Polk County


Fire Rescue Firefighter-Paramedic

Bartow, Florida

(Fire Rescue)

$10,000 SIGN ON BONUS!! (Eff. 08/01/2023)

Pay Grade F22 Starting salary

  • $50,305 yr / ($15.96) includes overtime & holiday pay
  • $59,194 yr / ($18.77) includes functioning paramedic incentive
  • $64,710 yr / ($20.53) includes functioning paramedic incentive and when assigned to a Transport Unit

Additional salary based on experience - 1 additional Step for each preference below up to Step 6:

  • Every year of experience
  • Special Ops candidates with Technician Level in "all" (Collapse, Ropes, VMR, and Hazardous Materials)

(Polk County Fire Rescue salaries steps range from 0-12)

Health Benefits Package, Paid Holidays, FRS Pension Plan for Special Risk

(Additional Steps subject to approval by the Fire Chief and Deputy County Manager)

  • Veterans
  • Applicants with a two or four-year degree

24-hour shifts (24/48)

Please take a moment to enjoy this short video about Polk County Fire Rescue.

(Incumbents in good standing with the Polk County Office of Medical Direction will be entitled to an addition $2.82 per hour for their Paramedic certification)

*** This position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement ***

**This position may require a physical ability/agility test**

No CPAT required for firefighter/paramedics from a Career Department (Lateral Transfers) with two (2) years of experience

Must have the physical, developmental and mental ability to perform job tasks, work efforts, responsibilities and duties of the job illustrated. The job description herein provides for the range of duties to be performed for this position. It is not intended to reflect all duties that are required within this position.


This is responsible technical and skilled work in firefighting and paramedicine work in rendering out of hospital life support functions, other emergency care and rescue services including the preservation of life and protection of property against fire and related hazards. Duties include the operation and maintenance of Fire Rescue Division vehicles and equipment.


Administers out of hospital emergency, fire rescue, medical care services, and advanced life support. Under supervision of Fire Rescue Medical Director or a physician, performs the following by protocol and standing orders: defibrillate a pulse less non-breathing patient, administers intravenous electrolyte or glucose solutions, surgical cricothyrotomy on adult complete airway obstruction, needle cricothyrotomy on pediatric complete airway obstruction, intra osseous infusion on the pediatric arrest/trauma alert patient, performs gastric/tracheal suction by intubation, endotracheal intubation, administers injections, documents controlled substance use, and performs other procedures as allowed by emergency medical service rules and regulations and/or by the Fire Rescue Medical Director. Must comply with the Polk County Fire Rescue Blood Borne Pathogen Exposure Control Plan. Work involves responsibility for the protection of life and property through firefighting and rescue operations, usually under close supervision. Employees of this class are also required to learn and participate in the operation of firefighting equipment and apparatus. Although firefighting and emergency rescue work, including the administration of emergency medical treatment, are the most difficult and responsible areas of activity, a major portion of time is spent on pre-fire surveys; training, studying methods, techniques and organization of firefighting and on routine duties in the care and maintenance of Fire Department property and equipment. Work involves an element of personal danger and requires working on extended shifts. Work is usually performed in accordance with explicit instructions and well-defined procedures; however, satisfactory performance of the work requires initiative and a thorough individual understanding of the methods, equipment and principles of firefighting, fire prevention, rescue and emergency medical techniques in meeting a wide variety of emergencies.

Firefighters with appropriate specialized training may work in the assignment of Hazardous Materials Technician, Technical Rescue Member, Apparatus Operator/Driver or assigned to an Emergency Medical Unit.

Responds to alarms of fire or other emergencies; dons personal protective equipment; works in enclosed areas; lays and connects hoses; holds nozzles which direct water streams; raises and climbs ladders; uses chemical extinguishers, bars, hooks, lines and other equipment.

Responds to alarms of fire or other emergencies in commercial, residential and multiple story structures; climbs stairs carrying a myriad of firefighting tools or emergency medical equipment; performs search and rescue techniques for locating building occupants; operates and controls building fire suppression systems; operates building elevators under fire service control.

