Firefighters for the City of Fort Smith are all civil service employees. They are hired according to Arkansas State Law and City of Fort Smith Civil Service Commission Rules.

The hiring process for the Fort Smith Fire Department (FSFD) has five (5) steps. They are as follows:

Step 1 – Fill out the online application.  You can check application availability on the City of Fort Smith Human Resources Department webpage.  Oath of Applicant and Pre-Employment Physical Agility forms must be completed.  Forms are available for download on the Files-Fire Department Pre-Employment section.  The application period is in August of each year. 

Step 2 – After your application has been completed, you will be scheduled to take a civil service written examination. This examination is only given on the first Monday in October each year.

Step 3 – Upon successfully passing the written exam, you will be scheduled for a physical agility test to determine your ability to perform firefighter functions.

Step 4 – After successfully completing the physical agility test, you will be scheduled for an interview with a panel from members of the FSFD and the Fort Smith Civil Service Commission. The purpose of this oral interview will be to review your application and background, and assess such things as your fitness, reputation, character, motivation, appearance, demeanor, attitude, ability to communicate, and suitability for the rigors demanded of a firefighter.

Step 5 –Upon completion of this interview, all aggregate scores are added and the Civil Service Commission will format and certify a list to be forwarded to the FSFD to use for hiring purposes. The certified list expires one year from the date of certification. Any remaining candidates not hired are encouraged to reapply the following year.

The fire service is a highly regarded and noble profession. Many skills are required to excel in the fire service. The FSFD is responsible for responding to all hazard emergencies such as, but not limited to;

Fires – Structure, vehicle, wild land, etc.
Rescue – Vehicle extrication, water, trench, high rise, collapse, etc.
Medical – All types
Hazmat – Industrial and transportation accidents
Bomb Squad – All types of explosive remediation
Homeland Security and severe weather emergencies
All other hazard response

The starting pay for a firefighter in Fort Smith is currently $33,255/year with excellent benefits and retirement. Other incentive packages are available. FSFD firefighters work a 24/48 schedule for an average of 56 hours per week.  All new hires must sucessfully pass the departments FireTAC progam, Arkansas Fire Academy Firefighter Standards, obtain IFSAC Firefighter II and NR-EMT, within the first year of employment.