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.
- Earn your high school diploma. Firefighters must be over 18 years old and have a high school diploma.
- Fill out an application form. You can obtain this form at the local fire department or from your city's Department of Personnel.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- 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.
- Pass the psychological examination.
- Take courses in basic CPR and emergency medical procedures.
- 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.
- 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.