Responds to alarms of fire or other emergencies often performing duties for an extended period of time while wearing self-contained breathing apparatus in high temperatures and with limited vision.

Ventilates structures in accordance with applied knowledge; removes victims from serious auto accidents, structures on fire, or other dangerous situations; administers emergency medical care to injured persons; performs property conservation (salvage) operations; assists in cleanup operation after the fire is suppressed.

May be assigned as a driver of a vehicle or apparatus; checks radio operability; responsible for maintaining apparatus, equipment, inventory and other logs; may communicate by radio from fire, rescue and other emergency scenes. May be assigned as the operator of a heavy- duty diesel-powered pumper truck or aerial truck; directs hose connections at pump; operates pumps, making sure proper pressure and water flow is maintained; operates aerial ladder or snorkel power lift.

Operates fire apparatus to and from the fire or rescue scene over the optimal route at high speeds in the safest and most efficient manner in accordance with departmental policy. Participates in the on-duty company physical fitness program.

Participates in fire drills and attends training classes in firefighting, emergency medical techniques and related subjects; participates in pre-fire surveys of industrial and other business buildings, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and multi-family dwellings; prepares floor plans, records and locates key items on floor plans of facilities for departmental use in the event of fires, disasters or other emergencies.

Performs general maintenance and cleaning work in the upkeep of apparatus, equipment, furnishings and structures.

Aids in the evacuation of portions of the County during natural or other disasters. Assists law enforcement agencies in the investigation of arson cases. Performs related work as assigned.


Knowledge of emergency care procedures, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and the use of life sustaining equipment and practices. Knowledge of safety, comfort matters/methods in the handling and treatment of patients. Knowledge of Florida safety requirements and privileges when responding to non-emergency and emergency calls. Knowledge of Florida traffic and driving regulations. Knowledge of and skill in defensive driving methods. Ability to become familiar with the roadway/highway systems within Polk County. Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. Must be able to read, write clearly using rules of punctuation, grammar, diction, and style. Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language in an understandable manner. Must be able to compute portions, ratios, percentages, calculate surfaces, volumes, weights, and measures. Ability to work as a team player. Ability to make sound judgments.

Using proper body mechanics, ability to lift and carry one end of a stretcher holding patients weighing an average of 150 pounds frequently, with an upward range of 300 pounds infrequently not including the weight of the stretcher. Ability to exert an excess of 100 pounds of force occasionally, and/or in excess of 50 pounds frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds of force constantly to move objects. Physical demand requirements are in excess of those for heavy work. Ability to adhere to physician instructions, protocol, and standing orders.

Ability to physically and mentally perform a variety of various emergency duties under extreme conditions. Ability to distinguish colors. Ability and skill to perform minor maintenance and/or repairs on various fire rescue vehicles and equipment. Knowledge of all pieces of patient care equipment and ambulance vehicle operation. Ability to relate use and care of such equipment. Ability to learn and follow the current Fire Rescue Critical Care Guidelines for patient care, as well as all Fire Rescue policies, procedures and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

Ability to analyze situations quickly and objectively and to determine the proper course of action. Ability to react quickly and calmly under emergency conditions.

Ability to become familiar with the roadway/highway systems within Polk County. Skill and dexterity in the use and manipulation of tools and apparatus used in fighting fires and performing emergency medical care. Ability to learn and efficiently perform a wide variety of firefighting and rescue duties, methods and techniques. Ability to climb stairs in multiple story buildings carrying heavy tools and equipment.

Ability to perform physically demanding duties such as carrying victims; hoisting equipment using ropes; using heavy equipment to force entry into or ventilation of structures; use of hand and mechanical tools to extricate patients of automobile accidents.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships as necessitated by the work. Ability to climb ladders and work at considerable heights.

Ability to understand and execute complex oral and written instructions quickly. Ability to perform limited mechanical work involved in maintaining firefighting and rescue apparatus, equipment and tools.

