Firefighters, or firemen, are well respected individuals who put their lives at risk every day. While the job comes with some significant risks, a firefighter receives many benefits unmatched by many other professions. Benefits include a high salary, excellent medical benefits, strong pension plans, and flexible work schedules where you work only one out of every 3 days. Since firemen receive such lucrative benefits, it is a very highly sought after job. The following article will give you tips on how to become a firefighter and how to set yourself above the rest of the applicants.
The first tip in how to become a fireman is to get a good education. Not all fire departments require education beyond a high school degree, but having an advanced education is always a benefit. Many fire departments are now requiring their fire fighters to also be a licensed paramedic. So if you are attempting to get an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, focusing it on something in the medical field is a good idea. Many fire departments also offer two to four month fire fighting programs which focus on fire fighting techniques, fire prevention, and hazardous materials.
The next tip in how to become a fireman is to be in top physical condition. Being a fireman often requires, especially in urban environments, requires running up multiple flights of stairs while carry heavy equipment and holding a heavy hose. When applying to become a fire fighter, most fire departments will require you to pass a rigorous physical exam.
After finishing your education and getting into peak condition, the next step in becoming a fireman is applying for the position. Many cities and villages will hold annual fireman tests, where you can apply and take a written test. Many of these cities aren’t actually hiring at this time, so you may want to go through a diligent process of calling nearby towns to see who is looking for firemen. Once you know who is hiring, begin the application process.
During the application process, fire departments will administer a written exam, where your knowledge of fire safety and prevention will be tested, a physical exam, and background check, and finally a psychological test. A background check will include interviewing your friends, and family, so choose your references wisely. A psychological test is required due to the intensely stressful situations that fire fighters have to deal with.
After all tests are required, your scores will be added up and the highest ranking applicants will often be offered a job. Once accepted, you will have to go through a probationary period which is normally 6 months to a year. Some tenured fire fighters consider this a hazing period, so be prepared for anything!