Are you passionate about becoming a firefighter and are wondering what it takes to become one? What procedures must you go through to become a firefighter?
First, firefighting is one of the noblest careers today. Your work is to save lives during an emergency. When need and opportunity arises, firefighters also save property as well. In a broader sense, fire firefighters receive the necessary training required to handle a variety of emergency scenarios. Although they are most known for putting out fires, they also carry out other duties such as:
• Save evacuation during an emergency
• Dealing with medical emergencies
• Treating and rescuing injured individuals
• Conducting public awareness of fire and safety
As you can see, the career is not just about putting out fires — there is much more to it. That’s why you need to meet certain criteria to become a firefighter. Below is a detailed overview of how to become a firefighter.
1. Meet Basic Requirements
Different states have varying requirements for becoming a firefighter. Some require you to be 18 years and above to qualify, and others have an age limit of 21 years. In addition to this, some states restrict individuals who have past a certain age from applying as firefighters. Besides age, you also have to person a set fitness criterion, drug screening, and a criminal background check as well.
Some states also require one to have a high school diploma and a driving license. Familiarize yourself with the local rules to ensure that you meet the basic requirements for this career.
2. Take the Tests
The next step is to take the written and physical tests given by the local fire department during their recruitment fair. There may be a series of tests and interviews, and individuals who qualify through the first test will be taken through a series of other evaluations. The recruiters will also check to see whether you meet the basic requirements outlined above. Those who pass the written test and the physical examination proceed to the training program which prepares them to work as firefighters. Note that the recruitment process can be lengthy. Therefore, it is paramount for you to exercise patience.
3. Get an EMT License
Firefighters’ primary role is to save lives, and this line of work requires them to be able to provide emergency health care. That’s why it is necessary and even mandatory in some states to enroll for an emergency medical technician (EMT) course and become certified. Successful candidates receive the license to operate as certified EMTs and provide first aid and healthcare during an emergency. If an EMT license is a requirement, you won’t be hired without taking the course. Therefore, make arrangements to get certified before applying to the local firehouse.
4. Advance your Career
After taking undergoing basic training and getting employed at a firehouse, your work is to serve the community. However, this is not the end for you. You can advance your knowledge and open up career opportunities. Advance your certifications or take college degrees in fire science and you will increase climb the rank, expand your opportunities, and get higher earnings.
Firefighting is an amazing career that gives you an opportunity to save lives and serve the community. If you haven’t applied yet, you can take part in community volunteer work as you wait to apply and take the tests. This gives you an opportunity to interact with individuals who may help you advance in your career.