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How to Become a Firefighter

A job as a firefighter is probably the most personally rewarding career anybody can have. It's a profession of helping others. Whether it's rescuing people from a burning building, extinguishing a house fire or caring for medical needs, it all boils down to helping people. Firefighting demands a high level of dedication, and a firefighter must possess the courage and stamina to risk his life for others. The competition to become a firefighter is tough, but those that put their heart and soul, as well as hours of preparation, into it, have a chance at becoming a firefighter. Here's how to become a firefighter.

  1. Earn your high school diploma. Firefighters must be over 18 years old and have a high school diploma.
  2. Fill out an application form. You can obtain this form at the local fire department or from your city's Department of Personnel.
  3. Pass a criminal background check.
  4. Pass the physical test. Potential firefighters must pass a rigorous physical test of their stamina and strength. You will be required to take drug screening test as part of the physical exam.
  5. Pass the psychological examination.
  6. Take courses in basic CPR and emergency medical procedures.
  7. Take the local firefighters' written exam, which is given by your city or state. This exam is typically a 100-question test and can last up to 3½ hours. There are many books available that can help you prepare for the exam.
  8. Sign up for your local fire-department training program after passing the written exam. This is typically a two to four month program, which includes classroom instruction, training in fire-fighting techniques, fire prevention and life-saving procedures.

When you've successfully completed all the requirements, you can begin your career as a firefighter.