Firefighting is one of the rare career choices because it entails grueling challenges and risks. However, passionate professionals want to embrace the rewarding role that enables them to rescue people and save lives. But starting a career as a firefighter is not easy because the domain is competitive and hiring processes are tricky. Also, not everyone who gets in stays there forever. Risks abound, and mishaps may get you off duty. Sticking to your decision is even more daunting as you encounter life-threatening situations more often than you imagine. However, you can cover these fronts with the right mindset and good planning. Here are the best career recommendations for aspiring firefighters.
Be physically prepared
Firefighters have a rigorous and physically demanding job as they need to climb walls, lift equipment, get through tight spaces, and carry victims. Physical fitness is the key to giving your best. Consider factors such as strength, agility, and flexibility because you will need them all. You will also need it to step into the role initially. Invest in a fitness schedule before beginning your career, and stay regular with it throughout your journey. Embrace training to deliver to expectations and save lives while staying safe during rescue operations.
Invest in mental readiness
Physical prep is only half the work when it comes to entering the firefighting landscape. Mental readiness is equally crucial because it enables you to stay calm and use your presence of mind during critical situations. Quick action in a split second can save lives, and a sharp focus and clever decision-making help you do it. Mental readiness is also about grit and determination because firefighters have many reasons to quit after getting in. But the commitment to the goal makes you stay forever and save lives during your career journey.
Know the risks
As an aspiring firefighter, you must understand that the risks of the job extend beyond the obvious ones. Of course, scalding and electrocution are the most common injuries you may sustain on duty. But toxic firefighting foam is a hidden threat that kills stealthily and slowly. The toxins in AFFF can cause severe health issues like cancer instead of injuring in one blow. But the legal system empowers firefighters with the option of AFFF lawsuit claims as they can sue negligent manufacturers for using toxins in the product. Falling from heights is another risk you may encounter. Being aware of these threats enables you to take relevant precautions.
Get an EMT certification
Getting an EMT certification puts you in a good place to build a successful firefighting career. Most departments require professionals with paramedic skills because the demand for emergency medical-related responses runs high. Also, they can save on training costs and time with such professionals. You can enroll for the course before entering the job landscape or upgrade down the line. Either way, the certification makes you better at your job and opens better career prospects for you.
Volunteer before starting
Volunteer experience is a plus for aspiring firefighters. In fact, you may even benefit from non-fire-related volunteering. Fire departments are keen to hire people with community service experience, so it adds value to your resume. You can even get great references by working with local organizations. You can work at relief camps near and far to build a network and fuel your passion for helping others and saving lives. The best thing about picking such opportunities is that you learn the skills of patience and empathy.
Maintain a good background
Working in the public service domain requires a good background because your past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. A track record of problems such as traffic tickets, vehicle accidents, domestic violence, anger management issues, and arrests can get your career off track from the beginning. You need not even try if you have a criminal record because background checks will go against you. Maintain a clean record and embrace an honest lifestyle to get a great start with your firefighting career.
Becoming a firefighter requires passion and commitment to saving lives, serving people, and doing your bit for the community. The right mindset takes you halfway toward your career goals, so embrace it, even before embarking on the journey. While the right mindset gives you a good start, education and preparedness set you up for a successful career launch. Moreover, you must commit to learning as you go and maintaining your dedication levels throughout your career journey. Follow these practical career tips to cover all fronts and become a successful firefighter.