2023 Columbus, OH, Firefighter Exam

150-200 Firefighters to be hired from this exam!

The next official application filing period for the City of Columbus Firefighter Exam is scheduled for November 2023.

The following is the anticipated timeframe for this examination process:

11/1/23 – Open enrollment begins; ends 11/30/23
12/13/23-1/20/24 Multiple Choice/FOAM testing period
2/22/24-3/5/24 FF Mile practice sessions
3/6/24-3/28/24 FF Mile testing period
4/8/24 – New eligible list established

You must be 17.5 years or older to apply with a HS diploma or GED, valid driver's license, and a US citizen.
Beginning salary is $59,041 and the salary after 4 years is $90,498!

For more information on the complete hiring process and to stay current on application/testing dates, click on the following link:


The Columbus Division of Fire is dealing with an increase in firefighter retirements. Columbus Fire Chief Jeffrey Happ said retirements are up 40%.  You do not need to be an EMT, Paramedic, or Certified Firefighter. 

Over 1000 Columbus Firefighters have been hired by attending our seminars!  This is an EXCELLENT opportunity to become a City of Columbus Firefighter!


  • Starting salary - $59,041

  • Salary after 4 years - $90,498 

  • Hospitalization, Dental and Vision plan

  • Retirement plan after only 25 years of service and age 52

Don McNea Fire School Columbus Preparatory Seminar


This will be our twelfth consecutive Columbus Firefighter Examination in which we have conducted SOLD OUT preparatory classes.  This is not a public relations statement - it's a fact!  This year we will once again be conducting a seminar and offering an at-home preparatory package. 

The results from one of our recent seminar class were as follows:

  • 89 of the first 100 and 173 of the first 200 on the eligibility list were Don McNea Fire School Columbus Seminar Students!

  • Past successful Don McNea Fire School class results have shown that 86% of the Columbus firefighters hired were Don McNea Fire School Columbus Seminar Students!

Written Exam Preparation Includes:

Full-length, in-depth, custom-designed multiple choice practice examinations covering the following testing subjects for your Written Exam:

  • Situational Judgment
  • Mathematics, Logic & Reasoning
  • Mechanical Aptitude
  • Map Reading & Following Directions
  • Reading Comprehension

    Firefighter Oral Assessment Mechanism (FOAM) Preparation Includes:

    We will be conducting in-depth seminars on your choice of dates that will be focused on the FOAM - the most important part of the examination process!  

    NOTE:  We have updated our FOAM prep from our 2022 seminar to include over 75 situational scenarios and strategies to dramatically increase your final exam score!

    Remember, as it states in your Study Guide, the FOAM exam will be weighted as 100% of your final score!   Your ranking on the eligibility list will be determined by how well you do on the FOAM oral interview portion of the testing process.  

    • This type of oral interview structure is very unique to the Columbus Firefighter Examination. 99% of applicants have never been through this type of oral interview process.
    • This seminar will teach you the top scoring strategies and answers to different scenarios and situations that you may be presented with during the FOAM examination.
    • Learn critical, positive behaviors and traits that the oral interviewer assessors are looking for in a high-scoring candidate!
    • Key insight into the problem sensing and resolution and interpersonal relationships that will be the two dimensions you will be graded on for the oral interview process.
    • We will guide you through the oral rater’s dimension guidelines and evaluation scales that will be used in the FOAM examination.

    Don’t go into the FOAM oral interview process unprepared – this is where the ballgame is going to be won!

    2023 Exam Preparation Options

    FOAM Exam Prep Seminar. When you register for the FOAM Exam Prep, the Written Exam Prep is available to you by Immediate Digital Download so that you can begin studying immediately for this portion of the exam!  This booklet also contains our important test-taking and physical agility strategies!

    There are 2 date options to choose from for the Seminar, with one later date yet to be determined.  Price – $149.00

    At-Home Written Exam Prep Only (does not include FOAM exam prep) – available during the entire testing process only by Immediate Digital Download.  Price - $59.00

    Your investment in these classes will actually be returned to you in your first five hours as a Columbus firefighter! In the job market today, there are not many employment opportunities that offer the same competitive salary, benefits, chance for advancement and job security as the career of a firefighter does.

