Volunteer Fireman: Requirements for Volunteer Firefighters

Those interested in serving and protecting the public might consider becoming volunteer firefighters. All firefighters endure extensive, formal career training. Many volunteers eventually obtain permanent, salaried firefighter positions, which may require additional education and certification.

View 5 Popular Schools »

Volunteer Firefighter Training Requirements

Qualifications

Requirements for becoming a volunteer firefighter vary by fire department. Most departments require firefighters to be 18 years of age or older and hold a high school diploma or the equivalent. Candidates are generally required to pass written and physical exams, drug screenings and background checks. Some departments may require volunteer firefighters to hold a valid driver's license and live within a department's service area. Many employers prefer applicants who demonstrate strong decision-making skills, dependability and bravery.

Career Training

After being recruited, new volunteer firefighters typically enter department-run training academies or similar programs. According to VolunteerFD.org, firefighters are required to complete at least 110 hours of training in programs certified by the National Fire Protection Association. Training programs are comprised of both practical application and in-class instruction. Trainees learn to handle various rescue tools, such as extinguishers, axes and ladders. Along with firefighting techniques, they're instructed in preventing fires, handling hazardous materials and performing emergency medical procedures.

Firefighters continue training in their departments after graduating from training academies and are typically subject to probationary periods. Many firefighters participate in apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships can take up to four years to complete and provide trainees with hands-on experience under the supervision of skilled fire protection professionals.

Postsecondary Training

Volunteer firefighters only need a high school diploma; however, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that a growing number of firefighters have completed some postsecondary coursework (www.bls.gov). Volunteer firefighters may be more likely to advance to a paid position if they hold an undergraduate degree in fire science or fire safety engineering. Associate's degree programs in fire science typically take two years to complete and are geared toward firefighters seeking advancement in the occupation. Courses may cover arson investigation, protection systems, prevention, firefighting strategies, building construction and hazardous materials.

Career Requirements for Volunteer Firefighters

Emergency Medical Technician Certification

Departments usually require firefighters to become certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Most firefighters hold the EMT-Basic designation, which is the minimum level of certification. Firefighter academies may include EMT training; otherwise, volunteer firefighters may attend EMT-Basic training courses offered by community colleges and healthcare providers. Along with classroom instruction in emergency response techniques, these programs incorporate practical experience in emergency rooms or ambulances. After completing formal training, EMTs may obtain certification by passing written and practical tests offered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians or a state certification board.

Professional Certification

While not mandatory, some firefighters choose to pursue professional certification. The National Fire Protection Association offers the Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) designation to professionals dedicated to fire safety (www.nfpa.org). Candidates must have a high school education and six years of fire protection experience, an associate's degree and four years of first-hand practice or a bachelor's degree directly related to fire safety and two years of related work. Qualified candidates may complete a 100-question certification exam to earn the CFPS designation. CFPS firefighters may renew certification every three years by providing proof of experience, contributions to the profession and continuing education credits.

Show me popular schools

Related to Volunteer Fireman: Requirements for Volunteer Firefighters

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Associate Degree in Fire Protection Technology

Explore the curriculum and requirements of associate's degree programs in fire protection technology. Learn about the...

Online Associate Degree in Fire Science with Program Info

Online fire science associate's degree programs train students in firefighting and fire investigation skills. Students can earn...

How to Become a Hazardous Training Instructor

Find out how to become a hazardous training instructor. Research the education and training requirements and learn about the...

Fire Services Administrator: Career Profile

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a fire services administrator. Get a quick view of the requirements...

Forest Firefighter: Salary Info, Job Duties and Requirements

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Minnesota (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice Brooklyn Center
    • Associate
        • Associate - Criminal Justice Brooklyn Center

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (5 campuses)
    • California (22)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1)
    • Florida (1)
    • Georgia (1)
    • Hawaii (1)
    • Illinois (2)
    • New Mexico (2)
    • Nevada (2)
    • Pennsylvania (1)
    • Puerto Rico (1)
    • Tennessee (3)
    • Texas (6)
    • Virginia (3)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Legal
      • Fire Safety and Protection
        • Fire Fighting
      • Legal Research and Professional Studies
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Legal
      • Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, and Corrections
      • Fire Safety and Protection
        • Fire Fighting
      • Legal Support Services
  • School locations:
    • Alaska (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Alaska include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Legal
      • Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, and Corrections
      • Fire Safety and Protection
        • Fire Fighting
        • Fire Services Admin
      • Legal Support Services
  • School locations:
    • Oklahoma (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Oklahoma State University include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Legal
      • Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, and Corrections
      • Fire Safety and Protection
        • Fire Fighting
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Legal
      • Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, and Corrections
      • Fire Safety and Protection
        • Fire Fighting
      • Legal Support Services

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright