The fire service profession is changing. Today, firefighters are responding to fewer and fewer fires. In fact, the majority of calls fire departments get are medical emergencies. In 2016, for example, firefighters responded to over 22 million medical calls for service compared to 1.3 million fire emergencies. Today, it is a requirement for firefighters to also be EMT certified. In fact, many departments strongly prefer or even require that candidates become paramedics. Here are some more facts surrounding the fire service profession and firefighter medical training.
EMT Basic a Minimum Firefighter Medical Training Requirement
Part of the job description for all firefighters is to perform emergency medical service. That’s why prior to becoming a firefighter, candidates are required to attend a technical college where they receive training in assessing patient conditions and learn how to perform emergency medical care such as CPR. Whether or not they are responding to an actual fire, firefighters will encounter medical emergencies on a daily basis.
Advanced Medical Training for Firefighters
When applying to become a firefighter, it is important for candidates to stand out from the pack of other aspiring firefighters. Many departments will not consider candidates who are not certified paramedics. To become a paramedic, candidates must first complete EMT Basic and complete more vigorous medical training. This includes advanced medical training such as stitching and administering intravenous (IV) medications. The process of becoming a paramedic is intensive, requiring thousands of hours of training and a two year associate’s degree.
The fire service profession has changed over the past 50 years. As fewer and fewer fires are reported every year, firefighters are now charged with being the first line of emergency medical service for citizens in emergency situations. If you want to become a firefighter, be prepared to meet the minimum requirements of emergency medical training. If you really want to become a firefighter, you should commit to attaining a two year degree and becoming a certified paramedic.