How to Become a Firefighter
When the 9/11 attacks unfolded, people began to see new heroes: Firefighters. While being a fireman has
always been at the top of the list of every boy's dream, their bravery and heroism became even more evident
during that tragic event. And now, many more individuals want to become part of this noble and challenging
But the road towards being able to wear those yellow fireman's uniform is not easy. In fact, it is one of the
toughest to hurdle. Aside from the fact that the whole process in and of itself is already inherently difficult, the
competition to get hired for those limited slots is also fierce. This is a reality that many aspiring firefighters like
you have to know so that you can prepare yourself adequately for it.
Before you begin the process of being a firefighter, you should really want it. This isn't a job that requires your
half-hearted assent. You have to really know, deep in your heart, that you want to be of service of people and
the community and that you could put yourself in danger by doing so. If that describes your feelings about
your future profession then you are mentally and emotionally ready to tackle the steps that are involved in
becoming a firefighter.
The first step involved in your journey is a written exam. There are around 150 to 200 multiple choice
questions on various topics like reading comprehension, math, reasoning, memory and comprehension,
among others. It is of utmost importance that you score very well in this test. Why? Because you will be ranked
from the highest to the lowest score to determine your eligibility. The higher your scores are, the better your
chances will be of moving on to the next step of the hiring process.
If you pass the exam, you will usually be called for an oral interview which will usually be conducted by three
officers of the department you want to be in. This can be a very stressful time since you will have to impress
upon them your qualifications for the job. Some of the questions will revolve around your skills, strengths and
weaknesses as well as how you would handle various scenarios.
Once you have passed the interview, you will then be asked to undergo a psychological exam to see if you meet
the profile of a successful firefighter. It is possible to have all the certificates and training and still not make it in
the psychological part of the test. Like the written test, it is also important to prepare for this examination.
A very important make or break step towards becoming a firefighter is the physical agility test. It comes
without saying that firefighting is a very physically demanding occupation. You will have to run and rescue
people and try to protect property at the same time while wearing cumbersome protective clothing and
carrying tanks and other equipment that can weigh 30 to 40 pounds. It is imperative that you start your
physical training months before so that you build the endurance necessary to pass this test.
Beforey you are given a conditional offer of employment, you will be asked to undergo background checks
as well as medical exam and drug test. These are all standard procedures, especially in a Federal, state or
municipal government job. Once you're in the clear and finally get your firefighting badge, that's when the real
With sufficient preparation, you should be able to pass your exam and get your RMT credential in no time.
If you believe that you have what it takes to be a Fire Fighter, then the first step is the Fire Fighter Exam Study Guide that walks you through the entire Fire Fighter hiring process.
For more information, go to our page for the Fire Fighter Exam Study Guide.