Just about the only thing as a kid that is cooler than a big red fire truck is the person who rides in one. Firefighters are the ones that get to maneuver through the streets at high speeds and get to climb ladders to great heights. However, what kids don't realize is that it takes firefighter training to to become one of these highly skilled specialists who risk their lives each day fighting fires for us. It is however, easy to see how children can aspire to become firefighters serving as a community hero always going on adventures. It does however take a lot of brute strength and courage to become one.
Before anyone can become one of these local heros they have to take firefighting training and they will need to spend at least 600 hours in this training over a period of 12 to 14 weeks. That's about 40 to 48 hours a week which makes the training a full time job. The training is usually given at a fire academy where it is often run by the fire department, the government or a university.
If someone wants to take firefighting training they must be at least 18 years old and in some areas they need to be 21 years of age. They must have a high school diploma or a GED and some fire departments now require some college education. The person must be very physically fit, have a very good vision of 20/20 either with or without glasses and they must have a clean criminal record.
Firefighting is very competitive and there are thousands of people who apply every year all over the country, but most of those that apply are turned away. Often fire departments will hire every two years or so and will give the staff positions to about 30 new applicants at a time. Some departments will only require that applicants hold a high school diploma others might require a minimum of two y ears of college at an accredited college or university. Firefighting can be so competitive that many of the applicants will become an EMT or paramedic before even thinking of applying as a firefighter because t his makes them far more desirable to those departments who are hiring. Even more applicants also get a four year degree in Fire Science or other related fields which of course makes this field even tougher to get into.
To enter into a firefighting training program applicants will need to take three different exams: a writtent one, a Candidate Physical Ability Test and an aptitude test.
The main focus of the physical ability test is to test for agility, upper body strength and their endurance. All the tasks are timed and are meant to test the applicant's ability to endure sustained physical activity. These test will vary from academy to academy.
In order for the firefighter to survive they must be able to think critically and clearly and to be able to solve problems under extreme stess. This can be really difficult during a real fire so the instructors will conduct live fire training drills where they set buildings on fire on purpose to give those training the ability to develop skills. The overall goal of this training is for behavior training to instill good habits through repeated exposure to burning buildings and the dangers they pose.
If a person doesn't want to take the intensive training but still want to be able to help out they can become a volunteer firefighter. Even though they may need to follow all the same guidelines of a paid firefighter they usually don't have to be certified. Most work other jobs and will help out when they can. Most of the fire departments will offer weekly or monthly training events to help these volunteer firefighters develop the needed skills in order to survive a fire. There are even some departments that have nothing but volunteers working for them.