If you have a passion for helping others, the ability to remain calm under pressure, and the desire to keep your community safe, then becoming a firefighter may be a great option for you. If you are at least 18 years old and have your high school diploma or GED, then you are already eligible to begin pursuing your dream in Texas.
1. Get the Training
Thanks to technology you now have the option of in-person or online firefighter training. The latter is perfect for those working another job or who have other responsibilities preventing them from attending a traditional in-person program. Both programs provide candidates with an understanding of fire suppression, safety, and other necessary skills to be a successful firefighter. The online option allows students to work at their own pace over 12 weeks, then have hands-on training for 14 days to reinforce their learning and allow them to master their skills.
An important consideration outside of classroom training is that becoming a firefighter is a physically demanding career. Focus on getting in good physical shape in your own time to meet the demanding requirements of the job. You will be tested on this at multiple points in your journey, most importantly during the Candidate Physical Ability Test, which typically occurs before starting the fire academy of your choice.
2. Prepare for the Examinations
Upon completion of classroom training, the Texas Commission on Fire Protection State Examination will be administered to assess your comprehension of the skills you have learned. This is a thorough written examination, so it is crucial to study as much as possible in preparation; the same is true of the exam for EMT certification. If you are unable to pass either you will not be able to achieve your goal of becoming a firefighter.
Other examinations to expect include a psychological exam to evaluate your mental and emotional stability for the job and a background check that covers any past criminal behavior, social media, and potentially your financial history. While there is not much you can do to prepare for these, being transparent about any concerning factors is best as they will likely be uncovered by the investigating department.
3. Make It to Graduation and Beyond
Before you know it, after all your hard work and studying, you will finally reach your goal of graduation. This is a huge achievement you should take great pride in! It is not an easy path to becoming a firefighter and the journey is just beginning. Education is a key part of your future success as a firefighter and should be pursued continuously so you can continue to keep yourself and the community safe.