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Cadet Program

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

Applications for Cadet Class 25 closed on June 2, 2022.

The application period for Cadet Class 26 will open in Spring 2023

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 D.C. 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 D. C. Fire and EMS Department.


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

  • 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 at the time of application
  • Be between the ages of 18 - 21 years old at the time of application closing.
  • Graduated with a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 2.0
  • Have a driver's license, provisional license or learner permit at the time of application. A full driver's license must be obtained by the time of graduation in order to successfully complete the cadet program.


Once evaluated and selected Cadets earn an annual salary of $30,472 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 $55,030 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. Driver’s License or Driver’s Learners Permit
  2. High School Diploma / GED Certificate
  3. Final High School Transcript / GED Transcript

Vaccination Requirement

The Government of the District of Columbia values the safety of our employees, our residents, and our visitors.

In support of these values, if you are selected for this job you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which includes all eligible booster shots, except when vaccination is not medically advised or violates your sincerely held religious beliefs in violation of EEO laws.

If you are invited to join our team, you must submit proof that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to your initial HR representative, or you must request an exemption from your representative.

New employees must either provide proof of vaccination or be granted a medical or religious exemption before working with the Government of the District of Columbia.

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