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About the Selection Process

It 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 qualifications, credentials and backgrounds.

  • Please note that we screen candidates throughout the year.
    • Direct Hire and SkillBridge participant applications will be reviewed on an on-going basis and will be contacted as department openings occur.
    • The Hiring Pool requires applicants to take the National Testing Network (NTN) exam, a physical ability test, and an interview. Typical flow of the hiring pool process is listed below.

Applicant Communications

  • 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.

Hiring Pool Process Steps

Step 1. Job Application

All applicants must apply online at

Apply Today!

Step 2. Firefighter Exam

The Entry-level Firefighter Exam will measure your aptitude for skills that firefighters use on a regular basis. The test will evaluate:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Mechanical Reasonings
  • Math
  • Situaltional Judgment
  • Public Safety Self Assessment

The test is administered by the National Testing Network (NTN).

  • Candidates take an online test or in person at an NTN testing site.
    • Opt to take the exam online at
    • Opt to take the exam at a NTN center. For test sites, see
  • The entry-level Firefighter Exam will be available online thru May 16, 2024.

* Candidates will be notified of Exam Results within 5-7 days of completing the exam.

Step 3. Firefighter Candidate Physical Ability Test

The Physical Ability Test is a series of events that simulate firefighting activities.

During this test, you will need to demonstrate that you have the stamina, strength, and agility you need to accomplish the tasks of a firefighter.

  • Firefighter Candidate Physical Ability Assessment (FCPAA) will be conducted May 18, 2024.
    Fire Rescue Training Center
    75 Dillon Road
    Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

It is never too early to start training!

  • Building strength and endurance is important to pass the test.
  • We recommend you take your physical fitness seriously.
  • This will not only help you to be a more prepared candidate, but to have a long, healthy career as a firefighter wherever you are employed.

Learn More About the Physical Ability Test

Step 4. Interview

Interviews are conducted on same date as the Physical Abilities Test.

Candidate Interviews will be conducted May 18, 2024, the same day as the FCPAA.

  • The New Firefighter Candidate Pool will be created May 18, 2024.

Step 5. Background and Driver's Record Check

In addition to passing the Physical Abilities Test, you will also have to pass a background and driver's record check after an offer is made.

Step 6. Verification of Certifications

Photocopies of certifications must be provided by the applicant.

Step 7. Medical Exam and Drug Test

In addition to passing the Physical Abilities Test, you will also have to pass a medical exam and drug test which measures your physical health and ability to perform essential functions.

We will give you more information about the medical exam and drug test if you move forward to this stage, as these are conducted post offer.

Step 8. Orientation

If you pass the background check and medical evaluation, and a job offer is extended and accepted you will go through an orientation period.

Step 9. Fire Academy

Upon completion of orientation, you will report to the SC Fire Academy for eight weeks of firefighter candidate training in Columbia, SC. Any candidate with an IFSAC or ProBoard Firefighter II certificate does not need to attend the Fire Academy.

  • Not all recruits complete the Academy.
  • Our training staff is committed to making the best new firefighters and making existing firefighters better.

Learn More About the SC Fire Academy

Step 10. EMT Training

You will be enrolled in an EMT course held at a local technical college once you begin shift work.

If a candidate is already certified to EMT or Paramedic at the state level, testing will be required to obtain National Registry Certification. If a candidate possesses National Registry Certification and either the EMT or Paramedic level, SC DHEC certification will be obtained.

Firefighter Application Process Important Dates

Date Process Step
February 7, 2024 Firefighter Online Application Available at
February 7, 2024 - May 16, 2024 National Testing Network (NTN) Firefighter Exam Available
Saturday, May 18, 2024 Firefighter Candidate Physical Abilities Assessment (FCPAA)
Fire Rescue Training Center, Hilton Head Island
Saturday, May 18, 2024 Candidate Interview will be conducted on the same day as the FCPAA
Saturday, May 18, 2024 New Firefighter Candidate Pool Created

Apply Today!