Fire Seal

CONTACT INFO Recruitment Office
3675 Parsons Ave 
Columbus Ohio 43207 
Phone  614.645.6387
Fax  614.724-0899


Columbus Firefighter ~ Fire Selection Process

Recruitment Splash Photo

NEXT Firefighter Examination  information:

Printable Selection Process Sheet

Selection Process

Step 1:  Application Civil Service Commission (CSC)

  • 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 CivilService 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


Step 2:  (Phase 1) WrittenExam & Oral Assessment (FOAM)(Civil Service Commission)

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

Written Exam- will consist of multiple choice questions Pass/Fail

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 determines your Banding Score on the Eligibility list, Band Rank/Fail

(Phase 2) Firefighter Mile Physical Testing- Physical Fitness Test course Pass/Fail
Only those who receive passing scores on all phases of the examination process will be placed on the Columbus Civil Service Commission Firefighter Eligibility List in band scores.

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, prior to scheduling of the polygraph examination. At this time, the candidate must submit a high school diploma or G.E.D.

Step4:  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.

Step5:  Medical / Stress Evaluation /Psychological Exam

After receiving a conditional offer of employment, Candidates will be contacted to schedule step 5. 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.  Cardiovascular Fitness Stress Test Information -  Stress Test Standards -  Stress Test Training Program - Stress Test Practice 

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 Fire Academy.

Fire recruits will be required to successfully complete approximately thirty weeks of paid training and graduate from the Columbus Fire 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                                            Annual Service Credit

Life Insurance                                                Clothing and Equipment Allowance

Vision Care**                                                College Tuition Reimbursement**

Dental Plan**                                                Retirement Plan

Prescription Drug Plan                                    Deferred Compensation Program

Paid Sick Leave                                              Credit Union Membership

Paid Vacation Leave                                        Promotions

Paid Holidays                                                 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.


EFFECTIVE    November 1, 2016    through      November 1, 2017

STEP A                 $1,940.00 bi-weekly                           $50,440.00 annually

STEP B                 $2,038.40 bi-weekly                           $52,998.40 annually

STEP C                 $2,141.60 bi-weekly                           $55,681.60 annually

STEP D                 $2,316.00 bi-weekly                           $66,435.20 annually

STEP E                 $2,973.60 bi-weekly                           $77,313.60 annually


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


Columbus Division of Fire, Recruitment Office, 3675 Parsons Ave Columbus Ohio 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.