Fire Cadet Program

IMG_0785Become a Fire Cadet

Are you interested in becoming a firefighter? If so, Columbia Fire & Rescue's Cadet Program is your gateway into an exciting and fulfilling career in the fire service. Cadets aid in increasing the diversity of Columbia Fire & Rescue by bringing new ideas and problem solving skills to the fire service. Columbia Fire & Rescue strives to develop a department that is reflective of the City of Columbia. This program is for men and women 18 years of age and up. To qualify, applicants must:

• Be at least 18 years of age at time of testing.

• Have a high school diploma or GED

• Have a valid Tennessee driver’s license

Fire Cadet Program - Part Time

The purpose of the Fire Cadet program is to help young people make the decision on whether they want to pursue a career in Fire Suppression. The Fire Cadet program is a unique blend of training designed to prepare cadets for the academic, emotional and physical rigors required to be successful in the fire service.

A job as a Fire Cadet is a gateway to a full time firefighting career with Columbia Fire & Rescue. Fire Cadets are part-time employees that perform various support functions while completing training to become a Firefighter.

EMT Certification

Cadets are responsible for paying their tuition and fees for enrollment into the EMT course. However, the City of Columbia can assist by paying the required tuition upfront and deducting a set amount from your bi-weekly paycheck after a promissory note has been signed.

The fire cadet program consists of class room training to obtain EMT certification, hands on experience which includes learning to work alone as well as in a squad-based (team) environment and 96 hours of clinical rotations;

During the first portion of the program fire cadets will earn certification as a Level 1 Firefighter with the state of Tennessee.

Following the completion of basic firefighting training, fire cadets are required to become nationally registered emergency medical technicians (EMT), and will continue to advance their medical knowledge and/or begin to prepare to become a Paramedic.  

Gain an understanding of Columbia Fire & Rescue as a whole, through rotating work assignments. In addition to CFD operational units, work locations include Administration, Technical Services, Construction and Maintenance, teaching lessons in Columbia area schools and at public education events, recruiting and more!  IMG_0989

Physical Ability, Where Does It Fit In?

Firefighting requires high levels of cardiopulmonary endurance, muscular strength and muscular endurance physical tasks. Cadets will receive training that simulates actual job duties on the fire ground which will assist with preparing them to become Firefighters. The major areas of physical fitness include:


Cardiopulmonary endurance

Muscular strength

Muscular endurance

Candidates and employees can access the IAFF Candidate Preparation Guide

Once a Cadet successfully completes the State Fire Academy, he or she is eligible for promotion to Firefighter within a twelve month period.

How to Apply:

Applications for fire cadets are accepted online when openings become available. Once your application has been submitted you will be contacted via email. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex or national origin.




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