The role of Firefighters involves dealing with fire outbreaks in homes/offices/plazas, getting people out of burning buildings, providing medical help to those injured in such disasters, etc. Firefighters are first responders whenever a fire breaks out anywhere or there is a medical emergency.
In Connecticut, most fire professionals are also licensed EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) or EMRs (Emergency Medical Responders). As of 2019, the total number of employed fire personnel in The Constitution State stands at 3,020 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). Want to join their ranks? Read this informative piece on how to become a Firefighter in Connecticut.
Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*NET OnLine
Firefighters have to regularly deal with high stress, pressure, and expectations on the job. Of course, there are many health and safety concerns in this line of work. Going into burning buildings and dealing with intense fires need great physical (and mental) fortitude. This is why physical fitness is high on the selection criteria of most fire departments. Firefighters usually work in rotating shifts but have to be on call all the time.
As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for Firefighters in the country will grow by 5% from 2018 to 2028. Despite buildings implementing stricter safety codes and construction material/equipment improving in quality all the time, there would still be a need for firefighters to deal with unexpected outbreaks.
Steps to Become a Firefighter in Connecticut
Follow the procedure outlined below to become a Firefighter in Connecticut.
Step 1: Complete the Required Education
You need to first complete a High School Diploma or the alternative GED (General Educational Development) Certificate. This is the minimum education requirement that must be fulfilled. Beyond that, you may choose to obtain some specialized post-secondary education such as an Associate degree in Fire Science or a Bachelor’s in Fire Engineering.
Step 2: Apply for a Job
When the educational requirement is fulfilled, you can apply for employment with your local Connecticut fire unit.
Step 3: Qualify the Initial Test/Interview
Once your application is accepted, the first evaluation is usually the initial written test or interview.
Step 4: Demonstrate Your Physical Ability
After clearing the written test, you will undergo a thorough physical assessment. Some Connecticut fire departments have their own physical tests while others are likely to accept your CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) score.
Step 5: Background Investigation
Once you are done with the physical evaluation, the department will carry out a detailed check into your background.
Step 7: Medical and Psychological Exams
When the department is satisfied with your background, it will conduct detailed medical and psychological assessments. You will also have to take a drug test.
Step 8: Fire Academy Training
After completing the previous 7 steps, you will be enrolled for fire academy training. This usually lasts for 5 to 6 months.
Step 9: Get Your EMT or EMR License
Before starting work after training, you must obtain a Connecticut EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) or EMR (Emergency Medical Responder) license.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Firefighter in Connecticut?
The time taken will depend on your chosen path. If you pursue firefighting employment right after high school, then you will need about 1 year to go through the selection and training process. However, if you attain some specialized post-secondary education first, then it can take around 2 to 5 years.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter in Connecticut?
The requirements to become a Firefighter in Connecticut are listed below.
At least 18 years old.
Get a High School Diploma or GED (General Educational Development Certificate).
Possess a valid Connecticut driving license.
Have legal US citizenship.
Become a licensed Paramedic or EMT or EMR.
Should not have any criminal convictions.
How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Firefighter in Connecticut?
As per the records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Connecticut’s firefighters pocketed $65,700 in annual mean wage in 2019.