Firefighting Training Expectations

You might already be fully educated about what to expect during your Written Exam, and your Non-Written exam portions that include your medical physical and your CPAT success rate.  What you haven’t read is what to expect in your daily life when you show up to the Fire Academy for your Firefighter Certification (AKA Firefighter I training in most states).  Fire Academy daily life is not the same as any other job.  You will be very busy during the academy because there is so much content that needs to be jammed into your schedule for the entire duration of your training schedule.  The sheer amount of information you need to take in during this time frame is immense.  It’s also information that can’t just be filed away either.  You need to truly pay attention and make sure you are 100% on  task because the second you miss out on something critical, it could cost you very serious consequences.  You have to keep in mind that you are not just training for yourself, but that you are training for everyone around you and everyone that you will be serving with once you start your career.  If you are not sure what to expect during daily life in the fire academy, you are in luck because we are going to break it down for you.

Below is a sample schedule of what you can expect when you start your training schedule:

  • Daily Inspection of Barracks.
  • Breakfast, morning tasks and clean up.
  • Testing Exams.
  • Lectures on Fire Safety.
  • Lunch.
  • Hands on Training and Evaluation.
  • Workout Routine
  • Daily Wrap Up and Review.
  • Dismissal.

This is just some insight as to what you can expect during your academy training period.  There is obviously a lot more you will do, and the schedule will definitely shift depending on which part of your training you are currently in.  Expect this schedule to change a little later on when you get further into the training and you start covering more specifics as well as doing more hands on activities and live fire training.  There are also other areas of individual instruction that you may be required to take depending on your state and your career path as a firefighter.

Some of the courses that are offered in individual instruction are:

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  • Wildland Fire Training
  • Arson Fire Investigation
  • EMT Certification
  • HAZMAT Training

Typically you will not be taking these concurrently while you are in the academy.  Wildland fire training for instance is usually taken in the jurisdiction you plan on covering as a firefighter and is usually offered in areas that simulate Wildland fire training instead of the typical academy where you focus on clearing buildings and urban firefighter training.  Arson training courses are also typically taken by fire specialists and not usually firefighters.  Forensic fire science is also picking up as a career field now that arson has become a more common practice around the country.  EMT certification is often offered concurrently at the Fire Academy so you can get your EMT certification if you don’t have it at the time you attend the fire academy.  Now that you have a basic idea of what to expect when attending the Fire Academy, it’s your turn to make sure you are prepped for that next step in your career.

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