Actually, the United States has more than 300,000 firefighters. According to the Labor Department report, more than 90% of these firemen work for the local government. If you are a firefighter, you should be able to fight active fires or make emergency calls in case of injuries or disasters happen. In fact, firefighters save the lives of many people, as well as saving millions of dollars in property damage. If you want to become a firefighter, below are some guidelines on how to go by.
The best way to learn how to become a firefighter is through talking to a local firefighter. Note that all firemen have to undergo post-secondary school training. Since the standards of qualifications differ from state to state, it is good to know the requirements in your state in order to know the right way to go. You may learn about the requirements and qualifications at your local firehouse.
Firstly, you need to volunteer for this trade. In fact, most of the firefighters who have successfully made it in firefighting started as volunteers. The relevant departments usually have vacancies for people who want to volunteer. Typically, beginners are allowed to offer community services. You may assist around the station or become a staff in one of the local community offices.
Next, look for CPR training and become fit. Bear in mind that firemen work for long hours under taxing conditions. Actually, they are more physically fit than policemen or even athletes. So, it is good to get in shape before joining firefighting. You are supposed to pass a rigorous physical exam when applying to work as a firefighter. It is therefore advisable to look for a CPR class at an accredited institution within your state.
Thirdly, you need to obtain a fire science degree. Consider attending a school in fire science. Mostly, any organization that is hiring firefighters will have to check your practical training as well as post-secondary fire training. In these training institutions, there are numerous firefighting technology programs that equip students with the right skills to work as firemen, fire inspectors, and fire investigators.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics requires firefighters to be able to:
- Put out fires using pumps, hoses and other apparatus
- Treat victims
- Evacuate fire structures
- Operate emergency pump engines and vehicles
- Maintain fire-fighting tools
- Take part in public education
If you think that you are fully qualified, you can take exams and apply for work. Typically, the hiring process will include a written exam, oral interrogation, background check, physical check, and probably drug screening. Obviously, you will be asked to provide your academic record and also some personal references. The written exam may cover mathematics, human relations, problem solving, and general reasoning. A physical test may cover hearing, blood pressure, urine, blood and eyesight. There will also be a psychological exam that will cover personality traits. And lastly, the oral interview covers lifetime career goals and how you see your life as a firefighter.