How to become a firefighter
Hey everyone! I’m sure you are all wondering what steps you need to take to become a firefighter so let’s get right to it.
Before we go to far, most departments have minimum requirements. I will list a few here to give you an idea of what you need to meet before you get too far down this article:
- Grade 12 Diploma
- Proof they are legally entitled to work in Canada
- Vision 20/30 uncorrected
- A valid Ontario “G” class driver’s license(or equivalent for other provinces)
- First aid and C.P.R. Level C
- Valid Physical Fitness Assessments(CPAT in most area’s)
- Proof of age – must be 18 years or older
Soooo… now that’s over, firefighting is a challenging career both physically and mentally. With that being said, your going to need to prepared in both these aspect to land your dream job.
For the physical aspect, your going to have to get in shape. It’s that simple! Eating clean, taking your vitamins, drinking lots of water is crucial. If your the type of person who enjoys staying active and busy then you should have no issue.
For those who are more of the couch potato type (nothing wrong with that…) you might need the assistance of a workout regimen. I would personally recommend Tony Horton’s P90X3.
These are some easy programs to follow and within 30-90 days you will be laughing at any physical test they toss at you.
Mentally, well that’s different. It varies from person to person but there are some basics you can cover.
While pre-service firefighter programs are not mandatory for most fire departments, I would recommend you take the course. It will prepare you with the necessary skills you need to become a successful firefighter.
Now keep in mind this aptitude test will help you pass the testing that fire departments give to select candidates. It WILL not help you with the skills required to work in a fire department.
Don’t worry, it’s not that big of a deal. The way it was explained to me was anybody(well not really everybody) can be trained to be a firefighter, it’s your unique life experience that you bring to the department is what there truly after.
They are looking for people with unique background to make up a fire department. For example, if one member has a background in mechanics, another in electrical and one more in public relations. You then have a diverse background and together make a stronger team.
What I mean by that is a fire department has a certain image they try to maintain. They serve the public and the public is who pays your salary.
You should make a point to try and keep your lifestyle clean. It might be that edge that lands you the job. If you have tons of speeding tickets or even worse went to jail, it could hinder your chances.
Listen, you can’t change your past but you can make sure your present and future are something to be proud of. Someone that a fire department would be happy to employ.
Volunteering is a great way to get some “browny points” when it comes to changing up your lifestyle for the better. Some fire departments have fundraisers, ask them if you could help them in any way.
Becoming a volunteer firefighter could also work in your favour. Getting you some hands on experience.
Another great way to get yourself familiarized with your future fire department job is by visiting them in person! They don’t bite and they would have no issue answering your questions.
You could ask them questions like “What do you expect from a new recruit?” and “What traits make up a good recruit?”.
Who know, you might just run into similar questions during your interview. Interviewers like to see what your thoughts are on subjects like this.
Once you feel you have all these bases covered, make sure you know all the steps involved in a recruitment. From the physical to the final interview. The more prepared you are the better.
So to wrap this all up, becoming a firefighter can prove to be a very challenging endeavour. You should take every chance you get to better yourself to try and edge out the competition.
Study hard, train hard and you will find success! Don’t give up on your dream!