How to Become a Firefighter in Florida
To consider enrolling in a training program in Florida a person must be at least 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma or GED. The next step is completing the firefighter minimum standards training and acquiring the Florida Certification as a Florida State Firefighter. These trainings are offered at various institutions throughout the state, from local colleges to fire departments and community centers. Training hours and course fees vary by institution.
Filling Out an Application
Each prospective student will have to fill out an application form. Some are rather simple and involve standard information. In the case of courses offered through colleges, the application process can be slightly more extensive. Further, many training sites require a record that is free of criminal convictions and will have their applicants undergo a background check. It’s essential to check closely with the institution for which a person is applying for training in regards to application deadlines.
Florida Firefighter I and Firefighter II are rarely offered free of charge, except in instances where districts are in dire need of service people. Students should plan on spending around $1100 to $1500 in tuition. This cost doesn’t include equipment, books and small fees like those of tests, and application processing.
Overall, the cost of how to become a firefighter in Florida will likely run an individual close to $2000.
Training facilities include:
- Central Florida Fire Academy,
- Palm Beach State College,
- City of Miami Fire Rescue Training Center,
- Florida Fire Training Institute,
- Fort Meyers Fire Academy.
And many more. For a complete list and more information on how to become a firefighter in Florida visit www.myfloridacfo.com.
This basic training at most facilities runs between 450 and 480 hours of instruction and hands on exercise, with the minimum course hours being 398. Typically the classes last 3 to 6 months depending on whether or not a person makes a full time commitment to the course or chooses a part time or night school option. It consists of two parts. The first part of the course (Firefighter I) consists of extensive education surrounding;
- Building Construction,
- Fire Behavior,
- Protective Clothing,
- Victim Removal,
- Behavior of and Use of Tools and Equipment,
- Construction Techniques,
- Laying, Carrying and Advancing a Hose,
- Water Streams,
- Wildland Fire,
- Vehicle Fire,
- Sprinkler Systems,
- Protecting Evidence,
- Hazardous Materials Awareness,
- Fire Prevention,
- Public Education.
Upon completion, students receive a certificate and are ready to move on to the second part of the program (Firefighter II) This second part of the training focuses largely on rescue, covering;
- Extrication tools,
- Special rescue,
- Vehicle Extrication,
- Ignitable Liquid and Gas Fire Control,
- Incident Management System,
- Alarm Systems,
- Fire Detection,
- Hydrant Flow,
- Radio Communications and Incident Reports.
Completion of this course allows students to partake in the Florida State Certification Exam. The exam includes a written evaluation and physical skills assessment.
Nearly all Florida fire departments require their firefighters to have EMT certification. Due to this fact, many fire training programs throughout the state include this course as part of their curriculum. These courses incorporate:
- CPR training,
- Chock treatment,
- Bleeding control,
- Bandaging and
- Assisting in childbirth.
Applicants will have to undergo a medical exam to ensure that they are in good condition to carry out all the duties that the position requires of them. As far as being in good overall health, those who are interested in becoming a firefighter should know that the position is a physical one, requiring them to lift ladders and hose lines that can weigh up to 75 pounds, as well as moving patients and wearing protective equipment that weighs around 60 pounds.