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

Thank you for your interest in our department.  We anticipate opening a hiring process in March 2020, but we encourage you to familiarize yourself with this page for an idea of how our timeline worked in the past. 

Future Applications will be accepted at

If you would like to be contacted regarding upcoming processes, please 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 Agility Test.  You do not have to schedule these sessions and you are welcome to simply watch or 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?  Applicants hired as entry level firefighters will be paid while attending our academy and will graduate with a NC Advanced-EMT certification.  You must be willing to do some serious classwork and to study diligently to graduate our academy.  We want you to be prepared.

After you have applied, you will have a short time period to schedule your testing date through NEOGOV.  On your test date, the only form that you should bring is a PHOTOCOPY (not your actual driver's license) of your valid driver's license.  This copy will not be returned.  If you do not bring a PAPER copy of your driver's license, we will not allow you to test. 

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

  • Step 1

    - All applicants must complete an employment application at  Applications cannot be accessed until our hiring process begins.
  • Step 2

    - All of our applicants are tested. Each applicant must self schedule their written/agility testing date via NEOGOV.  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. Testing will include a written test and a physical agility test. 
    • Written Testing for Entry Level Applicants and Advanced-EMT Applicants - Anyone considering applying for a firefighter position is strongly encouraged to purchase a practice “CEB Candidate Orientation Guide” by clicking the following link:  This test will be given to ALL entry level applicants and applicants who are already A-EMTs.  We have found that this guide is a helpful tool to prepare for the exam. The test is absolutely optional; however for the current fee of $10, we believe that it will be well worth the investment.  The use of a calculator is not permitted, so we recommend that you brush up on calculating percentages and/or other basic math functions if you're a bit rusty!
    • 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.  With this being the case, certified applicants who are not familiar with IFSTA should consider investing in the practice test for entry level firefighters.  
    • Physical Ability Test - For the Physical Agility test, applicants should dress in exercise clothing.  We strongly suggest that applicants wear gloves, knee pads, and sweat pants or shorts.  Please view the sample video of the Durham Fire Agility Test  and the written description of the test at Agility Test Description to get an idea of what to expect.  Applicants do not wear turn-out gear for testing.  A claustrophobia and/or acrophobia component will likely be included as part of the testing.  Please know that if you are extremely claustrophobic, this is not the career for you.  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

    - Top candidates will be selected for interviews.  If you are selected for an interview, you must provide the documents below that will not be returned:  
    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 on the opening date of our process.   
  • Firefighter I and II Certified
  • Certified as Hazardous Materials Responder Level I
  • Certified as an EMT Basic
  • As of the opening date of our process, 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 the opening date of our process, 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.
If you are applying as a certified A-EMT, your A-EMT certification must be valid on the opening date of our hiring process.  If you are not a NC A-EMT, you must be able to attain reciprocity.   
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 agility 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 all 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 reviewed,but may not be an automatic disqualification. Positions offered are contingent upon the results of a physical exam/health screening, audio/visual test, and drug/alcohol test.