Becoming a Firefighter

Firefighter Applicants: The testing for Firefighter is currently closed.  Our next application period is anticipated for fall of 2015 for testing in 2016. We encourage you to take advantage of any programs/services available through the Denver Department of Safety Recruitment Unit.

You may fill out a Recruitment Interest Form to be notified about upcoming testing and events. Please review the following information to verify that you meet the minimum qualifications (see below) required to be a Denver Firefighter or to access materials that will aid you in your test preparation.

The Civil Service Commission has established a first tier of Minimum Qualifications that a Fire applicant must meet in order to be eligible to test. Those who do not meet the Minimum Qualifications will be subject to "automatic disqualification." Keep in mind that for some of the Minimum Qualifications an individual may be eligible to request an Exemption from Disqualification if the disqualifying behavior in question was prior to age eighteen (18) and it occurred more than five (5) years ago.

Applicants must meet all of the minimum qualifications. Except as noted herein, any failure to meet one or more of the minimum qualifications will result in your immediate disqualification. Please note that some standards have particular time limits associated with them. If this applies to your situation, you may later become eligible and apply once those time limits have lapsed. If you do not meet a minimum qualification based on your behavior or criminal history occurring both prior to age 18 and more than five years ago, you may be eligible to request an "exemption" from disqualification. (Please see Exemption from Disqualification for Behavior Prior to Age 18.) If you have already scheduled an appointment and find that you do not meet the minimum qualifications, please contact the Denver Civil Service Commission at (720) 913-3365.

The minimum qualifications for Firefighter have been updated effective April 15, 2011. Please see the following link to Commission Rule 3, Qualifications for Original Appointment.

EXEMPTION FROM DISQUALIFICATION FOR BEHAVIOR PRIOR TO AGE 18: If an individual fails to meet a minimum qualification based on behavior or criminal history occurring both prior to age eighteen (18) and more than five (5) years ago, the individual may be eligible to request an exemption from disqualification. The request for exemption must be made in writing. The request for exemption may be made either before application or, if after application, within forty-five (45) days following notice of disqualification. (Due to the limited availability of Fire Test slots, the Commission recommends any request for exemption be made prior to application.) Any request for exemption from disqualification will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Applicants who are granted an exemption may re-apply when testing slots are available. In some circumstances, particular criminal matters are not eligible for the granting of an exemption. Details regarding the filing of a written request for an exemption, and the eligibility requirements for an exemption are contained in Commission Rule 3. If you have additional questions, please call the Denver Civil Service Commission at (720) 913-3371.

Request for Exemption from Disqualification Form

Application  Information:
Application are accepted here: 
Download the Out-of-State Applicants brochure

Written Test:
The written test is administered via computer at the Civil Service Commission’s Office. 
Video Test:
 A video test is administered to police applicants upon successful completion of the written test. Fire applicants do not take videotest. This test may take up to 5 hours to complete. Please plan your schedule accordingly. The results are immediate.  You will receive your scores when you leave. Afterwards, the Commission will notify you  if your score is high enough to be invited on for further processing.

Required Number of Trips to Denver
This will depend on the Testing Calendar and academy start dates; applicants should plan on making 3-4 trips toDenver to complete the testing/screening. For more information 
  • First trip:  Test Phases 1 thorough-3
  • Second trip: Test Phases 5 through 9, and will be 3 to 5 days
  • Third trip: Test Phase 11, and will be approximately one day
  • Fourth trip: Medical Evaluation and Fingerprinting, and will be approximately  3 days
How can you prepare:
It can take from six months to a year to complete all the testing/screening  phases. As a result you can begin to prepare by: 
  • Pre-schedule a ride along or tour with a District Station.
  • Go for a ride a long where you live. 
  • Review the Denver Department of Safety Recruitment website for study material. 
  • Study for the written test
  • Begin to make physical fitness a way of life. 

Self Review

No one expects a Fire applicant to have a "perfect" background. However, your background is required to reflect the maturity, integrity and judgment appropriate for a Firefighter; otherwise you are not likely to be successful in the testing/selection process.

Firefighters are required to demonstrate the highest possible personal integrity through their honesty and ethical conduct. Firefighters must be truthful. Firefighters need to faithfully perform their duties and always do the right thing for the right reason.

