A career with the Baltimore County Fire Department brings a distinctive way of life with its own challenges and rewards. Before you decide if it’s for you, make sure you educate yourself about life in the fire service.
Our comprehensive presentation "Who We Are, What We Do" will give you a sense of the Fire Department's mission, daily operations, training and station life.
The Fire Department offers three entry-level positions:
- Probationary Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
- Probationary Firefighter
Find information about station life, the recruit experience, duties and more.
The starting salary is $41,262 to $55,481 for Probationary Firefighters and EMTs. The starting salary for Paramedics is $56,920, competitive with neighboring jurisdictions.
The Fire Department offers excellent benefits, including:
- Annual salary review and longevity increments
- Generous vacation and sick leave
- Time off is granted on the basis of seniority. New personnel should not expect to be able to take vacation whenever they choose.
- Uniforms and personal protective equipment
- An educational assistance program
- Health, dental and life insurance coverage
- Representation by a certified labor organization, the Baltimore County Professional Fire Fighters Association, Local 1311
- Excellent retirement and deferred compensation plans
- EMTs, paramedics and firefighters may retire after 30 years of service and after the age of 50, or with 10 years of service at age 60.
- Opportunities for career advancement
The required minimum qualifications for Probationary EMT and Probationary Firefighter are:
- Must have a high school diploma, GED or state accredited equivalent.
- Possession of a valid driver's license equivalent to a non-provisional, non-commercial, class C driver's license with fewer than four points. It does not have to be a Maryland license.
- Must be at least 18 years old at time of application. There is no maximum age limit.
- Must pass a physical examination, psychological evaluation, comprehensive background examination and a drug test.
- Note: All applicants offered a position of employment will be required to sign a tobacco abstinence agreement.
In addition to the requirements above, applicants for the position of Paramedic must possess one of the following certifications:
- Maryland Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic
- Maryland Cardiac Rescue Technician
- National Registry Paramedic
- National Registry Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate 99
Employees hired with the Fire Department serve a probationary period of two years. Applicants are not required to possess any certificates or certifications to apply for entry-level Probationary EMT or Firefighter positions.
The Fire Department application process includes a written examination administered by the Office of Human Resources (OHR). OHR provides a study guide.
Results are pass/fail. If you pass, you will be invited to take the Physical Ability Test.
The Department invites applicants who pass the written exam to take the Physical Ability Test. Tests are scheduled via email, by appointment only.
Applicants for Probationary EMT, Paramedic and Probationary Firefighter must complete all stations of the Physical Ability Test. The Department holds practice sessions prior to the actual test so that candidates have the best possible chance of success.
To learn what to expect and assist with preparing, review the test stations and watch videos of the Physical Ability Test courses.
In order to participate in the Physical Ability Test, and depending upon which position you are applying for, candidates must have completed one of the following forms:
All candidates also need to complete an Applicant Data Form and bring it with them to the Physical Ability Test.
The authorization form must signed by a doctor. Be sure to allow your doctor enough time to complete either of these forms.
Completing the Physical Ability Test does not guarantee you an interview with the Fire Department. Interviews are by invitation only and:
- Consist of a two or three member panel
- Include multiple questions with different scenarios
- Are 20 minutes long
Practice, prepare and be thorough in your answers.
Selections are made by the Fire Chief. Only those selected will be contacted. If selected, you will receive a Conditional Offer of Employment from the Fire Department. The following must be conducted and passed before potentially receiving a Final Offer of Employment:
- Background investigation
- Physical evaluation
- Psychological evaluation
- Drug and alcohol screening
- Stress test
If qualified, you will receive a formal letter from the Fire Chief with your start date and salary. You must also agree to tobacco abstinence.
Recruit training takes place at the Fire-Rescue Academy in Sparrows Point. You must successfully complete all phases of training. All Firefighter or EMT courses are required to graduate. Training includes:
- 40 hours per week
- Varies from five eight-hour days to four 10-hour days, Monday through Friday
- May include nights and weekends as necessary
- Daily physical fitness workouts
- Introduction to other County agencies and Fire Department divisions
- Fair practices training
- Emergency Vehicles Operations (EVOC)
- Regular shifts
- Mentors assigned to all recruits
Training facilities include a burn building, drill tower, flashover simulator, SCBA maze, driving simulator and EMS.
- 40 hours per week
Upon successful completion of Recruit Training, a graduation ceremony will be held where you will graduate with your Recruit Class. After graduation, you will begin your fire service career with Baltimore County.
Submit the form below to contact a Fire Department recruiter.