Firefighter applications were accepted online from June 28 to Oct. 1, 2021. The online Civil Service exam was administered during that same period by National Testing Network Inc. Here is a list of frequently asked questions about what happens next in the hiring process. If you want to be notified when the next firefighter application period opens, please fill out a job interest form.
When will I be notified of the results?
It is anticipated that you will receive your exam results during the week of November 8, 2021. Everyone who took the exam will be ranked on a hiring list according to their score.
I received my score and rank on the firefighter test. What happens next?
The Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD) will use the list of eligible candidates to form the next several classes of recruits. When your name is reached on the list, you will be contacted to attend a firefighter orientation.
What if I took the test but didn’t get my score?
Applicants who provided an email address in their application account profile will receive all correspondence regarding this examination, including a Notice of Results, via email. You should add Phila.OHR@phila.gov to your address book or list of trusted contacts to prevent notices from being marked as spam by your email provider. If you do not provide an email address, all notifications will be sent to the postal address listed in the contact information of your application account profile. Contact the city’s Office of Human Resources at 215-686-0880 for more information.
Is it possible to get extra points added to my score for this exam?
Yes. Candidates who apply, pass the written examination, and meet the required criteria by October 1, 2021, may be eligible for extra points for the following:
- U.S. Veteran’s preference:
- Ten (10) points for veteran’s preference will be added to the scores of eligible veterans who are honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces by October 1, 2021. You must attach to your application or submit to ThePublicSafetyTeam@phila.gov a copy of your DD214, member 4. Spouses of disabled or deceased veterans may also be considered.
- Legacy Preference:
- The children or grandchildren of Philadelphia Firefighters or Police Officers who were killed or died in the line of duty shall have ten (10) points added to their final score.
- National Volunteer Service Preference:
- Additional points will be added to the examination score of any candidate who has successfully completed a term of volunteer service with Peace Corps, AmeriCorps NCCC (including FEMA Corps), or AmeriCorps VISTA by October 1, 2021. Candidates will be awarded five (5) points for the completion of a two-year term of service or three (3) points for the completion of a one-year term of service.
- Candidates who have successfully completed at least 450 hours of service with AmeriCorps State and National (including Teach For America) by September 14, 2019 will be awarded points in the following manner:
- One (1) point added to their final score if they have completed 450 hours by 9.14.19
- Two (2) points added to their final score if they have completed 675 hours by 9.14.19
- Three (3) points added to their final score if they have completed 900 hours by 9.14.19
- Five (5) points added to their final score if they have completed 1700 hours by 9.14.19
- Fire Service Paramedic series experience: Any employee currently allocated to one of the classes in the Fire Service Paramedic series (6B22-6B26, 6B30) with five (5) or more years of service in the Fire Service Paramedic series of classes with the City of Philadelphia by October 1, 2021 who takes and passes the open competitive examination for the class of Firefighter shall have an additional ten (10) points added to their examination score.
- Emergency Medical Technician experience: Any employee currently allocated to the class of Emergency Medical Technician with five (5) or more years of service as an Emergency Medical Technician with the City of Philadelphia by October 1, 2021 who takes and passes the open competitive examination for the class of Firefighter shall have an additional ten (10) points added to his or her examination score.
- The Philadelphia Fire Department’s Fire Explorer Cadet Program: Three (3) points for the successful completion of the Philadelphia Fire Department’s Fire Explorer Cadet program by October 1, 2021 that has included a minimum of 160 hours of training offered by the Philadelphia Fire Department, a minimum of 100 additional hours of community service, and has passed 80% of quizzes and examinations throughout a single training period
- A Philadelphia High School Fire & EMS Training curriculum: Three (3) points for successful completion of a Philadelphia High School Fire & Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Training curriculum by October 1, 2021.
- Associate Degree in Fire Science: Three (3) points for the successful completion of an Associate Degree in Fire Science from an accredited college or university by October 1, 2021.
No more than six (6) additional points may be awarded for Fire Explorer Cadet Program, Philadelphia High School Fire & EMS Training Curriculum, and/or Associate’s degree in Fire Science.
What if I didn’t get the extra points that I think I deserve?
All documentation for extra points must have been submitted by October 1, 2021.
The only documentation that will be accepted at this time is proof of honorable military discharge from Active-Duty Service for veteran’s preference. Please note that for this administration of the Firefighter examination, veteran’s preference is awarded to candidates who have been honorably discharged from Active-Duty Service by October 1, 2021. Please note that Active-Duty Training is NOT Active-Duty Service and does NOT meet the criteria for veteran’s preference. To claim veteran’s preference at this time, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 Member-4 to ThePublicSafetyTeam@phila.gov.
Please also contact ThePublicSafetyTeam@phila.gov if you provided documentation by October 1, 2021 but did not receive the associated additional credits.
If I rank high on the list, when would I actually get hired?
The list will remain active for two years. The PFD cannot estimate when new cadet classes will be formed during that time.
What are the next steps in the hiring process?
Candidates will be invited to the next hiring phase according to the order in which they are ranked. The next phase includes an orientation, interviews at the PFD, criminal background and indebtedness checks, and a medical examination. Candidates who fulfill those requirements will be invited to join a cadet class for an academic, practical, and physical training program at the Philadelphia Fire Academy where they will learn basic firefighting and emergency medical services (EMS) skills. The training lasts about nine months.
What happens after orientation?
Orientation is the general information session about the how the hiring process works and what cadets can expect at the Fire Academy. Those who attend orientation and provide the requested documents will be scheduled for pre-hire appointments. The appointments include:
- A pre-employment physical exam
- Fingerprinting by the Philadelphia Police Department
- Fittings for a PFD uniform and personal protective equipment (PPE)
- A review to identify potential indebtedness to city agencies.
The time frame between orientation and the start of work can range from 3 to 6 months. Completion of all pre-hire steps does not guarantee appointment to a cadet class.
What kind of criminal history will prevent me from being hired?
A lot of consideration goes into whether a conviction may bar a candidate from employment; discussing the details with PFD’s Human Resources staff will provide the best insight. Applicants must disclose all arrests and convictions, regardless of dispositions. Applicants should also understand that state licensing boards may hold a separate set of standards to authorize licensure.
What are the fitness requirements?
On your first day as a cadet, you should be able to:
- Run 1.5 miles
- Do pushups, nonstop, for two minutes
- Do sit-ups, nonstop, for two minutes
- Do pull-ups, nonstop, for one minute
Fitness requirements gradually increase as the class progresses.
When must I have my driver’s license?
You must have your driver’s license by your date of appointment to the firefighter position (your first day as a cadet).
What should I do with any relevant certifications I currently have?
During orientation, candidates are given a list of the certifications and/or documents they will be required to submit to the PFD’s Human Resources team and/or the Fire Academy.
Do I get paid as a cadet at the Fire Academy?
Firefighter cadets are paid according to the first step in the pay scale ($56,227 annually, as of July 1, 2020). Medical benefits are administered through IAFF Local 22 and are effective the first day a cadet starts at the Fire Academy.
If I haven’t been contacted after a few months, how can I get an update on my status?
You can contact the city’s Office of Human Resources at 215-686-0880 for information regarding your status on the list.
I claimed fluency in a non-English language on my application. When will I be contacted for bilingual testing?
Candidates will receive at least two weeks’ notice to appear for the bilingual test.
I’ve taken a bilingual test with the City of Philadelphia in the past. Do I have to take the bilingual test again?
At this time, bilingual test results are active for only two years. If you took the bilingual test more than two years ago, you musts complete the test again.