Why Chesterfield County Fire and EMS?
“The fire department specifically is a very proactive fire department that goes above and beyond other departments in terms of getting proper training, proper gear, good equipment and being the best department we could possibly be.” – Assistant Fire Marshal Carlos Shedd
“I chose Chesterfield County Fire and EMS because the values of this department are parallel with my personal values.” – Firefighter Bruce E. Lewis, Jr.
“I had always been physically fit and it seemed like a job that would have meaning. I am a Colonel in the Virginia Air National Guard which I have done simultaneously with my fire department career.” – Captain Kathy Kahlson
Application Period Opens
November 23, 2015
It is the policy of Chesterfield County to provide equal opportunities to all employees, residents and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability or political affiliation. In standing with our reputation for excellence, we strive to be a model workplace where everyone has an equal opportunity for inclusion and to make a difference.
Thank you for visiting the Chesterfield Fire and Emergency Medical Services (CFEMS) Career Firefighter Recruitment website. I am pleased to announce that CFEMS has four information sessions scheduled for you to take advantage of in October and November, in advance of our application period opening (scheduled for November 23, 2015).
These sessions are not required, but you may attend any or all of them if you wish. The recruitment team will cover various aspects of the job/career to include:
- An overview of fire and ems in Chesterfield County
- Chesterfield Fire and EMS mission, vision, and values
- Becoming a Firefighter – tips for success
- Our application process
- Physical fitness considerations
- Life in Recruit School
- Station Life
The dates and locations for these sessions are as follows…
October 13, 2015, 7 – 8 p.m., Station 11, 5811 Iron Bridge Rd., North Chesterfield, VA
October 21, 2015, 7 – 8 p.m., Station 20, 201 North Courthouse Rd., North Chesterfield, VA
November 10, 2015, 7 – 8 p.m., Station 11, 5811 Iron Bridge Rd., North Chesterfield, VA
November 18, 2015, 7 – 8 p.m., Station 20, 201 North Courthouse Rd., North Chesterfield, VA
Competitive Compensation and Benefits Package
Chesterfield County Fire and EMS offers an enticing competitive compensation packet.
- $42,000 starting salary
- Additional compensation opportunities:
- Intermediate Advanced Life Support (ALS) providers: $4,000
- Paramedic ALS providers: $6,000
- Career Development opportunities:
- Firefighter Specialist
- Specialty Teams
- Hazardous Materials (HazMat)
- Advanced Life Support (ALS)
- Technical Rescue Team (TRT)
- Chesterfield County Employee Benefits Summary
- Virginia Retirement System Public Safety Supplemental Retirement (Hazardous Positions)
- Fire and EMS specific Benefits:
- Hartford Career Firefighter Insurance Fund
- Line of Duty Injury, Disability or Death Benefits
- Health and Wellness Program
- Comprehensive Annual Health Assessment
- Immunizations and Infectious Disease Prevention
- Physical Fitness Training Equipment in every Station
- Tuition Assistance:
- Brad McNeer Scholarship Program
- Manchester Volunteer Fire Department Memorial Scholarship Opportunity
- Educational Leave for formal education and training
Chesterfield Fire and EMS Health and Wellness Mission Statement
Chesterfield Fire & EMS’ health and wellness initiatives serve to provide our members with the knowledge, support and opportunities to improve their physical health, wellness and fitness in order to enhance job performance as well as promote a healthy and prosperous life style.
- 18 years of age
- Possess a high school diploma or GED
- Possess a valid driver’s license issued by their state of residence
- Eligible to work in the United States
Chesterfield Fire and EMS is held in high esteem by the citizens we serve every day. It is critical that we maintain their trust in us, and the fire service in general.
An applicant whose driving record reflects a total accumulation of six or more negative points within the past three years or a major violation as defined in the Virginia Motor Vehicle Code within the past four years shall be ineligible. In addition, applicants must have a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Driving Record point balance of not less than (-1).
No person shall be employed if the results of a background check show information that would adversely affect the applicant’s ability to perform successfully the specific responsibilities of the position applied for. In determining whether or not an individual’s criminal background disqualifies the individual from employment with the county, the following factors may be considered:
- The number of convictions in the applicant’s or employee’s past
- The nature and seriousness of the offending conduct
- How the past conduct relates to the particular functions of the job or the ability, capacity, or fitness required to perform the duties of the job
- The degree of public contact in the job
- The length of time since the conviction
- The circumstances of any convictions
- The applicant’s or employee’s employment history prior to and since the offending conduct
- Rehabilitation of the individual
- How such conduct could affect the integrity of the workplace
- The age of the individual at the time of conviction
- The extent to which the position applied for might offer an opportunity to engage in further criminal activity of the same type as that in which the person had been involved
Firefighters are held in high regard from the public we serve. Therefore, it is important to assess each applicant thoroughly at each step in the process from application submission to final selection. This process can and usually takes approximately six months to complete and involves the following steps –
- Online Application for Employment
- Driving record and Office of Inspector General Review
- Written Test
- Background and Criminal History Investigation
- Physical ability test practice sessions
- Health Assessment
- Written Test
Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are given a written examination provided and scored by an outside vendor. A study guide will be made available to each of those applicants. The test is designed to evaluate the applicants in the following areas –
- Practical, interpersonal, and self-awareness skills
- Reading comprehension
- Writing skills
- Mathematic skills
- Mechanical aptitude
- Physical Ability Test
While a career as a firefighter/EMT is very rewarding, to be successful it will require physical preparation on your part for recruit school as well as continuous effort throughout your career. You need to be able to perform strenuous work in a hot environment, wearing heavy gear and equipment. Training in an air conditioned gym will not prepare you for this, but beginning some sort of anaerobic training will prepare you. Much of the work you will perform during fire recruit school will require aerobic as well as anaerobic conditioning.
