Becoming a firefighter can be one of the most riveting, challenging, and rewarding experiences of your life. It is not a career for everyone, but if you are someone who is brave and loyal with a desire to serve others, it may a great career for you. Before you embark down the journey, there are a few important measures to consider. Below are five steps to pursuing a career as a firefighter.
1. Become EMT certified
Even if the specific department you want to work for doesn’t require it until after you are hired, almost all fire departments will eventually require you to become EMT certified, and doing it ahead of time will show initiative and a true want for the position. Many local community colleges as well as programs through your local government can help you prepare and pass your EMT certification test.
2. Take the firefighter tests
In addition to your EMT certification, there are also a number of tests that you must pass in order to become a firefighter, and these will be required no matter what state you work in. The more you practice the tests you’ll have to take during the hiring process, the more you will be prepared come test time.
3. Visit your local stations
No one knows more about the position and what it takes to join the department than those who are already working there, so visiting your local station and getting to know the personnel there is a great way to get some real insight into the profession. They can offer guidance and answer questions in regards to both the hiring process as well as the day to day requirements of the job as well as become a mentor should you get hired to join their team.
4. Take additional courses
This step isn’t generally a prerequisite for getting a job within the firefighter industry, but it also shows great initiative and will only serve to help you once you’re in the field. Many firefighters will enroll in classes such as fire technology, fire sciences, and even anatomy and other medical courses if they have any interest of going to paramedic school later on in life.
Whether it be your local fire department or local branch of the Red Cross, spend some time volunteering in your community. Giving back is what being a firefighter is all about, and a lot of interviewers will look specifically for volunteer experience on your resume. Volunteering is one of the best and easiest ways to get hands-on experience.
Firefighters are among the bravest and most selfless members of our society, and joining their ranks is an extremely admirable career goal. The process is lengthy and is in no way easy, but it is also one of the most rewarding jobs out there. By following these five steps, you will be well on your way to becoming a firefighter.
Article information: Terminal City Iron Works Ltd.
Photo: UK Ministry Of Defence / Flickr
Karleia is a freelance blogger and mother to two young daughters.