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Firefighter Cover Letter Samples & Writing Guide

Firefighter Cover Letter Samples & Writing Guide

You’re no cowboy out for glory. You’re the low-profile team member who works hard to get it done. Here’s how to show your skills in a firefighter cover letter.

Your firefighter cover letter is the only thing that stands between you and that job with a great department. Your EMT and FF1 are not enough. Lots of other applicants have that. You’ve got to show you’re worthy of the lifestyle and the brotherhood. And the only way to do that is in a cover letter.

 

Don’t sweat it. Creating an NYFD-ready cover letter for firefighter applications isn’t hard. The challenge? Get the Chief on your side from sentence #1. Then show you know the job is mostly janitorial work with adrenaline-packed interruptions. Get them nodding, and you’ll get lockers full of interviews.

 

This guide will show you:

  • A cover letter sample for firefighter jobs better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • How to write a cover letter for firefighters that lands 10x more interviews.
  • Why putting a spotlight on the right moments from your past is everything.

 

Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.

 

firefighter resume and cover letter set

Firefighter Cover Letter for a Resume—See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.

 

Thinking about other roles? See:

 

This firefighter cover letter template works like a KME Rearmount:

 

Firefighter Cover Letter Sample

Your Name

Firefighter

Mailing Address

Phone Number

Email Address

 

Date

 

Chief’s Name

Title

Department

Mailing Address

 

Dear [Chief’s Name],

 

I’m writing to apply to the Firefighter position at [Station Name or Number]. At Jemson County Fire Department just outside of Columbus, I understood that most of the job was janitorial work and maintenance, with critical interruptions grounded in fast teamwork. Chief Walker called me the hardest worker on the crew.

 

I’ve talked to two of your firefighters—Clay Jennings and Paul Gallardo. Your tight-knit family and your emphasis on safety sound like the perfect fit. I know from talking to them that you need a qualified pump operator skilled in vehicle maintenance and custodial work. I think I’m a good choice based on:

  • Custodial work. Performed daily custodial work including sweeping, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, washing trucks, vacuuming, dusting, and polishing.
  • Vehicle maintenance. Performed regular light maintenance on Ladder Trucks, Tenders, and Quints. Ensured 100% uptime and escalated issues to mechanics.
  • Pump operation. Operated pump during 90+ calls on Quint, Rescue Pumper, and Attack Pumper. Commended by Chief for efficiency.

 

[Chief’s Name], I look forward to talking to you about how my work ethic and detail-oriented mindset can contribute to [Station Name or Number]’s dedication to safety, preservation of life, and professionalism.

 

Best regards,

 

[Your Name], Firefighter

[Phone Number]

[Email]

 

P.S. — I’d also like to share how my EMS1 and FF2 certifications helped my department.

 

A cover letter for firefighter jobs like that could get you in at LAFD.

A cover letter is in danger without a mission-ready resume. See our guide: Firefighter Resume: Sample & Complete Guide

Now, here’s how to write firefighter cover letters that work:

 

1. Use the Right Firefighter Cover Letter Template

 

A firefighter cover letter shouldn’t read like a children’s book. That’ll make the chief suspicious. Your cover letter layout must give the impression of a crisp, new uniform. The way it looks has to create confidence in your abilities. To do it, start with the trusted 3-paragraph format.

 

Use this template.

 

Sample Firefighter Cover Letter—Checklist

 

  • your contact info
  • the department’s info
  • Dear [Chief Name],
  • first paragraph: show you’re unique in a good way
  • second paragraph: key skills that link you to the job opening
  • third paragraph: promise something
  • best regards and name & title
  • a P.S. with more firefighter qualifications

Pro Tip: Your cover letter heading has to look just like your resume heading. If they get separated, that’s the only way the Chief can quickly put them back together.

To design your cover letter the right way, follow these tips:

Save your cover letter as a PDF. See our guide: Cover Letter Format: A Complete How-To Guide

2. Start Your Firefighter Cover Letter Right

 

“Oh great, another boring firefighter cover letter.” Don’t make the Chief say that. Jump up and get attention like Dennis Leary. How can you do that with a few first sentences? Start with the Chief’s name. People notice their names. But then show you’re the kind of firefighter they want to hire.

 

See these cover letter examples for firefighters:

 

Firefighter Cover Letter Examples [First Paragraph]

 

Right Example

Pete Passignan

Firefighter, EMT

3241 James Martin Circle

Columbus, OH 43206

614-975-1468

pete.passignan@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/petepassignan

 

3/10/20

 

Jody Ellis

Chief

Columbus Fire Station 15

3142 Quilly Street

Columbus, OH 43215

 

Dear Chief Ellis,

 

I’m writing to apply to the Firefighter position at Columbus Fire Station 15. At Jemson County Fire Department just outside of Columbus, I understood that most of the job was janitorial work and maintenance, with fast-paced interruptions grounded in fast teamwork. Chief Walker called me the hardest worker on the crew.

 

Legendary.

 

Why does that cover letter for firefighter positions work?

 

Because it:

 

  1. Starts with your understanding of the job.
  2. Shows you’re a great choice because of a past achievement.

 

But this firefighter cover letter example is a 5-alarm disaster:

 

Firefighter Cover Letter Examples [Opening Paragraph]

 

WRONG EXAMPLE

Dear Chief,

 

I’m a licensed firefighter with skills in emergency response and apparatus driving. I’m a highly qualified pump operator who can work with equal comfort on a Quint or a Ladder Truck. A solid team member who has experience maintaining supply inventories, performing custodial work to exacting standards, and maintaining vehicles.

