Hiring Process

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The Greensboro Fire Department takes applications January 1 through July 31. Once you complete your online application and complete Steps 2-4, you remain in the applicant pool until your application expires (one year after the end of the period in which your application was accepted), or until you have been contacted for a position within the department, contingent upon successfully passing a background check, medical, physical and drug screen. Please read below for more information about the application process.

  • Applicants who submit a completed online application prior to July 31 will be eligible to participate in the hiring process which begins each September.
  • Firefighter Abilities Test (FFAT) and Suitability Test (Fire Team) are scheduled twice a year.
  • Interviews will be scheduled for May and October.

1. Complete Application

Applications are accepted online only via iApplyGreensboro. You will be required to create an account for iApplyGreensboro to complete an online application. 

After acceptance of an application, all qualified applicants will be contacted by mail to inform them of how to schedule their Firefighter Abilities Test (FFAT) and Suitability Test. This is a one-day, two-part test that occurs in April and September. The week before the actual testing, practice sessions will be held for applicants to become familiar with the course. Attendance to a practice session is not a requirement, but it is encouraged. The actual testing date (in April and September) will be determined by the date your accepted application is received. You must attend the test session in the period of your application acceptance or your application will be removed from the process.

The actual test will start promptly at 7:30 am. You must arrive prior to 7:30 am for registration. Anyone arriving after that time will not be admitted to the test. There are no make-up dates due to tardiness or inclement weather. We will test rain or shine. Out-of-town applicants should make necessary arrangements to be on time.

Make plans to be at the training facility for up to eight hours on the day of your test. If you successfully pass the FFAT part of the test in the morning, you will be asked to take the Suitability Test in the afternoon.

If you are unable to attend your scheduled FFAT date and time, you must call the Public Safety Training Facility at 336-373-2449 prior to your date and time in order to be allowed to reschedule. Only “No Fault” absences will be considered for rescheduling. If you are absent without calling in advance, you will be considered a no-show and your application will be removed from the process.

2. Complete Firefighter Abilities Test (FFAT)

To meet the minimum requirements of the GFD, all candidates need a combination of strength and endurance. The City and the Fire Department have determined that any individual can successfully compete for the position of Firefighter Recruit if his or her preparation is focused on the physical abilities listed below.

The Abilities Test is the result of a significant amount of research on the occupation of fire suppression. The tasks reasonably test the physical abilities of an individual as they apply to performing basic fire ground duties. The abilities course consists of five tasks performed consecutively.

• Hose Load Carry / Stair Climb 
        Carry a 42 pound hose load up the drill tower interior stairs (48.5 vertical feet).

• Hose Hoist 
        Hoist a 45 pound hose roll a distance of 51.5 vertical feet by pulling up a 1/2 inch diameter 
        rope with the roll attached.

• Forcible Entry Simulator 
        Using a nine pound sledgehammer, strike the end of the steel beam and drive it five feet 
        horizontally on a skid.

• Hose Advance 
        Pull a charged 1 3/4 inch diameter hose line a distance of 75 feet across pavement.

• Victim Rescue 
        Drag a 165-175 pound mannequin 100 feet horizontally.

Note: In addition to the timed portion called the Firefighters’ Abilities Test (FFAT), you are required to climb an aerial ladder, which will test for the fear of heights. This test is not timed.

Immediately after successfully completing the abilities test, you will be given a lunch break and then you will take the second part of the test. The written Suitability Test is a timed, video-based test. Therefore, the exact time of the test will be determined once everyone has completed the FFAT part of the test. If you are late returning from your lunch break, you will not be allowed to test and will be dropped from the process.

3. Take Written Suitability Examination

This exam consists of three tests developed for the fire service by Ergometrics and Applied Personnel Research Inc. (Fire Team) and is used to determine your compatibility for this line of work. Applicants must report to the testing room at least 15 minutes in advance. A picture ID is required to take the test.

Generally two to three weeks after taking the test, notification will be made to all applicants of their test results, with those passing being place in the applicant pool for upcoming interviews. If during this time any personal information should change, contact Michele Hebbard at the Public Safety Training Facility at 336-373-2449

4. Participate in an Oral Interview

Upon submitting a complete application, passing the FFAT and Suitability Test, you may be asked to participate in in-depth oral interviews with the Fire Department’s Training Staff.

5. Complete Background Investigation, Medical Exam and Drug Screen

When a class date has been determine, all eligible applicants’ data will be reviewed and selected candidates will receive a contingent job offer stating they must successfully complete Step 5 in order to be accepted into the Recruit Academy. Step 5 consists of a thorough background investigation, medical evaluation, and drug screen. The medical evaluation and drug screen will be scheduled and completed through the City’s Medical Services Division. Upon satisfactorily completing a background check, medical examination, and drug test, a final offer for employment will be made. At this point, you will be informed of any further details needed to prepare for the Recruit Academy.

Note: If at any point in Steps 2, 3, or 4 you fail to progress to the next step, your application will immediately expire. All applicants still within the applicant pool will remain active until their application expires. See explanation of expiration date above. An applicant in the pool may be selected for any future classes as long as his/her application remains valid. During the interview process, applicants will be notified of their application’s expiration date. Once in the applicant pool, no further notification will be sent to you unless you have been selected for an academy. It will be your responsibility to reapply if your application expires, if you choose.

Please be sure you complete all sections of the application completely, accurately, and legibly. This application will be used as part of the overall application process and should represent your best effort.

It is the policy of the City of Greensboro to hire and promote the best qualified individual(s) available. To this end, no person shall be refused employment, denied promotion or assignment, discharged or otherwise discriminated against or given preference in any aspect of the employment relationship on the basis of age, color, ethnicity, familial status, gender or sex, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, mental or physical disability, military status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other non-job related factor, except when certain physical and mental requirements are Bona-fide Occupational Qualifications (BFOQ). See City Personnel Policy I-1. In an effort to maintain a safe and healthy workplace in the City of Greensboro, applicants considered for employment are tested for drugs.