New firefighters are hired as recruits. They must complete a recruit academy (approximately 27 weeks) to become probationary firefighters, and remain on probation for six months. Promotions to higher ranks are determined by testing scores and other evaluative criteria.
After three years, firefighters are eligible for promotion to the rank of first class rirefighter (or assistant driver). First class firefighters can serve as driver-operator, in the lieutenant’s absence.
After three years, first class firefighters are eligible for promotion to the rank of senior firefighter.
Each apparatus has a driver-operator, named a lieutenant. They can serve as company officer, in the captain’s absence.
Each apparatus is also assigned a captain, who is the supervisor (or company officer). Other captains are assigned to staff positions and work weekdays in the Office of the Fire Marshal, the Services Division, and the Training Division.
The battalion chief supervises the captains at the fire stations. The city is divided into four geographic districts, called battalions. There are four battalion chiefs per platoon. They work 24-hour shifts. One battalion chief is also assigned to the Training Division and works weekdays.
The division chief (or platoon commander) supervises the four battalion chiefs, and oversees all operations, personnel, and stations on that platoon. There are five division chiefs, one for each platoon, that work 24-hour shifts. One division chief at Service and Training, that work Monday through Friday.
The assistant chief of operations supervises the division chief. Three other assistant chiefs supervise uniformed and civilian positions in the Office of the Fire Marshal, the Services Division, and the Training Division.
Each is appointed from within the fire department by the fire chief. The current assistant chiefs are:
- Asst. Chief Kendall Hocutt, Operations
- Asst. Chief Danny Poole, Services
- Asst. Chief Ronny Mizell, Training
- Asst. Chief John Fanning, Office of the Fire Marshal
The interim fire chief, who is currently Bradley Harvey, supervises the four assistant chiefs plus an administrative staff. He is appointed by the city manager and approved by the Raleigh City Council. This position does not have to be filled from within the ranks of the fire department.