It is not easy to become a firefighter. Even after you’ve passed the required tests and training, you will be competing with hundreds of candidates to be hired by a fire station. Around 70% of people give up on their goal of becoming a firefighter after they begin the process. The good news is there are some ways that you can stand out against the crowd.
Listing additional licenses or certifications on your resume will grab the attention of a fire chief. Around 90% of stations now require an EMT certification. In addition to this, consider becoming a licensed paramedic. To become a paramedic you must first have your EMT certification. Some paramedic schools require EMT experience on a 911 ambulance. This experience is extremely valuable to a fire station. It will show that you are dedicated to becoming a fireman and want to help people.
You can also enroll in fire technology classes at your local college. These classes include topics such as building construction and fire behavior. Onsite and online firefighter training covers these topics for around 8-10 hours. However, classes dedicated to fire technology typically take 53 hours. Fire technology classes cover a wide range of information that has been related to firefighter injuries and deaths. Besides looking good on your resume, this information could save your life.
Firefighters are role models for their communities. Everyone loves a firefighter! When applying for a job, show that you are invested in the community. Include any volunteer work that you have done whether it is related to firefighting or not. Volunteer work will also give you great references in the community. Organizations like American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity work closely with communities and fire stations to provide aid. These organizations can be a great resource for potential hires.
It is also important to have a good online image. Like it or not, applicants should expect their social media accounts to be scrutinized. Make sure that you portray the type of role model that firefighters represent.
Hands-on experience shows that you are serious about your career as a firefighter and that you understand the commitment it takes. You want to learn as much about the culture as you can. This career is special, partly because of the comradery of those in it. If you want to fit in, do your homework. Subscribe to publications like FireRescue1.com. Stop by local fire stations and talk with the people there. Ask about their experiences and become a friendly face around the station. You can also ask about their cadet or volunteer programs.