Firefighters have many responsibilities beyond putting out flames. They provide basic first aid, volunteer in their communities, care for vehicles and equipment, and work with other industries. As preparation for a career in firefighting, sign up to volunteer at your local fire department and then focus on three main areas of self-improvement:
1. Physical Fitness
The first time you ask yourself, “How do I become a firefighter in Texas,” it’s time to start your physical training. The Candidate Physical Ability Test, or CPAT, includes running up and downstairs carrying heavy equipment, dragging fire hoses, and much more. You need to demonstrate physical stamina and agility. Begin your training with running and strength workouts because strength, stamina, and agility are all vital requirements for this career.
2. Education and Skills Training
In addition to a high school diploma, prospective firefighters must attend a Fire Academy. The fire chief of the station where you volunteer can steer you in the right direction. Some stations also require a college degree as well as a number of certifications, including training as an emergency medical technician. Along with these studies, you must demonstrate skills such as the ability to multitask, observe details quickly, and make quick decisions.
3. Emotional Strength
Firefighters respond immediately to emergencies, no matter what else is happening in their lives. They require the ability to work under pressure, control their emotions, and remain objective in a variety of situations. First responders often take psychological evaluations before and after witnessing trauma.
After preparing yourself in these areas, you’ll enter the hiring process which can be long. There are several steps in this process, including:
- A written exam
- A background investigation
- A credit history check
- Drug screens
- A physical exam
Make sure your criminal record and social media accounts are clean before you send in your first application.
If you successfully complete the training and hiring process, you can look forward to a firefighting career with options for advancement and further opportunities. If you’re a person who enjoys serving in your community, you may be an excellent candidate for this career.