Tag Archives: Requirements to become a firefighter

What Do Firefighters Do?

No doubt you would want to know what it is exactly that firefighters do before you invest your money, time, and energy preparing to become one.  You definitely need to have an idea of what you’re getting into. Regardless of what your level is, there is always something new to learn about the career you’re pursuing.

Fire departments if different places have minor differences in the way they operate, and so, the duties of a firefighter in one department may differ (slightly or drastically) from those of a firefighter in another department. The work of firefighters is commonly depicted in television dramas and Hollywood, and it’s not rare to see those gallant individuals seated around a table, eating and laughing at jokes, or even resting during day time. On television, firefighters are rarely portrayed as ‘busy’ people. However, this portrayal is very unrealistic at best. That is not the usual routine in many fire departments. Admittedly, the aforesaid television portrayal may be routine for a couple of days in some fire departments – respond to a call or wait for the next one. But many times, firefighters may be occupied with other duties when they’re not responding to a call. Whether it’s some housework to be done or doing some routine training to be the best they can, firefighters are always occupied.

If you’re an aspiring firefighter, it would do you a lot of good to realize that there’s more to a firefighter’s work than merely responding to calls and lounging around the kitchen area waiting for the next emergency. It’s really surprising to find some newly recruited firefighters in a department who suddenly shun responding to Band-Aid calls, or dislike responding to medical calls, or dislike public education events, or hate any other duty that may arise. It’s not uncommon to hear of complaints where some firefighters don’t like performing certain duties or even plead ignorance of how to go about certain tasks.

So before any prospective firefighter decides to pursue firefighting as their career, they must realize that the job entails doing things that seem out of the typical job description of a firefighter. You need the necessary skills to accomplish a range of tasks and at short notice most of the time. Fortunately, the department that takes you up will show you how to accomplish the majority of those tasks, but you’ll also be expected to have a few basic skills with you acquired through experience or training.

Some experienced firefighters claim that a firefighter ought to have knowledge of about 26 trades, including plumbing, electrical engineering, and carpentry, automotive, among others. Of course, this seems unrealistic and even impossible, but firefighters are routinely called on short notice to do tasks related to other trades.

Most people tend to forget that it is firefighters that you call in the middle of the night when you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to accomplish something and the repair shop is closed. And in most cases, firefighters will stop the problem at the very least and then direct you to the relevant contact that will solve the problem completely.

So by now, you should have figured out that a firefighter’s job is not just about putting out fires and rescuing people from danger, but it entails helping out with almost any difficulties that people face in their everyday lives. Firefighters serve the community and country at large by making a difference in people’s lives, besides the mandatory rescue missions that are the core of their work. If you want to make it a worthwhile career, be ready to embrace the challenges that the firefighting job presents, otherwise you’ll end up unhappy and frustrated.

Learn more about firefighters by reading our block, but also firefighter news here.

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Requirements To Become A Firefighter

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.

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