The City of Durham Fire Department is a great place to work!        

Thank you for your interest in our department.  Our hiring process is now closed, but we encourage you to visit this page for an idea of how our timeline worked in the past. 

Future Applications will be accepted at

If you are applying after January 20, 2019 and would like to be contacted regarding upcoming processes, feel free to complete a Firefighter Interest Recruitment Form so that we can email you when our next hiring process opens.
In order to better prepare applicants, we will offer practice sessions for our Physical Ability Test.  You do not have to schedule these sessions and you are welcome to simply watch or you may participate in some phases of the sessions. Wear exercise clothing and we strongly suggest that you wear gloves.  Some applicants find knee pads helpful.  You must check in and sign a waiver form at the Administration office before moving to the Training Grounds. We normally have up to three practice dates.
Did you know?  Our entry level firefighters attend an 8 month academy and graduate with their NC A-EMT certification.  You must be willing to do some serious classwork and to study diligently for several months to graduate our academy.  We want you to be prepared.


Do you want a career with us?  This was our previous timeline:

  • Step 1

    - All applicants must complete an employment application at
  • Step 2

    - All of our applicants are tested.  From January 23 through 3 pm on January 24, applicants will self schedule their written and ability testing dates via NEOGOV.  The actual dates of the testing are January 28-31.  Applicants should check email DAILY for information monitoring junk and spam folders.  Applicants should also check this site for updates. 

    Step 3

     - Applicants should plan to spend most of the day with us on their self-scheduled test date. (January 28-31).  Testing will include a written test and a physical ability test.  An applicant who fails the physical ability test or the written entry test is eliminated from our process.   AS OF JANUARY 9, 2019, THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT FOR HAVING FORMS COMPLETED IN ADVANCE. 
    • Written Testing for Entry Level Applicants - All applicants (certified and entry) may purchase a practice “CEB Candidate Orientation Guide” by clicking the following link:  This test will be given to ALL entry level applicants the the guide may be a helpful tool to prepare for the exam.  It can be downloaded as a PDF file and saved or printed. Please read through the disclaimer on the order page in order to have a successful download.  Payments will be submitted through PayPal via an account or credit/debit card. Once payment is submitted, PayPal automatically redirects you back to the FPSI site where access to the download link will be located on the Order Details-Checkout Status page.  Applicants must pay close attention to ALL instructions on both FPSI and PayPal’s websites in order to access the instant download successfully!  The practice test is absolutely optional; however, some of our previous applicants have stated that they benefited greatly from taking this test. As of 1/9/19, the current fee for this test is $10.
    • Written Testing for Certified Applicants - Certified firefighter applicants will be a given a job knowledge test from the 6th Edition of IFSTA Essentials of Firefighting.  The test will last approximately 2 hours. Certified applicants who score a 70 or higher on the test may be scheduled to interview for a certified firefighter position. Certified applicants who do not pass the job knowledge test are permitted to take the entry level test referenced in Step 3 above, but if chosen for hire, those applicants will be required to attend a full academy.  
    • Physical Ability Test - For the Physical Ability test, applicants should dress in exercise clothing.  We strongly suggest that you wear gloves, knee pads, and sweat pants or shorts.  Please view the sample video of the Durham Fire Ability Test  and the written description of the test at Ability Test Description to get an idea of what to expect.  Applicants do not wear turn-out gear or SCBA and a claustrophobia and/or acrophobia component may be added as part of the testing.  The test in this video is a sample only and the DFD reserves the right to change any part of the test.  If you are unable to successfully complete any task in the physical ability test or if you fail to complete the physical ability test within the specified time allotted, you will be disqualified from the remainder of the hiring process.
  • Step 4

    - Oral interviews for top candidates will take place during the week of February 11.  Please note that all applicants may not be selected for an interview. If you are selected for an interview, you must provide:  
    Copy of Birth Certificate
    Copy of High School or College Transcript or GED, HiSET, TASC test report (Diplomas will not be accepted)
    Copy of Military Discharge (DD-214), if applicable
    Copy of Driver’s License
    Copy of Social Security Card
    Copy of Shot Records (since birth)  Note:  Applicants who do not have  the Hepatitis B series would begin that series when hired. 
If you are applying as a certified firefighter, you must meet the requirements below as of January 20, 2019.  
  • Firefighter I and II Certified
  • Certified as Hazardous Materials Responder Level I
  • Certified as an EMT Basic
  • As of 1/20/2019, you must have been employed as a sworn firefighter by a municipal or Department of Defense fire department for at least two consecutive years with no more than a 3-month lapse in employment
  • As of 1/20/2019, you must have graduated from a municipal fire academy within the past two years.
(Note: Government fire department is defined as a city, town, or Department of Defense fire department).
Certified firefighters do not attend a formal academy, but will spend 3-4 weeks in training.
Additional Information
All testing will take place at Fire Administration (2008 East Club Blvd.).  Upon arrival at Fire Administration, you will receive a Release of Liability form.  You must read and sign that form before you are permitted to test. The physical ability test and written exam are performed on the same day. 

Oral Review Board
Many of our top scoring candidates who successfully complete the written exam and the physical ability test will be invited for an interview.  Review panels generally consist of three (3) individuals who will ask several questions of the candidates and will rate their responses.

Background Investigation
A background investigation will be conducted for all finalists being considered for hire. This investigation includes, but is not limited to, verification of job performance at previous places of employment, a criminal background check, and a review of the applicant’s driving record.

Note: Misdemeanors are not an automatic disqualification. Positions offered are contingent upon the results of a physical exam/health screening, audio/visual test, and drug/alcohol test.