Employment Information

General Info

Firefighter Recruit (Full Time)

Firefighter Recruits are assigned to the fire academy for the purpose of meeting departmental minimum training levels and obtaining required certifications. 

Recruits are expected to retain all course material and demonstrate this knowledge through the use of quizzes and practical skill demonstrations so that the individual will be fully conversant in the practices and theories in the application of fire service principles and thus be able to save lives, minimize property damage, and extinguish fires. 

Recruits are assigned to work a 40-hour work week.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Age 18 (by time of written test)​
  • High School Diploma or GED (at time of job offer)
  • Valid U.S. driver's license (at time of application)
  • Eligible to work in the United States (at time of application)

​As a condition of employment, all VBFD Firefighter Recruit employees must sign an agreement stating they will not use tobacco products either on or off duty. Firefighters must maintain an acceptable level of physical fitness and maintain driving privileges throughout their employment with the Virginia Beach Fire Department.

  • $49,543 Annual Salary During Fire Academy
  • Firefighter Recruits receive an annual salary while attending the 6-month academy.
  • ​Upon graduation from the academy, Firefighter Recruits become probationary firefighters and receive a 5% increase.
  • $52,020 Annual Salary Upon Academy graduation


Certified Firefighter (Full Time)

Firefighters provide skilled emergency, medical pre hospital, and non-emergency services in a variety of areas including fire suppression, medical pre-hospital assistance, public education, and information. 

Firefighters are assigned to work a 24-hour shift, or other assigned shift, responding as needed during that shift. During the first six years a VBFD Firefighter will be assigned to work a 56-hour work week. Other Fire assignments may include a 40-hour work week in an administrative or training position.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Age 18 (by time of written test)​
  • High School Diploma or GED (at time of job offer)
  • Valid U.S. driver's license (at time of application)
  • Eligible to work in the United States (at time of application)
  • Firefighter I & Firefighter II (IFSAC or ProBoard; at time of application)
  • ICS - 100, 200, 700 & 800 (at time of application)
  • EVOC (at time of application)
  • CPR (at time of application)
  • Hazmat Operations (at time of application)
  • EMT-B (VA-EMT or Nationally Registered Preferred; ALS Preferred; at time of application)

​As a condition of employment, all VBFD Firefighter employees must sign an agreement stating they will not use tobacco products either on or off duty. Firefighters must maintain an acceptable level of physical fitness and maintain driving privileges throughout their employment with the Virginia Beach Fire Department.

  • $51,000 Annual Salary During Fire Academy
  • Certified Firefighter receive an annual salary while attending the 10-week academy.
  • $52,020 Annual Salary Upon Graduation


OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR PAY INCREASES

  • Once released, Medics receive a $7,000 annual stipend.
  • Firefighters are eligible for a career progression to Firefighter II (5% increase) after three years and completion/enrollment of certain classes and a satisfactory performance evaluation.
  • $54,621 Annual Salary for Firefighter II
  • After six years, firefighters may participate in a comprehensive training program to become eligible for a career promotion (10% increase) to Master Firefighter I.
  • $60,220 Annual Salary for Master Firefighter
  • Master Firefighters are eligible for a career progression to Master Firefighter II (5% increase) after three years in grade and completion/enrollment of certain classes and a satisfactory performance evaluation.
  • All full-time employees are also automatically placed into a step-program which will be based on 50% of years of service and result in a 3% increase each step.

Hiring Process

Firefighter Recruit Hiring Process

​​​The Virginia Beach Fire Department’s comprehensive Firefighter Recruit Hiring Process is completed over the duration of approximately eight months. Candidates are required to successfully complete all stages consecutively. The Firefighter Recruit Hiring Process is as follows:

  1. Online Application
  2. Written Assessment
  3. Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)
  4. Structured Oral Interview (SOI)
  5. Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ)
  6. Polygraph
  7. Conditional Offer
  8. Post-Offer Assessments
  9. Final Offer
  10. New Member Orientation
  11. Virginia Beach Fire Academy

Candidate Physical Abilities Test

​​​​​​Firefighting is a challenging and physically demanding job. Specific levels of physical conditioning are required to successfully perform the job functions of a Firefighter. The Virginia Beach Fire Department will utilize CPAT to assess each candidate's physical ability to complete critical firefighting tasks effectively and safely.

