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So, You Want To Become A Firefighter?

Steve Prziborowski

Other qualifications some fire departments list as “highly desirable” include:

– Bilingual ability in any language – Volunteer or paid firefighter experience – Volunteer/community service experience in areas other than fire or EMS. – Fire Technology courses completed from a community college.

KEY POINT: You can have the best resume in the world (meaning you are very qualified on paper), but it will not guarantee you a career as a firefighter; YOU STILL HAVE TO SELL YOURSELF AND YOUR QUALIFICATIONS TO THE ORAL BOARD DURING THE ORAL INTERVIEW!! See the oral interview information below for more information.

It is up to you to score highly in all phases of the hiring process which can include (but are not limited to) the following events:

Application Filing (submitting your completed application and resume by the filing deadline)
Application Screening (to ensure candidates meet the minimum qualifications and to sometimes select only the most qualified candidates)
Written Examination (usually a 100 question multiple choice test of various subject areas such as math, English, problem solving ability, mechanical aptitude, reading comprehension, ability to follow directions, etc.)
Physical Ability Test (consisting of various events to ensure you meet the minimum physical performance requirements)
Oral Interview (usually making up 100% of your overall ranking on the hiring list. Used to evaluate such areas as oral communications, ethics, problem solving ability, decision making skills, maturity, and ability to get along well with others)
Chief’s Interview (a second level interview for those candidates selected to continue in the process. Usually with the fire chief or some other high-ranking chief officers. This interview is usually designed to get to know you better and find out more regarding your suitability to work for that department).
Background Investigation (designed to do a full investigation on areas such as your educational history, work experience history, credit history, driving record, personal characteristics and attributes, etc.)
Psychological Examination (designed to determine your suitability as a firefighter based on psychological questions)

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