If you’re interested in becoming a firefighter, it would be advantageous to seek out EMT certification as well! While it greatly depends on the state and the region, most employers will require firefighters to obtain certification as an EMT or a paramedic.
This is largely because firefighters respond to numerous calls that necessitate emergency medical attention. In fact, according to an article at FireRescue1, “most fire departments run upwards of 70 percent or more emergency medical related responses.” Additionally, they state that about 90 percent of fire departments will “require this certification after hire.”
In such a competitive field, EMT certification isn’t just a great asset to your resume. Pursuing EMT training will also give you critical experience and invaluable knowledge. It’s important to note that work experience on an ambulance may be required for some paramedic programs. Without a doubt, EMT training and certification is incredibly beneficial for aspiring firefighters.
Steve Prziborowski provided several other must-do tips in his article at FireRescue1. We’ve included some of them below—we hope you’ll find these tips helpful during your journey into EMS!
1. Gain experience and volunteer: According to Steve Prziborowski, fire departments often choose candidates with a history of volunteer work or community service (this doesn’t have to include fire-related service). Doing so would provide you with knowledge, firsthand experience, and networking opportunities. Community service also shows that your heart is in the right place. In the FireRescue1 article, various organizations were suggested: American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brother Big Sister, etc.
2. Pursue fire technology classes: Though this isn’t usually a requirement, taking such classes can make your application stand out. It also looks great on your resume and helps prepare you for a fire-related career. As Steve Prziborowski said, it doesn’t just show dedication and commitment but quite noteworthy initiative. He views this as an investment in your future, and suggests seeking out a semester-long class. Doing so will typically give you about “53 or so hours of training on a subject that is a contributing factor of firefighter injuries and line-of-duty deaths.”
3. Carefully consider each phase of the hiring process: It’s important that aspiring firefighters understand how to successfully pass through each phase of the hiring process. While it can vary from region to region, the selection process tends to carry some basic similarities. As suggested in the FireRescue1 article, you could start by researching the departments in your area or where you’d like to apply. Learn how they recruit people and what specific requirements must be met. For example, these might be an oral interview, a written examination, a background investigation, etc.
4. Take firefighter tests to help you prepare: Such tests are one great way to become better acquainted with the phases of the hiring process. Each one will give you more experience, exposure, and preparation. If you’re wondering how to find out which departments are currently testing, Steve Prziborowski suggests signing up at firerecruit.com. Through their service, they advise others on firefighter opportunities across the country.
5. Visit your local fire stations: Speaking with other firefighters just might be your greatest resource. Take some time to visit nearby fire stations and learn more about fire-related careers as well as specific departments. In doing so, you might also learn about upcoming programs or opportunities. Steve Prziborowski said it best: “These firefighters obviously had what it took to get through the hiring process, and they may have also sat on oral boards or have been involved in their department’s hiring process in some capacity.”
More About Unitek EMT
If you’re feeling inspired and you’d like to pursue EMT training, allow us to give you a brief overview of the EMT program at Unitek. Above all else, we strive to prepare our students for a rewarding career in EMS. Seasoned EMS professionals provide students with vital knowledge and skills through a combination of expert lectures, applied training, and workshop-style classes.
We believe these experiences greatly benefit our students and influence their success. If you’ve been searching for EMT basic training, we offer a program with several variations to better accommodate our students. These include a 14-Day Boot Camp1 and an Expanded Online Hybrid at our Fremont Campus in Northern California. We also offer a modified version of the Boot Camp at our facility in Chandler, Arizona. Both of our locations provide students with a comprehensive yet efficient EMT program.
Achieve your dreams with Unitek EMT, today!
1 Our 14-Day EMT Program in AZ and the 14-Day on-ground portion of the EMT Program in CA are taught in an intensive “boot camp” style, to simulate the fast pace of work expected on the job as an EMT. The California EMT Program also includes online instructional hours.