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City of Omaha - Nebraska

Omaha Fire DepartmentOmaha, Nebraska

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Firefighter: The Examination Process

CPAT Orientation Guide 

CPAT Preparation Guide 


Please check the City of Omaha website at to stay up-to-date on current openings.  During the application period, it is a requirement to complete a City of Omaha online application when applying for employment with the City of Omaha.


Once your online application has been submitted and accepted, you will be scheduled for the first step in the examination process. In order to be referred to the Fire Department for consideration as a Firefighter with the City of Omaha, a candidate must successfully pass the following steps in the examination process. All of these events will have a cut-off score; candidates scoring below the cut-off scores will NOT be eligible for further selection consideration.  The Examination Process is as follows:

  • Multiple Choice Examination: All candidates will be given a paper and pencil multiple choice examination that is designed to measure the skills and abilities required to perform the duties of a Firefighter. The cut-off score will be announced prior to the administration of the multiple choice examination. The multiple choice test score will be factored into the final grade.
  • Physical Ability Examination: The nature of firefighting calls for strenuous physical activity. Therefore, the physical ability examination is designed to measure the physical strength, stamina, ability, and endurance required for the position. The physical ability examination is graded on a pass/fail basis and will not be factored into the final score.
  • Structured Oral Interview (SOI): In the Structured Oral Interview, candidates will be asked to provide oral responses to a series of interview questions that will allow for the assessment of various abilities and personal characteristics that are essential to the effective performance of the Firefighter position. 
  • Final Score/Ranking: Upon successful completion of the multiple choice examination and the physical ability, and the Structured Oral Interview, candidates will be placed on an eligibility list. Ranking on this eligibility list will be based on a combined statistical weighting of multiple choice examination score and the Structured Oral Interview.
  • Backgrounds: When a candidate on the eligibility list is referred to the Fire Department, he/she will be required to complete a detailed background questionnaire, which will be the basis for a preliminary background investigation. Falsifying information or deliberate omissions may cause the candidate to be disqualified. An in-depth background investigation will then be completed on each candidate who progresses to the next phase of the selection process. The background check will include: gathering financial, military, educational, and employment information, as well as traffic and criminal histories. Listed below are some of the items, which could be cause for disqualification. Please note that this list is provided for purpose of example, and is not all-inclusive.
  • History of financial problems, i.e. continuous garnishment of wages, non-payment of bills, recent filing of bankruptcy, chronic history of debt, problems with collection agencies. Civil lawsuits where the candidate was named as a defendant will be investigated
  • Felony convictions
  • Criminal and traffic records. This includes items such as driving while under the influence (DWI) or driving during suspension of license.
  • Poor employment history, i.e., fired from several jobs, excessive absences/tardiness, or long-term unemployment.
  • Lack of high school diploma or GED
  • History of drug and/or alcohol abuse. A drug screen test will be administered to all candidates by the Omaha Fire Department.
  • A dishonorable discharge from the military.
  • Candidate Interview: The Fire Chief (or designee) will interview the candidates who are ranked on the final eligibility list. Candidates who are then selected will receive a conditional offer of employment. If a conditional offer of employment is made, the candidate will be required to take and pass the following examinations/evaluations:
    • Medical Examination: A physician who is contracted by the City of Omaha administers a comprehensive medical history, physical examination, lab analysis, and X-rays. The most recent medical guidelines established by the National Fire Protection Association are the standards followed by the City of Omaha. A more detailed description of the standard is provided in the Medical Standards section of this brochure. Any physical condition(s) that could seriously hamper job performance may be sufficient reason(s) for rejection.
    • Psychological Evaluation: A clinical psychologist will test and interview the candidates. Any psychological condition that could seriously hamper job performance may be sufficient reason(s) for rejection.

NOTE: The background investigation and the interview with the Fire Chief may be conducted at different stages of the selection process and not necessarily in the order listed. The psychological and medical examinations will be conducted after the conditional offer of employment. Individuals must pass the background, medical, and psychological standards to receive a final offer of employment.


Military Veteran’s Preference Points

a. For the purposes of this section the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them:

b. Veteran shall mean any person who served full-time duty with military pay and allowances in the armed forces of the United States, except for training or for determining physical fitness, and was discharged under honorable conditions;

c. Full-time duty shall mean duty during time of war or during a period recognized by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as qualifying for veterans benefits administered by the department and that such duty from January 31, 1955, to August 5, 1964, shall have exceeded 180 days unless lesser duty was the result of a service-connected or service aggravated disability;

d. Disabled veteran shall mean an individual who has served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, has been separated there from under honorable conditions, and has established the present existence of a service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension because of a public statute administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or a military department; and

e. Preference eligible shall mean any veteran as defined in this section.

f. A preference shall be given to preference eligibles seeking employment with the City of Omaha.

g. Veterans who obtain passing scores on all parts or phases of an examination and who have qualified for placement on an eligibility list shall have five points added to their passing score if claim for such points is made on their applications. An additional five points shall be added to the passing score of any disabled veteran.

h. Proof of eligibility for preference hereunder shall be provided by the veterans in the form of copies of their discharge certificates and/or medical records (if applicable).

To claim five (5) points for Military Veterans Preference, you must submit proof of service (such as a DD-214) that includes date of induction, date of honorable discharge, and your social security number. This information must be submitted to Human Resources on or before the Military Veteran’s Preference Point's deadline date stated on the job posting. You must show that you have completed more than 180 consecutive days of active duty and that you have been discharged. To receive an additional five (5) points credit for disability, you must submit proof of eligibility from Veterans Administration dated within the last 12 months from the Military Veteran’s Preference Point's deadline. Military Veterans Preference Points will ONLY be added to the candidate’s final score once they have passed all the examinations. The Human Resources Department will NOT be responsible for obtaining this information. If the applicant does not provide this information by the deadline date, veteran’s preference points will NOT be assigned.


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