Selection Process

It is important to your success as a candidate to fully understand the comprehensive nature of our selection process. These are positions of public trust and require a thorough review of applicant credentials and backgrounds.
Our selection process takes approximately six months from application deadline to hiring decisions. Please note that Prince William County Fire and Rescue screens candidates throughout the process. Not all applicants will proceed through each step.
Please note that all of our applicant communications will be via email.
It is critical that you update any changes to your address, phone number and email address on your account so that we can contact you as needed.
Here are the key steps: 
  1. Employment Application
  2. Written Test which assesses reading comprehension, mechanical and spatial aptitude, mathematical ability and the capacity to comprehend and learn from written instructions
  3. Personal History Statement which provides more information about your background
  4. Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) which determines your strength and stamina to perform as a Firefighter/EMT (See below)
  5. Polygraph Exam which assesses your truthfulness and other job-related background information
  6. Psychological Screening which assesses your psychological health and ability to perform essential job functions
  7. Medical Exam and Drug Test which measures your physical health and ability to perform essential functions 
More Information about CPAT:
CPAT Mentoring: In order to get ready for CPAT, we provide eight weeks of free CPAT mentoring which is offered at the completion of written testing. Participation in CPAT mentoring greatly increases your ability to pass the test.  In particular, statistics show that women who participate in mentoring will experience a 50% increase in passing.
Practice Runs: Prior to administering the test, we provide the opportunity for candidates to participate in one-two practice runs of the CPAT course so that you can better understand your ability to pass the upcoming test.
CPAT: The test is a sequence of events that best simulates their use in a fire scene. This is a pass/fail test based on a validated maximum total time of 10 minutes and 20 seconds. The test, tools and equipment were chosen to provide the highest level of consistency, safety and validity in measuring your physical abilities.

Videos and CPAT Guides are available in the Links and Resources Section.  
CPAT  Test Photos