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How Long Will it Take to Become a Firefighter?

 

 

 

 

 

When you are preparing for a vocation, you must determine how long it will take you to obtain your qualification and begin saving lives. 

It would be embarrassing to notice that you completed your training when your hair began turning gray. 

Several components of firefighter training may take a long time to complete. As far as a timeframe goes, here’s what you can expect. 

Fire Science Education 

After graduating from high school, you’ll need to pursue a degree in fire science. The timeframe for this may vary depending on where you are applying from. 

Some colleges, for example, may grant you a degree in as little as two years, while others may take up to four years to complete. If you want to earn more money, you should receive a bachelor’s degree from a longer-term educational program. 

EMT Certification 

Some fire science colleges also provide EMT training, which teaches the fundamentals of CPR. You won’t have to spend any more time on this in this situation. 

If your college program does not offer this type of instruction, you may need to attend a separate course, which could take up to three years depending on the program. Keep in mind that the more time you spend in a program, the more qualified you will become. 

Volunteering 

Volunteering is also necessary because no one will hire you unless you have some experience. However, in most circumstances, it shouldn’t take more than a year. Each agency will have its own set of standards, but in general, the more volunteer work you do, the better. 

Apply for a Job 

It could take as little as a few days – or as long as a few weeks – to complete the application and hiring process. 

Fire departments hire on a regular basis, such as every four months or every four years. There are several departments that hire on an annual basis (or in some cases, every other year). It’s simply a matter of time. 

The complete process of hiring a fire department should take no more than 6 weeks. 

Training

The length of recruitment training will depend on the department and municipal requirements, although it should not exceed six months. 

You’ll have to master the fundamentals of the firehouse at this stage, and the faster you learn, the sooner you’ll be able to go on to the next stage. 

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Probation 

Although you may have been hired and trained, you are not yet a professional fireman. 

You’ll also have to go through probation, which will be overseen by your superiors. This final step could take anything from 6 months to a year. To put it another way, becoming a fireman – but not a professional one – will take at least four years. It will be better if you put more effort into it. 

Even with all of the delays and lengthy programs, it shouldn’t take longer than 11 years – and that’s only if you take your time.

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Why Should You Become a Firefighter? 

The Work is Driven by Servant Leadership 

The primary motivation for becoming a fireman is to help others. Although firemen are taught to make sound decisions and prepare for crises, they are aware that every call has the possibility of injury or death. It is the nature of someone with a servant’s heart to be willing to take that risk in order to save someone else. Working as a fireman is a great method to show that you care about others on a regular basis. 

It’s a plus if you can schedule your work around your schedule. 

Flexible hours are another benefit of being a fireman for people who choose not to work a 9-to-5 schedule. Many firemen work long shifts with considerable rests in between. Some firefighters, for example, work 24 hours a day and then take 48 hours off. When there aren’t any fire calls, fire stations often offer sleeping and living spaces, as well as kitchens and baths, providing for meals, rest, and recreation. While a busy department may provide little rest for a firefighter, fire stations with lower call volumes can provide a more relaxing day of work. Some firefighters can work a second job for extra money on their days off because of the flexible work schedule. 

Working out is a necessary part of the job. 

To perform in an emergency, firefighters must have stamina, endurance, and strength. Another motivation to become a fireman is if you appreciate physical sports and being fit. Workout equipment is available at most fire stations, and firefighters are urged to exercise on a daily basis. Lifting weights, running, walking, and playing sports as a group is a terrific way to stay in shape while meeting new people in your department. 

It’s energizing to work in a group. 

Many people are drawn to the firefighting career because of the companionship it provides. When firefighters cooperate together on the job, they feel a sense of accomplishment. Firefighters operate together as a team, with each man or woman in uniform relying on the other to complete a task. When one firefighter is in difficulty, another is dispatched to assist him. Firefighters often work 24-hour shifts and spend lengthy hours together at a station. For many, the fire station becomes a second home, with meals made and shared as a family. Become a fireman if you appreciate working as part of a team, collaborating toward a common objective, and forming potentially lasting ties with people in your department.

Characteristics of a Firefighter 

Courageous and Bold 

Firefighters frequently put their lives at danger. When entering structures to put out fires and try rescues where fire and smoke inhalation pose a threat to their safety and potentially their lives, they must exercise caution. They make rescues by climbing ladders and trees. They also put themselves in danger when responding to car accidents and mishaps at home. They are frequently exposed to extreme heat, as well as poisonous gases and fumes. Not only does courage keep firefighters alive, but it also allows them to console the individuals they are attempting to save. 

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 Physically Sound

According to FireRescue1, the physical demands of firefighting are difficult. Heavy hoses and heavy equipment are lifted and moved by firefighters. During rescues, they may be required to carry individuals from buildings and down ladders. All of this is usually done while wearing extensive protection equipment and breathing apparatus. 

