How to become a firefighter in ca. Being a firefighter is not as easy as it seems like, playing with fire is not a child’s play. One has to be extremely careful, vigilant, and mentally and physically strong.
Firefighters are those heroes of our society who don’t come wearing a cape and a mask but appear in a jumpsuit wearing yellow helmets and a big red truck.
So, with a big heart and a strong soul, these men leave the fear behind and with motivation, they care about their lives and jump into difficult situations to save the lives of other people.
So, becoming a firefighter, you need a lot of courage, strength, and devotion to duty. And I have also seen that people who love this profession are mostly the ones who carry their duty with full zest!
How to become a firefighter in ca
Why a firefighter?
Why do you want to become a firefighter? What is so special about this particular profession is that around 35 -40 thousand candidates apply for this job per year!
The fire departments of the government of Canada have been well known for their active service.
Among many other benefits, the firefighter career is respectable and has high standards in society.
The work stress is not too heavy, and the environment is a lot more cooperative and friendly.
The best part is one gets to enjoy the full benefits of having this government job as it comes with many medical benefits and other edges not only for themselves but also for their families.
All these benefits plus the flexible and easy schedules. Yes! Though the job is tough at times but most of the time, workers do not have to go through continuous and unceasing work!
To become a firefighter, you’ll need
The fire department asks for some important requirements if you tend to join the fire service.
The following things that I have described are those points that are essential for the job and without these basics, you are not eligible for the fire service.
Get your high school diploma!
Your high school diploma is an essential part of the application for this job.
And to be honest this is the minimum qualification that you should have at least.
The foreign candidates should have the equivalent degree till 12 grades if they wish to apply.
People also get large university degrees in this respective field. A higher level of secondary education is much more appreciated and admired in your qualification.
Furthermore, diplomas in the firefighter field, are also a big helping hand when you want to become a firefighter.
Fire protection technician, fire systems technician, fire science, diplomas in technical and mechanical engineering.
Diplomas in these respective fields are greatly helpful for your selection.
A driver’s license
To apply to the fire department, another important thing you must acquire is your driver’s license. You are a firefighter, and you don’t know how to drive; that’s not going to happen.
In the fire department, you will have to drive different vehicles, and for that purpose, you will have to be a lot more experienced.
Every province of Canada has different requirements for driver’s licenses.
You should check the minimum requirements for driver’s licenses for the fire departments in the certain state you are applying to.
Better if you do a service course
You should also include the fire service program in your CV for the application process.
If you are applying for this job, then you need to have done the fire service program at a fire academy.
The fire academy training program is compulsory in case you are applying for a firefighter job.
There are several fire academies that will provide you with all the essential training according to the fire departments.
These academies will provide you with the necessary certificates or documents you need as proof of the training program you attended.
Volunteer in a fire service
Taking part in the job is the best way to learn it, so being a volunteer a firefighter and performing simple tasks allotted to you by the fire department.
You will be tested and examined during this volunteer job. This will not only boost your skills but will also help to elevate your chances of selection by polishing your resume.
There will be fire drills and exercises and other tasks related to accidents.
But you must also know that volunteer firefighters should at least be aware of all the basic knowledge, some extra skills, and information about the equipment related to the fire department.
Candidate physical ability test
The candidate must be physically prepared for the candidate’s physical ability test because a candidate’s physical fitness is extremely important.
This candidate’s physical ability test is taken by the fire chief and determines if you are fit for the job or not!
There are hundreds of activities and tasks that require power and force. So, a firefighter must be strong enough to deal with problems like these.
Joining a gym and getting an instructor might help a great deal in enhancing your physical fitness.
Another thing to consider is that every province of Canada has different requirements for physical fitness and excellent health.
Other skills you need to excel
There are many skills you need to have in order to overcome the fear of competition in this job.
There is high competition for seats in the firefighter department.
And the number of candidates applying is over 30,000. So, to enhance your chances of selection, you need to have certain skills on your feet so you can impress the fire chief and he can give you the job you need. Square and simple!
The additional skills you’ll need include the following,
Basic knowledge about fire equipment
The main things that are included in the fire department are the fire equipment. No equipment, no firefighting!
So, everything is based on the equipment that the firefighters use during an emergency.
If you are about to work in a fire department, then you must be aware of all the fire equipment used for the job.
From the oldest to the latest models of the machinery needed for the firefighting job, you must be aware of all those in order to excel among others.
Which equipment is best for the prevailing situation, what vehicle must be taken to the point of the accident, and what are the directions to use that equipment? You must know all!
Exceptional driving skills
In order to make yourself already at home with the firefighting department, one must know to drive well!
In the firefighting department, there are different types of vehicles used at the fire station, and some of them are heavy ones.
You must know which vehicle is needed at the hour of need and how to drive it. This means you must have exceptional driving skills.
We also know that firefighters are called upon only in accidental or worst situations where they are needed urgently. So, your driving skills must include the practice of driving fast but with control over any vehicle provided to you.
You can learn all this in a fire academy course.
A little know-how about the chemistry
Firefighters play with fire, and fire is made up of many chemicals we know. The chemical composition of smoke tells us much more about the fire.
So, the cause of the fire and the chemicals that were involved in the production of the fire can be known.
Firefighters can easily improvise some available materials to bring down the fire.
If You have some basic knowledge and a strong grip on chemistry and chemicals, it might help you a lot with your selection.
Report writing skills
Reading, writing, and listening is as important as the rest of the skills of a firefighter.
Because not only a firefighter has to do these physical activities, but they also have to communicate with the seniors like the fire chief, etc. In this case, their speaking skills must be enhanced.
