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Hiring Process Timeline

Application

Please make sure your application is completed, legible, and submitted by August 31.
Download Application

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Physical Aptitude Test

Firefighting is physically demanding.
The Recruit Firefighter Physical Aptitude Test measures your ability to perform a series of events that functionally resemble fire ground activities.
Learn more…

Written Examination

The written examination assesses general reading comprehension, mechanical and spatial aptitude, mathematical ability and capacity to comprehend and learn from written instructions. Download the Study Guide

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Interview

Applicants that pass the Recruit Firefighter Physical Aptitude Test and Written Examination are invited for an oral interview before the Hiring Committee.

Application

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Physical Aptitude Test

Firefighting is physically demanding.
The Recruit Firefighter Physical Aptitude Test measures your ability to perform a series of events that functionally resemble fire ground activities.
Learn more…

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Written Examination

The written exam assesses reading comprehension, mechanical and spatial aptitude, mathematical ability and capacity to comprehend and learn from written instructions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Our minimum qualifications are:

– 18 years of age
– Possess a high school diploma or G.E.D
– Possess a valid driver’s license
– Be eligible to work in the United States

No fire and rescue experience or training is required. We hire both experienced and inexperienced candidates depending on department needs at the time a vacancy occurs. All personnel that do get hired start at the probationary level even though they may be trained at a higher level.

The following will disqualify you from employment as a Firefighter/EMT under South Carolina law:

– Have been convicted of or pled guilty to a felony in the last 10 years.
– Have been convicted of or pled guilty to arson.
– Have been convicted of or pled guilty to an offense involving a controlled substance.
– Have been convicted of or pled guilty to a felony involving criminal sexual conduct.
– Have been convicted of or pled guilty to a crime in which the victim is a patient or resident of a healthcare facility, including abuse, neglect, theft from, or financial exploitation of a person entrusted to the care or protection of the applicant.
– Inability to successfully obtain a medical clearance in accordance OSHA and NFPA 1582.
– Inability to pass random drug and alcohol screenings.

Firefighters are scheduled to work 24 hour shifts; 24 hours on-duty with 48 hours off.

Our shifts begin and end at 0800.

All candidates who have not completed the SCFA Firefighter Candidate School or BTFD Recruit School will be required to obtain this certification.

This cost will be paid for by the Bluffton Fire District. Recruits will be paid while attending Recruit School.

Base salary for Recruit Firefighters is $33,755.80 annually (as of July 2017).

Candidates who possess current National Paramedic Registry Certification will be eligible for an additional $2500 stipend.

In addition to a career of helping others, BTFD provides its personnel with advancement opportunities by taking classes through the South Carolina Fire Academy and National Fire Academy.

Recruit Firefighters must serve at least 9 months with BTFD prior to being eligible to promote. We test for promotion each November, and each promotion in rank includes a 5% pay increase.

Our benefits package is one of the best in the region and includes:
-Health, Dental, & Vision Insurance
– Line of Duty Death Benefits
– Life Insurance
– Vacation and Sick Leave Accruals
– Pension Plan (SC PORS Police Officers’ Retirement System
– SC Deferred Compensation 401/457
– South Carolina 1% Fund
– Tuition Reimbursement Program
– Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT A CONTRACT. THE BTFD MAY ALTER, AMEND, AND/OR DISCONTINUE ANY AND ALL ACCRUALS, BENEFITS, PLANS, & PROGRAMS, AT ANY TIME AT THE DISTRICT’S SOLE DISCRETION.

We test each year to create a hiring pool; we will hire from this pool of eligible applicants as positions become available.

We do not have a ranked list; we hire from the pool of eligible applicants based on the needs of the department once a position becomes available due to attrition.

If you do not have a current National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) EMT (or above) credential you will be required to attend EMT school once you are hired. This cost will be paid for by the Bluffton Fire District.

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate any request for make-up testing. Our Staff strives to assure the testing process remains standard for all Applicants, and as such, we do not permit “make-up” testing.

We continually accept applications for Recruit Firefighter. The status of your application will be given to you via written notification. If your information should change please submit a new application so that we can assure your invitation to test is sent to the accurate location.


