How To Become a Firefighter in Colorado

Colorado is an environmentally rich, mountainous region with a thriving skiing and outdoor industry. The mile high capital, Denver, offers some unique firefighting challenges given it’s high altitude. While firefighting jobs are not overly plentiful in this region, neither are they scarce, giving qualified applicants a good chance of successfully starting their career in this field.  Firefighting emergency call volume has been steadily increasing in the last few years, especially in rural areas, creating more job and volunteer opportunities for firefighters. With the increasing need, many aspiring Firefighters want to know the basic steps of how to become a firefighter in Colorado.

You will need to meet the following criteria to become a firefighter in Colorado:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a GED or high school diploma
  • Have or be able to obtain a Colorado driver’s license
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Be in good physical condition
  • Complete the Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT) no more than 12 months before testing

Once you have met the above criteria, you will need to obtain your Firefighter 1 Certification, which can be obtained through a number of different academies and schools.

The training program consists of some of the following coursework:

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  • Firefighter safety
  • Handling of hazardous materials
  • Forcible Entry
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  • Live fire training

This training program lasts for 15 weeks and prepares candidates to take the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) firefighter test. Successful completion of this test will put your name on the DRCOG qualifying list in comparison to other candidates who completed the test. This list is viewable by fire departments throughout the state and helps them decide who to hire. Many departments also require EMT certification, which can be obtained through most community colleges. A Firefighter 2 certification or paramedics training will also make you a more competitive candidate.

Becoming a volunteer firefighter will help serve your community, improve the safety of employed firefighters due to more hands to answer increasing call volume, and can give a significant boost to your career. Working with local fire departments will give you the networking opportunities you need to secure the kind of job you want. It will also give you hands on experience, turning you from a rookie in the eyes of potential employers, to an experienced and potentially useful part of the team.

To become a volunteer firefighter in Colorado you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old (21 for some departments)
  • Have a Colorado driver’s license
  • Be in good physical condition
  • Have no criminal record
  • Complete a basic fire and EMS training program

Volunteer work is an excellent place to start your career, and Colorado is in sore need of your help. The Colorado government estimates that they need another 3,500 volunteer emergency responders to fully cover the emergency needs of the state. This translates into tons of volunteer opportunities and potential future work opportunities for you.

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