How To Become a Firefighter in Arkansas

Contradictory to the stereotypes and prejudiced images of vast wastelands filled with banjo pickin’ hillbillies and abject poverty in backwoods, Arkansas may be the nation’s best kept secret as a God-given universe of diverse gifts. Besides a broad cross-section of cultural attractions that exist in a wide mix of theaters and athletic venues, many American legends have arisen from the bowels of Arkansas. Among best-known big-name native residents are Johnny Cash, Sam Walton, Douglas MacArthur, William Fulbright and Bill Clinton. Perhaps the perfect touch that ideally complements impressive social landscapes is the Natural State’s awesome topographical beauty. The breathtaking lineup ranges from majestic Ouachita and Ozark Mountain ranges, to thick lumber wood lining the Arkansas Timberland, to deep abutments lying low along its eastern border that feed the mouth of the Mighty Mississippi River. These and other vast blessings of indigenous variety ensure that Arkansas’ official nickname “The Natural State” will remain forever valid.

Not to disappoint the greater expectations of responsibility, Arkansas is commended for its efforts to preserve the natural beauty with a zealous team of dedicated and highly-trained professional firefighters on constant standby.

Overview of how to become an Arkansas firefighter

Basic requirements

Pursuant to the Arkansas Civil Service statutes, firefighter candidates must satisfy all basic eligibility criteria as follows:

• A high school graduate or GED holder
• No previous felony conviction(s)
Minimum bilateral visual acuity of 20/50 that may be correctable to 20/30 or better in the weaker eye and at least 20/20 in the stronger eye
• U.S. citizen as of hire date
• Valid Arkansas Class ‘D’ motor vehicle operator’s license on date of hire
• Demonstrate good moral character
• Satisfactory physical fitness and health

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Entry-Level Arkansas Firefighter Training

A standing rule in Arkansas fire departmental hiring policies is pre-hire certification at both Firefighter I and II levels. Firefighter I certification requires successful completion of more than 20 training modules that cover basic theory in conventional lecture formats, as well as practical skill-exercise drills in realistic simulated conditions.

Some specific topics of Firefighter-I training is listed below:

FirefightingGeneral knowledge and skills
• Fire ground operations
• Rescue operations
• Fire department communications

Advanced Arkansas Firefighter Training

Candidates may pursue a two-year college degree in Fire and Emergency Response at the associate’s level in one of several career “tracks”, such as Fire Vehicle and Equipment Operations, Hazardous Materials Handling, Emergency Medical Techniques. All such academic programs must be fully accredited as being adequate preparation for entry-level firefighter employment.
Whether you plan to enter your dream career as a Firefighter-I or to obtain advanced educational credentials for specialized expertise and skills, volunteer work is a smart way to get an early head start for a huge jump on stiff job market competition. Moreover, many special designations and certification training programs require a formal recommendation from your prospective Fire Department Chief.

The Arkansas State Protection Board has designated regulatory oversight for all training, certification, and official policy promulgation applicable to state firefighters. To obtain further details or contact SPB, please see here.

Arkansas Firefighter Association’s official website is at here.

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