Firefighter applications were accepted online from May 6 to July 26, 2019. Eligible applicants took the Civil Service exam on September 14, 2019. Applicants should receive their exam score and rank on the eligible list on or around November 8, 2019. 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.
I have received my score and rank on the firefighter examination. What happens next?
The Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD) will use the eligible list to form the next several classes of recruits. When your name/rank is reached on the list, you will be contacted to attend a firefighter orientation.
How many people will be hired from the eligible list at one time?
Typically, the PFD tries to set classes at around 75 cadets. Class size might vary depending on a number of circumstances.
How long is the eligible list active?
The eligible list is active for a maximum of two years from the date that you received your Notice of Results.
What if took the test but didn’t get my score?
Candidates should receive their scores on or around November 8, 2019. 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.
What if I didn’t get the extra points that I think I deserve?
All documentation for extra points must have been submitted by September 14, 2019.
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 September 14, 2019. 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 Laura Allen.
Please also contact Laura Allen if you provided documentation by September 14, 2019 but did not receive the associated additional credits.
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? Is a non-Pennsylvania driver license acceptable?
You must have your driver’s license by your date of appointment to the firefighter position (your first day as a cadet). A non-Pennsylvania driver’s license will initially be accepted. Please note: As a firefighter you must establish Philadelphia residency within 6 months of your employment (the date you start as a cadet), and your license should be updated with your Philadelphia address.
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? How long is the Fire Academy training period and what is the schedule?
You are referred to as a cadet until you graduate from the Academy. Cadets train for approximately nine months on a platoon schedule of four days on, four days off.
You are paid as a firefighter beginning on your first day as a cadet at the Academy. The starting annual salary for a firefighter who has no prior employment history with any City of Philadelphia departments is $54,856. If you have prior employment history with the City of Philadelphia, your annual salary may be adjusted accordingly. Note that starting salary rates may be adjusted once a year on or around July 1. The rate provided here is effective from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.
For out-of-state candidates: Can I complete some of the interview/orientation process via web-cam or conference call?
While attendance at orientation is important because the session provides a lot of useful information, accommodations can be made for candidates who live out-of-state and may not be able to attend. Other parts of the interview process are imperative for a candidate to attend. The PFD’s Human Resources staff will work with a prospective candidate to coordinate appointments.
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 will be unavailable to work during a certain time period, but I don’t want to miss my opportunity to be hired. What should I do?
You have the option to make yourself unavailable for job opportunities for a period of time. This must be done in writing and sent to the address listed below.
A form is available for this purpose and can be downloaded here. Candidates may make no more than two written statements of unavailability during the term of the eligible list. Note that if you submit such a statement, you will NOT be contacted as job opportunities arise during the time period specified in your statement.
Statements of Unavailability must be mailed to:
City of Philadelphia, Office of Human Resources
1401 JFK Boulevard, 15th Floor
Municipal Services Building
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1675
I claimed fluency in a non-English language on my application. When will I be contacted for bilingual testing?
Candidates will be notified to appear for the bilingual test in such numbers and at such times as determined to be necessary. 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 will have to complete the test again.