Working as a fighter is as hard as becoming one. Firefighters work under some of the most stressing conditions, and at times life threatening. In fact, many firefighters have lost their lives right in the middle of doing their duties – trying to rescue others. So before you embark on efforts to become one, it’s prudent that you get to know what it takes and some of the challenges you’re likely to face.
It’s fiercely competitive to be recruited as a firefighter. The interviews can be grueling and demanding, which partly explains why almost 70 percent of prospects abandon their dreams of becoming a firefighter and opt for other choices. There are various reasons for this though, but most times, it’s due to lack of adequate preparation or not knowing what you’re getting into.
Without further ado, let’s get into the requirements needed to become a firefighter, in no particular order, and hopefully by the time you’re through reading them, you’ll be in better position to embark on your efforts of becoming a firefighter.
Become a volunteer – Firefighting is a service to the community and fire departments prefer individuals who demonstrate a desire to serve the community. The best way you can demonstrate this is through past volunteer work, whether or not your experience is related to fire. Also, if you’re just starting out, volunteering is a good way to gain useful references, so seek any volunteering role you can do. The Red Cross and a host of other humanitarian organizations always have openings for volunteers so check regularly for volunteer openings.
Get Emergency Medical Technician Certification (EMT) – Currently, the majority of calls received at fire departments are related to medical emergencies. Unsurprisingly, medical technician skills are becoming a requirement when applying for a firefighter position in many fire departments countrywide. Those that don’t need EMT certification may request after hiring you, so it makes sense to get it as you prepare to apply.
Enlist for a fire technology class – You realize that you’ll be up against fierce competition when you apply to become a firefighter, so you must do anything and everything that will add weight to your profile. While taking a fire technology class is not a pre-requisite for becoming a firefighter, it shows that you have commitment and dedication. It means a lot that someone takes the initiative and prepares for their dream job. What’s more, many fire departments normally look to fire academies when recruiting.
Maintain a polished background – Whatever you think, having a spotless background is going to be the only differentiator in some instances. It’s a known fact that past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior, and recruiters know this all too well. If your background is plagued by a series of problems such as arrests, parking tickets, domestic violence issues, and more, then it will be harder for you to make it through, especially if the competition has the opposite.
Go through the recruitment phases – This doesn’t mean that you should practically do all the drills and tests of the firefighter recruitment process. It means that you should get acquainted with all the recruitment phases that you have to pass successfully. Of course, the recruitment process is different for every department, but the basics are the same across the board. Do some thorough research about the department you’re applying to or one in your area. Get to know how they conduct their recruitment interviews, whether it is through oral interviews, written tests, physical agility, and more.
These tips should give you a good overview of what it takes to apply for a firefighter job. However, mastering them doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the job – just as there are no guarantees in life – but you’ll be in a better position than your competition nonetheless.
Become a firefighter
So, are you ready to become a firefighter? Read this post to learn more about the process.