**Fill out a Recruitment Information Form. This will be updated.**
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For CIVILIAN careers please click here.
The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services offers exceptional and diverse career opportunities for men and women seeking professional development and satisfaction. With excellent salaries and benefits, a variety of job assignments, unlimited opportunities for advancement and the chance to make a profound difference in the community.
Updated on 12/13/2018:
The written exam for Training Class 32 will be held on the following dates:
New dates coming soon.
The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) will be offered to those candidates who have passed the written exam. You must bring your photo ID and completed Physician Authorization form. All candidates MUST wear LONG pants.
If you choose to email or mail your Physician Authorization Form to the addresses noted below, you will receive a receipt via email that must be brought to your first CPAT Program Activity.
Please review and prepare the following forms (as applicable):
CPAT Fitness Trainers Resource
CPAT Orientation Guide
CPAT Preparation Guide
CPAT Test Evaluation Form
SAMPLE CPAT Physician Authorization Form
For mailing: Amy Breznak, 2201 Warwick Way, Marriottsville, MD 21104
For email: HCRecruiting@howardcountymd.gov
Howard County Fire & Rescue is looking for professional, dedicated, and enthusiastic men and women that value the importance of serving the community. Take the time to ask yourself what values you hold as a high priority in your own life. Howard County FF/EMT’s and Paramedics focus on coming together as a team during each shift to make the best decisions on each call they run. They are trusted by the local community to use all the skills learned in some of the most challenging situations.
Interview information will be disseminated as it becomes available.
Conditional offers will be sent to candidates selected by the Human Resources Division and will include information on the next step.
Background check information will be disseminated as it becomes available.
Physical Fitness is essential to having a successful career as a FF/EMT or FF/Paramedic. All potential candidates will have a thorough medical evaluation in accordance with NFPA 1582 to see if they meet the qualified criteria for a career with HCDFRS.
Information on each potential candidates psychological evaluation will be given when they receive a conditional offer of employment.
Howard County Fire & Rescue has no tolerance for substance abuse of any kind. A drug screening will be assigned to each potential candidate upon receipt of conditional offer of employment.
Congratulations! If you satisfactorily complete all steps of the application process and are selected, each candidate will be given a final offer of employment with the academy start date. There will also be information sent to you on uniform fitting dates and Family Orientation Night.
In addition to responding to fire and medical emergencies, life inside a firehouse is packed with activity. HCDFRS career personnel work on one of three shifts (A,B,C). Each shifts works for 24 hours at the fire station and then has 48 hours off. During the 24 hours on duty, personnel run calls, train, shower, eat and sleep at the fire station. Firefighters have a wide range of responsibilities, not only to hone the skills required of firefighting and medical emergencies, but also for the upkeep of the firehouse, equipment, and all the apparatus. All firefighters are on rotating schedules. Everyday activities firefighters engage in include:
Every activity is important and given attention. A fire truck cannot respond to an emergency if it is low on fuel. A facemask can cause a fatality if it has a crack in it. A firefighter’s entire day is spent, in one way or another, preparing for emergencies. In our department SAFETY is the top priority!
Teamwork is another key component of HCDFRS. Modern fire stations have separate sleeping and bathroom/shower facilities for men and women. Older stations have been retrofitted with separate bathroom/shower facilities, but common sleeping areas remain. The Department makes every effort to provide the best available solution to privacy issues at each station. And by the way, everyone takes turns cooking, so you might want to start thinking about some of your favorite family recipes.
How long is the academy?
The academy is 26 weeks long.
Do I have to fill out an application before taking the written test?
Registration is done online only at www.howardcountymd.gov when firefighter/emt trainee openings are available for posting.
What does the written exam consist of?
The written examination consists of multiple-choice questions. You will be given two hours and twenty minutes to complete the exam. There are four sections to the test, including Video Based Human Relations, Animated Mechanical Aptitude, Reading, and Math.
Do I have to sign up to take the physical test?
You will be invited to sign up for the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) only if you pass the written entrance exam.
How long will the hiring process take?
The hiring process involves various steps and could take up to six months. Your cooperation in completing the necessary paperwork at each stage of the process will help make the process quicker.
When is the next test date?
Written and physical exams are offered once a year if HCDFRS is in a hiring mode. If you fail the written test, you may retest after twelve months. If you fail the physical ability test, you may retake the test the next time it's offered.
Where does testing take place?
All testing is held at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center, 2200 Scott Wheeler Drive, Marriottsville, MD 21104.
What is the proper attire for written testing?
Suit and tie are not required.
Is the academy a live-in academy?
No, the academy is non-residential. The academy is held Monday-Friday, typically from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Based on training needs, some weekends and evening hours are required.
Am I paid while attending the academy?
Yes, you will be paid at the rate stated on your hire date.
What is the maximum age to become a firefighter/EMT?
There is no age limit. As long as you're able to pass all phases of the process, you're eligible.
Will my military experience help?
Each applicant is evaluated individually throughout the application process. It is a very competitive process, and as such, every aspect of your life is considered when making a selection for hire.
Can I go to school while I'm employed with Howard County Fire and Rescue?
Yes. The Howard County Fire and Rescue offers tuition reimbursement at any accredited college of your choice. Degrees must be related to the Public Safety Sector.
After graduating from the academy, can I request an assignment?
You are assigned based on operational needs.
A Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) firefighter trainee has many rewards, financially and personally. HCDFRS offers an exceptional compensation package which includes the following:
Excellent starting salary: Entry-level firefighter trainee positions earn $52,815 annually. Trainees also receive full pay during Academy training.
Excellent benefits: Under the County's flexible benefits plan called County Flex, employees may elect to enroll in medical insurance plans, dental insurance plans, optional life insurance, dependent life insurance, and health care and dependent care flexible spending accounts.
Excellent career opportunities: HCDFRS is not just about fighting fire! There are opportunities in Emergency Medical Services, Fire Inspection, Search and Rescue, Swift Water Rescue, Hazardous Materials and much more! Our firefighter trainees are also trained as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) - 80% of the calls we respond to are for medical emergencies.
Excellent working environment: HCDFRS is committed to diversity in the workplace. We’re a diverse group that welcomes all races, ethnic groups and backgrounds. As part of our recruitment efforts, we are also focused on supporting our military veterans.
Excellent people: HCDFRS has a people friendly family that helps the community, helps each other and helps people in general. We know that we’re an integral part of your community, your neighborhood and your county. We’re not just saving people, but helping them as well.
Excellent reputation: We're known around the region as one of the best fire and rescue departments in the state! Those who join our department will have an opportunity to learn innovative medical techniques, learn best practices in CPR and make a true difference in the lives of the citizens we serve.
Additional benefits include annual salary review and longevity increments:
For additional information and recruitment questions, please contact our recruiter:
1/17/19 DC Better Together Job Fair
2/15/19 UMBC Spring Career & Internship Fair
2/21/19 Baltimore Veterans Job Fair
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