I am currently looking to find out what all I have to do and should be doing in order to become a firefighter. Anyone have tips, suggestions, or could point me in the right directions?
get a college degree.
get an application to the fire dept in your area.
one of the guys that works security at the bar i work at is a firefighter. what a sweet deal man. their shifts are 24 on/48 off.
during that 24 hours they can lift, watch tv, sleep, as long as they are chilling at the station.
I'm working on it now. It takes time. You put in an application, and you wait, you take the written test, and you wait, you take a physical, and you wait. If you're serious about this, expect to spend the next couple of years putting in applications and waiting.
Keep an eye on any local departments you are interested in, as most are only open to applications once every year or two. Meanwhile you could get your EMT-Basic, and work on a second language. That makes your resume look better.
or you could join the military, branch engineer, and be a military firefighter. do that for a few years, and then get out and transition straight to a civilian firefighter job.
I believe firebug is a firefighter. Maybe give her a heads-up on this thread....
Go talk to some firefighters at your local station. I did this and ended up talking to all of them for hours, they invited me to dinner and arranged a ride-along. I got my EMT-B, as required in Colorado, and began volunteering as well.
Uncle Gabby is right that it can take time. In Colorado Springs it took almost 2 years (The higher ranking officers scrawny little sons get accepted first from what I've seen). Stay physically ready for the physical, and don't BS them. A lie on your application will kill your chances.
A college degree is not required, but they will help you get one once you're hired as it becomes required to be an officer.
It was a great gig for a while, but it takes a toll on you. After seeing (occasionally) mangled bodies, dead babies, etc., I fell into some bad habits (smoking, drinking). I changed fields because it completely drained me emotionally.
There's been some great advice already:
- Get your EMT-B and learn another language. Spanish is a big one.
- Talk to your local department and get to know the shift crews. See if you can do a ride along at some point, as Jermag did.
- Get in shape. Not just heavy weights, but conditioning as well.
As for getting hired, a lot of departments are facing cuts, so it'll make things tougher. Your department might have a better idea of what's going on in your location.
Volunteering is also an idea. Some departments will pay for your training, others you'll have to foot the bill.
first get your emt-Basic and then get your paramedic license, then your fire certification. Apply everywhere and get some volunteer experience first, to see if you will like it and can handle the nasty stuff.
You can also find a ton of information to prep you for the physical testing. I've heard the complete testing regimen can be found online, so you'll know what to train for. I would recommend volunteering while you're applying; it will show agencies that you are serious about firefighting, and show YOU whether or not it's right for you.
Here's one of them: http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Fire/Recruitment/CPAT.htm
Not required in all areas, so make sure to check where you want to work.
also check to see what the departments physical agility test will be. Then plan a training program around these.
It is a great job. The ability to eat, sleep, and lift also depends on department policy, call volume, ect. I would not trade my job for the world......