How to Become a Firefighter in Delaware

Firefighting is no doubt a demanding job. But at the same time, it is incredibly fulfilling for those who want to help people and make a difference in their community. Firefighters are among some of the fittest, alert and present-minded people who are capable of making snappy decisions based on the problems faced in real time. When you are in a blazing inferno, plans are likely to fall apart, and in those moments, you will need to think quickly, rationally and then burst into action, within a few moments.

Given the pressure and demands of the job, fire departments are always keen on finding people who can fill these shoes. That is the reason why fire departments conduct a thorough entrance exam to pick the best of the lot. Here, we will look at how you can prepare yourself for taking the firefighting entrance exam and become a firefighter in Delaware.

Delaware Firefighter Requirements

To become a firefighter in Delaware, you need to meet the below requirements. The candidate must:

  • be at least eighteen years old
  • be a high school graduate or have a GED
  • have a valid driver’s license
  • not have any history of criminal activities
  • be in good physical health and must have good eyesight
  • have an acceptable CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) score

Apart from all these, some fire departments ask a candidate to have medical certifications like CPR and EMT before the hiring.

Firefighter Training in Delaware

Delaware is a small state and thus have fewer jobs for firefighters. So, only the best candidates can have them, and one way to become the best is post-secondary education. While there are no rules that require you to have any firefighting/fire science degree to become a firefighter, those who hold them have a competitive advantage over others.

The prime focuses of a fire science degree are to train you and prepare you for a career in fire protection lane. Therefore, they give equal importance to both classroom and outdoor training. During the tenure of the course, you will need to put in a considerable amount of time, hard work and dedication in your lectures and assignments. You will be taught the fundamental laws of fire chemistry and biology, fire codes and safety regulations, various methods of fire prevention and rescue tactics.

The outdoor training will build your strength, stamina, and will prepare you for the fields. By using various training grounds and demo-fires, you will be taught how to behave in different situations that a firefighter finds himself quite often while in the field. Apart from that, you will learn how to use multiple firefighter tools like axes, water hoses, etc.

Firefighting aspirants can either go for a fire science certificate course or an Associate’s degree. Those who choose to go for an Associate’s degree have multiple lanes to choose from. They can either go into the managerial jobs or opt for investigative jobs like fire inspectors and investigators, whose job is to find out the real reason behind a fire catastrophe.

Top Firefighter Schools in Delaware

Delaware doesn’t have too many options for a person who wants to get a degree in Fire Science. Since there are only a few jobs in the state, the number of schools are also less.

1. Delaware Technical Community College

Location: Stanton and Wilmington

Programs: Associate’s degree in Firefighting/science, Fire Protection degree (Stanton campus only)

Delaware Technical Community college trains aspiring firefighters for a career in the force. With the help of the latest pieces of equipment and teaching methods, this school creates proper professionals who demonstrate courage, skill and a great sense of social responsibility. It has four campuses spread across the state of Delaware – Dover, Georgetown, Stanton, and Wilmington. Out of these four campuses, only the ones in Stanton and Wilmington cater to the students looking for a fire science degree.

It has 9,681 students enrolled and offers both online and on-campus courses. For locals, getting a degree here costs about $3,168 whereas, for non-locals, the fee goes up to $7,920.

Apart from the basic degree, the Stanton campus provides a Fire Protection degree as well. It trains students particularly for a career as a fire protection engineering technician. From learning how to design alarm systems and sprinklers to reading blueprints of buildings and making sure that they follow fire protection norms, all of this falls in the scope of this course. This degree can help students in taking their knowledge to the next level and help them land more lucrative jobs.

2. Delaware State Fire School

Location: Dover

Programs: Multiple

Located in Dover, Delaware State Fire School is sponsored by the State Fire Prevention Commission. It is a school dedicated to training firefighters with excellent skills who can handle a challenge. From sire science degrees to various certification courses like EMT and CPR, this college offers all solutions for a budding fireman. Since it is sponsored, this school has got all the pieces of equipment one possibly needs. Along with this, various training areas like flammable gases training area and structural building areas are also available for advanced training.

Firefighter Salary in Delaware

Delaware Firefighters get paid an average annual wage of $43,860 and an hourly salary of $21.09. A lot of factors go into deciding a firefighter’s salary, and one of the most crucial among them is the experience. Based on the various levels of experience, a firefighter in Delaware earns:

LevelHourly WageAnnual Salary
Beginners$14.06$29,240
Juniors$16.67$34,670
Experienced$21.09$43,860
Seniors$27.34$56,870
Top Level$30.48$63,400

Source: Career Explorer

Firefighter Jobs in Delaware

Getting a job as a firefighter is tough in Delaware. Since there are only a few fire departments, their need for the workforce is less too. Furthermore, the growth of this field in Delaware is less than the national average. According to BLS, only 310 fire firefighters and 110 fire inspectors and investigators were employed in Delaware, up until 2013. With the low growth rate, it is less likely that things will improve much. So, the best thing that you can do is train hard and put in maximum efforts.

Sources:

  • https://www.dtcc.edu/our-campuses/wilmington
  • https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes332011.htm