Become a Wildland Firefighter
Have you been working in the office 9 to 5?Do you want to work outdoors?If you want to travel, make money, and serve your community as a wildland firefighter, you should get a job at the federal, state, or local level.Most U.S. wildland firefighters work from May to August, and you should apply before the first of the year, since some agencies begin hiring in the fall and train during the winter.You can find out more about the requirements for becoming a wildland firefighter and how to apply.
Step 1: You have to meet the initial qualifications.
You must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent in order to work as a firefighter in the US.Each country has its own set of qualifications.If you live outside of the United States, you should check the specifications.In Canada, you have to be at least 18 years old, speak English, and complete three training courses.
Step 2: Make sure to brush up on your outdoor skills.
If you're familiar with basic survival skills like tying knots, reading a map, and assembling a tent, it's an enormous help.Knowledge of camp crafts and wilderness survival knowledge will give you a leg up over the competition.You need to break in your boots.Hard hat, leather gloves, fire resistant clothing, backpack, tent, and other items will be supplied to you.You need to buy your own boots.Break these in before you show up for duty to avoid blisters, sores, and other concerns, according to the US Fish & Wildlife Service.Hike with a pack.You can hike with 45 pounds if you increase the distance and carry more weight.To qualify as a smokejumper, you would need to complete a hike of three miles in under 90 minutes, carrying a 120-pound pack over level ground, among other things.You can take a fire training course from a local community college.You need to get started on the job with this information.
Step 3: If you take classes, you will improve your chances.
Basic classes can be completed locally if you have no prior experience.This can increase your chances of being hired.Fire science and emergency medical training are the first things to be completed.To find out more about the educational requirements at the federal, state, and local level, contact the organization you plan to apply with.It is not typically required for entry level wildland firefighting positions to have a degree in fire science or other related subjects.You can check for courses in fire science at your local community college or university.If hands-on training is part of the fire science curriculum, contact the school.
Step 4: As a firefighter, you should work as a volunteer.
Previous experience is required for many organizations that hire firefighters.volunteering with your local fire department will give you an opportunity to work in the field, receive training, and develop the physical stamina necessary to be an effective firefighter
Step 5: Talk to them.
You can find out more about the job from someone who has been there.tips for the application, physical test, new job listings, and how to be successful on the job can be given by them.
Step 6: Prepare for the possibility of a hazard.
Make sure you have your will, power of attorney, and life insurance policies.Before taking a position as a firefighter, all are in order.Wildland firefighting is dangerous.Before you leave for a season, make sure your affairs are in order.Training and safety precautions can reduce the risk of death for firefighters.The job of a wildland firefighter is very dangerous.When emergency shelters were unable to protect them, an entire crew of 19 was lost.There has been a decrease in deaths in recent years.Since 2010, less than 20 deaths have occurred.
Step 7: Meet the qualifications for fitness.
When starting a job as a wildland firefighter, you have to meet certain physical standards.The work capacity test will be used to assess your physical ability for wildland firefighting.Before becoming a wildland firefighter, every U.S. agency requires you to take this test.Even if your local department doesn't require it, you might not be selected for out-of-state service unless you are qualified.As part of the application process, the WCT is administered.You have two weeks to take the test again if you don't meet the requirements.You won't be accepted for the position if you fail the second time.The pack test requires applicants to hike several miles with a 45 pound pack.When you return to the season, the duty is administered to make sure you maintain your physical fitness.
Step 8: You can take a train for the WCT.
Start your training as soon as possible if you're not in shape already.Running and hiking up and down with heavy weights is an excellent form of exercise to prepare for the WCT.For most agencies with temporary assignments, the fire season starts in May, so you will want to give yourself a few months of proper training before this; beginning in February at the latest.You need to start your training program earlier in the year if the WCT is part of the application process.To find out if there are group training programs for the WCT in your area, contact the agencies you are applying with and local fire science programs.A personal trainer can be found at a local gym.If they are familiar with training firefighters, they can help you reach your training goals.Give yourself time to rest.Don't run or hike every day.Start with two or three days of activity each week.Practice WCTs will set you apart from other applicants.
Step 9: Take your doctor to see them.
Medical clearance from the doctor is required for many applicants.Before training to become a wildland firefighter, you should consult with your doctor.Increasing your level of activity can be dangerous.If your lifestyle has been mostly inactive, you may have a history of a heart condition or chest pain, or you have joint or bone problems that could get worse with a change in physical activity.
Step 10: You can search for jobs.
There are many websites where you can find current job opportunities.Information about the application process, who to contact for assistance, job descriptions, and what training or experience is required prior to application will be provided by each site.Before applying for a position, carefully review this information.There are 11 regional organizations that hire wildland firefighters.Links to the websites of the Geographical Area Coordination Centers can be found at www.niFC.gov.The US Fish & Wildlife Service can be used to find federal jobs.The US Department of the Interior has a page devoted to application information for firefighters.The information is processed by the Fire Integrated Recruitment Employment Systems.The FIRES recruitment system, application information, and links to current openings can be found in the US.You can click on the "Jobs" link.There are different searches for National Park Service fire-related jobs.For US Forest Service applicants, you can also search for firefighter jobs through the US Department of Agriculture.
Step 11: Apply to be a firefighter.
A few local agencies may still have paper forms, but this is typically a digital process.It can be difficult to fill out applications online due to the way they are worded.If you are having trouble filling out the application, ask for help immediately from the human resource department or other contact at the agency.Allow enough time to complete the application.The application usually takes about an hour.If there isn't a checklist available from the agency you apply with, make your own to keep track of all the steps.Before applying for a job, make sure you meet the minimum qualifications.
Step 12: Pass the exams to get a job.
Federal and state firefighters take two tests as part of the application process.This allows agencies to quickly cut down a pool of applicants, so you must pass this hurdle in order to be hired as a firefighter.The first exam will be a written test.The CPAT is a physical ability test that looks at endurance, strength, and physical fitness.Protection equipment, response procedures, and mechanical reasoning are covered in the written test.In a basic introduction course to fire science, these topics may be learned from an independent study of textbooks or relevant on-the-job training.A number of online resources are free of charge if you can't complete a course in fire science before taking the test.There are often study materials available through the agency you apply with.It is necessary to pass the Work Capacity Test.The test consists of a three-mile walk.You must be able to complete the test in 45 minutes or less.Rules can vary as to whether you must wear hiking boots or athletic shoes.Every firefighter is required to complete the WCT before returning to work.
Step 13: Additional training should be completed.
To become certified or to complete one or more training courses, you must be a wildland firefighter.Completion of fire academy training is the most common requirement.Specific degrees, course work, or certifications are required by others.Your application will be compared against others if you don't have prior training.Make sure you know what you need to do in order to stand out from the crowd.You should check the website for the federal, state, or local agency you are applying to.The requirements for wildland firefighters can be found on most sites.Before applying, contact the organization to make sure you meet their requirements.In Colorado, one of the most popular areas for wildland firefighting, firefighters must earn the Interagency Incident Qualification Card within a limited time of starting.This is done through a group.If you want to apply for advanced crews or a specialty subfield, you will need to complete additional training.Aviation firefighters complete training through the US Bureau of Land Management or US Forest Service to learn how to rappel into fire areas.If you want to advance in the field, you need a degree in fire science, rangeland ecology, or other topics.Many excellent firefighters and supervisors have little more education than a high-school degree and some hours of community college, but also have massive job qualifications and reputation based on experience.