Firefighter Testing & Hiring Process

Candidates must first create an online profile and submit an electronic application. Our process requires the successful completion of the steps outlined below to become a recruit firefighter with the City of Lancaster.

Step 1. Employment Application

During the application period: Firefighter candidates must apply online here (Link requested from HR.) The application period is open April 1 – 30, 2023 and will not open again until April 2025.

Step 2. Written Test

Applicants must register, pay the exam fee of $55, and complete the written exam between April 1 and May 31, 2023. You will only be able to take the exam once. We utilize the FireTEAM test. The exam is comprised of four portions that will test the following: behavior and human relations, mechanical aptitude, reading comprehension, and math skills. All four sections of the test must be passed and a cumulative score of at least 70% is required to pass the exam and be considered for an invitation to the next phase. The test takes approximately two hours to complete and is offered remotely or in person at a National Testing Network site. The testing process is highly competitive and only the highest scores on the written exam will be invited to proceed to the third step.

Step 3. Oral Examination

Successful applicants that are invited to participate in an oral examination (interview) will be assigned a date and time. We anticipate that these oral examinations will take place in June-July of 2023. We conduct behavior and situation-based interviews that are designed to evaluate several facets of a candidate. A score of at least 70% much be achieved to move on to the next step.

Step 4: Physical Fitness Test

The LCBF utilizes the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) according to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) standards. These standards require candidates to be offered the opportunity to attend a CPAT Pre-Test Program. The Pre-Test Program includes two (2) CPAT Orientation sessions within the eight (8) week period preceding a CPAT test and two (2) timed practice runs of the CPAT within the 30 days prior to the test. The CPAT consists of eight critical tasks that simulate job duties on the fire ground which require high levels of cardiopulmonary endurance, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. During the entire test the candidate must wear a 50 lb. weighted vest (simulating the weight of a fire fighters protective clothing and equipment). The eight events are:

  • Stair Climb (climbing stairs while carrying an additional 25 lb. simulated hose pack)
  • Ladder Raise and Extension (placing a ground ladder at the fire scene and extending the ladder to the roof or a window)
  • Hose Drag (stretching uncharged houseline’s, advancing lines)
  • Equipment Carry (removing and carrying equipment from fire apparatus to fireground)
  • Forcible Entry (penetrating a locked door, breaching a wall) and
  • Search (crawling through dark unpredictable areas to search for victims)
  • Rescue Drag (removing victim or partner from a fire building)
  • Ceiling Pull (locating fire and checking for fire extension)

The first orientation session is Tuesday, August 8 and the final CPAT is Saturday, October 7. Additional dates and times for the sessions in between will be provided to candidates that are eligible to take CPAT.

The CPAT is a pass or fail test. Applicants must successfully pass the CPAT to be included on the eligibility list.

Step 5. Eligibility List & Selection Process

If you have successfully completed steps 1 – 4, you will be placed on an eligibility list which is certified by the Civil Service Board. The list is certified for a period of two years. At any time during the two-year period, LCBF may choose to engage with candidates on the eligibility list to further assess their potential fit as a LCBF firefighter. LCBF hiring needs and City funding of positions dictates when and if we begin the selection process. An additional interview may be conducted with members of the LCBF and those that possess the strongest qualifications and good moral character will receive a conditional offer of employment. Once a candidate accepts a conditional job offer, additional steps in the selection process are taken.

Step 6. Background Investigation

A thorough and comprehensive background investigation is performed to assess a candidates match with our high moral and ethical standards. The background investigation must indicate that you have the necessary honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity required for being a public servant. Investigators may speak with individuals such as employers, neighbors, family, friends, associates, and non-listed references. In addition to the background investigation, criminal, child abuse, employment, credit and driving record checks are also performed. If all components of these investigations are positive, the candidate will move along in the hiring process.

Step 7. Psychological Evaluation

Candidates are administered an evaluation with a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania. All candidates must pass this evaluation to continue with the hiring process.

Step 8. Medical Evaluation & Drug Screening

The medical evaluation consists of a complete physical examination. Candidates will provide a medical history to the physician. Candidates must pass this step to continue with the hiring process and admission process into the HACC Fire Academy.

Candidates who have been eliminated from the hiring process have the right to appeal the disqualification according to the Rules and Regulations of the Civil Service Board.

Civil Service Board Rules and Regulations (PDF)

Step 9. Fire Academy

Candidates that have successfully completed the first eight steps will move on to attend the HACC Fire Academy as a LCBF recruit. This position is a full-time non-bargaining position. LCBF provides recruits with the necessary tools, transportation, and uniforms to attend the Fire Academy. Recruits will either attend an eight- or 14-week program. There, recruits engage in daily and weekly academic testing, physical exercise, and development. This program will set recruits up to prepare for and obtain National Professional Qualification Certifications in Fire Fighter I & II, HazMat Awareness and HazMat Ops, as well course completions of NIMS 700, 100, and 200 along with PA DOH Basic Vehicle Rescue. Recruits not holding an active EMT or Paramedic license will attend the 14-week program which will prepare recruits to take the National Register EMT test. Obtaining and holding an EMT certification is a condition of employment.

Step 10: Probationary Period

Recruits who graduate from the HACC Fire Academy and obtain professional certifications will be sworn in as Firefighter/EMT’s for the City of Lancaster. LCBF runs an internal academy focusing on LCBF practices that recruits will attend prior to being assigned to a platoon. Once sworn-in, personnel must complete a six-month probationary period.