March 23, 2017
The Resident Firefighter Program provides training, living accommodations and a jump start for a career in fire service.

Resident Program

Cheney Fire Department is a combination career/volunteer department which provides full service fire protection, fire prevention, hazardous materials response, rescue, and emergency medical services to nearly 10,000 residents and another 12,000 daily from Eastern Washington University. 

The Fire Department responds to approximately 1,461 calls annually.  The department is comprised of the Fire Chief, an Administrative Secretary, nine career fire officers, four Resident Firefighters, and part paid Volunteer Firefighters.

Program Overview

The  Resident Firefighter Program is designed for students with an interest in the fire service, medical profession and/or enjoys helping others.  The student requirement for this position is a minimum enrollment of eight credits per quarter. 

Resident Firefighters are assigned to a shift in a three platoon system; likewise, shift schedules are twenty-four hours on duty followed by forty-eight hours off duty.  Duty shifts begin at 07:00 hours.  Resident Firefighters are required to be in the station, in uniform, on their scheduled shift days with the exception of college classes.

Duties & Compensation

Residents are assigned roles and responsibilities ranging from daily station chores and apparatus checks to intensive fire fighting activities and emergency medical techniques.  Resident Firefighters are required to have the Cheney Fire Station as their primary place of residence.  In compensation for their time, they receive complete living accommodations.  This includes room, water, sewer, electrical, cable, garbage, cooking facilities, laundry facilities, etc.  They will also be compensated with a monthly stipend that is determined by their time with the organization and completed training requirements. 

Resident Firefighters will be provided basic fire recruit training, emergency medical training, hazardous materials training, driver/operator training and other elective training as needed.  Secondary employment is discouraged.

Resident Firefighters will also be members of the Volunteer Association program and will be compensated for needed off duty responses using the volunteer point pay scale.  This will allow for additional experience and compensation. 

Commitment Required

Resident Firefighters are asked to give the department a two-year commitment.  The reason for the commitment is related to the cost and time required to have each Resident Firefighter trained to perform the duties that are required. If for some reason you cannot achieve this, you could be responsible to repay the department for related costs.

The department is currently equipped to house six Resident Firefighters.  Privacy is limited as all Resident Firefighters and career staff share common areas and a common sleeping area.  The fire station is a public building which brings in meetings and station tours from time to time.  The ability to coexist with others is an important part of being a Resident Firefighter.

 Minimum Qualifications

  • Must be eighteen (18) years of age upon appointment.
  • Must possess a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Must provide an official / sealed copy of high school transcripts
  • Must possess and maintain a Washington State Driver’s License.
  • Must be physically and mentally capable of performing the functions of a firefighter.
  • Must be enrolled in college and maintain 12 minimum credits per quarter.
  • Must provide proof of current enrollment.

NOTE:  You do not need to be an Eastern Washington University student.  You may be a student at Gonzaga University, Whitworth College, Spokane Community College, Spokane Falls Community College, or any other college accredited program in the Spokane area.

The Appointment Process

Once you have completed all the required documents included in the application packet, please mail or hand deliver to Cheney Fire Department at 611 Fourth Street in Cheney, Washington, 99004.  Fax applications will not be accepted.  Once the application packet has been received, the selection process is as follows:

  • Application packets will be reviewed for completeness and minimum qualifications. 
  • Candidates eligible for the position will be notified of the time and place of the physical agility test.  Testing dates are scheduled in the spring and the fall.
  • All candidates who sucessfully complete the physical agility test will then be scheduled for an oral interview.
  • If appointed to a position you will be required to have a physical examination and drug test which will be provided at no cost to you.
  • Finally, candidates must pass a background investigation and have an acceptable driving record.
  • Eligible candidates will receive an offer of employment with the City of Cheney as a resident firefighter or cross-walk candidates.
  • Resident Firefighters are at-will employees and separation of employment could happen at any time.

A Career Building Experience

Some of our former Resident Firefighters have moved on to the following organizations:

Cheney Fire Department
City of Spokane Fire Department
Spokane County Fire District #4
Spokane County Fire District #9
Spokane Valley Fire Department
Wenatchee Fire Department
King County Fire District #10
Los Angeles County Fire Department
Bozeman Fire Department
Dade County, Florida, EMS Director
American Medical Response
Physician, Pittsburg Steelers
Eastern Washington University Police Department
Washington State Patrol
Medical Lake Police Department
Cheney Police Department
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office
Kenai Police Department
Tacoma Fire Department
Bellevue Fire Department

Seattle Fire Department

Portland Fire Department

Valley Regional Fire Authority


For information on the Cheney Fire Department resident program contact Chris Muñoz at (509) 498-9291.


Fire Department
611 4th Street
Cheney, WA  99004

24 Hours a day


Business Phone:  
(509) 498-9291

(509) 498-9244 

Staff Contacts:

Aaron Bollar
Battalion Chief

Bill Dennstaedt
Battalion Chief

Ken Johnson
Battalion Chief

Chris Muñoz
Resident Program

Olga Montiel
Administrative Secretary

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Resident & Volunteer