While it is incredibly fulfilling to help save people in dire need, there is more to firefighting than meets the eye. It is not an easy profession, nor is it something everyone can do—and no matter how bad you want to start, you can’t just jump right in. Before becoming a firefighter, here is what you need to know, from gears to procedures.
You should first know whether you qualify to become a firefighter. For the basic requirements, you must be 18 years or older and have a driver’s license. If you are younger, don’t worry, as you might be able to volunteer as a junior firefighter.
Moreover, you will need to have graduated from high school or obtain a GED—however, this is a minimum. You will find that a plethora of firefighters also have advanced education and training that they can use in the field. For example, some firefighters might have EMT certification, healthcare training, or a science degree in fire. If you wish to seek firefighting as a profession, you should consider basic first-aid training, as it can give you a leg up during the scouting process.
In addition to the basic and educational requirements, you must also prepare yourself for the unpredictable. When you receive notice of a fire you must attend to, you only have a very short amount of time to don your personal protective equipment. You must consider the physical demands as your gear can weigh up to 65 pounds. Additionally, depending on the type of firefighter you are like, such as a wildlife firefighter, the gear may include a wildland hose pack that can add to the weight.
Working as a Team
Finally, one of the most important takeaways that you need to know about becoming a firefighter is that no one works alone, and that everyone is part of a team focused on one very important goal. As a firefighter, you are a small and important part of something bigger than yourself. If you are someone that does not work well in a team, then firefighting may not be for you.