How To Become a Firefighter in Connecticut

Connecticut is the southernmost state of the New England area, and it’s the location of Hartford, the fourth largest city in the state. Hartford has many points of interest, such as Bushnell Park, the Connecticut Science Center and the Mark Twain House and Museum. Connecticut has had such notable people as actor Michael J. Fox, author Mark Twain and comedian Joan Rivers hail from this state. On July 6, 1944, Hartford suffered one of the worst fires in America’s history, the Hartford Circus Fire, which killed nearly 200 people and injured more than 700 others. There have also been several fires in Norwich and a tragic fire at the Hartford Hospital in 1961, killing 16 people. These sad events brought about the birth of dedicated firefighting in the state, and to this day there is a strong support for this career. Despite budget cuts to some fire departments and fire schools, there are still many job openings and advancement opportunities for firefighters in Connecticut.

The Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter in Connecticut

In order to become a firefighter in Connecticut, you have to fulfill a variety of requirements. To start your career in this challenging yet rewarding occupation, you’ll find the first steps in how to become a firefighter in Connecticut listed below:

FirefightingHigh School diploma
• 18 years of age or older
• Valid Connecticut State Driver’s License
• Minimum Level of Functional Computer Literacy
• One Properly Completed Candidate Physical Ability (CPAT) Form

The last item precedes of comprehensive medical exam that is mandatory for all prospective Connecticut firefighters who must schedule an appointment in advance by submitting a CPAT Form to the state Fire Academy with a $150 fee.

• Satisfactory completion of approved firefighter training courses

You might consider attending a fire school or training program to undergo specific training. Depending on the type of firefighter you’d like to become, you may need more or less education.

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Most Firefighter I and II certification training programs in Connecticut are accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) and/or Proboard. Both accrediting bodies are reputable organizations with uniform rigorous standards applied and recognized nationwide. This allows all IFSAC or Proboard certified training graduates to satisfy most state certification requirements by reciprocity.

It is vital to note that a vast majority of more than 80 percent of Connecticut firefighters are volunteers. Thus, all state-approved certification programs have a common peculiar threshold admissions criterion that requires candidates to be current members of or sponsored by a local fire department. Current membership or sponsorship by an out-of-state fire department may suffice if located in a jurisdiction that regularly provides mutual assistance to Connecticut fire department(s).

What to expect during basic Connecticut Firefighter training

All 40 different levels of certification exams currently administered by the State Commission on Fire Prevention and Control include practical skills and written testing. Therefore, Firefighter I and II training consists of lectures and practice drills that encompass but not limited to the following areas:

• Hazardous Materials Awareness and Handling
• Emergency Medical Services
• Fire Evacuation and Rescue Techniques

In addition, Firefighter I and II certification require verification of live fire suppression experience.

Closing Observations of Common Factor in Optimal Connecticut Firefighting Career Options

As the foregoing discussion clearly reveals, “strong firefighting related training” and “volunteerism” are the two common denominators and prime dependent variables of a great career in Connecticut’s local fire departments. After constant application of best efforts to develop steady habits that exhibit true dedication, dreams of a lucrative professional career may easily materialize with lifetime earnings expectations in excess of $61,000.

More information on firefighting career is available at Connecticut State Commission on Fire Prevention and Control site.


We hope that this article has helped you to better understand how to become a firefighter in Connecticut. This state can be hard to work in due to extremely cold winter weather that can last for several months, so you need to be dedicated to your career if you want to join with other firefighters to protect the state. There were more than 11,000 fires in the 2012-2013 fire season. These fires caused several deaths, hundreds of injuries and almost 50 million dollars in damages. Being a firefighter requires strong character and determination in order to handle the difficult and stressful situations that may arise.

Despite the challenges of this career, there are many advantages to becoming a firefighter. As a firefighter in Connecticut, it can be very rewarding to experience the thrill of being a part of protecting and saving lives with your fellow workers.

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