How to Become a Firefighter

Firefighting is one of the most dangerous jobs in the entire world and firefighters the world over should be thanked anytime they risk their lives by running into a burning building. If you were interested in and know that it is a very rigorous training process unless you are ready, it is best left to the professionals.

If you are truly determined to become a firefighter, we have outlined all of the steps that you will need to follow below. The process is lengthy and tedious, but if you go into the program with your wits about you, there’s no reason why you can’t come out a professional firefighters.

  • The first thing you’re going to have to do is make sure that you’ve completed your high school education. Obtain at least a GED or equivalent diploma from high school before you even think of applying to Fire College. The number of firefighters with college degrees varies greatly, but there’s no requirement for receiving a bachelor’s degree from a university.
  • Before you’re allowed to enroll in the firefighter training program, you must first pass a physical fitness test. Before you even consider trying to pass the test, make sure you’re in peak physical condition as the test is known to be incredibly difficult. Passage of the test will allow you to apply to the fire college. The test involves things like running and climbing, so you’re going to want to get an all around good level of fitness, not just built up abs.
  • Once you’ve made it past all of the rigorous tests to make it into fire college, it’s recommended that you expand your skills a little. Not only is it necessary that you keep your body in shape, it’s important to have a strong knowledge base to build your fire skills around. Try and take as many CPR and health classes as you can because being a firefighter is about being the total package. Many of the calls that are made to firehouses these days are in relation to health issues, not actual fires.
  • Next on the list is the application process to become part of the firefighting training program. The entrance exams into fire college aren’t tough and cover basic things like an SAT would alongside questions to judge your moral character. Most people breeze through this step.
  • Once you’ve made it into the firehouse, training begins. Training can last anywhere between three to six months depending on the firehouse. Ask your firehouse about what’s involved with the training process and how long it will be. Every firehouse is different and only they can answer your questions. Firefighting training covers all of the firefighting techniques and skills you’ll need to have in the field. It’s a mixture of classroom instruction and field work. At the end you will have to pass an exam to prove that you’re well prepared for the job.

  • You may think that once you’ve passed the tests you are ready to become a firefighter. That’s not quite true. Once you’ve completed your coursework, there is a period of probation that all firefighters must go through. This probation period varies from firehouse to firehouse, and usually involves you just tagging along to real emergencies to see what everything is like. It’s all well and good to perform well in training courses, but if you can’t put your skills to work in the real world, you’re no use to a firefighting team. The probation period helps ease you into the idea of being a firefighter and what’s involved.

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