To become a firefighter, you need to be willing to put in more work than other, not-so life-threatening and critical professions. Unlike desk jobs, firefighting is a profession which demands astonishing mental, intellectual, and physical attributes. Your brain needs to be sharp, and body to be a monument of physical wellness. This line of work is not for the faint of heart and selfish people, and neither is it an optimal job for people who enjoy a slow way of life.
So, it can be said that if you plan on becoming a firefighter, you need to be in great shape, on the whole. Here, we will tell you in detail – how to become a firefighter in Connecticut? Let’s get started then!
Firefighter Requirements in Connecticut
To become a firefighter in Connecticut, you need to be at least eighteen years old and a high school graduate. On top of that, you need to have a valid driver’s license too. Also, an aspiring firefighter needs to be in an excellent physical condition. In Connecticut, every town/city has its selection criteria to hire a firefighter. It would be better if you look up the details of the town you want to apply in.
Most towns in Connecticut hold their separate selection exams as well and have different requirements, so be sure to check out your local fire department’s website before you apply. Besides, all fire departments take an applicant’s physical fitness into consideration. That is why your Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) scores play a vital role. Some towns in Connecticut also need their applicants to have various certifications, like Paramedics, before they can apply for the job.
Skills Required to be a Firefighter in Connecticut
Firefighters are usually the first line of defense when a major catastrophe breaks out. These brave professionals are always alert and ready to spring into action. A calamity can strike at any moment in the form of a warehouse fire, forest fire, earthquake, or any other disaster of such persuasion. So, there is no time to prepare, especially for those who are tasked to rescue the affected ones; they have no choice but to be a hundred percent functional at any given time.
Furthermore, it is not nearly enough to be alert; charging into blazing infernos is not something everyone can do. It requires a unique type of courage, to put your life and everything you hold dear in this world at risk to save lives. Thus, it is needless to say that to become a firefighter, no matter where you live, there are specific attributes that you must possess, including –
1. Courage and Resilience – If you are thinking of becoming a firefighter, then courage is the first ingredient that you need to have. A fireman, in times of disasters, has to be a force of nature, and no humanly emotions can take hold of him. A firefighter needs to be beyond feelings like anxiety, fear, pain, etc. Also, when on duty, a firefighter will often face situations in which the odds will be against him, but it is in these times when the professional defies odds and come out as victorious. It is unfair to ask someone to do something impossible, but when you’re a firefighter, the word impossible cannot be a part of your dictionary.
2. Presence of Mind and Resourcefulness – There comes a certain point when the academy training will not come handy under challenging circumstances. In the field, there are no safety nets and trainers to help you, and your life is at stake at all times. So, you need to understand that plans will fall apart and sometimes, and you may find yourself with less than required instruments. In those times, only your presence of mind and resourcefulness can save you and all others who are depending on you.
3. Community Work – Community work speaks of a person who is willing to put in the effort in the welfare of his city. It boasts of kindness, selflessness, and social responsibility and is something fire departments seek out vigorously. The will to help others is something you cannot teach as it is a trait which kids usually pick up at a very young age, usually from their parents and siblings. A kind-hearted man or a woman who volunteers for different types of community work is always welcome in the force if he/she possesses various other qualities of being a firefighter.
4. Selflessness – The most significant attribute of a firefighter is probably the will to do good for others, no matter what consequences are. It is quite clear that a person who spends his life running into burning buildings to save people is crafted differently. A firefighter’s desire to do good in the world and make a real difference must be stronger than his will to protect himself and preserve what he has. It is not fair, but it is what these brave women and men sign up for.
Firefighter Exams in Connecticut
Every city in Connecticut has its selection process and criteria. But most of them, on the first step, look at the CPAT scores of the candidates. Those who meet their criteria are called upon to sit in the written exam. While the content of these exam papers is not generalized and depends on the local county where you are applying, they usually have sections which test an applicant in basic mathematics, mechanical aptitude, and logical reasoning.
If you make it past the written exam, then you will move to the interview round. In this round, you will be interviewed by a senior firefighting official, who is a pro in the field of work. Such individuals have the ability to look through a candidate and see what he/she is made up of.
Now, as nerve-wracking as these interviews sound, if you are able to muddle through, then all that remains between you and your appointment letter is a background screening. In this phase, a thorough investigation is done on you regarding your past, social media accounts, previous jobs, contribution in the community, etc. So, if you have no skeletons hidden in your closet, then you are good to go.
Once you are hired, you will be required to attend a 14-week training program where you will be appropriately trained as a firefighter. The training will test you; you will be required to give hours to both indoor classes and outdoor physical training sessions.
Firefighter Training and Top Connecticut Fire Schools
It is by no means necessary to obtain formal training from an institute to become a firefighter in Connecticut. As long as you meet the requirements mentioned above, you can apply to become a firefighter. But, if you want to get an education and earn a degree nonetheless, then there are a few institutions that provide such services:
|Connecticut Fire Academy
|Fairfield Fire Department
|City of New Haven Fire Department Training
|New Haven, Connecticut
|Valley Fire Cheif’s Regional Training School
|Wolcott Fire School
One of the biggest reasons to go to a university and get a degree in this line of work is to climb up the professional ladder. Degrees in fire science can enhance your chances to go into the research field or become a fire inspector or detective.
Volunteer Firefighters in CT
Volunteer work can really boost your chances to land a job as a firefighter, especially in Connecticut where 80% of firemen are volunteers, as stated by Fire Science Schools. Having a taste of the dangers that a firefighter is subjected to regularly, really helps your chances of getting a job since you require a little less professional training. Furthermore, it also demonstrates that you are contributing to society by investing your time into volunteer work, and want to help people.
If you want to be a volunteer firefighter in Connecticut, you need to be eighteen years old, have a driver’s license and be in good physical shape. If you have all three of these things, you can enroll with your local fire department as they are always looking to beef up their ranks. You will be put through a training program in which you will be taught tricks of the trade – how to handle fires, how to operate various machines – on top of some paramedic training as well.
Firefighter Wages in CT
In Connecticut, the average firefighter yearly income is $61,730 while the average hourly wage is $29.68. However, the salary in the state varies from $38,170 to $80,100 yearly and $18.35 to $38.51 hourly.
Apart from the location of the job, another deciding factor in the wages that the Connecticut firefighters get paid is experience and seniority, as you can see in the table below:
Source: Career Explorer
Firefighter Job Outlook in CT
According to Career Explorer, there are 3,270 employed firefighters in the state of Connecticut. The growth rate for this profession is pretty much the same as the rest of the country – 7.2%. Furthermore, the gender mix for this profession is 82% men and 18% women. While most firefighters in this state are volunteers and the competition for employment is fierce, you can get a job if you follow a strict fitness routine and train hard.