Self Review:

  • Have you demonstrated a history of honesty, integrity and personal ethics in your business and personal life?
  • Do you admit to and understand past mistakes?
  • Have you refrained from using employment or a position of authority for personal gain?
  • Have you accepted responsibility for your actions?
  • Are you willing to honestly and fully disclose all requested information regarding your employment history, employment related discipline, prior applications with other Public Safety entities, driving and criminal records, financial/credit history, illegal drug use/sales, and alcohol abuse?
  • Are you willing to undergo a confidential background investigation? The background investigation will include a confidential inquiry with both listed and unlisted references as to your character and suitability to become a Firefighter. Prior employers, military personnel, friends, relatives and other individuals will be contacted to verify information that you have provided and to verify your suitability.

Firefighters must possess good common sense and must demonstrate through their past behavior that they can analyze a situation quickly, make sound and responsible decisions and take appropriate action. 

The Commission will conduct criminal and motor vehicle records checks. The Commission considers your age at the time of any offense, the severity of the offense and any fines and/or penalties imposed. Any demonstrated behaviors that exhibit a pattern of unwillingness to comply with laws, rules, regulations or orders raises serious concerns about your character and your judgment.

Do not assume that juvenile records are automatically cleared upon becoming an adult. Additionally, accepting a plea bargain or completing a deferred judgment or sentence does not necessarily clear your criminal record. Please verify your eligibility prior to submitting a Fire application.

Self Review:

  • Is your background free of legal issues?
  • Do you obey laws, rules, regulations and orders?
  • Do you engage in safe driving practices?
  • Do you have outstanding warrants?
  • Have you recently received any motor vehicle tickets or has your license been recently suspended?
  • Do you have a history of DWAI, or DUI or have you driven without insurance?
  • Are you able to follow orders and directives?
  • Have you demonstrated risky behavior?
  • Have you recently used illegal drugs?
  • Have you abused alcohol or prescription medications?
  • Have you failed to pay traffic fines or taxes?

Firefighters must demonstrate maturity, good decision making skills, initiative and the ability to follow through on commitments without constant supervision and detailed instruction. Firefighters must critically analyze options and determine an appropriate course of action in a given situation. Firefighters must maintain good working relationships and must be able to interact effectively with the public.

Self Review:

  • Have you demonstrated dependability in your work and personal life?
  • Have you made good decisions in your work and personal life?
  • Have you completed work as required and on schedule?
  • Are you fiscally responsible and have you acted responsibly in your financial obligations? Are there mitigating circumstances?
  • Have you demonstrated sound decision making skills and have you exercised self-control and restraint?
  • Do you accept responsibility for your past actions and mistakes?
  • Have you been able to maintain good work and personal relationships?
  • Do you have a history of disciplinary actions in your employment?

Firefighters must deal effectively with others in a cooperative and courteous manner. Firefighters must be able to work effectively alone or as a member of a larger team. Firefighters must demonstrate impartiality in dealing with issues of age, gender, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity, disability, religion and cultural diversity.

Self Review:

  • Do you understand the impact of words and behaviors on others and do you modify your behavior, comments or course of action accordingly?
  • Do you have concern for the feelings and perspectives of others?
  • Do you use tact and diplomacy to achieve goals, resolve disputes, and to diffuse or deescalate conflict?
  • Have you been involved in any incidences of domestic violence as the perpetrator?
  • Do you have a history of telling racist or sexist jokes or making biased comments?
  • Are you able to effectively work as a member of a team, making appropriate contributions and recognizing the achievement of others?

Firefighters must be physically and mentally able to perform the essential functions of a Firefighter (with or without reasonable accommodation). The mental and physical demands of the Fire Academy followed by an extensive probationary period and rigorous work schedules place heavy demands on those entrusted to serve as a Firefighter. Are you physically and mentally prepared to become a Firefighter?

Self Review:

  • Do you know the detailed duties and responsibilities of a Firefighter?
  • Are you currently participating in a physical fitness program?
  • Are you prepared to work various shifts, weekends and holidays?
  • Have you participated in any Fire department "ride-a-longs"?
  • Is your family supportive of your decision to become a Firefighter?

Download a pdf version of our Denver Firefighter Self Review.

Contact Us

Denver Civil Service Commission
201 W Colfax Ave
Dept 1208, 2nd Floor
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (720) 913-3370 
Fax: (720) 913-3373

All visitors to the Webb Building are subject to security screening.

For questions regarding Firefighting positions, please contact:

Greg Pixley, Denver Fire Department
(720) 913-3377

Jeff Wilson, CSC Senior HR Professional
(720) 913-3380

To learn more about the Denver Fire Department, visit: