Firefighters are everyday heroes, but it's not a job for the faint of heart. Becoming a firefighter is more than a job — it's a serious commitment. To make the best decision for you, here are some of the most important aspects of being a firefighter to consider.
Firefighter requirements vary by state, but all require individuals to complete a firefighter training program and to earn a certificate. You must be at least 18 years old to become a firefighter, but some states require their firefighters to be at least 21. Firefighters must also hold EMT certification and a high school diploma or GED. When applying for jobs, firefighters must also pass a Candidate Physical Aptitude Test (CPAT) and a written exam. Firefighters need both knowledge and the physical ability to perform their jobs well. If you're interested in becoming a firefighter, the first thing you should start doing is to develop a regular fitness routine. You'll have to be in the best shape of your life if you want to make it onto a squadron.
Becoming a firefighter is a serious commitment that requires gaining knowledge in extinguishing fires, treating victims, properly using equipment, and using driving simulators to learn how to operate emergency vehicle equipment. In addition to EMT certification, firefighters must also complete their own specialized training that includes learning about fire risk factors, extinguishing protocol, vehicle operations, and the ways to respond to different types of emergency events and victims, including terrorist attacks. A firefighter must be able to maintain his or her composure at all times and to work well under life-threatening pressure. It's not a field for everyone, but for those who have the passion, it can be an extremely rewarding job.
Being a firefighter is stressful, and the toll of the job can have a negative impact on your mental health. After a devastating fire, you may be faced with problems like depression or PTSD. You must take the time to learn the signs of mental health disorders common among firefighters and to know how to get help. Managing stress, talking to a therapist, and maintaining a close support system are all important aspects of self-care that all firefighters should do.
Becoming a firefighter takes commitment and hard work, and the process will be a strong test of your will and character. Keep pursuing your dream; if you're meant to be a firefighter, nothing will stand in your way.
Read about other career opportunities: 4 Careers the Modern Adventurer Can Get Right Out of School