Career Firefighter/EMT Recruitment

Career Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician Opportunities

Currently, Fire and EMS career firefighter/EMT recruitment is closed. To learn more about becoming a Chesterfield Fire and EMS team member, complete the Fire and EMS Firefighter/EMT interest form. View the Fire and EMS recruitment promotional video.

Compensation and Benefits Package

Chesterfield County Fire and EMS offers an enticing competitive compensation packet.


View the Chesterfield County Employee Benefits Summary. Other benefits include:

  • Educational leave for formal education and training
  • Health and wellness program (comprehensive annual health assessment, immunizations and infectious disease prevention, and physical fitness training equipment in every station)
  • Line of duty injury, disability or death benefits
  • Tuition assistance (Brad McNeer Scholarship Program, County Tuition Reimbursement Program)
  • Virginia Retirement System public safety supplemental retirement (hazardous positions)

Firefighter/EMT Minimum Qualifications

At time of application, applicants must be eligible to work in the United States and have a valid driver's license (with a point balance of -1 or better; additional requirements apply)

At the time of written test, applicants must be 18 years of age or older and have a high school diploma or GED.

Background Checks

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

Hiring Process

Firefighter/EMTs 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 an online application, written test, interviews, background and criminal history investigation (including driving record and Office of Inspector general review), physical ability test practice sessions, physical ability test, pre-employment physical, and uniform fitting.

Non-Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of Chesterfield County to provide equal opportunities to all employees, residents and applicants for employment without regard to age, color, creed, disability, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion or sex. 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.

Applicant Written Test

Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are given a written examination that is provided and scored by an outside vendor. A study guide is made available to applicants. The test is designed to evaluate the applicants in the following areas

  • Mathematics Skills
  • Mechanical Aptitude
  • Practical, Interpersonal and Self-Awareness Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing Skills

Skills Stations

1. Ceiling Breach and Pull Event

Note: This is a timed event.

For the Ceiling Breach and Pull Event the candidate must first remove the pike pole from the bracket. Timing for the events will begin when the candidate enters the boundary established by the equipment frame which is painted yellow. The candidate 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 candidate will then completely push the hinged door up into the ceiling with the pike pole three times. Next, the candidate will hook the pike pole to the ceiling device painted green and pull the pole down completely five times. This constitutes one set. To complete this event the set is repeated four times. Each set consists of three pushes and five pulls.

Dropping the Pike Pole and Ending the Event
The candidate is permitted to stop and, if needed, adjust their grip on the pike pole. If the candidate 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 candidate may re-establish their grip and resume the event. One warning is given if the candidate drops the pike pole to the ground.

If the pike pole is dropped, it must be picked up without the evaluator’s assistance within 10 seconds to resume the event. If the candidate does not successfully complete a repetition, the evaluator will call out “miss” and the candidate must fully push or pull the apparatus again to complete that repetition. The event ends when the candidate completes the final pull stroke repetition as indicated by the evaluator who calls out “complete.” The candidate then proceeds to the next event.

Critical Failures
Critical failure can include:

  • Stepping on or outside of the yellow painted boundary during the event
  • Dropping the pike pole and being unable to pick it up and resume the event within 10 seconds
  • Dropping the pike pole a second time

2. Hurst Tool Event

Note: This is a timed event.

To begin the Hurst Tool Event the candidate will pick up and carry a Hurst tool training prop a distance of 50 feet, cross over a yellow painted line and put the prop down. The candidate and the prop must cross over the line completely before putting the prop down (opposite the starting point). The candidate will then immediately pick the prop up and return to the starting point.

The candidate must make sure that they and the prop have fully crossed the yellow painted line before putting the prop down. When the prop is placed down across the start line the event has been completed. The candidate then proceeds to the next event.

Critical Failures
Critical failures can include:

  • Dropping the prop or putting the prop down other than as described above
  • Dropping or putting the prop down on the yellow painted line or while standing on the yellow painted line
  • Not crossing the yellow painted line fully prior to putting the prop down

3. Hose Drag Event

Note: This is a timed event.

During the Hose Drag Event the candidate will drag uncharged lengths of 2.5 feet hose with nozzle attached, a distance of 150 feet. After the candidate and nozzle cross the 150 foot mark, indicated by a yellow painted line, the candidate will lay the nozzle down to complete the event. The candidate then proceeds to the next event.

Critical Failure
Critical failure includes dropping the nozzle/laying the nozzle down other than as described above, or being unable to drag the hose across the line completely.

4. High-Rise Pack Event

Note: This is a timed event.

To start the High-Rise Pack Event the candidate will pick up and carry a modified hose pack to include, 100 feet of 1.88 inch hose without a nozzle or appliances, from the designated area, indicated by a yellow painted box at the base of the training tower, to the third landing of the training tower.

The candidate must completely cross the yellow painted line on the third level landing of the tower, then return the hose pack to the starting position and lay it on the ground within the yellow painted box. The candidate then proceeds to the next event.

Critical Failures
Critical failures include the following:

  • Not placing the hose pack back inside the yellow painted box
  • The hose pack cannot be laid down or dropped on the stairs at any point during the event

5. Ladder Raise Event

Note: This is a timed event.

During the Ladder Raise Event the candidate must completely raise and lower a 28-foot aluminum extension ladder prop, using a hand over hand method of extension and retraction. The candidate must stand on the concrete slab within the designated area at the base of the ladder, which is indicated by a yellow painted box. After completely raising and lowering the ladder, the candidate then proceeds to the next event.

Critical Failures
Critical failures include the following:

  • Stepping on or out of the yellow painted box during the event
  • Candidates are not permitted to let the ladder halyard (rope) slip through their hands
  • Not completely raising and lowering the ladder

6. Rescue Event

Note: This is a timed event.

The Rescue Event consists of the candidate dragging or carrying a 100-pound rescue dummy 200 feet across the yellow painted finish line. The candidate 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 candidate must cross the yellow painted finish line completely, which will end the timed events.

Critical Failures
Critical failures include the following:

  • Not fully crossing the yellow painted finish line with the rescue dummy
  • Stopping longer than 10 seconds to re-adjust your grip on the rescue dummy
  • Dropping the rescue dummy to the ground while adjusting your grip

7. Aerial Ladder Climb Event

Note: This is a non-timed event.

For the non-timed Aerial Ladder Climb Event the candidate 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 candidate if it is evident that the candidate is not ascending/descending the ladder at a safe and reasonable pace.

Critical Failure
Critical failure is stopping while climbing and not touching the designated rung at the top of the ladder.

Recruit School Preparation

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.

Preparing Yourself Mentally and Physically

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.

Chesterfield Fire and EMS Health and Wellness Mission Statement

Chesterfield Fire and 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.

Physical Expectations

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.