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CRFD Seeking Skilled Men & Women to Serve as Firefighters

The Columbia-Richland Fire Department is continuing to seek qualified applicants for firefighting positions.

Those who apply can now take advantage of two tracks to begin service as a firefighter. Through CRFD’s new Bridge Program, candidates who hold a Firefighter II certification will be able to attend an abridged training academy. This could allow them to start work running calls with the department in 6 weeks or less.

Last year alone CRFD firefighters answered close to 32,000 calls for service – responding to structure fires, HAZMAT incidents, motor vehicle accidents, swiftwater rescues and other emergencies.

Applicants who are new to the fire service and do not possess a Firefighter II certification will still be able to apply for CRFD’s Standard Recruit Training Program, which includes 18 weeks of academy training.

All firefighters who serve with the department start out with a base salary of $33,336 annually but this does not include overtime!! There are also higher pay incentives for firefighters who earn added certifications (EMT, HAZMAT Rescue Technician) or obtain an Associates, Bachelors or Master’s degree.

Other benefits of being a firefighter with CRFD include:

  • Low cost healthcare for employees and their families under SC PEBA (group health, group dental and group eye insurance plans)
  • Paid holidays and vacation time
  • Entry in the SC PEBA State Retirement Program
  • Opportunities to enroll in the SC Deferred Compensation Program (401K/ 457)
  • FREE annual gym membership and access to city gym
  • Automatic enrollment and access to benefits with the SC State Firefighter’s Association
  • Paid class time
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • And much more!!

Those interested in applying for a firefighting position should visit the City of Columbia’s career portal.

CRFD Pay Scale

 (upon completion of recruit schools)

Firefighter Annual Earnings
High School Diploma $33,336.00
Associates Degree $33,836.04
Bachelor’s Degree $34,836.12
Master’s Degree $35,586.18
CRFD Incentive Pay Scale

(upon completion of recruit schools)

*Number of Positions is Based on Funding
EMT $2,600 per year
HAZMAT or Rescue Technician $2,600 per year
HAZMAT or Rescue Support $1,300 per year

Prospective applicants with questions are encouraged to contact CRFD Recruiting Officer Captain James Bostic by calling 803-545-3331 or sending an email to

All Bridge Program applicants will have to demonstrate capabilities in Basic Firefighting Skills. Links to demonstration videos for those skills are below:

Forcible Entry

Ground Ladder

Hose Management