It is very important to begin recruit school in a physical condition that will permit you to actively participate in the physical tasks required in school. The following outlines those physical expectations for recruit school.
- In the early weeks of recruit school you will be required to run 2 to 2.5 miles, three days per week. This distance will increase throughout recruit school.
- You will also participate in the “firefighter-conditioning course” and a strength challenge course two days per week. This is a physically challenging, job-specific course that is designed to strengthen the muscle groups used most commonly in the firefighting profession and will require you to work in an anaerobic state wearing turnout gear and air pack. This will add approximately 50 pounds of weight and hamper your body’s ability to cool down.
- During fire school, a typical morning of physical activity will consist of a 2.5-mile run, 45 minutes of strenuous weight training, and the first one-hour rotation of practical drills. In the afternoon, there are four more hours of practical drills. This schedule is only a typical day and will change occasionally to accommodate various classes.
This is a sustained program and one hard push a day will not suffice. Entering this recruit training process in poor physical condition may lead to injuries or inability to complete required physical tasks, which could lead to your removal from the recruit school. You are encouraged to prepare yourself, both mentally and physically, for the physical fitness requirements that lie ahead.
Our physical ability test is designed to isolate specific skills that are a component of typical job duties related to firefighting. Practice sessions will be offered to eligible applicants so they become familiar with the required elements and to ask questions of the testing staff. View a short video that highlights the physical ability test.
The physical ability assessment will consist of eight skill stations. These stations are a representation of common physical tasks required of Firefighter/EMTs. The first six skill stations are one continuous, timed
measured event. Successful completion of all six stations in seven minutes or less is required to move forward and complete the entire assessment. Additional causes for failure are listed for each station.
Skill stations seven and eight are individual events and are not timed.
The applicant shall don a turnout coat, helmet, modified air pack and gloves prior to attempting the timed event. Nomex hoods will also be acceptable if the applicant finds it helpful. The department will provide all of the equipment items.
TIMED EVENTS - Maximum Allowable Time: Seven Minutes
- Ceiling breach and pull event - The applicant removes the pike pole from the bracket. Timing for the events will begin when the applicant enters the boundary established by the equipment frame which is painted yellow. The applicant must stand within the boundary established by the equipment frame and place the tip of the pole on the green painted area of the hinged door in the ceiling. The applicant will then completely push the hinged door up into the ceiling with the pike pole three times (3). Next, the applicant will hook the pike pole to the ceiling device painted green and pull the pole down completely five times (5). This constitutes one set.
To complete this event the set is repeated four times (x4). Each set consists of three pushes and five pulls.
The applicant is permitted to stop and, if needed, adjust their grip on the pike pole. If the applicant releases their grip or allows the pike pole handle to slip without the pike pole falling to the ground, it does not result in a warning or constitute a failure. The applicant may re-establish their grip and resume the event. One warning is given if the applicant drops the pike pole to the ground. If the pike pole is dropped, it must be picked up without evaluator assistance within 10 seconds to resume the event. If the applicant does not successfully complete a repetition, the evaluator will call out “MISS” and the applicant must fully push or pull the apparatus again to complete that repetition. The event ends when the applicant completes the final pull stroke repetition as indicated by the evaluator who calls out “COMPLETE.” The applicant then proceeds to the next event.
- Stepping out of the painted yellow boundary during the event will constitute a failure.
- Dropping the pike pole and being unable to pick it up and resume the event will constitute a failure.
- Dropping the pike pole a second time will constitute a failure.
- Hurst Tool Event - The applicant will pick up and carry a Hurst tool training prop a distance of 50 feet, cross over a line painted yellow and put the prop down. The applicant and the prop must cross over the line completely before putting the prop down (opposite the starting point). The applicant will then immediately pick the prop up and return to the starting point. The applicant must make sure that they and the prop have fully crossed the painted yellow line before putting the prop down. When the prop is placed down across the start line the event has been completed. The applicant then proceeds to the next event.
- Dropping the prop or putting the prop down other than as described above constitutes a failure.
