How To Become A Firefighter And What It Entails
‘How to become a firefighter’ is a common question that lingers in the minds of many adventurous youngsters. It takes more than wishes to become a firefighter; there has to be a strong determination and passion towards the job. This determination will help to clear the recruitment process and make this wish a reality.
It is important that one discuss this dream with his/her family before taking this job.
The job exposes a person to dangers and will keep the family always on their toes. Before making a decision, it is advisable that one takes up a volunteer duty with any of the fire department. This will give insight into what the job entails and help decide if it is really what he/she really wants.
Having come to a decision, the next phase is to prepare oneself for the recruitment process. Most people who get into the recruitment process get out of it, faster than they went in. This is because they did not prepare themselves properly. The candidate has to be both physically and mentally strong to take this as a career profession. One should first ask himself/herself the questions that will be asked during the interview. Why do I want to be a firefighter? If this question can not be answered satisfactorily, it is better to rethink and consider another line of career.
In order to improve the chance of being recruited, it is best to ensure that one has a clean record. Only those without criminal records are allowed to work in fire department. Also, being a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) will improve one’s chance of getting the job. This is a very important skill for all firemen. Those who do not have this skill prior to their recruitment process will be taught this skill.
The first step in making this dream a reality is to get an application form from the fire department. Take your time to read all the terms and conditions including those in fine prints. Also, do not be in a hurry when filling the form; ensure that all information entered is accurate as it will be subjected to a background verification check.
The recruitment process includes Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). This test helps the department determine if an applicant is fit for the job. This test includes climbing the stairs, with or without weights on the shoulders. It is then followed by exercises like dragging the hose for a long distance, carrying equipment like saws and raising the ladder.
The next stage involves crawling using hands and knees in a maze followed by dragging a mannequin and pike pole pulling exercises. After the CPAT comes the aptitude and memory test. Here, the reasoning and comprehension abilities of the candidate are being determined.
The firefighting training is often hazardous and involves a high degree of mental keenness. Trainees are exposed to artificial simulation of fire to give them a real life experience of what they are likely to meet in line of duty. After the training process is successfully completed, the question how to become a firefighter becomes irrelevant. All those who successfully complete the training are enrolled as professional firefighters.