Devoted to Duty Above Personal Risk, Since 1978


Bluffton Township
Fire District

The Bluffton Township Fire District is located in Beaufort County, the southernmost coastal county in South Carolina. Bluffton is located just 12 miles west of Hilton Head Island, SC and approximately 20 miles northeast of Savannah, GA, and consists of a wide range of geography, including unspoiled sea marshes, creeks, lagoons, and heavily wooded forests of tall pine trees, palmettos and live oaks.

The Bluffton Township Fire District is a traditional organization that provides fire protection, emergency medical services (EMS) and other emergency services. The District operates a 24 on and 48 hours off three shift system to provide 24/7 protection to the community. Each shift has a minimum staffing level of twenty-nine (29) personnel on duty. There are 8 fire stations, 3 with ALS Engine companies and 5 with BLS Engine companies. The District also has one dedicated Truck Company and Battalion Chief.

The department responds to a wide variety of incidents each year, with approximately 75% being medical related responses. To meet this need, we require all personnel to be trained to a minimum level of National Registry Basic Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) within their first year of employment.

Many of our employees are also members of either a Regional Hazard Materials Team or Regional Urban Search and Rescue Team. These teams are coordinated and executed in partnership with our neighboring departments.

We encourage the hiring and development of a high functioning and diverse workforce to meet the needs of our citizens and visitors. We can offer a meaningful career, competitive salary and benefits and an abundance of learning and promotional opportunities to the right men and women who wish to proudly serve the Bluffton Township Fire District community.

Main website: www.blufftonfd.com

Recruit Firefighter Physical Aptitude Test

General Information.

Applicants will wear a full self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), excluding the face piece for all timed components of the RFPAT.

Candidates are encouraged to wear athletic shoes, long athletic pants, and a tee-shirt. You will be performing various types of physical activities; therefore you should not wear clothing that will hinder your performance. Applicants can be expected to get wet and dirty during the performance of the skills listed.

BTFD will provide leather firefighter gloves and a hard hat at the test site for each applicant to use while completing the test. You may not bring your own gloves or helmet for use during the test. BTFD staff may inspect and disallow any apparel or equipment to ensure its use does not affect the fairness of the test.

All timed components listed will be timed in series. The test has a cutoff time of greater than eight minutes (8 min.) and failure to complete the test in the allotted time will result in disqualification. Running will not be allowed during any portion of the test. Applicants will receive a warning and any failure to heed will result in disqualification.

During the test, a proctor will be assigned to time each Candidate. Candidates may ask the proctor questions regarding the course layout prior to beginning and while on the course, however, proctors are not permitted to provide candidates of their event time. Download the RFPAT Guide.

