(s). Utilizes the incident command system.
  • As qualified and appropriate to the incident, drives fire apparatus, drives medical or aid vehicles or pilots fire boat. Determines appropriate response routes to the emergency. Transports patients to hospitals or other destinations.
  • Conducts inspection of residential, commercial and industrial buildings for possible hazards and violations of fire code requirements. May issue correction notices as directed by the Captain. Participates in the development of pre-incident plans on how to handle fire and medical emergencies at various businesses and facilities.
  • Participates in the development and delivery of emergency prevention programs.
  • Responds to various service calls providing assistance to citizens in situations that are not life threatening, such as requests for physical assistance, flooded basements, and complaints about unsafe or illegal burning.
  • Participates in company and battalion training program and drill exercises. Instructs job skills to others. Researches, compiles, organizes and presents information at training and drill sessions.
  • Periodically tests facility, equipment, apparatus and fire protection systems and maintains records of test information.
  • Performs general and preventative maintenance on apparatus, equipment and facilities to ensure proper function and reliability.


  • Performs administrative and technical support activities for Fire Administration on a regular or special project basis.
  • Prepares and maintains reports and records within assigned area of responsibility.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.


The work environment includes 24-hour shift work including weekends and holidays. Work is performed at fire stations, on various apparatus, on the drill ground and at different emergency scenes. Performance of hazardous tasks under emergency conditions may require strenuous exertion in environments with limited visibility, exposure to hazardous or toxic chemicals and gases, extremes in temperature, cramped surroundings, exposed heights and in and around water. Firefighters also work with citizens experiencing a wide range of emotions (rage, grief, confusion, etc.) as a result of an emergency. There is frequent potential for exposure to toxic chemicals, extreme heat, and infectious disease which require the use of protective equipment.

Physical ability to perform job, including:

  • Carry hose bundle of approximately 50 pounds and don personal protection and firefighting equipment weighing approximately 70 pounds to the scene of an emergency (sometimes to upper floors of businesses, apartments and hotels).
  • Lay and operate hose lines (160 pounds per 50 feet of hose with 100 pounds of nozzle pressure).
  • Stabilize and lift patients with backboard and cot.
  • Carry, place and extend ladders in training and in emergencies.
  • Operate power equipment such as a chain saw, portable generator, hydraulic jaws, smoke ejector, etc.
  • Set up and operate master streams and aerial ladder pipes.
  • While wearing protective clothing, performs heavy labor such as chopping, shoveling, moving furniture, equipment and merchandise.

Experience and Training


  • Must have received a high school diploma or G. E. D.
  • Candidates must not have smoked tobacco products for a minimum of 24 months prior to application to be considered for employment as a firefighter.
  • Must pass a police criminal convictions records check with no felony convictions within last seven years.
  • Misdemeanor convictions will also be reviewed. A misdemeanor conviction will not necessarily disqualify an applicant but offenses within the last seven years may, by their nature and recentness, reveal a lack of specific qualifications for the position.

Experienced (Lateral):

  • Must meet all entry-level requirements.
  • Two years of full-time, paid experience as a structural firefighter with an agency responsible for residential and commercial fire responses, at least one year of which must have been within the last three years.
  • Graduate of a recruit academy and/or National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1001 Firefighter I certification. Documentation of completion or certification required.

Necessary Special Requirements


  • Must be 21 years of age.
  • Must be a U. S. citizen or a registered permanent resident able to work in the United States.
  • Must pass a pre-employment drug test.
  • Valid Washington State driver's license and good driving record. Candidates must submit a three-year driving abstract prior to hire.
  • No record of driver's license suspension or revocation in any state within the last three years.

  • Must possess or obtain a Washington State Emergency Vehicle Accident Prevention (EVAP) certification within 90 days of initial hire.
  • Must possess EMT certification or acquire within one year of employment and maintain for the duration of employment.
  • Must certify ability to meet and/or pass testing of all required physical ability and medical standards, including ability to swim at distance, tread water and retrieve a submerged weight.
  • Willingness and ability to work at considerable heights (up to 100 feet) on a ladder.

Experienced (Lateral):

  • Successful completion of Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) no more than one year prior to hire date. CPAT card as documentation required.

Advanced Life Support:

  • Certification as a paramedic in Washington State is required to provide advanced life support services.

Selection Process

Please Note: Candidates will receive updates regarding application status via email. Please be sure to check your email frequently.

Step 1:Applicants interested in this position must complete an application through NEOGOV. Please attach copies of all relevant certifications to your application.

  • A current valid CPAT certification must be attached, and will be accepted from NTN or another agency licensed by the IAFF/IAFC as a licensed CPAT provider. CPAT testing must be completed between 9/1/2020 and 6/25/2021.

Step 2:Applications will be reviewed for minimum qualifications. Status will be posted on or around June 30, 2021.

Step 3: Applicants that meet minimum qualifications will be reviewed and scored in an Application Review. Score will be posted on or around July 9, 2021.

Step 4:The top 16 candidates from the Application Review will be invited to participate in Oral Board Interviews scheduled for July 19-20, 2021. Oral Board Interviews will be conducted on Zoom.

Step 5: Candidates will be placed on a ranked eligibility register based on their scores achieved on the Experience and Training Rating (40%) and the Oral Board Interviews (60%), plus Veteran's preference. Final scores will be posted by July 23, 2021. The Civil Service Eligibility Register will remain in effect until October 22, 2021, or longer as established by the Civil Service Commission at a later date.

Step 6:The most qualified candidates will be invited to a Chief's Interview scheduled for July 29-30, 2021 in Bellingham, WA. Candidate will be required to appear in person to participate in the Chief's Interviews. At the time of invitation, reference checks will begin on all final candidates.

Step 7:Around August 2, 2021, conditional offers of employment will be issued and criminal background checks will begin. Candidates will be required to participate in pre-employment screenings, including a medical exam, in Bellingham sometime between August 2 - 13. Candidates will not be required to stay in Bellingham the full duration of that time period but must be available to complete the medical exam in Bellingham during that period.

Step 8: September 1, 2021 -Successful candidates will begin Firefighter Academy.

Please Note:Candidates will receive updates regarding application status via email. Please be sure to check your email frequently.

Equal Opportunity:

Our environment is characterized by respect for cultural backgrounds, belief systems, and ethnic diversity. The City of Bellingham is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its work force. We do not make decisions on the basis of an individual's race, religion, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, age (40+), disability, retaliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, honorably discharged veteran or military status, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, or any other basis prohibited by local, state, or federal law. All are encouraged to apply for employment.

Fair Hiring Practices

  • The City provides individuals who have been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense an equal and fair opportunity to obtain employment.
  • The City will not inquire about an applicant's criminal history until after a conditional job offer has been made.
  • The City will disregard the prior arrest and conviction record of an otherwise qualified individual unless the offense is directly related to the job position for which the individual has applied.
  • The City will notify an otherwise qualified applicant about a potentially disqualifying conviction and give the applicant an opportunity to submit information regarding the accuracy of the criminal records as well as evidence of mitigation or rehabilitation, as appropriate.

Keywords: BELLINGHAM CITY OF, Bellingham , Lateral Firefighter and Lateral Firefighter/Paramedic, Other , Bellingham, Washington

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