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Career Opportunities

Educational Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter

What do you need to study?

A firefighter needs a general knowledge of physics and building construction for fire, rescue and safety issues. Firefighters use mathematics to perform drug calculations and hydraulic calculations. Therefore, a strong foundation in arithmetic is necessary. Advanced math such as algebra and geometry could also prove helpful. Knowledge of chemistry and environmental ecology is necessary when responding to hazardous material incidents. Firefighters maintain fire equipment and apparatus and would benefit from classes such auto or diesel mechanics.

Firefighter Training

Firefighters respond to multiple types of emergencies in addition to fires. The California State Fire Marshal Firefighter I certification program is a recognized standard of basic training. It is also desirable that candidates seek to broaden their knowledge and skills beyond the Firefighter I certification by completing either a certificate or associate degree in fire science through a community college.

Emergency Medical Training

As a first responder to medical emergencies and vehicle accidents, a firefighter relies on extensive medical training. Consequently, most fire departments require firefighters to possess at least emergency medical technician certification. Paramedic certification is highly desirable for prospective candidates.

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