Medical Training Needed to Become a Firefighter

Becoming a firefighter isn’t easy. The level of competition in the field is fierce, and the hiring process can be grueling. Many people cannot endure or succeed. A significant percentage of trainees give up and opt for other careers.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of becoming a professional firefighter. There are many reasons you should undergo firefighter training online to join a firefighting department. First, you get the opportunity to serve others. Working as a firefighter is a good way of demonstrating care for other people daily.

Secondly, firefighters are well thought of in the community. Firefighters gain a lot of respect from those that they serve in their city or town they live in. They can have a huge influence on children and others by teaching fire safety. Keep reading to learn more about the medical training needed for you to join the field.

EMT Training

The majority of fire departments require job applicants to have EMT certification, and others require the certification after being hired. Firefighters deal with over 70% emergency-related cases. Therefore, it makes sense for them to have the training.

It enables them to analyze patients’ conditions. A firefighter with EMT certification has the knowledge needed to determine the extent of fire injuries and recommend the required medical care. Another important reason why EMT training is necessary for the field is that firefighters need to manage emergency services effectively and ensure the safety of all patients by offering pre-hospital care.

For example, their work may involve administering oxygen for airways whenever necessary and monitoring the flow of intravenous fluids. Another skill that firefighters gain by getting EMT training is managing communication with other medical professionals. The training enables them to understand and administer instructions given by other practitioners.

EMT basic training takes about 100 hours and involves practicing in an ambulance or hospital. Students must pass an exam testing their ability to assess a patient’s condition and handle various medical emergencies, including trauma and unblocking airways. Intermediate training entails an additional 1,000 hours to enable firefighters to take care of injured or critically-ill patients, including administering the necessary medications.

Paramedic Training

Nowadays, fire departments are increasingly looking for candidates with paramedic certification. To get the certification, one must undergo at least 1,300 hours of advanced medical training, including stitching wounds and giving intravenous medications. Usually, the course takes a minimum of two years.

Students usually perform hospital rotations that focus on sharpening their emergency-department skills and training them to provide advanced life support to patients. Firefighters learn about operations such as taking blood samples, monitoring blood pressure, and inserting breathing tubes.

Paramedics have more training than EMTs. If firefighters have the skills, they can find out whether a patient can tolerate a particular medication and making legal and moral decisions when offering medical care. They get the skills needed to offer assistance in case of life-threatening conditions and severe accidents.

Additionally, they become knowledgeable about providing life-support medication and operating equipment. For example, individuals with paramedic certification can offer basic life support such as CPR and various advanced medical measures. They also get training on how to interpret medical tests using various equipment. In case of poisoning, they can administer antidotes.

Getting State Firefighter Certification

Before a person becomes certified, they must complete training in a fire science course, which takes several weeks. Students learn about building codes, emergency medical procedures, and preventive measures. They are equipped with skills to fight fires using equipment such as extinguishers, ladders, axes, and chainsaws.

Once they have completed their academy training, they are required to go for apprenticeship for a maximum of four years. Some departments may send new employees to the National Fire Academy to learn about disaster preparedness and different ways of handling hazardous materials.

Most professionals are required to possess a state firefighter certification. In some jurisdictions, one must complete hundreds of hours of training and pass tests, which can be written or practical. Others may also require students to earn at least 70% of the tests. Usually, many states follow the certification criteria set by the National Fire Protection Association.

Finally, before you undergo, there are requirements you must meet. For example, you must pass several physical tests and meet some academic conditions. Usually, the basic academic qualification is a high school diploma or GED. The physical tests involve screening candidates for general health and detecting drug use.

You can never go wrong by choosing to be a firefighter. It will be an honorable and much-needed profession. 

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