If fighting fires is your idea of a dream job, you'll need a high school diploma or GED. Firefighters receive most of their training on the job, but you can prepare for the firefighter tests and give your employment application an edge over the competition by carefully choosing your classes. Speak with your high school guidance counselor about what you can do now to become a firefighter.
Anatomy and Physiology
Firefighters need to know how the body is structured and how it works, since many of the calls they respond to are medical emergencies. Also, many fire departments require candidates to have their emergency medical technician certification to become a firefighter. You can help prepare for your EMT certification and a career in firefighting by studying anatomy and physiology in high school.
Firefighters face everyday decisions based on a strong knowledge of chemistry. They confront hazardous substances as part of their job and respond to emergencies such as chemical fires caused by spills and the illegal dumping or storage of hazardous wastes. Chemistry also allows firefighters to understand fire behavior and save lives. By studying chemistry in high school, you'll give yourself a head start on your career path.
Math is an essential part of a firefighter's job. While in the field, firefighters need to make calculations in areas such as determining a tank's volume or administering the correct dose of medication in an emergency. They even use math to calculate flame height and length when fighting wilderness fires. From basic math to algebra and calculus, taking high school math classes will help you prepare for a successful career in firefighting.
Health and Fitness
Don't skip gym class. Firefighting is a physically demanding job and candidates are required to pass the Candidate Physical Ability Test to prove they can handle it. The test measures eight job areas, such as forcible entry, hose drag and ladder raise. Staying fit and healthy is definitely a prerequisite for becoming a firefighter.
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