Hello! My names Jon and I'm interested in becoming a firefighter. I have to be honest, I'm completely clueless on how to go about becoming one. I'm looking for some help/advice on how to do so. Should I go to school? What classes should I take? What would you suggest I do about achieving this goal?
Thanks for all and any help! It's very much appreciated!
Thanks for the warm welcome. :) I will definately go down and have a talk with a few members from the fire department and see what they have to say.. I looked at a couple different college's but I was unsure of what course's would be required for firefighting so that's why I was asking for advice on here. I seen one of the schools offered a Fire Science Technology so I will have to look into that as well. Thank you so much for the advice! :)
Where are you? Are you looking to go professional or volunteer? Colleen is right. Get to know other fire fighters in your area. What does your state or local government require as certification? How do they hire fire fighters in your area?
I trained Jr fire fighters for several years as a volunteer fire fighter. Those guys are in positions of Chief Officers these days.
Hi Jon, I looked at your profile and it appears you live in a city that has a career department. Usually, career departments hold entrance exams every two years or so; public notices are released well in advance so that anyone interested in taking the exam can be prepared. There are study guides out there that can help you get up to speed. Applicants that pass the written and subsequent physical agility tests receive all required training before being assigned to a station.
This is assuming the department in your area is career. If it's volunteer, find out the organization's name and address; they may have a web site or you may have to call or keep passing by until you see signs of activity. You will be able to find out what the membership requirements are from whoever you talk to.
Even if you live in an area protected by a career department, there are undoubtedly volunteer departments close by that may accept you as an out-of-district member. Going the vollie route will let you get exposed to much of the "real" side of firefighting and allow you to decide if you want to pursue a career. It's not for everybody.
I have just started in the service. My best advice to you is that you HAVE to be patient. don't expect gear and a radio anytime soon. It takes a little time to learn, and any veteran will tell you that they are still learning. Work hard, and you'll get your helmet.
My best suggestion is to make contact with a local volunteer organization before getting your heart set on a career position. I spent seven years applying to departments in my area before deciding to work in the private sector. Depending on your area, the hiring process can be pretty cut-throat. Only a very small percentage of folks actually get hired in my area.
Municipal fire departments will often look for experience when hiring folks onto their departments, so the best place to start is your local volunteers. They may either provide training, or point you in the right direction as to where to get the ball rolling...
Basically, contact your local vol. fire house, and ask to shadow for the day, see how every thing is ran. But dont just go to one dept. try other depts that are around your area. then apply to some of them