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Becoming a Firefighter

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Do you dream of becoming a firefighter? It’s perhaps one of the bravest and most rewarding jobs out there. Every day, you’ll risk your life to save others.

Qualifications

Nowadays, there’s quite a strict screening process in order to become a firefighter. For starters, you must be at 18 with a high school diploma, driver’s licence, a clean criminal record and 20/20 vision. Some fire departments now require two years of college education, so make sure to check out the specific requirements for your local fire department.

Exams

  • Written exam – This tests your reading, math, spelling, problem solving, verbal communication, listening comprehension and tons of other things you learn in school. So don’t think you can slack off now and study hard later!
  • Physical Agility exam – This tests your agility, strength and stamina, particularly your wind endurance and your leg and upper body strength. It tests your ability to work in dangerous and extreme conditions, just like you would on the job. You’ll learn to work while wearing and using equipment that can be extremely heavy and awkward.
  • Medical exam –This tests for drug use and ensures that you’re in good health.
  • Psychological exam – This checks your mental health and determines whether you have the appropriate traits of a firefighter. Can you stay calm in stressful situations? Can you make decisions under pressure? Are you kind and empathetic to others? Can you follow directions but also take initiative?
  • Oral Interview – It can be most nerve-racking part of the exam. You should definitely practice your interview skills with your family or friends beforehand!

For a sneak peak at the types of questions you’ll encounter in the written exam and interview, browse the web for practice tests.

Read Part 2 of "Becoming A Firefighter" to learn about the training and daily duties of firefighting.

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