Fire department recruitment 101
Becoming a firefighter is a rigorous process that requires a focused effort from those who want to make a career of it
Whether you're a manager who wants to become more effective at fire department recruitment or one of the many people who want to become a firefighter, there are some things you can learn about the process.
In most parts of the U.S., active fire department recruitment doesn't go out looking for candidates. Firefighting is a great profession and many people are eager and ready to join up, which means that most departments have more than enough applicants to fulfill any job openings.
For that reason, becoming a firefighter is a rigorous process that requires a focused effort from those who want to make a career of it. Applicants are carefully screened to ensure that the best people for the job are accepted into firefighter training programs.
Some fire departments accept applications year round, while others only take applications during certain times of the year, or at times when they're actively hiring. Fire department recruitment is a multi-tiered process that involves a number of steps. The first step for candidates is to fill out an application and submit a resume.
The next step is to take the fire department recruitment written exam. This test is comprehensive, multiple choice and usually takes around 2.5 hours. Some of the areas covered on the written test are reading comprehension, grammar, spelling, mathematics, reasoning, map reading, mechanical aptitude, and spatial orientation.
If the applicant scores well on the written portion of the exam for fire department recruitment, they'll be called back for the physical fitness test, which assesses strength, endurance, dexterity, flexibility and the overall ability to fulfill the rigorous physical challenges of firefighting.
An interview by a panel of fire department officials and other community professionals is the next step in the fire department recruitment process. This interview assesses the communication skills, dedication, personality and ability of the applicant to undergo the many steps necessary to become a professional firefighter.
The next part of fire department recruitment is to undergo a complete physical examination, during which the candidate's overall health is evaluated to screen for any physical condition or health impairment which might prevent them from becoming a firefighter.
The final step in the testing process for fire department recruitment is to fill out a personality questionnaire and undergo a psychological evaluation to determine if the candidate will have the mental and emotional stamina to undergo the stress of firefighting work.
If these fire department recruitment tests are passed, the candidate is then admitted into the firefighter training program.
- Fire Prevention