- Dropping or putting the prop down on the line or while standing on the line will constitute a failure.
- Hose Drag Event - The applicant will drag dry lengths of 2 1/2" hose with nozzle attached, a distance of 150 feet. After the applicant and nozzle cross the 150 foot mark, indicated by a painted yellow line, the applicant will lay the nozzle down to complete the event. The applicant will then proceed to the next event.
- Dropping the nozzle/laying the nozzle down other than as described above, or being unable to drag the hose across the line completely will constitute a failure.
- High-Rise Pack Event - The applicant will pick up and carry a standard hose pack (100 feet of 1 3/4" hose with nozzle and appliances attached) from the designated area, indicated by a painted yellow box at the base of the training tower, to the third landing of the training tower. The applicant must completely cross the designated mark on the third floor landing of the tower, then return the hose pack to the starting position and lay it on the ground within the painted yellow box. The applicant will then proceed to the next event.
- Not placing the hose pack back inside the painted yellow box will constitute a failure.
- The hose pack cannot be laid down or dropped on the stairs at any point during the event. Doing so will constitute a failure.
- Ladder Raise Event - The applicant must completely raise and lower a 28-foot aluminum extension ladder prop, using a hand over hand method of extension and retraction. The applicant must stand on the brick pad within the designated area at the base of the ladder, which is indicated by a painted yellow box. After completely raising and lowering the ladder, the applicant will then proceed to the next event.
Rescue Event - The applicant will drag or carry a 100-pound rescue dummy 200 feet crossing the finish line. The applicant may stop their forward progress to adjust their grip on the rescue dummy for 10 seconds or less. At the end, the entire rescue dummy and applicant must cross the painted yellow finish line completely, which will end the timed events.
- Stepping out of the painted yellow box during the event will constitute a failure.
- Applicants are not permitted to let the ladder halyard (rope) slip through their hands. Doing so will constitute a failure.
- Stopping longer than 10 seconds to re-adjust your grip on the rescue dummy constitutes a failure.
- Dropping the rescue dummy to the ground while adjusting your grip constitutes a failure.
- Aerial Ladder Climb - The applicant will climb an aerial ladder extended to 75 feet at a 60-degree angle, touch the top ladder rung and climb back down. Climbing will be continuous with no stops. The department will provide the required helmet, gloves, and ladder belt (with lifeline attached). Pauses on the ladder, for no longer than 10 seconds, are permitted only to check/re-establish safe footing. Personnel monitoring the climb will fail the applicant if it is evident that the applicant is not ascending/descending the ladder at a safe and reasonable pace.
- Stopping while climbing and not touching the designated rung at the top of the ladder will constitute failure.
- SCBA Event - The applicant will don turnout coat, helmet, self-contained breathing apparatus face piece with covered lens, and self-contained breathing apparatus backpack without regulator assembly. The applicant will be led into the class A building and instructed to walk around in a designated area within the structure for a period of five minutes. The applicant’s face piece and equipment must remain on for no less than five minutes.
- Removing the face piece during the assessment will constitute a failure.
All Stations Shall be Scored Pass or Fail
All newly hired firefighters, regardless of experience level, participate in a fire recruit school. The program is delivered Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm for approximately nineteen weeks. Employees participating in recruit school are compensated based on their starting pay. Recruits receive training, and are evaluated in all aspects of the job to include –
- EMS training (cognitive and practical)
- Fire training (cognitive and practical)
- Physical fitness
- Teamwork skills
Classes are delivered by Virginia Department of Fire Programs and Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services certified instructors and held at the Eanes-Pittman Public Safety Training Center (PSTC) and the Enon Practical Fire Training Center. The PSTC is a shared facility and is the primary administrative center for the Fire and EMS Training Division. The Fire and EMS area of the facility consists of:
- 4 Dedicated classrooms
- 4 Shared Expandable Classrooms
- Full Gymnasium
- Fitness Facility
- Administrative Offices
- Student Lounge
- Locker Room Facilities
- Multi-Media Video Production Facility
The Enon Practical Fire Training Center is a 198 acre public safety complex. The fire training section consists of:
- 5000 sq ft. Class A Burn Building
- 2500 sq ft. Class B Burn Building
- Administrative Office and Classroom
- Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Maze
- Assorted exterior propane training props
- Firefighter May-Day and Save Your Own Building
- Vehicle Extrication Yard
- Pump Operations Equipment
- Roof Ventilation Props
- Confined Space and Hazardous Material Training Props
In addition to initial certification / entry level training, the Chesterfield Fire and EMS Training and Education Division delivers continuing, and advanced level training to include
- Incumbent Firefighter and Civilian Training and Education
- BLS and ALS Primary and Continuing Education Programs
- Hazardous Materials
- Water Rescue
- Technical Rescue
- Career and Officer Development Classes
A Typical Day of a Chesterfield Firefighter
Contact the Recruitment Team
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