Is experience or prior training in firefighting required?
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 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?
Depending upon which type of academy is run, the length could be anywhere from 4 weeks to 32 weeks.
Can I come out and run the Physical Agility Test (PAT) course ahead of time?
Yes, the RFD will hold orientation days for the agility test. Accepted applicants will be informed of available dates prior to testing. 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.
What are the different types of academy processes?
The three types of processes are the Traditional Academy, the Abbreviated Academy, and the Lateral Academy.
What is the Traditional Academy?
The Traditional Academy is designed to prepare the individual with little to no experience in the fire service. It is approximately 32 weeks long and those that completed the academy will graduate with the Certifications of NC FF I and II, NC HazMat Level 1, and NC EMT at a minimum.
Note: If accepted for the Traditional Academy and you already posses the listed Certifications, you will complete the academy in its entirety. You will still test and will be required to maintain a 70 percent average.
What is the difference between the Abbreviated Academy and the Lateral Academy?
The Abbreviated, or Short, Academy is designed for individuals who already possess the minimum Certifications of NC FF I and II, NC HazMat Level 1, and NC EMT (or National Registered EMT). It is approximately 10 weeks long and serves to reinforce and refresh the individual’s previous training and knowledge.
The Lateral Academy is designed for individuals who not only possess the minimum certifications required for the position but also have knowledge and experience of working in the position of a Firefighter for a specified amount of time.