Fire Recruit Academy FAQ
Common questions asked about the Fire Recruit Academy.
Do you have to have some experience or prior training in firefighting?
No. The Raleigh Fire Department is looking for people who are highly motivated, in excellent physical condition, and who possess adequate reading comprehension skills. While knowledge or experience of the fire service will be helpful once the academy begins, it is not requirement for employment. The Raleigh Fire Department provides all of its new recruits with the necessary training to ensure they have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform their jobs in a safe and efficient manner.
What is the minimum education requirement?
A high school education or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) is required.
Is there a residency requirement?
Yes. As required by city code, firefighters must reside within a 60-mile driving distance of the Raleigh Municipal Building. Anyone who does not meet the residency requirement when hired must meet the residency requirement before being assigned to shift work. Also, all employees of the fire department are required to have an operational telephone at their residence.
Is there an age limit?
The Raleigh Fire Department requires that you may apply if you turn 19 years old by the beginning of the Academy. There is no upper age limit.
Can a woman become a firefighter?
Yes, the Fire department currently has women firefighters and we welcome more.
How long is the recruit academy?
The Raleigh Fire Department Recruit Academy is a training program that runs about 27 weeks.
Can I come out and run the Physical Agility Test (PAT) course ahead of time?
Yes, during recruitment, the Raleigh Fire Department will hold orientation days for the agility as well as the written aptitude test. While not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to attend.
Do you get paid while in training?
Yes. All training is provided during the Fire Recruit Academy. Applicants who are accepted to the Fire Recruit Academy become permanent full time City of Raleigh employees at the start of the academy. You will be paid the starting salary for a firefighter, along with the benefits package provided by the City of Raleigh. See the Salary and Benefits section for benefits. There is a probationary period that starts with the date of employment and ends six months after graduation from the Fire Recruit Academy.
Does the Raleigh Fire Department accept lateral transfers?
Not at this time.
If I have already have Firefighter I and II certification, will I complete the same training as someone without the certification?
Yes. The Raleigh Fire Department conducts a Recruit Academy that provides instruction in all of the courses required for Firefighter I and Firefighter II certification. All recruits must maintain an 80% average during the academy. Many of the areas are concentrated areas of study in subjects specific to the Raleigh Fire Department.
If I have already have EMT certification, will I complete the same training as someone without the certification?
Yes. However, if your certification is through the State of North Carolina and you have maintained your training hours, you will not have to be recertified. If you are certified through the National Registry and have maintained your training hours, you will not have to be recertified.