How to Prepare For a Firefighting Career

How to Prepare For a Firefighting Career

Firefighters serve an improtant public safety function. The firefighting field is a competitive one and the bar for getting into a firefighting training program and passing required physical exams is high.  If you are wondering, how do I become a firefighter in Texas, the answer is to arm yourself with information  and do everything you can to prepare yourself in advance of applying to a firefighting school. Read on for advice on how to best prepare for a career in firefighting.

Gather Information

The best way to prepare for any venture is to get as much information as you can. Each fire department has its own specific eligibility requirements for its firefighter training program. You’ll want to get information on your department of interest. Most departments list their requirements on their website. You should also keep your eye out for upcoming events, as many will offer q and a or informational sessions for potential recruits. 

You should also learn more about careers in firefighting in general. It is a demanding profession that requires extensive time away from home, a high degree of risk and spending lots of time with co-workers. It’s important to realistically assess your own lifestyle and circumstances to know whether you can make this work for you and your family. 

Get Experience

Nothing beats on-the-job experience for understanding the requirements of the job. If you are in an area with a volunteer fire department, consider joining up. You’ll better understand the nature of the job and make invaluable connections. Departments will also take this experience into consideration when evaluating candidates. In addition to volunteer firefighting, consider taking relevant community courses in areas like first aid and CPR certification.

Get in Shape

Firefighting is a physically demanding job that requires a high degree of strength and endurance. Anything that you can do to get in better shape will help you. However, you should also tailor your workouts toward the specific requirements for firefighting school.  A large number of departments use a standardized physical test known as the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) to identify candidates who are likely to have a high degree of success in their training programs. 

The CPAT consists of numerous activities that test general physical fitness, with the addition of job-specific physical tasks such as carrying equipment up ladders. Check your local department’s schedules for try-out and demonstration days, which give potential candidates the chance to participate in the testing tasks. 

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