  • Un-timed Station A: Ladder Climb. Candidates are required to climb to the top of a 35 foot extension ladder set at an approximate elevation of 70 degrees against a structure. Candidates are then required to descend the ladder to the ground. Candidates will be fitted with a safety harness and belayed for safety. Upon satisfactory completion candidates will proceed to un-timed Station B: Tunnel Crawl. * Not practicable during Applicant Preparation Program.
  • Un-timed Station B: Tunnel Crawl. Candidate will be fitted with a protective helmet and darkened air purifying respirator with cartridge. The candidate will be required to crawl into the tunnel until commanded to stop. After a period of one (1) minute the candidate will be commanded to resume and will continue to the end of the tunnel. Candidates will then be directed to the Timed portion of the test. * Not practicable during Applicant Preparation Program.
  • Timed Station 1: Hydrant Open/Close. Candidates are required to fully open and fully close the operating nut on a fire hydrant using supplied hydrant wrench. Candidate will proceed to Timed Station 2: Forcible Entry.
  • Timed Station 2: Forcible Entry. Candidate will be required to grasp the supplied sledge hammer and strike the supplied Forcible Entry Door Prop to “open” the door. Candidate will then proceed to Timed Station 3a: Stair Climb with High-Rise Pack.
  • Timed Station 3a: Stair Climb with High Rise Pack. Candidate will pick up a high-rise pack, place it over their shoulder, and proceed to the 4th floor of the training tower. On arriving at the 4th floor candidates must descend with the high-rise pack to the 2nd floor for Timed Station 3b: Hose Hoist. After completing the hose hoist candidates must pick up the high rise pack and continue the descent to the ground level. Candidate will proceed to Timed Station 4a: Ladder Raise.
  • Station 3b: Hose Hoist. After descending to the 2nd floor landing, candidates will place the high rise pack into the designated area. Candidate is then required to hoist a 2½” hose roll to the second (2nd) floor landing with a rope, supplied for this purpose. Once the hose roll has been successfully hoisted, the candidate shall then pick up the high-rise pack descend down the stairs and place the high-rise pack in the designated area. Candidate will proceed to Timed Station 4a: Ladder Raise.
  • Timed Station 4a: Ladder Raise. The candidate will raise a 16-foot roof ladder by ‘walking it up’ using a hand-over-hand technique. The ladder will be lowered in the reverse manner. The ladder is secured to the ground using a pivot system that will keep the base of the ladder in place. The upper portion of the ladder will be secured using a belay system that will control the ladder from falling should the candidate lose control. The candidate must ‘walk’ the ladder all the way to a vertical position and all the way back down to the ground using the rungs of the ladder. The candidate must not drop the ladder or grasp the rails of the ladder at any time. Candidate will proceed to Timed Station 4b: Ladder Extension.
  • Station 4b: Ladder Extension. The candidate will raise the fly section of a 24-foot extension ladder using the halyard. The ladder is secured to the training tower. The candidate will use the hand over hand technique to extend the fly section of the ladder beyond the line marked on the side of the ladder. The candidate will then lower the fly section down using the hand under hand technique without the rope sliding through their hands. Candidate will proceed to Timed Station 5: Hose Drag.
  • Timed Station 5: Hose Drag. The candidate is required to pick up and advance a charged 1¾” hose line with a nozzle attached for a distance of 100 feet. The nozzle will be closed and locked down to prevent an unexpected discharge of water. The candidate may pick up the hose line in a manner that will allow placement over either shoulder, allowing three – four feet (3’ – 4’) in the front of the candidate, advancing the line 100 feet from the designated “Start” and “Finish” lines. This component is completed when both of the applicant’s feet and nozzle cross the “Finish” line. Candidate will proceed to Timed Station 6: Hose Swap.
  • Station 6: Hose Swap. Three (3) sections of rolled hose will be placed in a box. Fifty (50) feet away are three (3) additional sections of rolled hose in a second box. The candidate will swap the hose in the boxes. Candidate will proceed to Station 7: Hose Coupling.
  • Timed Station 7: Hose Coupling. Two (2) sections of 3″ hose will be placed side-by-side. Candidate must couple the hoses together before proceeding to the next station. The testing proctor will confirm the hose is fully coupled. See Hose Coupling Diagram. Candidate will proceed to Timed Station 8: Crew Member Rescue.
  • Station 8: Crew Member Rescue. The candidate will carry or drag a human form dummy weighing approximately 170 pounds (weight of dummy and clothing) for 25 feet, around a weighted barrel, and then back across the starting point for a total distance of 50 feet. In order to complete this station, the candidate and the dummy must both completely cross the finish line.
  • Allotted Time: Candidates will have eight (8) minutes to complete all timed stations of the Recruit Firefighter Physical Aptitude Test. Time will be kept by a test proctor. Time will begin when the hydrant wrench first moves, and will end when the rescue dummy crosses the finish mark.
  • Scoring: Any candidate that completes the course in the allotted time will pass this stage of the evaluation process. There is no advantage in seeking to complete the test in a time significantly lower than the allotted time.

    *BTFD reserves the right to alter or modify any portion of the above described test in the District’s sole discretion at any time.

I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a firefighter.
The position may, in the eyes of some appear to be a lowly one;
but we who know the work which the firefighter has to do believe ours is a noble calling.
Our proudest moment is to save lives.
– Edward F. Croker

Applicant Preparation Program

About the Program

Applicants will be given a thorough orientation to firefighter's duties and responsibilities, ladders, hose, personal protective equipment tools and physical fitness requirements.

Practice the Recruit Firefighter Physical Aptitude Test.

Applicants will be encouraged to participate in a voluntary physical fitness program.

Written test prep sessions.

Oral interview prep sessions.

Register Online Now!

Click the button below to begin your journey as a member of the Bluffton Township Fire District.

Join the Program!

Dates / Times / Location

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 6:00-8:00pm
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 6:00-8:00pm
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 6:00-8:00pm
Wednesday, August 23, 2017 6:00-8:00pm

All sessions held at :

BTFD Training Facility
19 Ulmer Road
Bluffton, SC 29910

Must Register Online!

Register Online Now!

Click the button below to begin your journey as a member of the Bluffton Township Fire District.

Join the Program!