There is no specific licensure that is required by the fire department. However, you are supposed to write an exam and attend a physical ability test to prove that you can handle the stresses of the job. To do this, you should first apply to fire departments. They usually hire every one or two years. But, this period can vary from one city to another, depending on the fire department’s needs.
It is important to note that about two-thirds of the country’s firefighters work as volunteers rather than professional ones. These people too must write the written exam and pass the physical ability exams.
Firefighters often take turns in driving the firetrucks to their destinations and back to the firehouse. These trucks come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them have water hoses attached to them, while others have ladders or other hydraulic equipment. Some trucks are meant for the sole purpose of carrying and stabilizing injured people. Having a driving license shows that you have a basic idea about driving. However, these trucks aren’t your ordinary trucks or cars. They are modified and much heavier than the standard version with different dimensions to account for. Thus, you need special driving licenses for this which you can get after you complete a training program and give the required tests.
As a major part of a fireman’s duties are to rescue the citizens, they need to well versed in emergency medical services. It is mandatory for all firefighters to a be certified Emergency Medical Technician or EMT. However, they need not have this at the time of application. Instead, they only need to fulfill all the requirements for the course before applying. They can choose to get it anytime before becoming a professional firefighter. The certificate that is required is the EMT-B or the EMT-Basic. Earlier a simple CPR certification was enough, however, nowadays the fire departments have a higher standard.
Those who are intrigued by the field of emergency medical treatment, they can opt to go for higher studies and become a paramedic. This course takes about 2 years and gives one comprehensive knowledge about the field. It is not a necessity to be a paramedic to become a fireman, however, it gives you an edge over the other candidates. Some fire departments also pay higher for paramedics. If you feel this is too much effort, then you can choose to apply for other advanced EMT options.
There are many other safety and healthcare certifications that a firefighter can pursue if they are interested in building their skillset. For example, one can try to learn another language to communicate more effectively with one of the casualties and help that person in a better way. If you want to be a firefighter and you don’t have these licenses, then get started on them right away!