The foremost task of firefighters is to protect lives, by responding to car accidents, structures on fire, and other emergencies. In turn, they also manage to save properties. They carry out a noble and life risk job by protecting the public from fire and assisting them with post-accident first aid support. They also help educate the public on various safety tips so that they can prevent a fire to the possible extent.
While there are some firefighters, who work their way up from basic level. They start with volunteering for the local firehouses in their society and later substantiate with a diploma from high school. The other way is to attend school and get trained in firefighting jobs.
It is important to attain 18 years of age and possess a valid driving license, before going for the classes. Applicant needs to be physically fit with no criminal records. There is also a cap on the maximum age limit of 28 to 30 years.
- Appear for the test
Fire departments host job fairs to select new hires. In these, they organize the written and physical tests. If you are interested, you can visit these fairs, but these are time-consuming and consists of various rounds. If you are competent and can clear the preliminary tests, then you will have to go through a series of interviews and more complex assessments, consisting of physical examinations also.
- EMT or Emergency Medical Technician
In some states, it is compulsory for firefighters to possess the EMT license. Know the rule of your state and acquire the license as per requirement.
- Attend the academy
Thorough training at the academy, an attendant is prepared for a firefighter’s job. The course module consists of both theoretical classes and rigorous physical pieces of training. These courses are better as they cover topics which are many a time not covered in the firehouse and are necessary for the job. On the job training is a continuous process but a strong foundation from the academy gives the added benefit.
Some fire companies have a partnership with schools, and this enables the students to get the perfect blend of practical and theoretical knowledge. You can either get a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree from the firefighter academies.
During this phase, create strong emergency resumes which will help you to fetch a high paying and respectable job.
- Build a strong network
One of the effective means to learn the intricacies of this job can be through visiting fire stations and learning from the firefighters. None better than the professionals can answer your questions about the complete hiring process and the details about the life of a firefighter. This will also help you to create your network where you can prove yourself as a potential worker. If you can get to spend time with them and help them in their other jobs like cooking, laundry, and other in-house projects, participate in them.
Fire stations most of the times prefer firefighters with some experience and also those who have been associated as a volunteer. It is a public serving job, and involvement in volunteer firefighting tasks gives a boost to the emergency resumes. Besides, it also enhances the practical knowledge, which is beneficial in a career. Moreover, as a volunteer, you can get the vision of the hiring processes of the fire station, and your hard work will also bring you to the notice of the hiring manager, which can be helpful if you apply at the same organization.
- Clear physical test and drug tests
Since firefighting requires immense physical activity, it is imperative to have brilliant health along with flawless vision and hearing, to become a firefighter. It is compulsory for each applicant to go through a comprehensive background verification to ensure that he has no criminal records. Some forestations also conduct a drug test, and if you cannot clear through it, then all your efforts will go in vain.
To be successful in the field of firefighting, you must be prepared to undergo a continuous learning procedure. Fire stations conduct training at regular intervals to upgrade their staffs and to ensure that they are always mentally and physically ready for any emergency situation.