We are now offering CPAT testing year-round at our Fire Training Center on some Thursdays and Saturdays. Sign up for a slot. 

Candidates will have three opportunities to successfully pass the CPAT. Trial 1, Trial 2, and Trial 3 (final test).

Trial 1

Candidates who pass the written test will receive an email to sign up for Trial 1.

Mentoring Program

Attending the Mentoring Program is not mandatory, but is encouraged. Candidates may attend as many mentoring sessions as they wish. Candidates will be trained in the skills to complete the CPAT test, including how to achieve the fitness levels needed to be firefighters. 

If the candidate does successfully complete the CPAT within the time limit, it will count as an official "Pass," and the candidate will not have to retake the CPAT. Unsuccessful candidates can continue to participate in the Mentoring Program and will have to sign up for Trial 3 (final test).

Final Test

The final test is for candidates who have not yet been successful or did not test during Trials 1 and 2. This is the last opportunity to take the CPAT with VBFD. Unsuccessful candidates will be disqualified from the process.

NOTE: VBFD will also accept valid CPAT cards issued within a specific time frame from other IAFF-licensed agencies.

Disqualifiers

The following are considered disqualifying factors, which shall result in non-selection for employment opportunities in uniform positions with the Virginia Beach Fire Department.

Criminal History

  • Conviction of any felony other than those listed below
  • Conviction of initiating a false alarm as an adult
  • Conviction of arson or arson-related crime
  • Commission of undetected crimes of a serious or repetitive nature

Drugs

  • Conviction of illegal possession, use, sale or intent to sell marijuana or a derivative thereof within 12 months from time of written exam
  • Conviction of illegal possession, use, sale or intent to sell Schedule I or II controlled substances including but not limited to narcotics and illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens or any other Schedule I or II drug, or any derivative thereof as defined in the Code of Virginia which constitutes a felony within five years from time of written exam
  • Conviction of illegal sale or intent to sell Schedule III-VI controlled substances within five years from time of written exam
  • Conviction of illegal use and possession of Schedule III-VI controlled substances within five years from time of written exam

Other

  • Any punitive discharge from the military: including Bad Conduct and Dishonorable discharge; from any military service
  • Any founded charge of child abuse or neglect
  • Permanent revocation of EMS certification or license in Virginia or any other state; and disciplinary or enforcement action by Virginia or other state EMS office or other recognized state or national healthcare provider licensing or certifying body in the last five years.
  • Untruthfulness, the withholding of information, or deliberate inaccuracies, on any application, interview or paperwork, or cheating on any examination or testing associated with the selection process

Note: This is not intended to be an exhaustive listing of background disqualifiers. An applicant may also be disqualified for other concerns. Other areas of concern will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Other areas of concern include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Conviction of any other Class 1 or 2 misdemeanor or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude (lying, stealing, cheating), excluding traffic violations, within the last five years; or the Virginia State Law equivalent within the last five years
  • Conviction of reckless driving; patterns of reckless or irresponsible driving; or multiple convictions of driving under the influence; and suspension of driving privileges due to conviction of a moving violation(s)
  • Reduction of charges as a result of a plea agreement or other form of sentencing disposition prior to a conviction in any of the aforementioned criminal and driving history categories
  • Crimes committed as a juvenile, including undetected crimes
  • Admission of illegal drug possession, use, sale or intent to sell Schedule I-VI controlled substances that does not fall within the parameters defined above
  • Military general discharge under other than honorable conditions
  • Incomplete statements on any application, interview or paperwork, or on any examination or testing associated with the selection process
  • Erratic work record; unfavorable employment references
  • Pending criminal charges