    Important Note – No-Risk Guarantee!  For those of you who decide to purchase our Written and Foam Exam Prep Seminar, if the City of Columbus determines that you are not eligible for the exam (because of disqualifying for background), if you provide us with a copy of the disqualification from the City, we will refund your seminar cost. This way, instead of waiting to determine your eligibility for the exam, you can immediately begin to study and prepare for the Written and FOAM exams.

    FOAM Exam Prep Seminar Class Dates/Locations

    For those who purchase the FOAM Seminar, the seminar will be held on the following dates/times – PLEASE CHOOSE WHICH ONE CLASS YOU WANT TO ATTEND!

    Please note the specific location for each date; there is FREE parking at the hotel.

    • Sunday, December 3rd - from 1:00 to 5:30 PM, Marriott Columbus Northwest, 5605 Blazer Parkway, Dublin 43017. Please call the hotel at 614.791.1000 if you need directions.

    • Sunday, December 17th – from 1:00 to 5:30 PM, Marriott Columbus Northwest, 5605 Blazer Parkway, Dublin 43017. Please call the hotel at 614.791.1000 if you need directions.
    • One later date to be determined.

    Class size will be limited – each of our past 11 Columbus seminars has SOLD OUT!  

    The instructor for your Columbus Preparatory Seminar will be Chief Brent Collins, who is also President of Don McNea Fire School.  Chief Collins is the only instructor who has ever conducted the Columbus Seminars and has the knowledge and experience to put you in the top percentile.

    Testimonials from Successful Students

    • "I just wanted to tell you how great your Columbus seminar was this past weekend. I found the information very informative. I used to think I knew how to pass the FOAM since I had taken it in the past. It turns out, I scored 3s and 3-1/2s, well below what is needed to be hired. I wanted to extend my gratitude and let you know that it’s because of your FOAM prep seminar that I finished in the top 25 on the final eligibility ranking. Thank you sincerely!”
    • "Don McNea Fire School was extremely helpful in allowing me to score high on all levels of the Columbus Civil Service Examination.  I am the second in my family to have successful results by using your preparatory materials."
    • "I just wanted to send you a quick email regarding your Columbus FOAM seminar I attended.  Your class and study guide helped me more than I ever could have imagined.  I took the time and went through every scenario you have in your exam prep like you told us to do and it helped tremendously.  If I had chosen not to take your class, I would have been at a loss.  Your seminar and the information you gave us was amazing.  I'd like to thank you for all the preparation."
    • "The class was very informative ~ it was the perfect prep for both the Written and FOAM exams.  The practice examinations were extremely helpful to a person like me who has been out of school for awhile.  I am currently a Columbus Firefighter and I owe it all to Don McNea Fire School."

    Our best testimonials come from current Columbus Firefighters who have been successful by taking our classes over the last 30 years.  Over 1,000 Columbus Firefighters have been hired by attending our seminars!

    If you are not sure whether or not to attend our seminar, we ask that you talk to a Columbus firefighter who has taken our prep course in the past.

    Our Final Thoughts…

    This is a very unique examination; 99% of you have never taken a similar one. What we can tell you is that by practicing with our Written Exam Prep and attending our FOAM seminar, you WILL dramatically increase your chance of becoming one of the 150-200 Columbus firefighters hired. Our past classes’ successful results for the City of Columbus prove that!

    Remember that 100% of your final score on the eligibility list will be from the FOAM!

    Our past Columbus class results prove that our students consistently finish in the top percentile. If you feel at this time that you are adequately prepared for this examination, we wish you the best of luck. If you want that extra edge over your competition that our seminar will provide, this class is for you! Remember that luck goes to the prepared!

    If you cannot attend for any reason, you must cancel 72 hours before classes begin in order to receive a refund. Please note that once the seminars begin, there are NO REFUNDS!  If you have any questions, you may contact us at 440.572.3919.