New Raleigh Fire Academy ad aims to attract female applicants

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- In a recent Facebook video published by the City of Raleigh, the recruitment ad for Raleigh's Fire Academy features an all-female cast.

The ad reads, "These are the faces of the Raleigh Fire Department. See yourself with them? Starting November 1st, we're taking applications for the next Fire Academy. Come be a part of our team and bring your unique skills to the crew."

Currently, there are 28 female firefighters, which includes four women currently enrolled in the city's Fire Academy. This number is compared to the 557 men who are enrolled.

The four women in the academy are counted as firefighters because the city designates them as employees.

"(Raleigh) wants to reflect the population," said Raleigh Fire Captain David Penny.

Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal John Fanning told ABC11 this is an effort to show women that a career as a firefighter is one that is available to them. Both Fanning and Penny noted how difficult it has been to attract quality, female applicants.

"It's not like they show on the TV shows," Penny said. "Over 60 percent of our calls are duties as EMTs."

The Raleigh Fire Department is accepting applicants between November 1st through 30th for its next Fire Academy. Currently, the starting salary for a firefighter is $38,058 with a three percent raise upon graduation from the Raleigh Fire Academy.

Qualified applicants selected to move forward in the process will go through the following:

  • The application process is open annually Nov.1 through Nov. 30

  • OPTIONAL physical agility and aptitude exam practice

  • Candidate written aptitude test

  • Physical agility test

  • Background and reference checks

  • Oral interview

  • Offer of employment

Interested parties who have questions about being a firefighter can send an email to

For more information on how to apply and the qualifications, click here.
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