About the Zionsville Fire Department 

The Zionsville Fire Department (ZFD) was formed as an all-volunteer department in 1930 and transitioned to a full-time career department in 2007. Members work a 24/48 schedule with a "Kelly Day." The department is rated as ISO Class 2 and currently operates with 77 career members who provide emergency fire and emergency medical services (EMS) to the 67 square miles of Zionsville from three fully staffed stations and one station in the former Perry Township with contracted services by the Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department of Boone County.

The Town of Zionsville is home to an incredible school system, a flourishing small business footprint and a robust trail and parks system, making it a great place to live and work. 

Overall Application Process

1. Application Submission

CPAT: This is a physical fitness portion of the application process. A third-party company conducts the physical fitness part of the process, and the testing locations are below:

  • West Location: 700 North High School Road, Indianapolis, IN 46214]
  • North Location: MAAC Foundation (4203 Montdale Park Drive, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383)
  • South Location: Vincennes University (1002 North First Street, Vincennes, Indiana 47591)

2. Written Examination

This examination is a basic aptitude test. You will be given a period to study before taking the examination. The examination takes approximately 90 minutes. 

3. Ladder Climb & Tunnel Crawl

  • This section of the application is to test for fear of heights and claustrophobia. To test for fear of heights, you will be asked to climb 100 ft on our aerial device at a 70-degree angle for the ladder climb. 
  • To test for claustrophobia, you will wear an air pack device for the tunnel crawl and be asked to crawl through a maze.

4. Oral Interview Board & Chief’s Interview 

  • The interview consists of a variety of questions from 5 members. After the conclusion of this interview, a 10-minute one-on-one interview with Fire Chief James VanGorder

5. Background Investigation

  • The Town of Zionsville conducts every applicant's criminal history, credit history, and driving report.

6. Conditional Offers

  • The applicant will receive a medical and psychological evaluation required for entry to the Indiana Public Employees Retirement Plan (PERF77). 

**Note: The application process time varies and can take up to 20 weeks.

Ride Along

Ever wonder what a day in a firefighter's life looks like? Come and experience first-hand with a ride out. To schedule a ride-along, contact Deputy Chief Aaron Gibbons.


  • Participants must be 16 years of age
  • Sign a waiver
  • Be in good health and not suffer from any illness or injury (i.e, cold, flu, or respiratory infection) on the day of the ride-along

Potential items that could disqualify a ride-along:

  • Prior criminal history
  • Pending criminal action
  • A pending lawsuit against Zionsville Fire or the Town of Zionsville
  • Denial by any supervisor
  • Poor health or other conditions that cannot be reasonably accommodated

2023 Salary and Benefits

  • Firefighter I pay $62,737
  • Firefighter II pay $70,068
  • Firefighter III pay $74,107
  • Pension Retirement Base pay $79,606.00 
  • Annual Longevity Bonus
  • Town Fully-Funded PERF 77 Retirement Fund
  • Town Matching 457B
  • Equipment Provided
  • Stipends for Selected Assignments
  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance

Minimum Requirements for Zionsville Fire Department Applicants

  • Must be a high school graduate, as evidenced by a transcript issued by an accredited high school. An achievement test certificate from an accredited high school or State Board of Education is acceptable.
  • Shall possess a valid Indiana driver’s license (or obtain one within 60 days of becoming an Indiana resident).
  • Shall be a US citizen.
  • Shall be at least 21 years of age, and under the age of 40 at date of hire unless already enrolled in the PERF 77 retirement program.  
  • Shall be drug-free and have no convictions for driving under the influence of drugs.
  • Shall have no more than two (2) alcohol-related violations as a minor (18-20 years of age).
  • Shall have no felony convictions.
  • Shall not have received other than an honorable discharge from the military, or other discharge with honorable conditions.
  • Provide a copy of a valid CPAT card.