So You Want to be a Firefighter?

A firefighter career can provide you with an extremely fulfilling job and allow you to make a difference in the lives of others. Firefighters regularly save lives and you to experience a lot of excitement in their job. Here are a few things to consider about becoming a firefighter and what it is like once you get there.

Education Requirements

In order to become a firefighter, you will have to go through a certain amount of education. The first order of business is to make sure that you get your high school diploma or GED. You will have to be 18 in order to qualify to train as a firefighter. You can learn how to become a firefighter directly from a fire department. However, many people are starting to attend a university in order to get a degree in fire science as well. This can open up other career paths to you after working as a firefighter such as a fire inspector.

After you have completed your desired amount of formal education, you will have to enter into a fire academy. These are often provided by local fire departments or a state government. You will have to attend this training for approximately 600 hours. Typically, the hours can be filled in a 3 to 6 month period. During this period, you will learn the basics of what it takes to be a firefighter. You will go through intense physical training and learn important theories. During this course, you will study things like chemistry, physics, math and fire science. 

Getting into a fire academy can be very difficult as this field is extremely competitive. Many people become certified as a paramedic before trying to get in to fire academy so that their odds of acceptance are increased. In order to get accepted, you will have to pass a candidate physical ability test, a written exam, and an aptitude test. You may also have to go through a psychological profiling session in order to make sure that you are mentally prepared for the job.

Physical Training

Being a firefighter is physically demanding. You will need to be physically fit to be a firefighter. This will require you to work out consistently on your own before and during the training program. You will have to be able to open a fire hydrant with a wrench, climb a very tall ladder, and carry someone on your shoulders out of a burning building. This means that you will have to pass the physical requirements test in fire academy before you can move on.

Working As a Firefighter

Once you pass fire academy, you are then qualified to work as a firefighter in your particular area. The job of a firefighter can be very demanding. You will be required to work long hours and be on call. However, when you save the life of someone in a fire, all of the hard work will be worth it.



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