The Training Division provides continuing education and advancement training for all fire department members including the maintenance of various certifications. It is also responsible for the pre-employment recruitment process and operating the recruit academies. This division manages the promotional process for the ranks of Lieutenant, Captain, and Battalion Chief. It also manages the fire department’s special operations resources:

  • Hazardous Materials team (Haz-Mat)
  • Technical Rescue team
  • Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) task force

FY17 Numbers:

  • Staffing includes: 
    • 1 Assistant Chief, 
    • 1 Division Chief, 
    • 1 Academy Coordinator, 
    • 1 Career Development Coordinator, 
    • 1 Haz-Mat Coordinator, 
    • 1 EMS Coordinator, 
    • 1 Deputy EMS Coordinator, 
    • 1 Education/Credential Specialist, 
    • 1 Logistics Manager, 
    • 1 Senior Support Specialist



Becoming a firefighter for the City of Raleigh is a highly competitive process. The Training Division typically receives over one thousand applications for each recruit academy, from men and women of many backgrounds. As a result, the Raleigh Fire Department is a true melting pot of people from across North Carolina and the United States.

New Firefighters are hired as recruits. They must complete a recruit academy (about 32 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.

More about the Fire Recruitment Process

Special Operations

A number of firefighters receive additional training and certifications to participate on the fire department’s hazardous materials team, technical rescue team, and urban search & rescue (USAR) task force.  These firefighters also respond on regular calls, as members of their engine, ladder, or rescue company.Hazardous Materials

The Raleigh Fire Department responds to hazardous materials (haz-mat) incidents within the city.  We also are contracted by Wake County to provide haz-mat service countywide, and we operate as North Carolina Haz-Mat Regional Response Team 4. They utilize state-funded resources, and can respond statewide.

Technical Rescue / Urban Search & RescueOur rescue unit is supplemented with squads and ladder companies designed as technical rescue resources. They’re trained and carry special equipment for a variety of unique rescue emergencies such as confined space, trench collapse, building collapse, high-angle, swift water, and land search.The Raleigh Fire Department also participates in North Carolina Urban Search & Rescue Task Force 8, a regional rescue team comprised of members of the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill fire departments, and Wake County EMS. Task Force 8 can be deployed statewide for major incidents, including tornados, hurricanes, and explosions.

Helicopter RescueThe Raleigh Fire Department is a participating member of the North Carolina Helo Aquatic Rescue Team (NC HART). This team provides specially trained firefighters for rescue operations with military and law enforcement helicopters. Raleigh Helicopter Rescue Technicians fly with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Explorer Post 108

The Raleigh Fire Department Explorer Post 108 is a program for young adults age 14 to 21 who have an interest in becoming a fire fighter and maintain passing grades.  Members are mentored by active fire fighters as they learn about the fire service through lectures, hands on training, and field trips.

Learn more about Explorer Post 108