How to become a firefighter

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How to become a firefighter

The job profile: firefighter

The firefighter faces new challenges every day. As soon as he comes to the fire station in the morning, he doesn’t know what to expect in the course of the day.

Firefighters have vowed to help other people in need. They are trained to react quickly in sticky situations. This does not only apply to fires of any kind, which you can extinguish with water or foam.

Firefighters also fight the power of the elements air and water at least as often. If branches or whole trees have fallen on the streets after a heavy storm, for example, they come to clear them. This means that pedestrians and drivers can safely get through the traffic again.

They are also there if, for example, oil spills on the road after a car crash on the motorway. Then the fire brigade ensures that the road is clean and drivable again with clearing and cleaning operations.

The emergency services also move in during heavy rain and floods. They pump outhouses or, in particularly dire situations, rescue residents in need who can no longer free themselves from their own four walls. The fire brigade uses inflatables or helicopters for this.

The good thing about the profession: He is very exciting and highly varied. The negative: It can be very dangerous at times and it is never clear when the next mission will come. In addition, the job can definitely go to the bone.

On the one hand, because firefighters keep handling heavy equipment and, on the other hand, because they keep having to clear heavy obstacles out of the way – often using all their physical strength. So if you are not really passionate about your job, you will hardly speak of a good work-life balance.

Good Health And Unrestricted Readiness

An important prerequisite for being able to fill out the firefighter’s job profile is, in addition to good health, and unrestricted readiness for action. The emergency services must be ready for operations day and night.

Teamwork is also an essential requirement in the job. Only well-coordinated teams can handle assignments perfectly. In the dangerous situation itself, everyone must be able to rely on everyone. Only in this way can the mission go off quickly and without endangering your own life.

The be-all and end-all for the firefighter are that he never loses the desire to learn: firefighters regularly complete further training in the areas of fire fighting and disaster control. The conditions in the labor market are good.

How do you become a firefighter?

Anyone who wants to work in the professional fire brigade goes through the classic basic training to become an officer of the middle fire brigade service. For this, the job applicants have to complete a preparatory service at a fire brigade school, which takes about two years.

During this time, the following focal points, among others, will be discussed:

  • Burn and delete
  • Building science
  • Radiation protection
  • Handling of hazardous substances
  • Thermodynamics
  • Electricity
  • mechanics
  • Vehicle customer
  • Driving and operating fire fighting vehicles such as crane and ladder vehicles, special vehicles or ambulances
  • Device knowledge
  • Use of breathing apparatus
  • Use of fire extinguishers
  • Mission planning and tactics
  • Dangers at the place of use
  • Accident prevention
  • Fire fighting
  • Fire protection and security

In the first five months of basic training at the state fire brigade school, the only theory is learned. Then an intermediate exam is on the agenda.

This is followed by practical training at a professional fire brigade and in a fire brigade control center. It takes nine months to complete. In addition, prospective firefighters are trained for 7.5 months at training institutions of the professional fire brigades and in hospitals. This is followed by a final course at a state fire brigade school, which lasts another 2.5 months and then the training ends with a career test.

Employer: Who is looking for firefighters

Professional firefighters find employment with the following employers:

Salary: What do you earn as a firefighter?

Prospective civil servants in the intermediate fire-fighting service receive a salary according to salary group A 7 of the salary regulations (BesO) during their training. As a result, applicants receive a gross income of around 1,200 euros during their training.

The starting income is 2,160 euros and increases continuously over time. After five years, a firefighter draws around 2,260 euros, after 15 years of work it is 2,500 euros that flow into the account. In addition to the remuneration, there are family allowances and allowances for children, night, weekend, and holiday work.

Entry opportunities: The prospects for firefighters

The prospects on the job market are very good. Professional firefighters are desperately wanted in almost all large fire departments. Those who have the training under their belt have a good chance of finding a job very quickly or of being taken on straight away.

Application: How do firefighters score

To become a firefighter, the overall package of brains and muscular strength has to be right. Firefighters should definitely mention these competencies and skills in their application documents :

  • Successfully completed training
  • Stress resistance
  • Good physical condition
  • High responsiveness
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Operational readiness
  • High sense of responsibility

Career: Development opportunities as a firefighter

After the training, there is the possibility of further training to become an operations manager or fire brigade equipment, attendant. Operational leaders are officers of the higher service and take on management tasks at the scene of operations: They investigate the damage situation, assess and initiate the measures required to avert danger, and coordinate them.

The equipment manager, on the other hand, takes care of the maintenance and repair of the vehicles and the fire brigade’s equipment. A basic requirement for this is a machinist course. In this, prospective equipment maintenance personnel learn how fire-fighting equipment works and maintenance. Regular cleaning and testing of the fire hoses is also part of the equipment manager’s area of ​​responsibility.
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