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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 process. Not all applicants will proceed through each step.

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.

Key Process Steps

Step 1. Job Application

Once the application period starts, candidates may apply online.

Step 2. Written 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 and Spatial Aptitude
  • Math
  • Ability to comprehend and learn from written instructions

Learn more about the written test, and how you can prepare.

Learn More About the Exam and Options

Step 3. 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.

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, and how you can prepare.

Learn More About the Physcial Ability Test

Step 4. Interview

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

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.

We will give you more information about the background and driver's record check if you move forward to this stage, as these are conducted when a job opening occurs.

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 when a job opening occurs.

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.

  • 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.