 

Total collapse.

 

You can’t just describe yourself in glowing terms and hope to get the job. You have to let your past speak for you, with details like in example #1.

 

But—what if you need an entry-level firefighter cover letter?

 

Entry-Level Firefighter Cover Letter Sample

 

In new firefighter cover letters—

 

Start with your most DFR-worthy emergency response achievement from:

  • Non-firefighter jobs
  • Your training
  • Volunteering

 

Or begin your cover letter for firefighter jobs with:

  • Something you love about the station
  • A compliment you heard about the chief
  • A referral from another firefighter at the department
  • Your passion for the career

 

See these firefighter cover letter examples with no experience:

 

right example
  • Like every kid, I wanted to be a firefighter when I was five. Unlike every kid, my passion and determination only grew through high school and college...
  • Working as a volunteer firefighter at the Corrin County VFD was a life-changing experience. I learned what it means to be part of a team...
  • Ben Howard suggested I apply to the open firefighter position at Station 10. I’ve known Ben for years, and he says my work ethic would...
  • I read online that Station 10 just added a new E-ONE Pumper to their lineup. Congratulations! As an applicant for the position of...
  • Graduating top of my class from the Columbus Division of Fire Training Academy was...
  • To be part of a team like the one you’ve built at Fire Station 17 would be...

 

Perfect.

 

Those openings for entry-level firefighter cover letters beat, “I just got out of the academy and...”

Pro Tip: You’ll get so many more offers with some volunteering experience. In most cases the station will even pay for your training if you’re entry-level too.

3. Link Your Firefighter Cover Letter to the Job

 

So you wrote a great first paragraph for your cover letter. Now what? Don’t ask for the interview. Instead, teach the Chief why he should offer it. Sound impossible? Not if you start by knowing what the station needs. That takes some digging, since the job might not be listed.

 

To find out, do an informational interview or two with firefighters who already work at the department. (Better still, buy a few of them a beer.)

 

Then in your letter, show:

 

  1. You know what working at the station is all about.
  2. You fit their needs like a camlock.

 

See these firefighter cover letter examples:

 

Firefighter Cover Letter Examples [Middle]

 

Right Example

I’ve talked to two of your firefighters—Clay Jennings and Paul Gallardo. Your tight-knit family and your emphasis on safety sound like the perfect fit. I know from talking to them that you need a qualified pump operator skilled in vehicle maintenance and custodial work. I think I’m a good choice based on what I did at Jemson County FD:

  • Custodial work. Performed daily custodial work including sweeping, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, washing trucks, vacuuming, dusting, and polishing.
  • Vehicle maintenance. Performed regular light maintenance on Ladder Trucks, Tenders, and Quints. Ensured 100% uptime and escalated issues to mechanics.
  • Pump operation. Operated pump during 90+ calls on Quint, Rescue Pumper, and Attack Pumper. Commended by Chief for efficiency.

 

Job-ready.

 

That shows your firefighter skills fit perfectly.

 

But—

 

The next of our wildland firefighter cover letter examples burns to the ground:

 

Wrong Example

I’ve always loved chipping in and helping, and being a wildland firefighter has long been a dream of mine. If you hire me, you’ll find I’m a hard worker with good leadership skills and interpersonal skills. Everyone I’ve ever worked with has remarked on my ability to get things done. Even better, I’m not afraid to go into a fire zone or a confined space to save a life.

 

Oh-oh.

 

You sound like a “hero.” Those are dangerous in firefighter jobs. Heroes get people hurt. Also, what skills have you demonstrated in the past that fit the job?

Pro Tip: Don’t have your EMT cert yet? Get it. One of the things a cover letter should say is that you care enough to do the training. Even an EMT-B will help.

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

 

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

4. End Your Firefighter Cover Letter Strong

 

Disaster. The Chief loved your firefighter cover letter. But—he got a call and had to run. Your application got buried under a stack of papers and he hired someone else. Don’t let that happen. Galvanize him, so he won’t forget you, with an offer at the end. Make it powerful and snappy.

 

See these examples:

 

Cover Letter Examples for Firefighter [Ending]

 

Right Example

Chief Ellis, I look forward to talking to you about how my work ethic and detail-oriented mindset can contribute to Columbus Fire Station 15’s dedication to safety, preservation of life, and professionalism.

 

Best regards,

 

Pete Passignan

Firefighter, EMT

614-975-1468

pete.passignan@gmail.com

 

Wow.

 

That applicant cares about the department. Therefore, the Chief will care about that applicant.

 

But the next of our firefighter cover letter samples crashes and burns:

 

Wrong Example

 

Thank you for reading my letter and my application.

Pro Tip: Not sure what to say in your cover letter ending? Go to the department’s website and look at their “about us” section to learn more about their needs.

Key Takeaway

 

Here’s how to write a firefighter cover letter:

  • Use the right firefighter cover letter format. Include your Ferrara-level skills.
  • Start your cover letter with a wow-getting opening sentence.
  • In the middle, show you understand the department and you’re ready to help.
  • End strong. Show the Chief you’re ready to dig in where it counts.

 

Not sure how to start your firefighter job cover letter? Want to write a cover letter for firefighter positions that makes the phone ring? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply!

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), is a career expert who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion.
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