Ability to work as a part of a team and to exercise independent judgment as required. Ability to cope with stressful situations firmly, courteously and tactfully, and with respect for the rights of others. Ability to drive or operate large fire rescue vehicles in a safe and efficient manner.


Graduate of an accredited high school or possess an acceptable equivalency diploma and have a valid Certificate of Compliance as outlined in the Florida Division of State Fire Marshal Uniform Fire Safety Rules and Standards Chapter 69A-37, or a verification letter indicating that the individual meets the above requirements and will be issued a Certificate of Compliance from the Florida Division of State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire Standards and Training Office. Must possess and maintain a valid certification card as a Paramedic issued by the State of Florida Department of Health and:

A. Is at least 18 years of age.

B. Certifies under oath that he/she is not addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance.

C. Certifies under oath that he/she is free from any physical or mental defect or disease that might impair his/her ability to drive an ambulance and perform his/her duties.

D. Meets the requirements in Florida Statute401.281 as this position may be required to drive an advanced life support vehicle in the event of an emergency.

E. Meet the following driving history requirements:

  1. Have not accrued 12 points within 24 months or 18 points within 36 months.
  2. Have not been convicted on alcohol/drug related offenses within 36 mounts.
  3. Have not been convicted of two (2) alcohol/drug related offenses within 10 years.
  4. Have not had a suspension, revocation, or restriction due to moving violations or alcohol/ drug related problem, including failure to take a breath test within the 36 months prior.
  5. Must provide proof of insurance when required to use their personal vehicle as part of their daily job duties.

F. Possess a valid American Heart Association CPR "BLS for Health Care Providers" card or the American Red Cross Professional CPR card or American Heart Association (AHA) or American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI)

G. Possess a valid American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support provider or instructor card.

H. Must have a valid driver's license and be able to secure a valid Florida driver's license at the time of employment.

I. Possess the following National Incident Management System (NIMS) certifications:

  1. ICS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System
  2. ICS-200: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
  3. IS-700: National Incident Management System, An Introduction
  4. IS-800: National Response Framework, an Introduction

J. Certification by the Polk County Office of Medical Direction to function as a paramedic under the license of the Polk County Fire Rescue Medical Director


Must obtain and maintain Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Security Awareness certification through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Employees hired into this position after January 1, 2013, must obtain and maintain this certification as a condition of employment.

Applicant/employee shall be fingerprinted and subject to personal background investigation procedures to ascertain an evaluation and determination of moral character according to Chapter 69A-37 Firefighters Standards and Training.

Must be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide all units of measure. Work requires lifting very heavy weight occasionally, heavy weight frequently and moderate weight constantly. Ability to cope with mental and emotional stresses of the job.

Applicants who have not been employed by the Polk County Fire Rescue Division in a firefighter-paramedic capacity will be required to produce documentation that they have successfully completed the following from the National Testing Network:

  • Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) or RPAT (if sponsored by PCFR) with an exam date within one calendar year.
  • A Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ) at the time of application.
  • Lateral transfers (firefighter-paramedics) actively serving in a career fire department and having at least two years of service are exempt from the CPAT requirements and Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ).

Must have a telephone while employed with the Fire Rescue Division as employee is subject to call in emergencies.

This position will be required to report for work when a declaration of emergency has been declared in Polk County.


Preference will be given to the following:

  • Candidates who possess technical competencies such as Hazardous Materials, Confined Space, Vehicle Machinery Rescue, Rope Rescue, or other state-recognized certificates.
  • Enrolled in paramedic school with a completion date within 12 months.
  • Candidates who agree to enroll in paramedic training immediately upon hire (40-hour schedule while in school).
  • Candidates who have completed a two-year degree or higher.
  • Valid HandTevy or Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) provider or instructor certification.
  • Valid International Trauma Life Support (ITLS) or Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) provider or instructor certification.
  • Valid Emergency Vehicle Operator Course Certification card or a recognized 16-hour course that is equivalent.


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