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Firefighter's Guide to Education and Training

Firefighter's Guide to Education and Training

Wondering what kind of education you need to complete as a department applicant? Here are some things to keep in mind as you start your career in fire & rescue or scout interest in a promotion.

Education and Training

Applicants for firefighting jobs are usually required to have at least a high school diploma, but candidates with some education after high school are increasingly preferred. Most municipal jobs require passing written and physical tests.

Most firefighters have a high school diploma, however, the completion of community college courses, or in some cases, an associate degree, in fire science may improve an applicant’s chances for a job. Due the economy, budgets are being cut in the public sector, making your competition that much greater.A number of colleges and universities offer courses leading to 2- or 4-year degrees in fire engineering or fire science.

In recent years, an increasing proportion of new firefighters have had some education after high school. All firefighters receive extensive training after being hired.

Read FireLink’s 15 Toughest Interview Questions (and Answers)

As a rule, entry-level workers in large fire departments are trained for several weeks at the department’s training center or academy. Through classroom instruction and practical training, the recruits study firefighting techniques, fire prevention, hazardous materials control, local building codes, and emergency medical procedures, including first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

They also learn how to use axes, chain saws, fire extinguishers, ladders, and other firefighting and rescue equipment. After successfully completing this training, the recruits are assigned to a fire company, where they undergo a period of probation.

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