How to become a firefighter

How to become a firefighter

Job description: What does a firefighter do

The firefighter faces new challenges every day. As soon as he comes to the fire station in the morning, he doesn’t know what to expect in the course of the day.

Firefighters have vowed to help other people in need. They are trained to react quickly in tricky situations. This does not only apply to fires of any kind that you extinguish with water or foam.

Firefighters fight the power of the elements air and water at least as often. If branches or entire trees have fallen on the streets after a heavy storm, for example, they come to clear them. This means that pedestrians and drivers can safely get through the traffic again.

They are also there if, for example, oil spills on the road after a car crash on the motorway. Then the fire brigade ensures that the road is clean and drivable again with clearing and cleaning operations.

The emergency services also move in during heavy rain and floods. In particularly dire situations, they pump outhouses or rescue residents in need who can no longer free themselves from their own four walls. The fire brigade uses inflatables or helicopters for this.

The good thing about the profession: He is inspiring and highly varied. The negative: it can be hazardous at times, and it is never clear when the next mission will come. Also, the job can certainly go to the bone.

On the one hand, because firefighters repeatedly handle heavy equipment and, on the other hand, they frequently have to clear heavy obstacles out of the way – often using all their physical strength. So if you are not passionate about your job, you will hardly speak of an excellent work-life balance.

An essential prerequisite for filling out the firefighter’s job profile is, in addition to good health, and free readiness for action. The emergency services must be ready for operations day and night.

Teamwork is also an essential requirement in the job. Only well-coordinated teams can handle assignments correctly. In the dangerous situation itself, everyone must be able to rely on everyone. Only in this way can the mission go off quickly and without endangering your own life.

The be-all and end-all for the firefighter are that he never loses the desire to learn: firefighters regularly complete further training in the areas of fire fighting and disaster control. The conditions in the labor market are right.

Education: How do you become a firefighter?

Anyone who wants to work in the professional fire brigade goes through the classic basic training to become an officer of the middle fire brigade service. The job applicants have to complete a preparatory service at a fire brigade school, which takes about two years.

During this time, the following focal points will be discussed:

  • Construction
  • Radiation protection
  • Handling of hazardous substances
  • Thermodynamics
  • Electricity
  • Mechanics
  • Driving and operating fire fighting vehicles such as crane and ladder vehicles, select vehicles or ambulances
  • Device knowledge
  • Use of breathing apparatus
  • Use of fire extinguishers
  • Mission planning and tactics
  • Dangers at the place of use
  • Accident prevention
  • Fire fighting
  • Fire protection and security

In the first five months of basic training at the fire brigade school, the only theory is learned. Then an intermediate exam is on the agenda. This is followed by practical training at a professional fire brigade and in a fire brigade control center.

Employer: Who is looking for firefighters

Professional firefighters find employment with the following employers – at professional fire departments.

Salary: How much does a firefighter make?

Firefighter in the United States make an average salary of $55,700 per year or $27.50 per hour. In addition to the remuneration, there are family allowances and allowances for children, night, weekend, and holiday work.

Map of firefighter salaries

The darker areas on the map show where firefighter/paramedics earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

firefighter salary

Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $44,000
Median Annual Salary: $$55,700
Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $$69,000

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Entry opportunities: the prospects for firefighters

The prospects for the job market are excellent. Professional firefighters are desperately wanted in almost all large fire departments. Those who have the training under their belt have a good chance of finding a job very quickly or of being taken on straight away.

Application: How do firefighters score

To become a firefighter, the overall package of brains and muscle strength has to be right. Firefighters should mention these competencies and skills in their application documents:

  • Completed training
  • Stress resistance
  • Good physical condition
  • High responsiveness
  • Teamwork
  • Operational readiness
  • High sense of responsibility

Professional Firefighter Resume Template

To be invited to an interview, you need an application portfolio that stands out from your competitors’ documents. Above all, your resume should convince across the board and present your qualifications optimally. Ensure that your career does not contain any gaps, and use your resume to gain important plus points with superior knowledge and experience.

firefighter resume

However, be aware that compelling content alone is not enough because your application will only be successful if your documents can also score points visually. The best way to create your resume is to use a ready-made template like the sample on this page.

Career: Development opportunities as a firefighter

After the training, there is the possibility of further training to become an operations manager or fire equipment, attendant. Operations managers are tasks at the scene of operations: they investigate the damage situation, assess and initiate the measures required to avert danger, and coordinate them.

On the other hand, the equipment manager takes care of the maintenance and repair of the vehicles and the fire brigade’s equipment. An essential requirement for this is a machinist course. In this, prospective equipment maintenance personnel learn how fire fighting equipment works and is maintained. Regular cleaning and testing of the fire hoses are also the responsibility of the equipment manager.

How to become a firefighter
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How to become a firefighter
Are you contemplating a career as a firefighter? Review a firefighter: job description, educational requirements, skills, salary, qualifications.
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