Employment Information for the Hiring Process

Winston-Salem Fire Department logo

Firefighter Job Description:

Under immediate supervision of the company officer, performs responsibilities in both emergency and non-emergency situations such as: fire protection, public education programs, emergency medical services, rescue, and hazardous material response.

Provide basic life support procedures while responding on medical calls such as CPR, defibrillation, airway advancement, etc.  Conduct rescue operations involving, but not limited to vehicles, high/low angle, confined space, water, structural collapse, and trench.

Physical Requirements:

Must be able to lift, carry, or move objects up to 75 lbs., climb stairs, and ladders.  Have the ability to sit, stand,walk,run,crawl,jog,kneel for short or log periods of time. This position will require individuals to be physically fit and have the ability to work in adverse weather conditions, loud environments and mentally challenging situations.  Must be able to pass an annual NFPA 1582-compliant physical. See an example of the agility test! [video]. Agility test dates: October 10, 11, and 12, 2016. 

Firefighter Trainee Salary

No Degree -----------------$32,091.28
Associates Degree --------$33,696.00
Bachelors Degree----------$35,380.80

Certified Firefighter Salary

No Degree ---------------- $33,696.00
Associates Degree --------$35,380.80
Bachelors Degree----------$37,149.84

Minimum Required Qualifications:

  • 18 years of age (before September 1, 2016)
  • High School diploma or equivalent
  • Valid State-issued Class C Driver’s License

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with fellow employees and the general public
  • Physical endurance and agility

Physical Characteristics:

  • Lift, carry or move objects up to 75 lbs.
  • Ability to drive departmental vehicles.
  • Ability to sit, stand, walk, run, crawl, jog, crouch, and kneel for short and long periods of time.
  • Ability to hear and speak well enough to communicate over the telephone, radio, and in person at distances up to 50 feet over the noise of equipment.
  • Physically fit enough to carry fire equipment as needed, walk over rough terrain, climb hills, load and unload vehicles, and work outdoors for long periods of time in all types of weather conditions and to safely wear and work in a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) without medical or physical restrictions.
  • Stamina to meet physical and mental demands during an extended emergency.
  • Ability to pass an annual NFPA 1582-compliant physical.

Hiring Process

  • Once the application period is open, all interested applicants must submit an online application of employment to the Human Resources Department (see link at top of this page). This date fluctuates depending on recruit school dates.
  • Once the application period ends, Human Resources will send an invitation letter to all qualified applicants regarding the fire department’s physical agility test dates.
  • Invitations will be sent to all applicants who successfully completed the agility test to participate in the entry-level firefighter recruitment examinations.
  • Upon successfully completion of the entry-level firefighter recruitment exam, a letter will be sent with dates and information regarding the interview process.
  • The Human Resources Department will notify candidates who successfully fulfilled all the pre-employment requirements with an official start day, if chosen for employment.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the entry-level firefighter recruitment examination?

This examination is designed to measure traits required for maintaining effective relations with co-workers in the station and while working with the public that are less obvious than other personality-type tests.

The WSI aids in forecasting performance in the following areas:

  • Attention to detail
  • Effective teamwork
  • Receiving and responding to orders or instructions
  • Fire operations and non-emergency duties

2. When will the next WSFD Agility Test and Recruit School begin?

The next agility test is projected for the fall/winter of 2016.  Dates for future recruit classes have not yet been set. 

3. How long do Recruit Schools last?

The Winston-Salem Fire Department Recruit School is a 26-week training academy. 

4. How do I apply for the position of firefighter with the WSFD?

The City of Winston-Salem seeks qualified applicants to fill job vacancies. You can view openings and then apply online. The City of Winston-Salem's employment practices are guided by federal, state, and local rules and regulations guaranteeing employment opportunities to all persons without regard to and prohibiting discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, religion, political affiliation or beliefs, national origin or handicap, unless it prevents the applicant from performing the job for which they are applying. Visit the job openings website to apply.

5. How long is my application valid?

The application is only valid DURING THE APPLICATION PERIOD, which opens and closes at various times throughout the year. After the application period ends, the applicant must reapply. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to be informed of application periods and deadlines. For additional information, contact the city’s Human Resources Department at 336-747-6803.

6. What kind of hours do firefighters work in WSFD?

Firefighter scheduling in the Winston-Salem Fire Department is based on a 56-hour work week. The schedule is a modified 24 hours on, 48 hours off. Once per shift cycle, each platoon has 4 days off, which we call our long weekend. The WSFD has three platoons.

7. What will improve my chances of being hired?

The Winston-Salem Fire Department is an equal opportunity employer and looks to hire the best candidates for the job.

8. May I run through the Firefighter’s Agility Test prior to my scheduled test date?

No, you may not run through the agility test prior to your scheduled test time. Due to the large number of applicants, your scheduled time will be the only time allowed for you to participate in the agility test.

9. If I have already obtained my Firefighter certification, will I have to complete the same training as someone without the certification?

No. Upon verification through IFSAC and Pro Board we will not require you to re-take a certification. 

10.  If I already have my NCEMT certification, will I have to take it again through the Recruit School?

If you are out of state you must apply for reciprocity. You can apply online at http://www.ncems.org/. Once on the site, click on NC OEMS and then Legal Recognition. Once NC OEMS verifies your status and background check and you receive your North Carolina EMT certification you will not have to repeat the EMT class. However, you will have complete oral boards in Forsyth County.

If you obtained your EMT status in North Carolina, but outside of Forsyth County, you will not have to repeat the EMT class. However, you will have to complete oral boards in Forsyth County.

If you obtained your EMT status and completed Oral Boards in Forsyth County, you will not have to repeat the EMT class or oral boards.  

11. Does the Winston- Salem Fire Department accept lateral transfers?

Not at this time.

12. Do I have to have some experience or prior training in the fire service?

No, you do not have to have any prior experience in the fire service. WSFD will train the recruits with the highest level of training to prepare them for the field.

13. If I am hired, will I receive a paycheck while I am in the Recruit School?

Yes, you will receive a paycheck. Once you begin the Recruit School, you are employed by the City of Winston-Salem.

14. Does the Winston-Salem Fire Department have a residency restriction?

Yes, all firefighters employed with the Winston-Salem Fire Department must live in Forsyth County or a county that touches Forsyth County.

15. What if I want to apply for a job that does not currently have a vacancy?

The Application Process

Applications are accepted for current, published vacancies only. A separate application must be submitted for each position for which you are applying.

All applications must be submitted online at Online Job Applications Applications must be FULLY completed (i.e. dates of employment, salary history, reference names and phone numbers, etc.) Resumes may not be substituted for employment history. As the applicant it is your responsibility to stay informed of the open application period and closing dates.

16. Am I allowed to do a “Ride Along” with the Winston-Salem Fire Department prior to applying with the city?

Yes, citizens are welcome to tour any of our fire stations and participate in a ride along. This information can be found under WSFD Fire and Life Safety, Public Education Program.  For more information, please contact our Senior Community Educator, Sabrina Stowe at 336-773-7965 or by e-mail .

To ensure that the hiring process is equitable to all applicants, the fire department does not allow applicants to participate in the ride along program during the hiring process.

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