How to Prepare for a Career in Firefighting, Education
Firefighters are essential first responders, tasked not only with responding to fires but also with providing emergency medical care and accident assistance. Because firefighting is a dangerous and demanding profession, the requirements for getting into and successfully completing Texas firefighting school are stringent.
However, there is a lot that aspiring first responders can do to prepare in advance for the demands of training.
Understand the Requirements
To prepare for firefighting school, you should familiarize yourself with the specific requirements in your area as they can vary. For example, while some fire departments only require a GED or High School Diploma of candidates, others require an Associates Degree.
A felony conviction or a poor driving record may or may not be automatic disqualifiers for candidates, so be sure to read over job descriptions carefully.
Understand the Job
Firefighting is a demanding job that requires long hours away from home a high degree of mental and physical fortitude. Before putting time, money and energy into training, learn everything you can about the job.
Working as a part time or volunteer firefighter is a great opportunity to not only get to experience what the job entails, but may also help give you a leg up later in the application process.
Get in Shape
Fire school, and firefighting as a job, are incredibly physically demanding. In order to graduate from fire school, a candidate must be able to demonstrate a degree of physical fitness that is sufficient to meet all of the basic job duties.
Every fire department administers its version of the Candidate Physical Ability Test. During this test, candidates perform physical tasks that resemble actual firefighting situations, such as carrying weights up ladders or running with heavy equipment.
Candidates may also be required to pass basic physical fitness tests, such as timed laps.
Entering a firefighter training program in excellent physical shape will make any candidate stand out.