Become A Fireman

Requirements to Become A Firefighter

If you are interested in the steps to becoming a firefighter, you must first be aware of the job requirements. While these will often differ from state to state and even city to city the following will give you a basic idea about what you can expect.

Generally, you must be at least 18 years of age to be accepted into any fire department or training academy. However, some allow 17 year olds to apply. Certain applications also have a maximum age of 29 years to apply. You will need to contact your local fire department to find out the exact age requirements. Most fire departments and academies also require that you have your high school diploma or GED equivalent. This is a common requirement for not only firefighting, but also in order to get continuing education in any chosen field. Many fire departments require that you complete special courses or special education in fire fighting such as EMT Basic or EMT 1 before you can even apply for an entry-level position. Once you have successfully a course in EMT 1 or higher, you can become registered with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, or NREMT. For fire departments, which require these additional courses, you will need to show proof of certification before you may be accepted into the firefighter training program.

With some fire departments, it is required that you have a clear driving record, and must have a valid driver’s license. In some states, they will go back three to five years in your driving record to check for any problems you may have had, and what happened. You cannot have any criminal convictions or offenses on file, especially those that would be in relation to the job of an emergency worker. Every applicant must be in excellent physical shape and a complete physical assessment must be completed during the recruitment process. The fire departments own physician will also conduct a medical exam to ensure you are in perfect health. Your vision must be perfect in most cases, and often times it is preferable to be above average vision. Peripheral vision and color vision is also tested along with your hearing. Both vision and hearing must be unaided.

Some additional qualifications may be a good idea because they help your chances in being chosen for a firefighter position and show your willingness and dedication to firefighting. Volunteer work is one of these qualifications and can be done during high school in firefighter related fields. First aid work or training, driving emergency vehicles, or any form of medical training can be used to an advantage when applying for a position. Any trade or academic program in the firefighter field or relating to the field will definitely be an advantage for you. Be prepared to have a copy of your transcripts on hand when you are applying.

firefighter-jacketFire departments are very particular about who they hire and will only hire the best of the best. This is because a lot of trust and stress are put onto the male and female firefighter. Someone who is physically strong, as well as mentally and emotionally strong is necessary to perform the kind of job firefighters do. The stress of the job can bring even the strongest of men to his knees. Firefighters have the realization that any call they respond to could be their last, and that the jobs they do can lead to long term health effects from breathing air contaminated with smoke and chemicals. It is because of these reasons that most people have no desire to be firefighters, and do not have what it takes. Very few people make their dream of becoming a firefighter a reality.

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