watch thefour-part video seriesabout how to come to be a firefighter, explaining what friend canexpect from a job in the fire business as you navigate the path and complete the vital steps along the way.

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Being a firefighter is not easy and also neither is the process of becoming a firefighter. Competition is fierce and also the hiring procedure can be really grueling and challenging, other many people do not endure or success at. More than 70% give up the pursuit of coming to be a firefighter and also move top top to various other career choices.

There room likely plenty of reasons because that this statistic. Maybe they did not know what lock were acquiring into once they started the process, or castle did not adequately prepare themselves.

In no specific order, below are 10 must-do things every firefighter candidate have to be law to rise their odds of acquiring hired.


department are looking for those through the desire and capacity to carry out community service. (Photo/Getty Images)

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1. Come to be an EMT

The an excellent majority the departments are requiring one EMT certification to apply and an ext than 90% will need this certification ~ hire. Since most fire departments operation upwards that 70% or more emergency medical-related responses, it just makes feeling for castle to require this as a prerequisite. Additionally, that is much less training they have to administer you during the recruitment academy.

Many department are searching for licensed paramedics. However, prior to you have the right to usually use to paramedic school, you must an initial successfully happen EMT training. Job-related experience together an EMT on a 911 ambulance is additionally extremely beneficial, and is often forced for numerous paramedic programs. If friend have chose on this career path, obtain enrolled in an EMT class and consider paramedic school just if you have a actual interest in EMS and also want to occupational as a paramedic. Execute not perform it come simply boost your opportunities in the fire service.

2. Volunteer her time

It doesn"t issue if that is fire- or non-fire-related volunteer experience. Department are trying to find those v the desire and capacity to provide community service and also nothing proves this an ext than act volunteer community organization work. That is also a an excellent way to build your resume for those just getting started and get great references.

There space many good opportunities the end there, so look for them out and find something that interests you. The American Red overcome is constantly looking for volunteers and CPR instructors. Burn camps are additionally a an excellent place come volunteer and start networking with fire company professionals, but additionally consider homeless shelters, Habitat because that Humanity, huge Brother Big Sister and other an excellent opportunities wherein you have the right to make an impact on your community. This is what the fire business is all around and these space the kinds of people we space looking to sign up with our team and also represent our departments and profession.

3. Take it fire modern technology classes

Even despite this is typically not a need to apply for a fire job, it sure looks an excellent on your resume and also prepares you for the career. It mirrors some dedication, commitment and initiative toward your job of choice.

Invest in your future prior to you acquire the job due to the fact that most fire academies fire departments placed recruits with at the beginning of your employment only scratch the surface ar on a number of vital areas. For example, our department recruit academy only gives three hours of structure construction, and also five hours that fire habits — two of the most crucial subjects a firefighter requirements to know.

Do you yourself a favor and take a semester-long class of each at your local neighborhood college where you"ll get around 53 or so hrs of cultivate on a subject that is a contributing variable of firefighter injuries and line-of-duty deaths.

4. Preserve a clean background and lifestyle

Whether friend agree or disagree, the doesn"t matter. The ideal predictor the future habits is past behavior.

Having a track document of difficulties (vehicle accidents, traffic tickets, arrests, domestic violence, anger monitoring issues, etc.) will just make the harder because that you to stand out in a positive way when compared with your competition. You can"t change the past, however you deserve to start do some alters that will affect your future.

5. Know all of the phases the the firefighter rental process

If you execute not know what phases friend will have to effectively pass, and also pass well, to come to be a firefighter, how are you ever going to succeed? The selection procedure will vary in different regions and also even from department to department, but there space some an easy similarities across the board.

You need to come to be familiar through this procedure as a whole and also each step within the process. Start doing some research study on exactly how departments in her area, or whereby you expect to test, conduct your recruitments and what the much more commonly used phases space (oral interview, written examination, physical agility, background investigation, etc.).

6. Start taking firefighter tests

What far better way come understand all of the phases of the firefighter hiring process than taking firefighter tests? Each test far better prepares you because that the next. Who cares if you fail a section of the test; what problem is that you have actually exposed you yourself to the procedure and an ext importantly, have a far better idea that what to expect in the future, since most fire departments have actually very similar hiring procedure components.

You may fail – many do in ~ some suggest in the process of ending up being a firefighter. I failed a physical capacity exam, a written exam and even an dental interview since I did no truly prepare and was not certain what ns was acquiring into. Find out from your mistakes and don"t do the exact same mistake twice. You"ll never understand your strengths and weaknesses in the hiring process unless you start taking tests.

How carry out I uncover out i beg your pardon departments space testing? A good place to begin is to authorize up for and also be advised of firefighter opportunities across the country. Don"t count on indigenous of mouth or specifically on your own efforts. Many departments test really infrequently.

Although part departments check every six months, many departments test every two or three years; some big metropolitan departments may go as long as six to 10 years between tests. The check you did not hear around and walk not use with may have been the one. Acquisition tests is the only way to obtain hired, so learning whose testing and also taking the exam is clearly of utmost importance. 

