Many young people often think of joining the Fire Service attracted by the good rates of pay and the fact that they are heroes saving peoples’ lives from dangerous situations. The training for becoming a fireman has become much more thorough over recent years making the question ‘how to become a fireman’ that bit tougher.
At one time firemen would mainly deal with fires, road traffic accidents and perhaps chemical spills endangering the public. Since 9/11 their roles have diversified and now need to have an understanding of terrorism and the various weapons that terrorists use, for example, dirty bombs and poison gas. This has led to much more in-depth training for firemen to enable them to cope with any eventuality.
To become a fireman there is quite a lengthy screening process which varies slightly depending on where they want to join the service. Generally applicants will need to be at least 18 years old and be able to pass various background and security checks. Once these have been passed there are quite demanding psychological and fitness tests. These will include an applicant’s problem solving ability and stress tests to see how they can handle some of the worst situations. The success rate for passing some of these tests can be relatively low as the Fire Service is seeking the best applicants in terms of physical fitness and mentally coping under extreme pressure to become the best of firemen.
Once an applicant has passed the initial stages of the interview process there are typically further tests assessing an applicant in confined spaces, climbing ladders and general fitness with carrying heavy fire equipment. After these stages there is usually an interview panel as part of the final stage to consider how suitable the applicant is.
When a person has been accepted to becoming a trainee fireman, they are then usually put onto a shift system with a mentor who will supervise the trainee through the process until they finally pass out as a fully fledged fireman.
Becoming a fireman can be just the beginning of a career in the fire service. Many fire departments also have their employees train as paramedics so that emergency medical treatment can be administered.
Being a fireman encompasses many different skills to deal with any emergency so that lives can be saved. A fireman will also serve as an ambassador to educate the public in emergencies and help with general health and safety in properties. Nearly all public buildings will have to pass fire safety checks by their local fire department, and in these days of heightened security the task of becoming a fireman has never been more important.