Frequently Asked Questions regarding Firefighter recruitment.

Page updated on Mar 29, 2018 at 9:21 AM

Frequently Asked Questions about the Firefighter/Paramedic Recruitment 

Q: Is the Department currently accepting applications?

A:  No. We are not accepting applications for the position of Firefighter I at this time. If you would like to receive an email notification when our process reopens, please complete a job interest form.

Q: I am a Nationally Registered Paramedic; will I be paid as a firefighter or a paramedic?

A: For those applicants who have their national registry paramedic or Virginia EMT-Immediate Certification: All recruits will be hired as firefighters with the annual salary of $46,946.52. Upon successful completion of recruit school (6 months) and  the Alexandria paramedic internship program the minimum annual salary will become $54,340.52.

Q:  Do I need Emergency Medical Services experience in order to be considered?

A:  No. Previous experience is not required. All factors are considered when you apply, such as work history, education, the ability to work in a team environment and the desire to serve the public in all facets as a Firefighter/EMT.

Q:  Will negative points on my driving record affect my chances of being considered?

A:  Yes. These will be examined on a case-by-case basis. If you have more than negative four (-4) on your driving record, this could hurt your chances in our process. Check with your local jurisdiction to see how to reduce your negative point total.

Q:  Once I have completed the process, will I be hired?

A:  This is a competitive process, and not all candidates can be hired for recruit school.

Q:  How many candidates do you plan to hire during your next recruitment process?

A:  This number varies from year-to-year. It is dependent upon the number of firefighter vacancies there are, as well as budgetary considerations at the time of hiring.  

Q:  If I have successfully passed the Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT) with another jurisdiction, can I be exempt from your CPAT?

A:  You may be exempt from having to take our CPAT as long as you can provide valid documentation, with verification, of having successfully passed CPAT with a jurisdiction licensed under the IAFF and IAFC.  Certificates are not valid after one year. Your CPAT must have been completed before the date of our scheduled CPAT Test.

Q: What entry exam will be used?

A:  At this time, the CWH Next Generation Entry-Level Firefighter/EMT Aptitude Test will be used for the entrance exam.

Q:  What are the working hours?

A:  Currently, Recruit School is approximately 26 weeks. While in Recruit School you will be required to work 8 hour days, five days a week. Upon graduation, you will be assigned to a station and will go on shift work. The shift is 24 hours a day, approximately 10 days a month. This is the equivalent to a 56-hour work week.  

Q:  I am a Firefighter in another jurisdiction. Do you accept lateral transfers without competition?

A:  No. We do not accept lateral transfers. All applicants are required to complete a competitive process. 

Q:  I am in the military and want to start the process. When should I apply?

A:  We recommend you apply 6-12 months prior to your end time in service. You will need to be available to complete all scheduled events because failure to do so will disqualify you from the current process. When possible, we will make an attempt to work with military candidates to try to give them a fair chance to make all scheduled events during the process. 

Q:  Do you need to be a citizen of the United States to apply?

A:  No. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen; however, you must present official documentation that you are legally eligible to work in the U.S.

Q:  Do I need to be a resident of Virginia or the City of Alexandria in order to work for the AFD?

A:  No. We have no residency requirements.

Q:  Do you consider applicants who have had legal or drug use issues in their backgrounds?

A:  These issues will be handled on an individual basis. However, you will be disqualified if you are not truthful about these issues on your application or any time during the selection process. We cannot hire anyone who has been convicted of a felony. Any recent illegal drug usage will be grounds for disqualification..

Q:  How can I find out if a medical condition is not allowed under National Fire Protection Association regulations?

A:  You may inquire with the Fire Department’s Human Resources Manager to clarify any questions about the medical conditions not allowed under NFPA 1582 regulations. 

Q: I wear glasses, will this disqualify me?

A:  We follow NFPA 1582 regulations on medical allowances. This will be evaluated by a doctor who will determine if your vision meets the standards. Eye glasses and contacts are allowed.

Q:  I currently possess a Virginia EMT-I (Medic Intermediate) license or a NREMT-P (National Registered Paramedic) license. Does this help me in the hiring process?

A:  Yes. These will be considered along with other education and training. 

If you have any other questions about working for the Alexandria Fire Department, please email