If you are looking for a challenging career that also provides a vital service to your local community, becoming a firefighter could be the perfect job for you. However, because firefighting is both challenging and important, Texas has specific requirements for anyone wanting to qualify for the job. These are five of the things you should know about being a firefighter in Texas.
1. You Must Complete the Required Training
All Texas firefighters must hold a high school diploma or GED and a certification from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. To get this certificate, you must complete an approved basic fire suppression program, earn the required emergency medical qualifications and pass an exam. You can receive your training from a variety of approved sources, including a Texas firefighting school.
2. You Must Pass a Test
The Texas firefighter test has both a written component and a physical ability assessment. The written portion includes questions that assess your knowledge of fire suppression techniques. Topics covered include rescue, fireground operations, hazardous material management and preparedness.
The physical assessment includes exercises that simulate tasks firefighters are expected to be able to perform. The sequence of eight events includes ladder raising, stair climbing and hose dragging.
3. You May Need an EMT Certification
All firefighters are required to complete some EMT coursework, but some cities also require firefighters to complete an EMT certification. If you know which fire department you want to work for, you should check their requirements to find out if you need this certification before applying.
4. You Must Pass the Screening Process
Each fire department has its own criteria that new hires must meet to be considered for a job. Usually, you will need to pass a written exam, complete a background check, submit a drug screening, have a medical exam and attend an oral interview.
5. You Need To Have the Right Qualities
Being a firefighter is a tough job and not everyone is suited. Firefighters should be physically fit and willing to maintain that level of fitness throughout their careers. Firefighters also need to be honest and trustworthy, committed to excellence, able to deal with high-pressure situations, dedicated to helping others and willing to put themselves in danger to help others.
Becoming a firefighter is not an easy career, but for the right person, it can be an extremely rewarding one. If you think you are a good match, contact your local fire department to find out how to get started.