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Our Selection Process

Fire & Rescue LogoIt is important to your success as a candidate to fully understand the comprehensive nature of our selection process. These are positions of public trust and require a thorough review of applicant credentials and backgrounds.

Our selection process takes approximately four months from application deadline to eligibility for hire. Please note that Town of Hilton Head Island screens candidates throughout the process. Not all applicants will proceed through each step.

Please note that all of our applicant communications will be via email.

It is critical that you update any changes to your contact information so that we can contact you as needed.

Here are the key steps:

  • Employment Application - completed online.
  • Entry-level Firefighter Exam which assesses reading comprehension, mechanical and spatial aptitude, mathematical ability and the capacity to comprehend and learn from written instructions. The test is being offered in two formats this year. Candidates may take a paper and pencil test held on Hilton Head Island or opt to take the exam online. Additional information about these options is located on the "Entry-level Firefighter Exam Options" tab.
  • Firefighter Candidate Physical Abilities Assessment (FCPAA) which determines your strength and stamina to perform as a Firefighter/EMT (See below for more information).
  • Interview - conducted on same date as FCPAA.
  • Background check and driver’s record check - conducted when a vacancy occurs.
  • Verification of certifications (photocopies must be provided by candidate).
  • Medical Exam and Drug Test which measures your physical health and ability to perform essential functions.

More Information about FCPAA

The test consists of seven critical physical tasks that simulate actual job duties on the fireground that are required of Firefighter/EMTs. Candidates should dress in comfortable clothing (shorts/sweatpants, t-shirt/sweatshirt, safety shoes or sneakers). The components of the FCPAA are listed below and fully detailed in this Administrative Procedurepdf icon. The components are also demonstrated in video segments by current Fire Rescue personnel. Select each event link to view the associated video.

Timed Events

Untimed Events

  • Aerial Climb
  • Confined Space Simulation

Firefighter Candidate Physical Abilities Assessment Administrative Procedure pdf icon