3 Things To Know Before Becoming a Firefighter

becoming a firefighter

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  • A career as a firefighter is unlike any other.

    Firefighting is demanding and rewarding, combining a life of service with work that is high-stress and physically exhausting.

    After all, firefighters save lives and properties, respond to a wide range of emergencies and make medical calls.

    If you’re considering a career as a firefighter, there is a lot to think about. To prepare for success, educate yourself on the application process and training options, such as night, weekend or online firefighter training. Keep these facts in mind as you get ready.

    1. You Have To Meet Basic Requirements

    Each firefighting organization has its own eligibility standards, but most require applicants that fall within a certain age range and possess a valid driver’s license, good eyesight and a high school diploma or GED.

    Many jurisdictions run background checks or drug tests on prospective firefighters, and some dive into the academic, occupational, driving, and credit histories of candidates.

    Organizations tend to favor applicants who have completed emergency medical training such as CPR certification, paramedic licensure or EMT certification.

    2. You Must Pass Exams To Qualify for Training

    Before beginning a training program, you have to demonstrate that you’re a suitable candidate through written and physical tests. The written exams cover basic skills such as problem-solving, logic, math, reasoning, spatial orientation, oral and written proficiency and recollection.

    If you need to brush up on any of these before taking the exam, you can find study aids online. Prospective trainees must also pass a physical exam that tests the performance of many strenuous tasks required of firefighters, including equipment carries, ladder raises, stair climbs and hose hoists. The physical exam often includes a simulation in which an applicant must rescue a victim.

    3. You Need To Be Flexible With Training

    Each organization has different training requirements, and many place prospective firefighters in programs at colleges or fire schools. Fire science programs prepare trainees to manage and extinguish fires, use a range of tools and technologies, assist fire victims, evacuate compromised structures, maintain and operate vehicles and equipment and coordinate with stakeholders such as local government officials.

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    If standard training doesn’t fit into your life at the moment, you may be able to pursue flexible training options. Some programs offer slower training tracks on nights and weekends while online training programs allow individuals to complete basic courses or advanced specializations such as arson investigation at home.

    With the right perspective and a lot of hard work, you can be on your way to a rewarding career as a firefighter.

    Image Credit: becoming a firefighter by envato.com

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