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What kind of education does your dept. require to be hired?

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  • What kind of education does your dept. require to be hired?

    I am just wondering what the education requirement is for the hiring process of some departments. I am a high school student and am wondering if I should attend a fire college like Univ. of Maryland or Texas A&M or just apply for a job right out of high school. If you could post what you think/know about the hiring process for a career department I would highly appreciate it. Thank you and stay safe!


  • #2
    In my opinion, one of the biggest perks to get a career fire department job is the veterans preferance points. With a military tour of duty completed honorably you receive 5 to 10 points added to your passing test score. This usually places you, (as long as you scored fairly well on the test), well at the head of the civil service list. For a competitive civil service exam, prior education usually does'nt mean squat,(which is unfortunate). If you are serious about becoming a firefighter and competing on a civil service exam---GET THE VET POINTS......

    Jim Crawford
    Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire


    • #3

      It depends on where you live. Where I am its all civil service, you take the test, get your score and wait your turn. There are some area's, (NYC, etc.) that require college credits or a certain amount of years of military service. Contact the office of personnel of whatever municipalities you are interested in working in. If its civil service and you score you'll get hired. Just keep in mind it doesn't happen overnight. Take as many tests as you can for practice, and get in shape for the agilities that come also. PB is right, the vet points helped (at least I got something out of the Marine Corps besides college cash), but you can still get hired without em.

      The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.


      • #4
        I have to agree with PBFTRK33; on the list I got hired from they added 5 points for vets (10 points if combat..but thanks, I'm happier with 5), and over 700 took the test, so if you didn't have military experience, you never even made the first round of names given to the chief for hiring. In this area most departments use a "rule of 3's" process for hiring: for every open position they interview 3 candidates, starting with the top scorers and working down the list. Even if a non-vet scores a perfect 100, an equally scoring vet will get 105-110 points. If they only hire a few positions (in my case 2 out of 700+) you see how important those points become. If the list stays active for a few years(2 for ours), and they hire a lot of people in that time, your odds improve, but it's still a lot tougher. As for military firefighting, the best place (in my humble opinion, and personal experience) for a lot of excellent training is a damage control position in the Navy. They have hundreds of ships carrying millions of gallons of fuel and oil, and take firefighting training and damage control to the extreme, and (with an honorable discharge, of course) the experience should help your scores in the oral and chief's interviews (already proven yourself in a military, close living, stressful environment, with 4 years firefighting and damage control under your belt as a bonus). Also, in my department and many others, a FF1 cert and EMT license are required to even receive an application, so your probably going to need at least a few years volunteer experience also. As for our hiring process, here goes...

        1) Position(s) open, testing announced
        2) All qualified applications accepted
        3) All take written test
        4) Top 100 scores on written test go on to physical agility test, others dismissed
        5) Top 30 scores on physical agility test go on to oral interview(scored), others dismissed
        6) All 30 candidates are then ranked on a hiring list according to their combined scores for all 3 tests
        7) For each open position: 3 top ranked candidates from hiring list selected for chief's interview, medical testing and psycological testing.
        8) Chief hires his choices for open positions, others return to top of list
        9) Candidate must then succesfully complete the State Fire Academy 8 week recruit school and 1 year probation

        Sounds tough, and it is, but stick with it and stack the deck in your favor with all the experience and training you can get and you should get there!

        Good luck!

        [This message has been edited by D Kelly (edited 05-28-2001).]


        • #5
          In many Colorado departments the requirement now is 60 collge credits minimum as well as EMT.

          Wit vet points it differes on the department but most agencies dont just give you points for veteran status. Youve had to serve during certain periods and the only way you get 10 points is getting a purple heart or being disabled but not impaired enough not to be emplyable as a firefighter.

          This is mostly what my experience has been when Ive seen departments in my area recruit. It may be different in other eareas and if it is than so be it.


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