Regardless of the level of EMS or Fire Training and experience an individual brings with them to the County of Henrico, Division of Fire, every candidate is required to attend the Division of Fire, Basic Firefighter Recruit Academy. The citizens and visitors of the County of Henrico hold very high expectations and standards for all Division of Fire personnel, from the Fire Chief all the way down to the newest Rookie Firefighter, and this expectation begins with your Basic Firefighter Recruit training and as a Recruit.

The primary purpose for the Basic Firefighter Recruit Academy is to make a basically trained Firefighter that embodies the following traits:

    • A Firefighter spirit and enthusiasm
    • Basic Firefighter and EMS knowledge and individual skills
    • Discipline, confidence, and self-reliance
    • Continuous learning and training
    • High moral standards and character
    • Physical fitness and wellness as a way of life
    • Pride, respect and a love of the Fire Service and country

The type of EMS and Fire training that all Recruits receive in the Basic Firefighter Recruit Academy is designed to prepare each Recruit to deal with most all of the types of Fire and EMS incidents they will encounter. The Basic Firefighter Recruit Academy is not only physically demanding it is very mentally challenging.

The County of Henrico, Division of Fire, Basic Firefighter Recruit Academy is where your fire service career will begin. The Division of Fire, Basic Firefighter Recruit Academy is typically twenty – three weeks in length, held five (5) days a week, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM. Each Recruit will receive over 920 hours of fire, EMS, and other emergency services related training.

In addition to position specific training the Academy places a high value on physical fitness. Recruits will conduct Physical Training or PT at least three (3) times a week for a minimum of one (1) hour each day.

Additionally the Academy’s goals are not only to teach specific Firefighting and EMS technical knowledge, skills and abilities, but also to bring the Recruit into the culture and customs of the fire service and the Henrico Division of Fire. In terms of building a knowledge base, the Recruit is expected to learn the basics of general subject areas within Firefighting and EMS as well as the high moral and ethical standards to which they will be held to throughout their fire service career.

Experienced members of the department known as the Academy Cadre, will teach the Division of Fire, Basic Firefighter Recruit Academy. These members will teach not only basic Fire and EMS techniques, but will also train each Recruit in the core values, philosophies, discipline, culture, and customs of the fire service.

Henrico Fire’s, Basic Firefighter Recruit Academy is the beginning of both a Recruits conditional employment and two (2) year probationary period. It is where each Recruit will be first exposed to the mental, physical, and emotional stresses and aspects of becoming a firefighter. Even after the strenuous selection process, some Recruits do not get past the initial twenty – three (23) week phase and are separated from the Country of Henrico, Division of Fire.

The Basic Firefighter Recruit Academy is designed to train and test over and over all Recruits to a level of proficiency that will allow them to function as part of a well-trained and functioning team that responds to Fire and EMS emergencies, numerous other community hazards, and serves as an integral part of the County of Henrico Public Safety community.

While enrolled in the Basic Firefighter Recruit Academy Recruits will receive and be certified in or as:

    • Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Medical Technician-Basic
    • Commonwealth of Virginia:
    • Firefighter I and II
    • Mayday: Firefighter Down
    • Emergency Vehicle Operations
    • Basic Pump Operator
    • Heavy Tactical Rescue Level I & II (Rope & Vehicle Extrication)

There are few other public service professions that spend as much on-duty time in training as the fire service and the County of Henrico Division of Fire is no different. From the Recruit’s first day on the job, they will be consistently involved in training to help them develop the skills to meet whatever challenge lies ahead.

As Firefighters we never know what the next incident may demand. It could be a house fire with victims trapped, a motor vehicle accident with injuries, a hazardous materials spill, a technical or water rescue, a choking baby, a cardiac arrest, or something as simple as a person locked out of their house or needing a blood pressure check. As a firefighter, it is our personal and professional responsibility and commitment to be trained, prepared, and ready for anything at any time. The Basic Firefighter Recruit Academy is the beginning of this process.

View a video about the Basic Firefighter Recruit Academy entitled “Make It Happen: What it takes to Become a Henrico County Firefighter” click here