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Lexington Fire Department

The written examination for a recruit firefighter is designed to measure the knowledge, abilities, aptitudes and innate problem-solving ability an individual needs to possess to be successful in this career. It uses multiple choice tests and is utilized to determine a group of applicants meeting or exceeding necessary thresholds.

Those meeting these requirements are eligible to continue in the hiring process. Candidates must obtain a minimal score of 70 percent on the written examination to proceed in the hiring process. If you need additional explanation, please contact Human Resources at (859) 258-3030.

Written Testing Dates

No dates currently scheduled.

Testing will last approximately 2 1/2 hours.

  • Written exams will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are flying in to take the exam or you are traveling a distance of 250 miles or greater please contact us by email at and we will reserve a place for you in the time slot of your choice.
  • Doors will open one hour prior to the posted testing times. Applicants will be required to fill out 15 – 20 minutes worth of paperwork prior to the written exam. Applicants will need to plan their arrival accordingly.
  • We will not collect any documentation relating to the application (example: birth certificate, high school diploma, etc.) at the written exam.
  • Applicants must bring a photo ID with them.
  • Absolutely no electronics. This includes, but is not limited to communication devices, phones, MP3 players, etc.
  • There is a non-required study guide available for this examination called the Standard Edition – National Firefighter Selection Inventory (NFSI) Study Guide. This study guide will provide you with a better understanding of the nature and format of questions that will appear on the NFSI. The study guide will provide definitions of each area, sample questions and inform you of rules and general test-taking strategies and instructions for completing the exam answer sheet. You may obtain this test guide through any of the following methods:

Candidate physical ability testing

  • The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) will be given only to those individuals with passing scores of at least 70 percent on the written exam. Those progressing to the physical ability test must pass it or possess a valid CPAT card issued in the last 12 months (as of the date of your oral interview) in order to advance in the hiring process. A copy of your CPAT card will be collected at your oral interview.
  • The job of a firefighter is one of the most physically demanding jobs in North America.  It requires high levels of cardiopulmonary endurance, muscular strength and muscular endurance. The CPAT consists of eight critical physical tasks that simulate actual job duties.  This test is physically demanding and requires that you be physically fit to be successful. Tasks include stair climb, hose drag, equipment carry, ladder rise and extension, forcible entry, search, rescue, and ceiling breach and pull.
  • You may take any of the CPATs offered or you may present a valid CPAT card issued to you in the last 12 months (as of the date of your oral interview). Visit the Kentucky Fire Commission for testing dates.
  • The CPAT is administered by the Kentucky Fire Commission. The Kentucky Fire Commission charges a fee of $125 for out-of-state firefighter candidates. In-state participants are free.

Oral Interview

  • Only those individuals who passed the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) and pre-background interview will be eligible to continue in the testing process. This group of applicants will be scheduled for an oral interview with a panel consisting of individuals within Lexington Fire and Emergency Services as well as a citizen from the community.
  • On the day of the oral interview, applicants must bring copies of the following documents. Copies of these documents will be collected and placed in your file. Failure to provide copies of any of the required documents will result in removal from the process.
    • Birth Certificate – Copy from the State Bureau of Vital Statistics or Health Department (no hospital birth records)
    • Valid driver's license from state of residency
    • High school diploma or equivalent certification
    • CPAT card
    • College diploma or transcripts (if applicable)
    • DD214 to verify military service for veteran's preference points (if applicable)
    • Kentucky or National Registry EMT or Paramedic Certification (if applicable)
  • The panel will ask each applicant the same questions concerning their previous experience, training and knowledge. These questions are based on job-related duties and responsibilities. Each panel member will independently score each applicant at the conclusion of their oral examination. The panel members' scores will be totaled to obtain the individual oral examination score for the applicant. The scores for the written and oral exams will be combined and preference will be added if applicable (military – 2 percent). Scores will then be compiled by the LFUCG.

Phase 2:

  • Eligibility list established
  • Polygraph test
  • Background investigation
  • Fire Chief recommendation to the Mayor for appointment
  • Conditional offer of employment
  • Physical/medical exam
  • Drug screening