Boise Fire Entry Level FAQs

Boise Fire Entry Level Hiring/Recruit Academy

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

See 2023-2024 Recruiting Process and Important Dates

EMT Certification

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

By the time the application period closes. To be determined for 2024 entry level applications.

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

That is fine. If you are hired, you will have the ability to gain reciprocity once Recruit Academy starts. Any current, state-issued EMT certification is acceptable.

3. Is a National EMT Certification valid for applying?


Idaho Driver's License

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

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

Qualifications / Requirements

5. 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 oral interviews
  • Be able to meet physically demanding standards

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Is there an age limit to applying?

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

9. 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.

10. Does Boise Fire hire women?

Yes, absolutely.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.


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

View Firefighter Salary Schedule

15. 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

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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 Summer 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.

19. How many positions is Boise Fire hiring?

Between 20-22 recruits for January 2025 academy.

20. Is Recruit Academy paid?

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

21. 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

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

Please check back later for updated information regarding the written exam time and location.

23. Is there a cost to the exam?

Yes, $30. Paid online via PayPal.

Anyone is able to signup and take the written exam. It is common for people to test multiple times before being hired on. The more experience with test-taking, the better.

24. Am I able to take the written exam somewhere else/remotely?

No, not at this time.

25. What is the process to schedule my written exam once I submit my application?

HR verifies if applicants made their $30 payment. If applicants have made their payment, they will be sent an e-mail asking them to go to their NEOGOV account and self-schedule their written exam date and time. HR processes payments once a week and sends out e-mails to those applicants. Monitor your inbox after application.

26. What do I do if I have not received an email from HR to register for written exam?

This is usually due to the name on the payment not matching the name on the NeoGov website. Send email to with your name, email address, and date of application that was used to apply.

27. What can I bring with me to written exam?

ID and clear water bottle. No calculators or scratch paper allowed. ABSOLUTELY NO cell phones or smart watches will be allowed in the testing room. There is not a secure location to store any belongings a candidate brings with them (this includes purses, backpacks, suitcases). Boise Fire is not responsible for any lost items.

28. When should I arrive to the written exam?

Doors close 15 mins before exam start. It is HIGHLY recommended candidates arrive 30-60 mins ahead of their exam time to allow for any issues (parking, locating testing site, check in, etc). Candidates who arrive late will not be admitted to the exam.

29. 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.

30. 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

31. 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.

32. 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

33. Is Boise Fire offering ride alongs?

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

34. Who do I address my cover letter to?

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

35. 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.

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

Three. The written exam is scheduled for the beginning of October and is only available in person. If you score high enough on the written exam then you will be asked to schedule an oral interview. Oral interviews are at the end of October, and are only available in person. The top combined candidate scores will be extended a conditional job offer and asked to come back for a physical with our department physician, followed by a fitness test. This is scheduled for mid-November. So from start to finish, candidates will need to be in Boise three separate times (written exam, oral interview, physical and fitness test).

 2023-2024 Recruit Academy Application Process and Important dates -

(2023-2024 Entry Level Firefighter Recruitment is now closed. These dates are for reference only.)

Step 1: Apply Online

  • The online application is available on our website or directly through An account will need to be created for new applicants or those that do not already have an account.
  • Note: Only attach a Cover Letter, Resume, and EMT Certification to the application. Any additional certifications can be provided at oral board interviews.
  • If you wish to request Veterans Preference, you must attach your DD214, and if applicable, proof of disability. No late submissions will be accepted.

Step 2: Pay for the Written Exam

  • The cost for the Entry-Level Firefighter written exam is $30.00. Payment must be submitted via PayPal only. No other form of payment will be accepted. If you are using someone else's PayPal account, enter the applicant's name in the comment section so the payment can be matched and verified.
  • Note: Payments for this exam are nonrefundable.

Step 3: Schedule Written Exam Date and Time

  • Once the City of Boise has reviewed your application and verified payment, you will receive an email notification to self-schedule for the written exam through your application account.
  • Note: this process can take up to a week. It will be important that you check your account regularly to receive notifications regarding your application.

Important dates: 

  • June 1, 2023, 8 a.m. MST: The city of Boise officially opened this year's Entry-Level Firefighter Recruitment.
  • September 1, 2023, 5 p.m. MST: Deadline for application.
  • September 29, 2023, 5 p.m. MST: Deadline for scheduling written examinations.
  • October 23, 2023: Deadline to obtain EMT Certification.
  • Entry-Level Written Exams will be held at City Hall on the following dates: Friday, October 6, 2023 and Saturday, October 7, 2023.
  • January 9, 2024: Recruit Academy starts.

Failure to meet any of these deadlines will disqualify any applicant from the 2023-2024 Entry-Level Firefighter Recruitment.

**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.

Message Sent Successfully!

Message Failed To Send.

Send a Message to Fire

If this is an emergency, please call 911.

Thank you for contacting the Boise Fire Department. In-person services are limited. Please fill out the form below and we will provide you with the best and most timely assistance.