The work of a firefighter is always in demand. Statistics suggest that the demand for firemen will increase by five per cent between 2014 and 2024. In Australia, the median pay for firefighters in 2019 is $65,590 annually. Some firefighters work in small districts with limited budgets, while others work in urban areas and the big cities that can offer higher pay. But wherever firefighters are doing their work, it is an indisputable fact that theirs is noble and heroic.
If you have dreamed about wearing a firefighter’s safety clothing in Australia or another country, here are the steps that you need to take to start making this dream come true:
Meet the Basic Requirements
Firefighters need to have a high school diploma and hold a valid driver’s license. This means that an aspiring fireman needs to be 18 years old but not more than 28 to 30 years old. If you are younger than 18 years old, you can become a part of the department’s junior program so that you can learn the basics of being a firefighter. Applicants must be physically fit and will need to pass a medical test, background check, and drug screening.
Take the Tests
Some fire departments participate in recruitment fairs in local high school and colleges. This is to engage with aspiring firefighters among the student body. The department usually hosts a screening test for applicants. Those who pass the screening will be interviewed and then asked to take at least two exams: a written test and a Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT).
The written test consists of 100 multiple choice questions to evaluate an applicant’s reading comprehension, logic, spatial awareness, observation and memory, and mechanical reasoning. The physical test will comprise running a specified distance in an allotted time, climbing flights of stairs at a rapid pace, and carrying a weight of 200 pounds.
Become a Licensed EMT
It is wise to become an EMT if you want to become a firefighter. The fire department is also tasked to handle and address emergency medical situations. Becoming an EMT is often a multi-level process, though it varies depending on the state you’re trying to become a firefighter.
Attend the Fire Academy
Attending the academy will give a firefighter increased knowledge on things that might not be tackled in the firehouse. Learning about anti-arson techniques, controlling hazardous chemicals, and other practical skills. You cannot get into the academy without first passing your firefighter certifications such as Firefighter I and II.
Seek Formal Education
If you want to advance your career in this field, you need to get a bachelor’s degree from universities, colleges, and trade schools. Degrees in environmental science and forestry will help you achieve leadership roles within the organization. You may also need to learn more about paramedics so that you can head the fire department’s EMT team.
If you are determined to take this path, you must realize now that it’s not a walk in the park. Firefighters put their lives on the line every single time they go out of that firehouse. It is stressful not only for them but for their families as well. But if you are determined to take this course, make sure that you’ll never stop learning so that you can keep up with the advancements in firefighting technology.