Selection Process

Fire Seal

Selection Process Sheet(PDF, 289KB)

Testing Process

Step 1

Sign up online during the application filing period on the Columbus Civil Service (CSC) website and meet the minimum requirements listed below.

Application Civil Service Commission

  • At least 17½ years of age at the time of application and 18 years old at time of hire
  • Valid driver's license at time of application and valid Ohio driver's license at time of hire
  • High school diploma or GED at time of appointment
  • U. S. citizen at time of application

See also Background Removal Standards provided online.

The Columbus Civil Service Commission will notify you of the time and place to report for your examination(s).

Veteran’s Information

Veteran’s preference points are provided under Civil Service Commission Rule VII(E) for all open competitive examinations. If you have served in the military, you are eligible for the addition of extra points to your passing exam score if you meet the following condition:

You have served on active military duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, or on active military duty in the Reserves or National Guard under Title 10, United States Code Armed Forces (Army National Guard of the United States, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air National Guard of the United States, Air Force Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve), and were discharged or released from such duty under honorable conditions (Honorable or Under Honorable Conditions (General) character of service designations). For purposes of this preference consideration, individuals discharged with other than honorable conditions under the United States Armed Forces’ Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy will be considered to have been released under honorable conditions.

If you meet this condition and you are able to document your eligibility, five (5) points will be added to your final passing examination score. Click link below to see more information;

Veterans Fact Sheet(PDF, 734KB)

Step 2: (Phase I & II) Multiple Choice & Oral Assessment (FOAM) (Civil Service Commission)

The initial testing will be conducted under the direction of the Columbus Civil Service Commission. Those applicants who score sufficiently high enough will proceed to the next phase. Prior to the test, preparation materials and study guides will be provided.

(Phase I) Multiple Choice - This portion of the exam covers situational judgement, math, reading comprehension, mechanical aptitude and map reading.

(Phase II) FOAM - Firefighter Oral Assessment Mechanism- is a video-based test that examines a candidate’s problem sensing / resolution skills and interpersonal relations skills. Your oral exam score will be weighted as 100% of the final score for those who pass. Those who pass this portion of the test will be placed in a Band on the Eligible List, provided they pass the Firefighter Mile Physical Test.

(Phase III) Firefighter Mile Physical Testing - Physical Fitness Test course Pass/Fail

Only those who receive passing scores on all 3 phases of the examination process will be placed on the Columbus Civil Service Commission Firefighter Eligible List.

Step 3: Background Investigation (Columbus Division of Fire Background Investigations)

A personal history questionnaire (PHQ) will be required from each candidate along with a pre interview, picture, polygraph and fingerprints. Candidates also will sign waivers allowing the Background Officer to conduct an extensive background investigation. Candidate’s Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ) will be reviewed to ensure compliance with the Firefighter Background Removal Standards(PDF, 362KB), prior to scheduling of the polygraph examination. At this time, the candidate must submit a high school diploma or G.E.D.

Step 4: Oral Interview (CFD)

The candidate will be required to go before an Oral Interview Board consisting of Fire Department representatives. The Board then will make a recommendation to the Director of Public Safety. The Safety Director will select candidates for a conditional offer of employment.

Step 5: Medical / Stress Evaluation / Psychological Exam

After receiving a conditional offer of employment, Candidates will be contacted to schedule appointments for the Step 5 examinations and evaluations. This will involve a rigorous medical examination including a vision, cardiovascularstress tests, and Psychological screening. These tests must be passed before you can be appointed to the position of Firefighter. Candidates must be free of dependence and addiction to narcotics, alcohol or other controlled substances. The vision requirements state that vision must be correctable to 20/30 binocular and no more than 20/100 uncorrected in each eye.

Step 6: Appointment

Firefighter candidate names will be submitted to the Safety Director for final selection and appointment to the Department of Public Safety, Columbus Division of Fire, based on Columbus Civil Service Certification. Fire candidates will be notified by letter of an appointment date to the Training Academy.

Fire recruits will be required to successfully complete approximately 34 weeks of paid training to graduate from the Columbus Division of Fire Training Academy. All appointees will be required to successfully complete a one- year probationary period from date of appointment.

The Division of Fire must maintain a required number of Firefighters who possess a Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic certificate. Some Firefighters may be required to obtain and retain this certificate after becoming a Journeyman Firefighter.

Employees Benefits

The Columbus Division of Fire offers an attractive and competitive fringe benefit package.

  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Vision Care**
  • Dental Plan**
  • Prescription Drug Plan
  • Paid Sick Leave
  • Paid Vacation Leave
  • Paid Holidays
  • Annual Service Credit
  • Clothing and Equipment Allowance
  • College Tuition Reimbursement**
  • Retirement Plan
  • Deferred Compensation Program
  • Credit Union Membership
  • Promotions
  • Worker Compensation

Eligibility for insurance benefits begins on the first day of the month following date of hire, except as noted below.

(**) Eligible after one-year of continuous service.


After completion of one- year continuous service in each of the steps listed below, the employee’s salary increases to the next higher step. Step increases are based on an employee’s date of original appointment.

Eligibility to take the Lieutenant exam is after 5 years as a Firefighter. The differential in salary for Lieutenant, Captain, and Battalion Chief are products of an 18% full rate wage differential between these ranks.

Effective November 1, 2022
Step A $59,041.83/Annually
Step B $62,036.52/Annually
Step C $65,177.31/Annually
Step D $77,764.78/Annually
Step E $90,498.32/Annually

An Equal Opportunity Employer

Columbus Division of Fire, Recruitment Office
3675 Parsons Avenue
Columbus, OH 43207

(614) 645-6387

Job Interest Form
Will put you on the mailing list for any firefighter (#3090) testing information announcements from the Civil Service Commission.