Firefighter and EMT Recruitment Overview

Winchester Firefighter/EMT's perform challenging and rewarding work preventing, combating, and extinguishing fires, as well as providing emergency medical services to the community. Along with answering emergency calls, Firefighter/EMT’s engage in operating and maintaining fire and rescue department equipment, apparatus and station quarters. This work involves duties of protecting life and property through the performance of EMS and firefighting activities through general training and certification procedures.

Firefighter/EMT’s will learn and participate in the operation of apparatus and in the performance of hazardous tasks under emergency conditions. Working under conditions involving fire, heat, and smoke in hazardous surroundings may impose mental and physical stress. Although rescue and firefighting work are the most difficult and responsible areas of the job, a significant portion of time is spent training and pre-planning for the purpose of fire prevention, delivery of public education, performing routine station and equipment maintenance, and performing other municipal duties as needed. 

Our goal is to maintain an active eligibility list of qualified candidates for the purpose of filling Firefighter/EMT vacancies. 

Qualifications Needed

To qualify as a Firefighter/EMT with the City of Winchester, the applicant must posses the following requirements:


  • Valid driver’s license
  • High School diploma or equivalent
  • Non-tobacco user


  • Excellent physical condition
  • Excellent attitude
  • Willingness to help others

Preferred Certifications Include:

  • EMT-Basic or Higher
  • Firefighter I Certification (NFPA1001)
  • Hazmat Operations (NFPA 472)
  • EMT–Intermediate
  • EMT-Paramedic
  • EVOC III (NFPA 1002)
  • Mayday! Firefighter Down Operations


  • All background investigations shall be performed by approved contract vendors or the Winchester Police Department or as may be assigned by the Fire Chief, Human Resource Director or his/her designee.
  • Pre-employment polygraph and background investigation results shall be kept confidential and maintained in accordance with applicable local, state, and federal laws and guidelines.
  • City of Winchester Human Resources will be consulted, as necessary, on a case-by-case basis.

Absolute Disqualifiers

  • Applicant does not meet the required qualifications as advertised in the job announcement.
  • Conviction of any felony.
  • Conviction of any crime involving the sexual or physical abuse or exploitation of a child, elderly, infirm or disabled adult; sexual misconduct with a child; making or distributing child pornography; using a child in a sexual display; incest with a child; or assault on a child, elderly, infirm or disabled adult.
  • Conviction of any crime involving financial exploitation.
  • Conviction of any crime including abuse, neglect, theft from, or financial exploitation of a person entrusted to the applicant’s care or protection in which the victim is a patient or is a resident of a health care facility.
  • Conviction of any crime involving sexual misconduct or morals and decency.
  • Conviction of any crime involving arson, the incendiary burning of property, and/or threats to bomb, burn, destroy or in any manner damage any place of assembly, building or other structure, or any means of transportation.
  • Conviction of two or more alcohol- or drug-related driving offenses or being classified as a habitual offender as related to alcohol- or drug-related driving offenses.
  • Permanent revocation of license or certification by any state EMS office or other recognized state or national healthcare provider licensing or certifying body.

Additional Disqualifiers

  • Conviction of any Class 1 or Class 2 misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia or any other state within the last five (5) years.
  • Accumulation of more than six (6) demerit points on a Virginia Driver’s License or the equivalent on another state’s license within the last 12 months, regardless of any mitigating actions taken (e.g., driver improvement course, etc.).
  • Any conviction for calling or summoning, by telephone or otherwise, any ambulance, or firefighting apparatus, or any person who maliciously activates a manual or automatic fire alarm within the last five (5) years.
  • Any conviction of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; assignment to an alcohol safety action program or driver alcohol rehabilitation program; refusal to take breath or trace tests; reckless driving; eluding police; hit and run; operating on a suspended or revoked license; racing; or leaving the scene of an accident within the last five (5) years.
  • All illegal drug use, including prescription drugs and marijuana, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with consideration of frequency, type, and length of use. 

Military Service History

  • Any Other Than Honorable discharge from any military service shall be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Any court-martial conviction/Article 15 proceedings under the Uniform Code of Military Justice shall be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Other Factors: Areas of Additional Scrutiny

  • Additional factors that may also be taken into consideration include but are not limited to:
  • Ongoing disciplinary or enforcement action from any state EMS office or other recognized state or national healthcare licensing or certifying body.
  • Cheating on any examination or testing involving the position for which the individual has applied. 4 | Page
  • Untruthfulness, the intentional withholding of information, deliberate inaccurate and incomplete statements on any application or paperwork involved in the selection process for the position for which the individual has applied.
  • Reduction of charges as result of a plea agreement or other form of sentencing as a disposition prior to conviction in any aforementioned criminal or driving categories.
  • A pattern of driving behavior, which shows a disregard for local and or state law as well as repeated violations and traffic accidents.
  • Erratic work record or poor work ethic.
  • Unfavorable employment or personal references.
  • Any pattern of alcohol, drug, or stimulant abuse.

Employee Benefits

Health/Dental insurance Annual work performance evaluation
Life insurance 13 Holidays
Virginia Retirement System (5% paid by employee) Paid Time Off (19 hours/month)
Worker's compensation Comp. time accrual
Employee Assistance Program Annual comprehensive medical physical
Career Development Plan Department-issued uniforms and equipment
12 month probation period In-service training
Ability to be cleared operationally in 6 months On-duty fitness training

Additional benefit information can be found on the Human Resources web page.

Typical Work Hours

  • Duty hours are 24 hours in duration (0700-0700)
  • There are three shifts (A, B, C) and each shift works 24 hours with two days (48 hours) off between shifts
  • Firefighter/EMTs will work a modified schedule during their initial training period


The City of Winchester is committed to a diverse workforce. Click the buttons below for more information about the WFRD hiring process and the physical agility test.

Hiring Process button   Physical Ability Test information button

Applications for Firefighter/EMT are accepted when testing dates are established to maintain an active eligibility list. Call the City of Winchester Human Resource Department at 540-667-1815 or the Fire and Rescue office at 540-662-2298 to find out when the next test will be administered or visit the City of Winchester jobs website for more information.