How To Become A Firefighter

As the name suggests. Firefighters are people who literally save people or other objects from fire by fighting it. They are strong individuals who can perform rescue operations with style and panache. Often loved by women, these professionals aren’t scared of anything and literally lay down their lives everyday like policemen. After hearing so much of praise about these brave individuals, you must have developed a slight desire to become one yourself. So, find out how to become a firefighter in the following paragraphs.

firefighter career summary

Meet Basic Requirements

To be a firefighter, you need to be a minimum of 18 years of age. You also need to meet a lot of physical fitness criteria that helps them determine if you will be able to complete your job efficiently and quickly. To ensure this, some departments usually put an upper cap on the age as well which generally varies from 28-30 years of age. Thus, it is important to go to college a bit to prepare for a career after that age if you are planning to continue in some other field. You will also be required to pass a background check like the ones policemen undergo.

Volunteer At Different Places

Being a firefighter is a huge service to the community and displays the selfless person in you. Thus, many departments are often on the lookout for people how have done a lot of volunteer work as they will be the most motivated to follow in this trade. Join some NGOs or Non-Profit Organizations, community services or neighborhood watches. It doesn’t matter if the volunteer work isn’t fire related. American Red Cross is a good place to start.

Become An EMT

One of the most important jobs of a firefighter is to save people, especially from emergencies. This requires them to be able to provide a level of emergency healthcare to the people they encounter. Thus, it is important to enroll for an EMT course and get certified. Most departments also consider it a must for the applicants to have an EMT certificate. It also reduces several things that they will have to teach you. If Emergency Medical Services interests you, you could also try to become a paramedic before applying to be a firefighter. It might give you a slight edge over the candidates but it is not necessary.

Learn About Fire Science

Though not a requirement, this will help you be better at your jobs. You can either choose to take a fire science course in college or get a fire science degree if you like it that much. It will give you more training than your recruitment process and give you a definite edge above the others. It is also necessary to pursue further careers in the fire department.

Keep Yourself Updated

The fire department hires people in an irregular fashion. They can recruit every few months or sometimes even after a few years. Keep yourself updated about the different tests that are going on in different fire departments in your area. They usually present themselves in recruitment fairs trying to get volunteers and interested people to test for recruitment.

Take The Tests

The hiring process consists of 2 basic tests. One is the written test that tests your knowledge of fires, rescue, spatial awareness and some other relevant things. The second test is the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). This tests your ability to perform as a firefighter and rescue people. After this you may have an oral interview or test before getting hired at the station.

Complete Training

Most of your fire training happens back at your fire department in a place known as the “firehouse”. Sometimes, you are also put into Fire Academy where you are given basic training on how to handle equipment and handle various rescue scenarios. You could also voluntarily join one of these training programs to get a more in-depth training.

After completing training, you are officially a firefighter! You can choose to either choose to advance in your profession or continue your education in other fields after this. Remember, it is a tough job and not meant for everyone. But, if you are still up for the challenge, find out how long it takes to become a firefighter.