Firefighters play critical roles in the community, from public safety and medical emergencies to rescues of various types. The decision to become a firefighter is an admirable one, but it is important to fully understand the process and steps you must take. The best resource is your local fire station as requirements may vary from location to location. However, below are three tips that can help you become a firefighter no matter where you live.
1. Graduate From a Fire Academy
Attending a fire academy is a full-time job itself, and many require you to devote at least 40 hours per week to their program. If you currently work full time, don’t be discouraged; firefighter certification online is also an option and is tailored towards people who work. Although a college degree is not usually a requirement for acceptance into a fire academy, it is often helpful to have prior training in life support techniques, and EMT training is often recommended.
2. Get Fit
Most people think of firefighters as physically strong individuals, and this is definitely an important aspect of becoming a firefighter. Regular exercise and physical training are essential to ensure that you can perform your best as a firefighter. However, it is also important to consider whether your personality is fit for the profession. Integrity, courage and dedication are key traits that one must possess to be a successful firefighter.
3. Do Your Research
Whether you decide to pursue a postsecondary education to prepare you for a career as a firefighter or would prefer to head straight to the academy, be sure to research the programs to which you apply. Factors such as tuition and available financial aid may influence your decision. Many fire science programs are accredited by the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education recognition program — also known as FESHE.
Deciding to pursue a career as a firefighter can be daunting, and being a firefighter requires both physical capability and certain personality traits. With the right education, determination and the right attitude, you can be the next great asset to your community’s public safety team.