By all outward indications, Indiana takes its motto, “The Crossroads of America” quite seriously. Major urban metropolises amidst a sprinkling of smaller industrial towns and a liberal dash of villages provide a backdrop of delightful diversity for easy assimilation of any cultural inclination. Besides being culturally and geographically diverse, Indiana is the nation’s athletic universe. Given its famous Indianapolis Colts pro football team, NBA superstar Indiana Pacers, and world-renowned Indianapolis 500 motorsports, it is no wonder how Indiana’s popular nickname of the Hoosier State came to be.
A force of firefighters dedicated to public safety ensures continuity of all these long-standing Indiana traditions and beneficial attributes.
Basic requirements of how to become a firefighter in Indiana:
• Over the age of 18
• Live within “reasonable” proximity of local fire department
• Be an Indiana resident
• Be a U.S. citizen
• Pass a medical examination
• Hold a valid Indiana driver’s license
• Have a Social Security card
• Pass a background check
• Undergo a psychological evaluation
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Some localities also have additional requirements for prospective firefighters.
Firefighter training in Indiana:
Pursuant to Sections 36-8-10.5-7 of the Indiana Code, all firefighters must complete a 48-hour Mandatory Firefighter Course at the Recruit Firefighter Academy. This pre-employment training imparts an introductory level of knowledge and skills to aspiring entry-level firefighters. A minimum score of 70% on the written portion and demonstrating acceptable proficiency during the practical skills assessment segment is required for passage. Curricular components include:
• Personal Safety and Apparatus Familiarization
• Fire Behavior
• Rescue and Extrication Techniques
• Forcible Entry
• Fire Streams
• Hose Loads
• Ladder Assembly and Ascension
• Ventilation creation and maintenance
• Pre-hospital EMS provision
• Fire Service Inspections
• Fire Suppression
• Fire Investigations
• Fire Truck Driving
• Equipment Use and Maintenance
Firefighter Certification in Indiana:
Newly hired firefighters must obtain Firefighter 1 certification within 18 months of obtaining Mandatory Firefighter certification. They must do so by completing the Mandatory Firefighter 1 Bridge Program. In this 48-hour class, student firefighters receive skills development sufficient to ensure minimum competence in performing essential job duties. Firefighter 1 certification requires a minimum score of 70 percent on the written test and successful completion of a practical skills assessment. Classroom and clinical instruction covers:
• Water Supply
• Building Construction
• Fire Alarm and Detection Devices
• Fire Evidence Preservation
• Fire Prevention and Public Education
• Fire Department Communications
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (“IDHS”) is the state regulatory agency that promulgates and oversees all firefighter certification and training.
IDHS Fire Certification Division at
Indiana Government Center South
302 W. Washington St., Room E239
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2739
Visit the IDHS official website for the most recent information about Indiana firefighter training and certification requirements.
The Indiana Fire Training System is another IDHS branch that maintains an official website at www.indianafiretraining.com. This site makes it very easy for interested parties to find contact information for every local fire department in Indiana and download employment and certification application forms. Other helpful content includes certification class schedules and curricula, recent relevant news, and more details about how to become a firefighter in Indiana. Make sure that before you sit down to have your first job interview, that you have your resume prepped and ready to go!