Today, in order to become a firefighter in Florida you need to be certified as both Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician or also called EMT-Basic, because almost eighty percent of the calls that firefighters respond are usually related to medical care.
You will first have to pass the some certification exams as stated in Florida Career firefighter. The minimum requirements you need to know before you apply to take the certification exams would be:
- You must be a United States citizen and also be eligible for employment in United States
- You must be at least 18-year old by the closing date of the recruitment period
- You must have a high school diploma or GED certificate
- You must have a good physical condition
- You must have good vision in both of your eyes
- You must have a record of clear misdemeanors and felonies
- You need to have valid driver’s license with clean driving record
First of all, you need to decide whether you want to apply for a volunteer firefighter or a full-time firefighter, because there are different certifications needed for each job. For a start, if you choose to become a volunteer firefighter in Florida, you will need Florida Firefighter I certificate of competency. However, if you want to be a career Firefighter, you need to submit an application for Certification as a Firefighter II while already successfully completed the Firefighter Minimum Standard course. The state would also require you to have received the same amount of training in another state, pass both written and practical state examinations.
Let me give you a brief information about Firefighter Minimum standards course. It consists of a minimum of 398-hours of training where the first 206-hours of training includes NFPA firefighter I and specific requirements from the state of Florida. You need to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the other 192-hours of training that includes NFPA Firefighter II and also specific requirements from the state of Florida.
If you are a certified firefighter but haven’t been employed for 3 years (from the last date of employment), you have to take Practical Retention Examination along with Medical Examination. This requirement must be fulfilled if you want to become a career firefighter. However, for a volunteer fire department, certified firefighters need to be active for at least 6 months. You can click here to download the Practical Examination for Retention of Firefighter Certification Form (DFS-K4-1308) and Medical Examination (DFS-K4-1022). Each year, Florida State Fire College will offer up to 4 times chances for you to apply for the exams. You can click here to get testing schedule for test dates. When you send your application, please remember that every application requires a fingerprint card that you must obtain from the Bureau of Fire Standards. All applications received by Bureau of Fire Standards and Training will require a small application processing fee of $30. You can refer to Application and Fingerprint Card Instructions & Fee Information (DFS-K4-1019) document for this information.
Aside from become a certified firefighter, you also need to become a certified EMT-B to become a firefighter in Florida. This certification exam will be given to you by National Registry of EMT (NAEMT) where each applicant is required to:
- Complete 250-hours EMT-Basic training program
- Complete all sections of EMT-B both written and practical examination
- Complete felony statement on the application and submit all required documents
- Complete a statement that indicates you haven’t been subjected to limitations, suspensions, or termination of your right to practice any health care occupation or voluntarily surrendered any health care license in any state
- Be at least 18-years old at the time of the exam
Out of State Firefighter But Wanting to Become A Firefighter in Florida
If you have received firefighting training in another state or country, you should take Firefighter Minimum Standards Equivalency Examination, there are 3-part application process you need to follow.
Part I : Preliminary Equivalency Application (DFS-K4-1309)
Part II : Equivalency Examination and Certification
Part III : Written and Practical Equivalency Examination
This Equivalency Examination is also offered 4-times a year at the Florida State Fire College in Oscala. Please refer to the Testing Schedule for test dates. If you want to pass the certification for Firefighter Minimum Standards course, there are various Firefighter certified training centers that you can enter throughout the state with different fee and schedule. They do provide detail information on How to become a firefighter in Florida or other states of your choice.