How To Become a Firefighter in Iowa

Officially, it was nicknamed “Hawkeye State” by elected reps at behest of two wealthy Burlington residents in 1838. In many different ways, Iowa has lived up to the literal meaning that its figurative title conveys. A great start was leading the nation in mass diversification of its then agriculture-based economy into financial services, biotechnology and ‘Green’ energy production during latter-day mid-20th-Century. Iowa’s lead continues with consistent ranking among most desirable of all United States in key aspects. A chief case in point is Spot Number 6 on CNBC’s 2010 list of “Top States for Business.” Despite a million gold medals for the state, the Iowa Public Safety Department has yet to devise a foolproof way to safeguard citizens from various disasterous events like fire. Fortunately, over 15,000 firefighters stand ready to take up any slack by filling in all gaps with dedication “to higher standards of fire prevention and public relations.” Below is a brief overview of how to join their fine ranks:

Basic Requirements to Become an Iowa Firefighter

FirefightingA high school diploma
• Valid Iowa State driver’s license
• No criminal record
• At least 18 years of age (Younger candidates may join a Junior Firefighters’ auxiliary unit)

Mandatory Minimum Entry-Level Training

Besides top physical fitness, aspiring Iowa firefighters must possess valid FF-I or II certification in good standing. All programs and facilities in Iowa’s Fire Service Training Bureau Certification System are fully accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) and National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (ProBoard). Both credentials signify full compliance with nationally recognized quality control standards for the most recent relevant practical skills development and instruction materials content.

Iowa Firefighter I Certification Program Admission Prerequisites

• At least 18 years of age
• Current membership in an Iowa fire, rescue or emergency organization
• Documentation signed by employer or Fire Dept. Chief to verify:
   o Emergency Medical training in shock management, acute hemorrhage treatments and infectious disease control
   o Training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation procedures

Substantive Iowa Firefighter I Certification Training Content

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Per applicable regulations, candidates for Iowa FF-I certification must demonstrate satisfactory competence in the following practical skill sets:

• Hazardous Materials Operations
• Fire Extinguishers (Class “A” and “B” portable fire extinguishers)
• Fire Extinguisher Hose Lines (Class “A” exterior/interior extinguishment)
• Vehicle Fire Extinguishment

Although 70% suffices for written exam passage, fresh training graduates must earn 100% on all practical skills assessments to gain Iowa FF-I certification. While such a high standard of maximum perfect score as minimum level of proficient skill is a tall order to fill – it’s a much tougher act for others to follow. Which is precisely why certified Iowa Firefighter I professionals may take justified especial pride in jobs done exceptionally well on behalf of the public.

To find out how to join these relatively few but justifiably proud ranks, don’t hesitate or wait to heed “The Voice of Iowa’s Firefighters” by visiting to read valuable content featured on its website.

For more germane details like FF-I certification procedures and threshold qualifications, see the State Fire Marshal’s page on Iowa’s Public Safety Dept. official website.

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