Resident Firefighter Program
In 1941, because World War II depleted local fire department personnel, the Moscow fire department began depending upon six “firefighters-in-residence” for equipment operation and maintenance. In the fall of 1948, Chief Carl Smith instituted a controversial program that allowed six college students to live in the fire station while they attended school at the University of Idaho. Within months, a lengthy waiting list of prospective students was created.
Since 1948, hundreds of U of I students have called the Moscow fire department their home. Over 80 resident firefighters have used this uniquely valuable experience as a springboard to full-time, paid firefighting and EMS careers. MVFD alumni are found in fire stations from coast to coast.
- 958 City/Rural Fire calls
- 1,341 EMS calls
- 20,146 hrs. of training
Purpose of Residents
The intent of the MVFD is to maintain an effective volunteer resident firefighter program to enhance volunteer firefighter staffing, improve apparatus response to emergencies and prepare individuals for a career in fire and or EMS services, should they choose to.
Resident Firefighter Responsibilities
In exchange for a free room while attending the university of Idaho; Resident Firefighters are trained as firefighters and given the responsibilites of responding fire apparatus to emergency scenes, firefighting and station detail duties.
- 18 years of age
- High school graduate or equivalent
- Have a valid driver’s license and be insurable by MVFD
- Pass a driver’s check and criminal background check
- Full-time University of Idaho student
- Successfully complete a MVFD physical abilities test
- Satisfactory completion of a physical examination
Applications for Resident Firefighter are taken at all times and kept on file for one year. Typically, Resident Firefighter selection process occurs the first weekend of May for the upcoming fall semester, but may also occur in December for the following Spring semester as openings dictate.
The process for application to the Resident program includes:
- Completion of a Resident Firefighter application
- Successfully complete the physical agility test
- Complete the oral interview
- Satisfactorily complete a physical examination (paid for by the applicant)
The Physical Abilities Test
The MVFD requires all applicants to successfully complete a physical abilities test that is designed to assure proper physical conditioning for the performance of firefighting duties. The test is composed of six stations, including:
- Ventilating Fan Lift
- 2.5" Charged Hose Drag
- Ground Ladder Climb
- Hose Carry and Stair Climb
- Balance Beam Walk
- Hose Raise
Commonly Asked Questions
Q. What personal costs are associated with this program?
A. Resident firefighters are responsible for their own food and meals. A room, uniforms and firefighting equipment is provided to you.
Q. Will I get my own room?
A. There are two students per room. Residents share the kitchen facilities, lounge, restrooms and other facilities.
Q. How often will I be on duty?
A. Resident firefighters are on duty once every fifth calendar day. Duty shifts are 4:30 PM-7:30 AM on weekdays and 7:30 AM-7:30 PM (24 hours) on weekends. Residents are relieved of duties during breaks recognized by the University of Idaho.
Q. Am I expected to be on duty if I have classes on a duty night?
A. Resident firefighters are expected to balance their school responsibilities with their fire department responsibilities. You may trade duty coverage with another student when any school conflict arises. Resident firefighters are required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
Q. Can I take an EMT class?
A. One to two EMT classes are available to be taken each year. MVFD members get first priority for admission to the classes.
Q. Must I have prior firefighting experience to apply?
A. Prior firefighting experience is not necessary. Upon admission as a Resident firefighter you will be required to complete a 100-hour basic firefighting course to prepare you for your firefighting and fire apparatus driving requirements.