Our firefighters are not paid employees; rather they are rewarded with the knowledge that they save lives, the satisfaction of a job well done, the pride in their community, and the comradery of the fire service family. 



First and foremost, prospective members must reside within a 4 mile radius of the East Side Fire Department's engine house located at 3111 East B Street Road, in Belleville, IL. Refer to the map below to determine if your residence is located within the acceptable ring. 


After confirming residency requirements, prospective members must accept that joining the fire department is a significant time commitment. Our members are expected to attend weekly trainings, held on Monday nights from approximately 6:30PM to 10PM. Members are also expected to respond to a significant percentage of emergency calls, which can come at any time of the day or night. The department responds to an average of approximately one call a day, with most calls lasting an hour or less. 

All applicants must be 18 years of age or older, possess a valid driver's license, and possess reliable transportation with proof of registration and insurance. Members of the department can not have any felony convictions, must have a clean driving record, and must consent to a background investigation

Although there is no physical test to join, applicants should be healthy and capable of performing strenuous labor. In the performance of firefighting duties you will be required to wear heavy constricting personal protective equipment, enter areas considered to have atmospheres immediately dangerous to life and health, lift and drag heavy objects, operate power tools and machinery, enter burning structures, climb ladders, work in smoky conditions, walk on active roadways in heavy traffic, and perform other hazardous tasks.

For the full position description and exact requirements, please read our new member packet.


Application & Membership Process

To join the department, you must first download and complete the membership application provided here. Once complete, hand deliver the application to the East Side Fire Department's 'B Street' Engine House on any Monday evening between 6:30PM and 7PM. After submitting your application you are expected to attend (4) consecutive Monday night trainings. After your 4th training and a successful background investigation, the membership will vote to accept you as a member of the Firefighter Association. After attending an additional (12) consecutive Monday night trainings you will become eligible to be sworn in as a Probationary Firefighter, at which time you will be issued equipment and allowed to respond to emergency calls.

Applicants who already posses valid firefighting certifications may be offered an accelerated membership process on a case-by-case basis.

The funny thing about firemen is, night and day, they are always firemen.
— Gregory Widen, Backdraft (1991)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there a residency requirement?
    Yes. All members must live within a 4 mile radius of our 'B Street' Engine House.

  • Are there age limitations?
    Yes. All members must be at least 18-years of age to join.

  • I don't have any experience. Can I still join?
    Yes! The department does not require prior firefighting experience. After joining, the department may chose to pay for you to obtain your Illinois Firefighter II certification.

  • Do you respond to medical calls?
    No. The department only responds to fire and rescue calls, however you may still witness severe trauma during the performance of your duties.

  • I'm in the military. Can I still join?
    Yes. We have several military members on the department, and will consider granting a leave-of-absence for deployments and extended TDYs.

  • I'm busy on Monday nights. Can I still join?
    No. Unfortunately Monday nights are our only training nights, and you must attend at least 30 trainings per year.

  • Don't see your question? Contact us!