How to Become a Firefighter

How to Become a FirefighterDo you want to help people and save lives? Are you willing to put in the time and effort required to be a firefighter? There’s a reason that little boys and girls dream of becoming a firefighter someday: Firefighting is a noble profession that many people admire and respect.

How does a person start the process of becoming a firefighter? There is a list of things you must do to become properly prepared to enter the field. The process is not an easy one, but anyone that is determined to be a firefighter can stick to it and make it into the field in the end.

Before even beginning the process of becoming a firefighter, make sure that you qualify. A background check will be performed, and you should be sure to keep your record as clean as possible. If you have had problems in the past, make them known before you start the testing for becoming a firefighter. Lying is sure to lead to a disqualification.

Step One: Know the Requirements

Potential firefighters aren’t going to make it very far without knowing exactly what will be expected of them. Firefighters need to be able to pass both written and physical tests to establish that they are prepared to go out in the field. Basic medical knowledge is necessary in case a victim of smoke inhalation or a burn victim need immediate attention before paramedics arrive. The job is physically grueling, and maintaining physical fitness is one of the most important aspects of being a firefighter.

After becoming familiar with the requirements of becoming a firefighter, it is time to prepare to meet these requirements.

Step Two: Meet the Age Requirement

Not all fire departments have the same age requirement, but a standard requirement is that recruits must be at least 21 years of age. Contact the local fire department to find out what age minimum they have set.

Those under the age limit can still prepare to be a firefighter in the future. There are certain steps to becoming a firefighter that could take a significant amount of time for some people to achieve. For example, a potential firefighter that is only 18 years of age and is not in good physical shape can take the next three years to work on physical fitness.

Step Three: Volunteer

Volunteer firefighting is a great way to get experience before applying for a paid position. If there are no volunteer firefighting opportunities in the area, consider other ways to help out. Firefighters need to be able to cook and clean, so helping a non-profit with these tasks will still help a recruit stand out.

Step Four: Obtain an EMT License

While it is not a requirement for becoming a firefighter, obtaining an EMT license gives a person a major edge over the competition. The license to aim for is designated as a paramedic’s license. As noted above, there may be times when a firefighter will be required to provide medical attention to victims before medical professionals arrive at the scene of the fire. Having a firefighter on the team that is a trained paramedic is a huge bonus for fire departments.

Step Five: Prepare for the Firefighter Entrance Exam

The exact nature of the written exam is different depending on the local fire department. However, there is material that is uniformly covered on these exams. To prepare for the entrance exam, utilize a free practice test website. There are a variety of topics that will be covered on the exam. While knowledge about fires and the procedures to be followed during a fire is necessary, most fire departments would also like recruits to display basic reading comprehension, writing and math skills during the testing process.

Step Six: Prepare for the Physical Exam

how to become a firefighterThe physical exam tests a recruit’s ability to complete any of the physical tasks that may be necessary during a fire. Examples include climbing a ladder while carrying equipment, breaking down a door to enter a building and carrying a victim to safety.

These requirements mean that a recruit needs to focus on both strength and aerobic fitness before the exam. Running and weight training are recommended.

If you are seriously considering becoming a firefighter, keep in mind that the process of becoming a firefighter is difficult. You will need to show your dedication to the career path even before you start working in the field. While firefighting in a noble profession, it is a grueling and dangerous job that is not suitable for everyone.

If you do feel that you have the dedication and passion necessary to become a firefighter, follow the steps listed above for the greatest chance of success.

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