They cannot choose to sit down and take a rest in an emergency. Firefighters, in addition to being in good physical shape, must have a grit and tough mindset. This enables them to use their physical ability to overcome hurdles and endure in the face of adversity in order to rescue buildings and assist people. 

Compassionate and empathic 

Empathy and compassion are two qualities that firefighters possess. Firefighters’ primary goal is to protect and serve the public. This frequently entails putting their lives at danger and working long shifts for low pay. 

Firefighters must have a natural passion to help others while making personal sacrifices in order to thrive in this line of employment. Given the demands of fighting fires and assisting people in emergency circumstances, a desire to help those in need is an essential motivator. Firefighters combine compassion and humor to put themselves and others at rest during difficult moments, in addition to a willingness to care about the welfare of those they serve. 

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Team-Oriented Attitude 

According to Firehouse, a firefighter personality type is team-oriented, adaptive, dependable, and a hard worker. Putting out a fire necessitates each person’s task to be executed with consistency and precision. Fire chiefs organize crucial strategic preparation before a call by assigning each employee a duty in an emergency. 

When one squad arrives at a fire, they usually park the firetruck, unwind the hoses, start watering the fire, and ventilate the structure. Another crew enters the building or residence and searches for anyone who may be present. Mistakes, delays, or out-of-sequence maneuvers can waste time and put firemen and anyone inside in danger.

 

A firefighter’s Salary 

A firefighter’s annual salary in the United States is around $48,897. 

To become a firefighter, you must meet certain requirements. 

To become a fireman, you must first meet the minimum prerequisites. 

To become a fireman, you must have a valid driver’s license and be at least 18 years old. For those under the age of 18, limited involvement as a junior firefighter is an option. Depending on the department you’re applying to, there will most likely be a maximum age limit, usually between 28 and 35 years old. 

Educational Requirements 

A high school diploma or GED will be required at the very least. To advance their careers, many firefighters pursue a degree in fire science. It’s also a good idea to train as an EMT. Having a history in both fire and EMS will increase your chances of being recruited. Some departments may demand EMT certification, while others may require a paramedic’s license. 

Stay in good physical shape. 

A physical ability test is required to become a firefighter. Stair climb, hose drag, equipment carry, ladder raise and extension, forced entry, search, rescue, ceiling breach and pull are among the CPAT events. Prepare for the job’s physical demands as well as the test’s requirements. 

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Avoid trouble. 

You’ve undoubtedly done something you’re not proud of at some point in your life. When applying to become a firefighter, how you handle your mistakes will be crucial. Mike Pertz, a FireRescue1 columnist who developed a website dedicated to assisting people in becoming firefighters, recently wrote an essay on the issue. 

Do not lie if you are asked about your previous employment history during an interview. Instead, accept responsibility for your errors. Explain how you’ve changed and what you’ve done to change to the hiring panel. Also, be honest about your driving record, including dates, places, and the results of any fines or accidents. 

Maintain a clean social media profile. 

Be careful what you share, repost, comment on, and like on Facebook and other social media platforms. Expect your social media presence to be reviewed by all potential employers. Remove any posts that are embarrassing, immature, risqué, or otherwise improper from your pages. Request that any such posts involving you be removed from your friends’ pages. In some circumstances, closing your accounts makes sense. 

Demonstrate your financial responsibility. 

The obligatory background check includes credit score, which is commonly disregarded. You will be harmed if you have bad credit. If necessary, be disciplined in your efforts to improve your score. 

Participate in your community. 

Working in public safety is all about giving back to the community. One approach to demonstrate that you’re eager to serve your community is to volunteer your time for a worthy cause. It makes no difference if it’s a fire-related or non-fire-related incident. There are plenty of excellent possibilities for you to make a difference. Two outstanding possibilities are the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. 

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Successfully complete the written exam 

Always, if you’re still not sure, study some more. The written test is broken into categories and consists of multiple-choice questions. Check out these test-taking fundamentals to increase your chances of passing with flying colors. 

Make sure you’re ready for a psychological evaluation. 

You won’t be able to prepare for this one. This assessment will look at your mental and emotional stability to see if you can handle the stresses of firefighting. 

Obtain a certificate from a fire academy 

It’s a good idea to get your state’s entry-level firefighter certifications, such as Firefighter I and II. Once hired, you’ll still need to attend a department’s academy, but this provides you a head start and helps you master the job’s book and practical abilities. One option to enroll into an academy is to join a volunteer fire brigade. 

Attend the interview 

What motivates you to pursue a career as a firefighter? We realize it’s a cliche. However, you should be prepared for this inquiry. In a firefighter interview, you’ll almost certainly be asked four more questions, and how you respond will have an impact on the panel’s hiring decision. This is your chance to shine and make an impression.

 

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