What Are the Best Qualifications for a Firefighter?
If you’re dreaming of a career as a firefighter, HCI is a great place to start your journey.
Here, you can receive the diplomas and degrees you need to sit for the firefighter exam, which sets you up to join a professional department and enter the profession. But aside from the credentials you will need to earn, what makes for a good firefighter?
Traits of a Good Firefighter
Firefighters need to learn important sets of skills, policies, procedures, and regulations regarding fire prevention and extinguishing. But have you given any thought to the things that a classroom may not be able to teach you? There are certain traits that the best firefighters all have in common. These traits include:
Adaptability and critical thinking skills: You need to be able to move quickly and make good, sound decisions in an instant. Sometimes a firefighter’s snap decision is the difference between disaster and relief, or life and death. You won’t be able to take time to think over decisions always, and the circumstances surrounding you on the job will often be chaotic, noisy, and high-risk. If you can adjust quickly to unpredictable circumstances and still think clearly to make sound decisions, you may make an excellent firefighter.
Commitment to community: Oftentimes, firefighters work to protect the communities they live and raise a family in. For some, this makes the work even more rewarding, knowing that their actions are protecting and helping their friends, neighbors, and peers. But firefighting is a commitment, no matter how big or small the sense of community is. You need to be committed to continuing your training and education long after your initial certification, to your own physical health and fitness as required by the demands of the job, and to the schedule of a firefighter, which can often be unforgiving and exhausting.
Integrity: Whether you’re at the department or on a call, off-duty and enjoying your family or running into a burning building, you’re a community and department representative, and your behavior is a reflection on your colleagues and the local government. Ego must step aside and you should always be prepared to represent your fire department.