If you feel called toward a career in public safety, then we all thank you—it takes a special person to pursue that career path. However, if you’re just starting out and want to learn more, we can help.
The requirements to become a firefighter in the State of Florida is similar to most other states. You must be at least 18 years old, have at least a high school diploma or GED, and have a valid Florida driver’s license. There are some more requirements and tips, though, that’ll increase your chances of landing the job. We put together some tips for becoming a firefighter in Florida; check them out below.
Get Your EMT Basic Certification in Florida
Most (if not all) states require firefighters to receive their EMT Basic certification before applying, but some fire stations offer training as well. Much like your driver’s license, you’ll need to get your certification in the State of Florida. A certification from a different state typically isn’t considered valid. Pro tip: if you’re looking to earn more money and grow your career, don’t be afraid to mention you want your paramedic license when you go in for an interview.
You’ll Also Need a Firefighter Certificate in Florida
Unsurprisingly, you’re going to need to obtain a firefighter certification—specifically, from the State of Florida. You can earn your certification from most accredited universities and community colleges in Florida. If you’re not originally from the state, it may be worth asking a local fire station if there are any colleges they suggest. Additionally, some fire stations may require you to reside in Florida for at least a year before you can be considered for the job.
Prepare Yourself for Potential Responses in Florida
If you’re looking to be a firefighter in a popular area such as Miami, Tampa, or Fort Lauderdale, for example, you should prepare accordingly. The previously mentioned cities are among the most popular places in Florida for retirees; within these cities are several retirement facilities. As such, you should be physically able to help older folks get to safety. You also may need to respond to hurricane rescue missions. Of course, the fire station you work for will provide the best and most accurate training to help you be successful, but you should also perform additional research if possible.
The best tip for becoming a firefighter in Florida is learning as much as you can about fires in the area and the best way to respond. In addition, you should equip yourself with the minimum PPE and gloves for firefighting. New firefighters must get used to working in protective gear—it can add about 40 pounds of extra weight to their back and may reduce agility. Getting at least some of your own gear will help you prepare accordingly.