North America's Premier International Resort Community

Resident Fire Firefighter Program

The Resident Firefighter Program was started in 1978 to provide valuable Firefighter training while ensuring a manpower resource for the Vail Fire Department.

The program has since grown and is accredited through Colorado Mountain College where students may work towards an AAS degree in Fire Science Technology and is recognized by the State of Colorado as a Certified Apprentice program.  The program’s emphasis is on education and hands-on training.  Upon completing the initial Fire Academy, Resident Firefighters are assigned to a shift and expected to work approximately (6) 24-hour shifts per month as part of an Engine/Ladder Company. This training includes: Fire Suppression, EMS, Haz-Mat, Swiftwater and Rope Rescue, and other Fire Service related tasks. Training is based on IFSTA.  The Department currently operates (4) Class A Pumpers, (1) 75’ Aerial Quint, (1) 85’ Tower Ladder, (2) Type 6 Wildland Engines,(2) 4 x 4 Utility Vehicles, and (2) Chief Vehicles.

The Vail Resident Firefighter Program offers many benefits to those seeking a career in the fire service. The Vail Resident Program has a 90% placement rate for our Resident Firefighters, who have been hired across the country. While the average entry level firefighter spends seven years trying to obtain a Career Firefighter position, our residents average less than 18 months to obtain that same position.  As a Resident Firefighter, you will be paid an hourly wage (starting at $8.00, with potential for increases based on meeting experience, qualifications and or requirements ), have a discounted dormitory suite style room at Vail Fire Station 3 in West Vail, with a common living room and kitchen.  In addition, you will be provided a ski pass benefit for the winter and a season golf pass for Vail Golf Club in the summer.


The Residents will be expected to successfully complete the training academy before becoming an on-line Firefighter.  Newly hired resident Firefighters must commit to 1 YEAR of work for the department and living in house. Once on-line, they will be assigned to a shift working as an apprentice (probationary) Firefighter on an Engine/Ladder Company. After completion of the academy, resident Firefighters are eligible to enroll in Fire Science classes at Colorado Mountain College or sign up for additional training outside the organization. 

Hiring Process

Vail Fire is not currently accepting any resident applicants. 

Applicants must be 18 years or older, hold a high school diploma (or equivalent), valid driver’s license and acquire a valid CPAT (within 1 year of testing). Applicants with a current EMT, Firefighter I certification, and Haz-Mat Ops certification are highly preferred.  All program/job offers will be contingent upon a successful background check, medical & drug screen.

Contact Info

Mark Novak
Fire Chief

Mike Vaughan
Fire Marshal