Photo of the Vancouver Fire Department's quick response vessel, Discovery
Photo of a Vancouver Fire Department ladder truck responding to a fire
Photos of Vancouver firefighters responding to emergency medical calls

How to Become a Vancouver Firefighter

Photo of a female firefighter

Answering the Call

The job of “firefighting” includes a variety of skills and abilities. Unless specifically required for hiring (Example: Paramedic certification), the job includes core abilities that can be found in many community members.

These abilities include, but are not limited to physical fitness, mechanical aptitude, driving skills, communication skills and the ability to work as a team. There are particular character traits that are also important to have in order to be considered as an entry level firefighter. Some of these traits are:

  • Accountable (for your actions, your performance, etc.)
  • Adaptable (to pretty much any situation or task asked of you)
  • Committed (to life-long learning and education, to the fire service, to your department, to your community)
  • Customer service oriented (everything we do is for the customer)
  • Disciplined (knowing policy and procedures, what to do and what not to do)
  • Values diversity (appreciation and understanding of your community, customers and coworkers)
  • Driven (to success, to better your performance, to be the best you can be)
  • Empathetic (to your customers and coworkers)

Vancouver firefighter hiring process

The steps required to become a Vancouver, Washington firefighter begin before you apply.

  1. Evaluate your fitness level and train/prepare for the required physical ability test.
  2. Understand the skills and traits needed to be a firefighter. This can include visiting your local fire station and asking about the job.
  3. Visit the Public Safety Testing website for information about our testing process. This process includes a written test and physical ability test.
  4. After completing the required tests, the Vancouver Fire Department will receive a list of potential candidates and you may be called for an in-person interview.
  5. If selected to move forward, you must successfully complete a background check and a medical physical exam.
  6. The Fire Chief will make the final selection(s) and job offer(s).

Vancouver Fire Department Paramedics work on a patient

Paramedic certification prerequisites

Nationally Registered Paramedic


  • Washington State certified Paramedic
  • Clark County certified Paramedic


A female firefighter at a training exercise with her crew

Vancouver Fire Department Apprenticeships

The Vancouver Fire Department participates in the Washington State Firefighters Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) program for entry-level firefighters.

Apprentice firefighters receive valuable on the job training in conjunction with technical instruction, which meets National Fire Protection Association standards, is accredited, and provides college level credit.

Apprenticeship consists of accredited recruit academy training, hazardous materials training, followed by on the job training and academic instruction that supplements the craft of firefighting.

To qualify, applicants must complete the testing and hiring process described on this Web page. For more information about the JATC program, visit

Vancouver Firefighters Union, Local 452 Logo



All Vancouver firefighters are members of the International Association of Firefighters, Local 452.