Boise Fire Entry Level FAQs

Boise Fire Entry Level Hiring/Recruit Academy

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

See 2024-2025 Recruiting Process and Important Dates

EMT Certification

1. When do I need to have my EMT Certification by?

Applicants will need their EMT certification by the time the application period closes. That deadline is to be determined for 2024 applications, but will mostly likely be the end of August 2024. This deadline is subject to change at any time, so please check back in a few months or sign up to receive the recruitment e-newsletter.

2. What if I have an EMT Certification from another state?

Out of state EMT certificates are acceptable for the application. When an out-of-state candidate is hired, there is a process to gain reciprocity at the candidate's own expense. The department will not pay to assist in gaining reciprocity.

3. Is a National EMT Certification valid for applying?


4. Can Boise Fire recommend an EMT Certification program?

Candidates will have to do their own research on EMT Certification courses to see which one best fits their schedule and lifestyle. Unfortunately, Boise Fire is not able to recommend one EMT Certification program over another as it is a conflict of interest. There is no negative/positive for online vs in-person, it is just what fits their timeline.

Idaho Driver's License

5. Do I need to have a valid Idaho State license to apply?

No, any valid, state-issued license is acceptable for application.

Qualifications / Requirements

6. What are the qualifications to apply?

There are five basic requirements for Boise Fire:

  • Must be a minimum of 18 years old
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Possess a valid driver's license
  • Possess a current National Registry or state-issued EMT Basic Certification by close of application period
  • Be able to meet physically demanding standards

7. Does Boise Fire have lateral positions open/available?

No, currently we do not have lateral positions at this time. All applicants for Boise Fire must go through regular testing process and Recruit Academy. After successful completion of Recruit Academy, recruits become Probationary Firefighters and then move to a Firefighter 1 after they pass their 12-month test.

8. I have certificates from previous classes, does that help me in applying?

All applicants go through the same testing and hiring process (written exam, oral interview, physical fitness test and recruit academy). However, any additional/outside certificates can be applied toward step raise classes when you reach that level in the department.

9. Is there an age limit to applying?

No age limit in the hiring process. Minimum age is 18.

10. Is there a mile limit or restriction for how far I can live outside of the Boise area?

There is no distance restriction to where a candidate lives.

11. Does Boise Fire hire women?

Yes, absolutely.

12. Will colorblindness disqualify me?/ Is there a vision requirement/limitation?

Colorblindness will not disqualify a candidate from the application process. An eye exam will be administered by our department physician during a candidate's physical exam.

13. Will a felony conviction disqualify me from the application process?

Per City of Boise Policy Handbook; An applicant, volunteer, or employee shall be disqualified for employment and volunteer service if the individual’s record reveals any felony conviction within the individual’s lifetime; any misdemeanor conviction related to sexual misconduct, violence, or crimes against children or a vulnerable adult within the individual’s lifetime; two or more drug or alcohol related misdemeanors in the last five years, including convictions from foreign jurisdictions.

14. Will hand/knuckle tattoos disqualify me?

No. However, per Boise Fire Policy 17; There shall be no tattoo above the collar of the Boise Fire Department-issued short-sleeved T-shirt. The display of ANY unprofessional or offensive tattoo(s), regardless of its location, is prohibited and must be covered. Unprofessional or offensive is defined as: nudity, sexually explicit or vulgar, profane words and phrases, symbols to incite negative reactions, initials or acronyms that represent criminal or oppressive organizations.


15. What does the annual salary look like for a Boise Firefighter?

View Firefighter Salary Schedule

16. What the pay is for a firefighter/paramedic?

There are 33 paramedic/firefighter positions for the Boise Fire Department. In order to receive the paramedic pay increase, all paramedic applicants go through a testing process. After they pass the paramedic evaluations, they are placed on an eligibility list to take one of the 33 positions and receive the pay increase. The increase is an additional 10% of base wages. There is no entry level firefighter/paramedic position at this time.

Recruit Academy / Operations

17. What is the work schedule for Boise Fire firefighters?

48/96 shift schedule. 48 hours on/96 hours off. Recruits are assigned to A, B, or C Shifts in Recruit Academy.

18. Is this a combination department (wildland and structural)?

This is a combination fire department. There are steps in order for any of our firefighters to become deployable for wildfire season. However, firefighters are not able to be deployed within their first year of employment.

19. What is the hiring schedule/timeline?

Our hiring timeline has been this model for the last couple of years. The next hiring cycle will begin Fall 2024 for a January 2025 Recruit Academy. However, that is subject to change at any time based on department and city needs. We recommend signing up for our recruitment e-newsletter on the hiring webpage as well as following Boise Fire on social media for any updates.

20. How many positions is Boise Fire hiring?

Between 10-12 recruits for January 2025 academy.

21. Is Recruit Academy paid?

Yes, once a person is extended a job offer they are City of Boise employees and are paid as such.

22. How long is Recruit Academy? Is it full time?

Recruit Academy is 19-20 weeks long at the Boise Fire Training Center. Recruit Academy is full time, Monday through Friday.

Written Exam

23. Where is the written exam being held, and what are the dates?

The written exam is now being conducted online through the National Testing Network (NTN).

24. Is there a cost to the exam?

Yes, $30. Paid online via PayPal.

Only applicants that meet all the hiring qualifications will be able to take the written exam. Applications that do not meet the hiring criteria will not be eligible to take the written exam.

25. How high do I need to score in order to make it to the oral interviews?/What is the cutoff score for the written exam?

Cutoff scores are not know until after the exam. It changes each year depending on the score grouping. Mid 90's usually.

26. How should I prepare for the test, or what test are you using?

We are testing using Industrial Organizational Solutions. You can purchase a study guide for the test on their website. The version of the test we are using is the CWH Next Generation Firefighter Exam.

Medical/Physical and Background Check

27. Medical/Physical Evaluation, Physical Fitness Test, Drug Test/Background Check

The top candidates who score high enough on the written exam and oral interview will be extended conditional job offers. Candidates will be medically cleared by BFD physician prior to the onboarding run. That includes blood draw and stress test. There is no formal psych evaluation. Once medically cleared, candidates will complete a 1.5 mile run in 11 and a half minutes. Failure to complete the run in that allotted time will mean a disqualification from the process. There are no make ups or re-dos. After completion of the run, candidates will be drug tested and finger printed for background checks.

28. When is the 1.5 mile run?

The run and HR onboarding is typically scheduled in November. The run takes place outside. Plan to wear layers because of colder weather, especially if you are coming from out of state.

Miscellaneous Information

29. Is Boise Fire offering ride alongs?

Boise Fire no longer has a ride along program offered to the general public.

30. Who do I address my cover letter to?

"To Whom It May Concern" or "To Boise Fire Department"

31. How can I receive information for the next recruiting process?

Sign up for the Boise Fire Recruitment e-newsletter and following Boise Fire on social media.

32. How many times will I have to travel to Boise after I apply?

Twice. Two days for physical test and interview, and two to three days for Onboarding Day (as well as necessary preemployment items such as drug testing and physical). Any time spent in Boise outside those mandatory dates will be at the candidates' discretion.

33. Does the Department pay for relocation of out of state candidates?

No. Any candidates that come from out of state are required to find their own housing accommodations. The department does not sponsor or host any recruits during recruit academy.

**ADA Accommodations: In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, disabled applicants who need a reasonable accommodation to participate in the written exam shall submit a written request for accommodation to Sarah Hatley at by September 29, 2023. Requests for a reasonable accommodation must be clearly defined. Applicants must attach documentation from a medical provider or accredited counseling agency stating the disability, functional limitations and proposed accommodation. In accordance with the law, the city will review all requests and will provide reasonable accommodations to applicants that provide appropriate documentation by the deadline stated.

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