Become a Firefighter | Getting Started

How to Start  

So you want to become a firefighter, right? Many dream but not everyone achieves that goal. Knowing the right steps to set you up for success is vital to getting hired with a fire department. One measure that you can take immediately is maintaining a clean lifestyle and background. The fire service hiring process generally requires a full personal background check before employment. The background check is very thorough for many reasons. One such reason is that the fire department interacts with the public on a daily basic and may even require the firefighters to enter a private residence to help a trapped victim or assist a patient having shortness of breath, also known as Dyspnea. Maintaining a clean driving and criminal history is important to increase your chances of being hired. If you have made a few prior mistakes, your chances of getting hired are not extinguished as most departments will still consider your application, however time is your best friend. The department will want you to be honest and explain what steps you have taken to correct the problem.


The next step to getting started to become a firefighter is to start taking fire service related courses such as Fire Technology or Fire Science classes. Candidates are able to add this information to their resume and this can look very good when going in for your oral interview. Taking the time to get a fire related degree shows passion and commitment to the field and will better prepare you for your career. Most fire schools offer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) classes to enable you to become a certified E.M.T. and start gaining first hand experience while working on an ambulance as an attendant or driver. After obtaining your EMT certification it is important to take the National Registry test to allow you to work as an Emergency Medical Technician Basic across the nation.


Getting your fire career started while volunteering for fire service related or general volunteer experience is a great way to boost your value to hiring departments. The fire service is looking for qualified applicants that have the ability and desire to serve the community which is why volunteering is a great step to take to getting started. There are many organizations such as the American Heart Association or the Red Cross looking for volunteers to help out at events. Donating your time shows your passion for serving others and is also a great way to network with other candidates and full time working firefighters.


Understanding fire department hiring procedures to become a Firefighter is extremely important. Knowledge is power which is why possessing the right information of the employment process will have you one step ahead of the other recruits. The hiring mechanism and requirements may differ region to region and even department to department however, there are many similarities. Most departments start with an application process that has a posted deadline to turn in your individual application. Once the fire department has reviewed it, they will contact you with a date, time and location of the written test or notify you that you have not been chosen to move onto the next step of their hiring process. Job seekers that have been chosen to take the written firefighter test will be required to show up at the testing facility on time and with the right materials. There are many different Firefighter exam preparation booklets to help you prepare for the test and improve your score. We recommend taking as many tests as possible to help familiarize yourself with the level of questions and give you experience so you are able to score higher on the next written tests you take. After completing the Firefighter test, successful candidates will be notified of the first oral interview. We recommend that all of our members show up to the interview location early to show the fire department your passion and commitment for the open position. The next step after the initial oral interview will be a combination of a physical agility test, further oral interviews and a full background investigation.


Get your fire career started by contacting your local fire stations to find out more about the daily life of a Firefighter and useful testing information that may be the difference between getting hired or not. Speaking with working Firefighters will show you the type of person it takes to get hired and will give you experiences which you will be able to speak about in your oral interviews.


Fire department jobs are not all about saving cats from trees and putting the wet stuff on the red stuff, for this service career requires the entire crew to eat, sleep, and work with each other for extended amounts of time. Rookie Firefighters are expected to know some basics such as doing the dishes, laundry, yard work and cleaning the bathrooms. These chores are something that every job seeker should know how to do before you get hired so you can focus most of your time on the more important aspects such as building construction, fire behavior and other firefighting related knowledge. recommends that you get some hands-on experience and learn as much as you can about the fire service and the steps it takes to get hired. Job seekers are able to gain personal experience by volunteering with a fire department or working on an ambulance that works alongside the local fire department. Getting started is one of the hardest parts of becoming a Firefighter, but once you start you need to dedicate yourself and do whatever it takes to get the badge you have always aspired to.

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