Firefighter Applicant FAQs

What is your projected hiring schedule?

Our next application period will open in October of 2024. The next hiring register will be established in March of 2025, and the first class hired from the new register will begin in August of 2025. We typically maintain the register for two years and anticipate hiring at least four classes off of this register.

You may sign up to be notified by email when the next application period begins at Select "Sign up to receive updates from the Seattle Fire Department" and enter your email address.

When should I complete the CPAT?

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is administered after the testing process. If you are ranked within the top 25% of candidates on the 2022 Firefighter Register, we will send you a paid CPAT voucher. We currently only accept CPAT test results from our CPAT testing process.

You should engage in advanced physical training prior to the CPAT, targeting muscle groups used in lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying and other actions related to firefighter tasks. A workout program may include distance running, sprints, rowing, stair climbing with weight pack and weight lifting to develop both the upper and lower body. Download/View the Candidate Preparation Guide for information about specific physical training and weight lifting in preparation for the CPAT.

The CPAT exam is comprised of eight stations that are completed in one continuous sequence. The test is pass/fail. Download/view the CPAT Orientation Guide for detailed information.

What should I be doing to prepare?

Though no prior Fire Service or EMS experience is required to be hired as a Seattle Firefighter recruit, it may make you a more competitive candidate.

To gain experience and training in the fire service, we recommend that you apply to a local volunteer fire department. Volunteer information from the Washington State Firefighter's Association is available online at If you have the opportunity to gain any level of medical training, such as advanced CPR or First Aid, that may also help you in our hiring process.

You may review additional study resources on our Resources for Candidates page.

Do I need to be EMT certified?

You do not need to be EMT certified to apply or test for the position of Seattle Firefighter.

You will need to have a current Washington state EMT certification or be eligible for certification sponsorship prior to the start of recruit school. Due to the length of our hiring process, candidates have time to meet the EMT requirement during the testing and pre-employment screening process. A limited number of candidates will be offered space in an SFD-led EMT course.

If you possess a National Registry certification or certification from another state, please see view the reciprocity requirements on the EMT requirement page.

Do I need to live in Washington state?

There are no residency requirements for applicants or employees of the Seattle Fire Department. Some components of the testing and recruitment process may require candidates to travel into the area. In determining what's best for you, please review the Hiring Process.

Please note that we are unable to sponsor candidates for a work permit or Green Card. If you are not already authorized to work in the United States, you will need to obtain authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department.

Should I submit a resume or certifications?

Background documents such as resumes, cover letters, or certifications are not accepted during the application or testing process. If you score in the top 25% of the Firefighter register you will be asked to submit background documents to the Seattle Fire Department along with your employment packet.


Questions regarding submitting an application, test dates, and veteran's scoring criteria should be directed to the Seattle Department of Human Resources Fire & Police Exams Unit via email to

Technical assistance with scheduling the FireTEAM test or completing the Public Safety Suitability Assessment 1 should be directed to National Testing Network at (866) 563-3882.

Questions regarding pre-employment screening or the job of a Seattle Firefighter should be directed to the Seattle Fire Department Recruitment Office via email to

Fire Department

Harold Scoggins, Fire Chief
Address: 301 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: 301 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA, 98104
Phone: (206) 386-1400
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The Seattle Fire Department (SFD) has 33 fire stations located throughout the City. SFD deploys engine companies, ladder companies, and aid and medic units to mitigate loss of life and property resulting from fires, medical emergencies, and other disasters.