7. Stop by fire stations

Take the moment to visit your neighborhood fire stations, particularly those that are a component of the fire room you are applying for. Talk to firefighters is a great way to find out much more about the job and specific department and any program they may have actually such together cadet positions, reserve firefighter or various other opportunities.

Your neighborhood firefighters room a great resource for you to discover from and also start networking with. These firefighters obviously had what it took to get through the rental process, and also they might have likewise sat on dental boards or have actually been connected in their department"s hiring procedure in some capacity.

Find the end what castle like and also dislike around their department, and ask them your advice top top what you have to be doing to end up being a firefighter and what lock did. Don"t think everything girlfriend hear, yet do try to listen to everyone and shot to see what the common themes are. Doing a pre-interview terminal visit will aid you throughout the interview.

You might be asked questions, such together what girlfriend know around the department, or asked various other questions whereby you have the right to tie the info you derived from the visit right into your response. Because that example, when you"re asked the question in the oral interview, "Why perform you want to job-related for ours department?," you can honestly prize something like, "I desire to work for this department because when I stopped by the fire stations and also met through your firefighters, i was very impressed by …"

That provides a unique story so girlfriend don"t sound choose every other candidate, and it shows you visited the fire stations and also did your homework – something we"re in search of candidates come do.

8. Gain some life experience

The last thing the fire department that hires you desires to perform is to teach you just how to clean a toilet, how to act customers, exactly how to chef a meal, exactly how to execute dishes, exactly how to perform yard work-related or even straightforward mechanical aptitude. These are things you should bring to the job, and also not mean the fire room to need to teach you. 

Your brand-new captain (a rank an extremely commonly stood for on dental board interview panels) walk not desire to teach you just how to do any type of of those duties. They have to be to teach you things like fire behavior, structure construction, tool and equipment operations and maintenance, etc. Just how does one get life experience? By obtaining out of your comfort zone, trying out a variety of vocations, acquiring various job skills and most importantly getting their independence.

9. Begin preparing for her background investigation

I have actually seen many candidates prepare for all the other phases that the experimentation process, pass v flying colors, but then failure the background since they lied, or had something in your background that was sufficient to disqualify them that they were no forthright with, or they did not have the vital information. A background investigation packet is typically 25 or an ext pages in length, and also is going come ask friend for some intimate and particular details such as:

info from every employer you have operated for including dates, duties, title, supervisor surname and salary.Information indigenous every institution you have actually attended – high school and later, including degrees received, days attended and grade allude average.Information around certificates, licenses or other key documents you might possess and also will be required to present proof of by method of a photocopy.Information around your family members and also friends so the elevator investigator can meet with them and also ask about you.Information about your credit transaction history, consisting of accounts at different banking institutions and amount that debt. Yes, poor credit have the right to hurt girlfriend in a lift check.Information about your driving record, consisting of dates, locations and also outcomes the tickets and also accidents.Information around your army experiences, if any.

It is common for this packet to be provided to a candidate with the expectation come return it complete, within a week or less. Some of the over items can take month or longer to obtain; reasoning you"re going to gain the background packet top top Monday, request transcripts or armed forces records and expect to get the essential information back to the fire room by Friday is rather unrealistic.

Have this info ready in advance. Friend will should submit come a background and carry out this details once you endure the process, so don"t wait until then to carry out it. Numerous candidates wash the end in the background. Don"t be one of them.

10. Learn as lot as friend can about the fire service and also get hands-on experience

The fire service should not just be a job, it have to be a career and you must be passionate around the career and all the goes along with it. As well as the above-mentioned items, take the moment to subscribe to fire service publications like

It is common for fire departments to ask friend such inquiries as, "Where is the fire service going to be in five years?" or "What room the 3 biggest concerns facing the fire service today?" having actually your ignorance on the pulse of the fire service, will assist you come stand out from her competition and prepare you for the career.

Unlike plenty of other careers, the educational course and also pathway into the fire service is fairly vague. It is going to be approximately you to education yourself and also seek the end the opportunities that room available. You must be aggressively proactive in your pursuit for knowledge and information.

You must additionally seek out avenues to get hands-on experience to match your education. This can be done through departments in her area that sell cadet, volunteer, reserve, paid on-call or various other positions that will provide you training and also experience. There space also great hands-on classes and training avenues available. Discover out what"s available in your area. Again your regional Firefighters space a great resource. Other great resources encompass your fire science instructors at her local community college or your state fire marshal"s office.

By completing all 10 of the over suggestions, you will certainly not be guarantee a career in the fire service. There are no assures in life, except birth, death and also paying taxes. However, her odds should increase greatly since you will certainly be make yourself much more marketable, an ext informed and the best overall candidate you deserve to be.

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Remember, Rome wasn"t built in a day, and great things involved those who wait. Execute not try and rush things and also do not mean it to happen overnight. Patience, difficult work, dedication and also perseverance space the tricks to success in any kind of field.