The other thing is reading. Sometimes, there are reports to read, emergency notifications, and other codes used by firefighters during the job.
If you are planning to join the Firefighter service, your reading skills should also be polished.
The accidents, when tackled, are reported to the seniors at the fire station in written form. The reports are the source of all the information about the accident that happened.
The cause of the fire, the damage that happened, the loss of material or lives, and any further recommendations are listed in a report.
This report not only informs the seniors; fire chief but also helps the victims with the insurance issues.
These skills are also tested in the firefighter candidate assessment. California fire departments have been taking these reading and writing tests to check the eligibility of the candidates.
Polished engineering abilities
The firefighters have been working their best because of being an all-rounder. They are efficient in their knowledge of engineering, either electrical or mechanical.
They have the ability to learn about the maps and blueprints of the building under danger or on fire.
To become a firefighter, you need to have good engineering skills so that you can easily read the blueprints of the building and know about electrical wiring and other mechanical faults. In case of fire, you are able to know about the safest exits and the places where there is more fire.
Many fire departments have this criterion to accept only those candidates who have first-hand knowledge of engineering.
Los Angeles fire department is famous for considering candidates with diplomas or degrees in engineering.
Medical and first aid training and courses
We know that fire departments have workers and firefighters to deal with any situation and deal with it wisely.
Along with many other skills and additional courses you should have, the emergency medical technician course is also of high value.
The fire department readily needs firefighters who can provide emergency medical services readily and help the victims of incidents occurred due to a fire or other cause.
To become a firefighter, the emergency medical technician course is really admired. This training program not only allows you to highlight your resume but increase your chances of becoming a firefighter.
Other important skills needed are
In order to become a firefighter in California or Canada, the extra skill set you might need in order to excel are:
- Training program for Hazardous materials, which is known as Hazmat
- Ice water and swift water rescue
- Rescue training for confined spaces
- Rescue from ropes
- RIT, which is termed Rapid Intervention Training
- Pieces of training for pumper operations
Auto-X training (Auto Extrication): Training to rescue the victims/victim removal from vehicle accidents or natural disasters.
What are the compulsions?
The fire department requires you to at least have the following thing up on your resume.
First is your age; you should be at least 18 years old according to the application process. 18 years is the minimum requirement to apply.
You must have all the legal documentation and can work legally in Canada. For foreigners, they will have to provide a work permit and legal documents to apply as a firefighter.
Come clear before applying as a firefighter. Because during your firefighter candidate assessment, your background check will be done, and if you have a criminal record on board, the fire chief will not be impressed. Believe me!
High school diploma: A high school diploma till grade 12 or an equivalent degree for foreign students or candidates will be accepted only!
Your driver’s license, which is a valid California driver’s license, is an Unrestricted G-class license in Ontario. The fire department will not accept a driver’s license that has more than 2 infractions. So, be an experienced driver before joining the fire department!
Your health certificate should be provided to the demanding authorities, and it should be valid during the whole process of recruitment.
Your vision must be good and should be 20/30 uncorrected. Your vision should be normally colored to fully understand the coded color scheme during any situation.
Your hearing must be normal.
Your pressure situation-handling skills will also be tested. To analyze how you react in panic situations and under pressure during emergency situations.
Physical fitness assessments will be taken to analyze your physical abilities or your physical condition.
Say no to social media flexes, Na uh! If you think you can flex being a firefighter on social media sites, forget about the selection, and you’ll be dismissed immediately. The fire department doesn’t want people exposing their secrets!
To become a firefighter, a good character is “the” key to every success. So, make it exemplary!
Last but not the least, have an outstanding resume to impress your fire chief; once the fire chief is impressed, your way straight to the firefighter service becomes clear!
The process involves!
Once you’re done with the extras and the basics, and you think you have sufficient material to help you for your selection as a firefighter in California or Canada, then it’s time to grab your fancy pants and pull that tie of yours because it’s time to get enrolled and become a firefighter!
Submit your resume
Your resume is the key! To become a firefighter, you need to make your resume quite appealing and catchy in order to get your chances of selection high.
You must include all the skills you have; it must contain all the qualifications you have had and the extra courses and diplomas you got.
To make your resume an outclass one, work hard to showcase your skills and the hard work to pave your way straight to your dream job!
The Aptitude tests!
After being invited to the test series by the fire department, you will be examined by a written exam that will include the respective fields.
These include reading and writing ability, reasoning skills, map or blueprint reading skills, communication skills, and interaction with humans which includes study about the behavior of the candidate applying, etc.
These can be practiced from online aptitude test practice series.
The oral interview
The oral interview will be taken from the candidates to test their communication abilities, their physiological behavior is studied through the interview.
The interview is taken by a panel of officers including the fire chief and they will assess you in every manner. Your selection is based on how you behave and perform in your interview!
To become a firefighter in California or Canada, you need to have all the basic things along with some extra skillset to polish your resume.
To fight for a firefighter position, additional pieces of training like emergency medical services training, hazardous materials training, engineering diplomas, and physical training are extremely helpful.
Those who want this firefighter position, join a good fire academy. A fire academy is a place where you can gain first-hand knowledge about all the necessities of a firefighter. Fire academy reaches you with the right skills you need and the right knowledge you’ll need to pass the firefighter aptitude test and interview.
Once you are done with the resume build-up, apply for the position, give the written test, and then be prepared for the interview. Practice mock interviews before the original one to make your confidence improved till the original one.
Most fire departments have different eligibility criteria so make sure to follow their protocols.
Hope everything goes smoothly, and you get this amazing job as a firefighter. Hard work is the key, and your determination is the way!