How to Become a Fire Chief in Florida
For firefighters well-established in their careers and looking to challenge themselves further might seek to become a fire chief.
For those in the profession seeking a higher level of responsibility and greater opportunities to affect change in the community, or for new or up-and-coming firefighters seeking a career pathway that leads to growth and advancement, learning about how to become a fire chief is an excellent step.
What’s the Difference Between a Firefighter and a Fire Chief?
A fire chief is an officer who may be elected or appointed, depending on the type of community or government in question, who is tasked with the essential responsibilities involved in running a fire station. The fire chief has received additional schooling and training and is usually very experienced as a firefighter, particularly in the community where he or she serves as an officer. Firefighters directly report to fire chiefs, and chiefs typically report to the fire commissioner or fire marshal.
Becoming a Fire Chief
Becoming a fire chief typically requires candidates to have years of experience as a firefighter, a college degree, and a certain set of skills.
Successful fire chiefs have strong leadership skills, are organized, delegate responsibly, can motivate others, and are able to react quickly and responsibly in the face of an emergency.
You will need a degree in fire science to be considered for fire chief positions. There are associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs available, and in some cities or states, a fire science degree will be required in order to work as a firefighter at all. To learn more about the fire training offered at HCI and how to begin or continue your journey, click here.