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Wanting to Become a Firefighter

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  • Wanting to Become a Firefighter

    I am a Junior in High School, and want to become a firefighter. I'm planning on getting a Bachelor's in Fire Science, but haven't looked into colleges yet (recommend any?). However, I a couple questions concerning the hiring process. When does the academy come into play? What do departments look for in applicants?

  • #2
    When the academy comes into play depends on what state you're looking to be hired in. Some states require you to have Fire I and II prior to even submitting an application (Florida is one, and you will pay out of pocket for the academy, receive no gauruntee that you'll be hired by any department upon completion, and must provide or rent all your own gear). Other departments will put you through their academy (you'll be paid salary while attending the academy and be given all your gear). Then some states have a state run fire academy, which you'll dorm at and everything will be provided.

    Besides the common certs (CPR, EMT, Paramedic, FF I, FF II, hazmat, ICS, ACLS, PALS) that many departments will require (some departments want all of those, some none, most a combination of a few of those), you'll need to have a clean or very minimal criminal history check, record of prior steady employment, and be able to pass a variety of tests (physical agility, written exam, polygraph, psych, interview, medical exam, ect).....the list goes on. Good luck!

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    • #3
      igamer- First and foremost, you need to decide where you want to work and live. Whats the standard in Colorado, is not the same as Texas, Nevada, New York and California.

      Once you pick where you want to focus on, then investigate what the standards are there and work on them. The hiring process is not the same every where.
      Last edited by CALFFBOU; 09-08-2009, 10:50 AM.

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      • #4
        Id get an Associates in Fire Science Technology or some other associates degree, and apply the places you want to work for. I really dont think theres any firehouse that requires a bachelors degree to start out. If you really want to spend a few years being educated, get the AS and EMT- get a part time ambulance job, and get the paramedic after you finish your AS. I think the depts would more appreciate you with the AS in Fire Science and a paramedic license then an all out bachelors degree which you wont initially need. You could work on the bachelors degree while you have your fireman job and are going for promotions.

        Im not speaking with any experience... I just started my Fire Science and EMT stuff. I do live in a fairly metropolitan area... with all the fancy and expensive depts... the minimum they require is 60 college credit hours (an AS degree basically) and PARAMEDIC. Highest minimum requirements ive seen.

        Not saying it wouldnt hurt, but at least with the AS you could get on the list pretty much any area... get a head start over the bachelor's guys that are 2 years behind you.

        Like CALFFBOU said... it all depends where you want to work. Most city departments dont even look at any of that until your at a more advanced stage in the hiring process. Fancy metro areas want AS degress and paramedic. Some places dont require paramedic. It all depends.

        Personally... I want to work for a big city. Im just getting my AS and EMT-B and will go for a job from there. Once I get the job... ill have money to work on a bachelors degree (plenty are online).

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