Becoming one of North Charleston’s Bravest

Update: Dec 7th, 2023

NCFD is hiring for the position of Fire Captain Training Coordinator.
Deadline: Until Filled




NCFD is hiring for the position of Fire Captain/EMT.
Hazardous Material Coordinator.




Entry Level Firefighter Testing Process

Accepting applications all year long.

Specific requirements to becoming a North Charleston firefighter:

  • Be at least 18-years-old
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Have a High School Diploma or G.E.D.
  • Pass the reading skills comprehension exam
  • Pass the JRPAT (Job Related Physical Ability Test) in under 8 minutes and 30 seconds
  • Pass a background check
  • Pass a drug screening

Download an employment application

Once the application has been processed, and when there are sufficient applicants, the department will begin the testing process.  Each applicant must meet all the above requirements to be considered a firefighter candidate.

Written Exam

North Charleston Fire Department uses the National Firefighter Selection Test (NFST) as the hiring process written exam. The National Firefighter Selection Test (NFST) is an entry-level basic skills test that helps NCFD select the most qualified applicants by ensuring that candidates possess the basic cognitive skills necessary to successfully perform the job. The NFST is a valid, job-related test designed specifically for use in fire service, which measures these basic skills: Reading Comprehension, Mathematics and Listening Comprehension.

Preparing for the Written Exam

Firefighter candidates interested in studying for the NFST can purchase an online NFST Study Guide for $5 or an online NFST Practice Test for $15. Visit to learn more.

North Charleston Job Related Physical Ability Test (JRPAT)


The JRPAT will consist of a single timed scenario intended to simulate the task of fighting a house fire in a typical structure in North Charleston.  The test will not require any prior knowledge of firefighting skills and techniques, thus creating a fair field for all participants.  All events must be completed within 8 minutes and 30 seconds to qualify.

Event 1: Truck Dismount

  • The candidate will don safety helmet, gloves and forty (40) pound vest. Then will be seated and fasten the seatbelt.
  • At the instruction of the proctor to begin, the clock will be started.
  • The participant will unfasten his/her seatbelt and step down from the jump seat of the apparatus using three points of contact.
  • The participant will then advance to the location on the apparatus, where the dry hoseline is located.

Event 2: Extend Dry Hose Line

  • The participant will grasp a nozzle and hoseline 100 feet placing the nozzle inside a marked square.

Event 3:  Equipment Retrieval

  • The participant will return to the apparatus and retrieve a 9 pound sledgehammer. He/She will then advance the 100 ft., while carrying the sledgehammer to Event 4.

Event 4: Forcible Entry

  • Using the 9lb. Sledgehammer, the participant will strike the forcible entry simulator until the device moves the required distance.  Movement must occur from striking and not dragging the simulator (150 pounds).
  • If dragging occurs, the simulator will be returned to the start position as time continues.
  • When finished the candidate will place the sledgehammer on the ground and proceed to Event 5.

Event 5:  Charged Hose Advance

  • While crawling the participant will drag a charged hoseline 50 feet.
  • At the 15 ft mark, the participant will then move a “heavy object” from the line of course.  While moving the obstacle a knee must stay in contact with the floor at all times.
  • The penalty for standing will be to return to the beginning of Event 5 (time continues).
  • After the obstacle is moved, the candidate will continue to the 25 feet mark and make a 90 degree turn around a barrel.
  • The participant will then continue pulling the nozzle across a mark at 50 feet.
  • The participant will stand leaving the nozzle on the ground and proceed to Event 6.

Event 6:  Window Entry

  • The candidate will enter through an open window space and proceed to Event 7.

Event 7: Stair Climb

  • The participant will pick up a “high rise pack” (two 50 ft sections of 1.75 inch hose taped together) and proceed up two flights of stairs (one story).  “High rise pack” weights approximately 50 pounds.
  • Upon completion of the stair climb, the candidate will place the “high rise pack” on the floor in the location indicated by the proctor.

Event 8:  Ceiling Pull Simulation

  • The participant will grasp the pike pole and complete 10 repetitions on the ceiling pull simulation device.
  • The candidate will them return to the first floor (touching each stair), exit the building through the door and advance to the start of Event 9.

Event 9: Victim Rescue

  • The participant will drag a simulated victim (mannequin weighing approximately 165 lbs) along a smooth surface 50 feet around a barrel and 50 feet back.
  • Time will stop when the entire body of the mannequin crosses the finish line.
  • The mannequin must be dragged from the head end.  This must be a drag, not a carry.  A portion of the mannequin must stay in contact with the ground at all times.


  • Arrive 15 minutes early to your assigned testing time.
  • Late arrivals will NOT be accepted in the testing process.
  • No shorts or open toed shoes.
  • Drink plenty of water the DAY BEFORE to keep hydrated.
  • Stretch/warm up before starting.