How to Become a Firefighter: 10 Tips for Success

How to Become a Firefighter: 10 Tips for Success

With over 331,407 local and state firefighters in the US, you can’t help but feel admiration for them. These brave men and women choose a selfless path in life, not for the notion of personal glory but the people they help as a result of it.

While the world may move on to bigger and better things with technology, we will always need firefighters. If you’re also a braveheart looking to become a firefighter, keep reading.

1. Become an EMT

Many fire departments now require candidates to have EMT experience. Since most emergencies require a medical-related response, this qualification is justifiable as a prerequisite. This pays off, as less training is needed as a recruit in the fire academy.

2. Become a Volunteer

Having volunteer experience speaks volumes in the fire department’s book. It doesn’t matter if it’s fire-related or not, the department sees it as a bonus that a candidate has the desire and drive to help their community. This also helps in getting you the resume and references needed to get a great head start.

Firefighters extinguishing a fire in a factory with a fire hose3. Take Classes in Fire Technology

Not a requirement, but it serves, in the long run, to apply for a fire job; plus, it also looks good on the resume. Nothing will prepare you better for a great career than having hands-on experience with fire, setting you up perfectly to show your initiative and commitment.

4. Clean Background and History

A history of problems like traffic accidents, parking tickets, anger management issues, etc., will make it very difficult for you to have a successful career. It will be a long and hard road for you to distinguish yourself and be seen in a positive light, especially in such a highly competitive environment. You will have to work extra hard to prove you’re a great addition to the team.

5. Phases of the Hiring Process

Try to understand how the phases work to pass with a great score. Get a sense of what’s to come so you can prepare yourself and perform at your best. Depending on the region you’re in, the selection process varies even from one department to another. However, there are some fundamental similarities.

NYC firefighters working in the dark with flashlightsLearn the differences and similarities in the process and the steps within it. Research how the departments you’ll be tested at, recruit, and what are the common phases, i.e., written firefighter department exam, physical testing, interview, background check, etc.

6. Take Tests for Practice

Prepare for the hiring process by taking the firefighters’ test for practice. Nothing can prepare you better for this stage than the real deal. You’ll receive much-needed exposure to the process and a better understanding of what to expect next time. Most fail at some point in the process of becoming a firefighter — so you’re not alone. Some departments conduct tests every six months, but most departments do it every 2 to 3 years, so better not waste your chance.

7. Visit Your Local Fire Stations

Make a point to visit local fire stations, especially the ones where you’ll be applying to. Speaking directly to firefighters is the best way to get a firsthand experience of the job. They will advise you best on your career path, particular departments, and programs.

Talking to your local firefighters can also help you with networking since they may be part of interviewing panels or the hiring process of the department in some capacity. So why not hear it straight from the horse’s mouth?

8. Life Experience is Important

Firefighters need to be capable, knowledgeable, and quick on their feet. This means that the department wouldn’t want to waste time on you if you don’t know basic plumbing, cooking, or mechanical know-how. Having these skills makes you a valuable member of the team and society at large, so ask yourself, “what do I bring to the team?”.

9. Start Preparing for Your Background Investigation

You may pass with flying colors in other phases of the selection process, but if you fail the background check, it’s all for nothing. The background check is quite comprehensive and intimate, with the necessary details required. These details include the name of every employer you’ve ever worked for and educational transcripts to personal details like information about your family, childhood friends, credit history, and debt. Some of these documents can take months to acquire, so get them all well and sorted before the background investigation begins.

Firefighter connecting a fire hose to a fire hydrant with teammates in the background10. Learn as Much as You Can about the Fire Service and Get Hands-On Experience

This is not just a job it’s your life’s purpose, your true calling. Be passionate about learning what you need to be successful in this endeavor. Be thoughtful and eloquent with your plans for your fire service career.

Once again, these tips will get you far enough to make your mark, but ultimately it’s up to you. If you are steadfast in your conviction to take the civil service exams to become a firefighter, then Civil Service Success can help you out with your preparation. As a great place to start, we can provide you with the necessary education and practical training for the best results possible. Whether it be Suffolk County, Westchester, or New York City, our course content is the best you’ll find out there.

Remember, there are no guarantees in life, except that failing to try is a guarantee to fail.


By |2021-10-25T08:11:03+00:00October 18th, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

About the Author:

Leave A Comment