Many fire departments require each applicant to obtain a fire academy certification. A fire academy consists of different subject areas such as EMS (Emergency Medical Services) as well as physical operations that a firefighter may be required to complete on a daily basis during their shift. Completion of a fire academy will enable the applicant to apply to a larger amount of fire departments than they would otherwise be able to without the certification. Each academy recruit will learn important techniques and knowledge vital to their safety, the safety of colleagues and safety of patients. Most fire department service calls are medical related. The fire academy recruits will learn extensively how to handle basic life support techniques that are essential to becoming a professional first responder. Each fire academy offers different training techniques and facilities for their students. The training that is provided includes but is not limited to; auto extrication, forcible entry, rescue systems, fire prevention and many other subject areas to improve the knowledge of the candidates.
A fire academy will greatly improve your leadership skills because it requires each recruit to lead their company at different times during the academy. Strong leadership in a fire academy is vital and will show the fire department hiring that you have the ability to lead your team to success even if things start to take a turn for the worse. A state certified fire academy has certain requirements that each recruit is required to fulfill and follow to become eligible for the certification.
Most fire schools offer a fire academy that can be completed part-time or full-time. A part-time fire academy is great for recruits that have personal responsibilities that prohibit them from attending the full-time session. Most full-time fire academies require the recruit to attend the academy Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week for about 14 weeks depending on the fire school requirements. Recruits are expected to be able to perform under high stress situations and are required to score well on the tests and quizzes. Almost every fire academy is instructed by professional firefighters that offer great insight into how the fire service operates and can help each recruit increase their chances of being prepared for oral interviews and the daily challenges of a working fire fighter.
The physical requirements to be a firefighter are strict and require constant conditioning. A recruit needs to be in peak physical fitness to be able to perform the duties correctly and safely during the academy as well as when they are hired on to a department job. Although the job requires heavy lifting, it is recommended combining both strength training and aerobic fitness to prepare your body and mind for the exhausting duties of a working fire fighter.