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Cadet Program

Thank you for your interest in serving as a DC Fire and EMS Cadet.   

The Cadet Class 27 application period closed on April 30, 2024.

Cadet Class 28 applications will be accepted in Spring 2025. 


Fire Cadet Program

The Cadet Program is a one-year program that provides District of Columbia residents between the ages of 18 and 21 years old the opportunity to become members of the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (DCFEMS).  During the program, Cadets attain their National Registry EMT, Firefighter I & II, and Hazardous Materials Awareness & Operations Certificates. The Cadet participate in a departmental rotation, where they are exposed and acclimated to all aspects of the DCFire and EMS Department.


Those interested in the Fire Cadet Program must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen at the time of application
  • Be a DC Resident
  • Be a DC Public, Public Charter or Private High School Graduate, with a diploma or GED from a DC testing location
  • Be between the ages of 18 - 21 years old as of April 30, 2024
  • Graduated with a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 2.0
    • High school GPA requirements are waived for students who are currently enrolled at an accredited college or university and who have successfully completed 6 or more hours of study, with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
    • *Seniors who meet all other requirements who are expected to graduate in 2024 are encouraged to apply
  • Must possess a valid Driver's, Provisional License or Lerner’s Permit as of April 30, 2024, and have a valid Driver’s license as of the completion of training.


Once evaluated and selected Cadets earn an annual salary of $35,734.40 and accrue 4 hours of paid annual and sick leave bi-weekly.
Upon successful completion of the Program, new Firefighter EMT recruits will earn a starting salary of $62,236 annually, accrue 4.5 hours of paid annual and sick leave bi-weekly, and have access to health and life insurances and union representation.

Screening Process

Selected candidates are required to:
  • Complete the DC Fire and EMS Cadet written exam
  • Complete a Personal History Application
  • Undergo a criminal background check
  • Provide a copy of their driving record from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
  • Undergo a physical examination and a psychological evaluation by the Police and Fire Clinic (PFC)
  • Provide Reference Checks
  • Verify US Citizenship
  • Verify Selective Service Registry (males only).

To apply for the Fire Cadet Program you must submit the following documents:

  1. Birth certificate/Valid U.S. Passport
  2. Driver’s License or Driver’s Learners Permit
  3. High School Diploma / GED Certificate
  4. Final High School Transcript / GED Transcript

All required documents (birth certificate or valid U.S. passport, valid driver's license, and high school diploma) must be uploaded at the time of application submission to be considered for the position. 

How do add attachments
Once application is completed, return to the "My Job Application" then scroll to the bottom, then click on "My Cover Letters and Attachments" and upload the required documents. Please note that attachments are not specific to a job application and will be visible for any DC job that you apply for.

Info Regarding Testing
All applicants that meet basic standards (U.S. citizen, 18 years of age at the time of application, high school diploma, and valid driver's license) will be referred for an entrance exam. Cadet program applicants will have testing paid for by the District of Columbia based on their resident status.

Cadet Office Contact Information:
DC Fire and EMS Recruitment Office
2000 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009