Cadet Program

North Shore Cadets with trophy


The Cadet Program, established in 1996, is open to juniors and seniors from high schools in the North Shore area. Our goal is to teach what the fire service is all about, not necessarily to make firefighters out of these young men and women. Some of our cadets have gone on to a firefighter career; others have taken completely different paths. All have felt it was a worthwhile endeavor.

The Cadet Program Coordinator, Battalion Chief John Maydak, works closely with the cadets and their high school counselors. This is a graded, Monday through Friday internship. Although no wages are paid, the Department provides the necessary fire equipment. Cadets also have the opportunity to take Firefighter Level I and II and Emergency Medical Technician Basic courses at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Daily Routine

The daily routine begins at school taking regular academic classes. Afternoons are expected to be spent at the Fire House. The North Shore Fire Department has five stations and Cadets rotate between stations regularly. Cadets report for duty and receive daily assignments from the Shift Lieutenant. An afternoon can include a multitude of activities:

  • Fire Inspections
  • Public Relations Activities
  • Daily Station Chores
  • Reviewing the Cadet Handbook and Working on the Quarterly Assignments


Cadets are allowed to observe the day-to-day action by riding along on calls on any of our apparatus: 

  • Engines
  • Medical Units
  • Trucks

There is an obligation to the shift to be at the scheduled firehouse on time and ready to help and learn. Cadets must call in sick just as they would if they were employed by the North Shore Fire Department. Cadets are expected to take initiative with this highly respected program. Dedicated Cadets show they are sincere about this program by going out of their way to offer help on evenings, weekends, or holidays.


Firefighting cadets have the opportunity to acquire the following skills:

  • Firefighting Skill/Performance - Ladder work, roof work, fire suppression, ventilation, scene composure, knots, Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and teamwork
  • Emergency Management Services (EMS)/Basic Life Support Skills - CPR, medical emergencies, trauma, orthopedic splinting and shock management
  • Fire Prevention/Inspections - National, state and local codes, building construction, inspection procedures and public education
  • Department Standards - Record keeping and report completion, customer service, attitude, health and safety issues, and grooming
  • Interpersonal Skills/Public Relations - Attitude, decision making, team participation, work habits and quality of work
  • Station Work - maintenance of quarters, observance of safety procedures, cooperation and maintenance of reports, become a member of the shift on a day to day basis
  • Planned Personal Development - Physical fitness, education and certification

Sign Up

If interested, please email Battalion Chief John Maydak. An application, biography listing your personal interests, and a release signed by your school and parent or guardian is required.