How To Become a Firefighter in Kansas

Variously called “America’s Heartland” and “Wheat State,” very few sister states can compete or dare hold a candle in comparison to Kansas State’s rich cultural heritage and fine traditions of overall excellence. One little unknown story of Kansas is about its Lawrence Fire Station No. 4. Despite beginning as a stone barn built in 1858, the now famous building went on to become a major Underground Railroad ‘depot’ of liberation for many fugitive Southern slaves. And Kansas is the sole U.S. state with an official Firefighters’ Day. Firefighting
On July 26, 2012, Governor Sam Brownback signed a formal declaration of August 13 as Kansas Firefighters’ Day. Gov. Brownback’s gesture shows a great appreciation to close to 16,000 active Kansas firefighters. For people who desire to join the ranks of honorable Kansas firefighters, the following outlined steps required to meet high standards of the hard-earned title “Kansas Firefighter.”

Basic Requirements of Becoming a Kansas Firefighter

Though specifics vary somewhat for different local fire departments, virtually all require the following minimum criteria:

• At least 18 years old (larger cities like Overland Park’s Explorers Program accept firefighter aspirants between 14 and19 years of age)
• A high school diploma or GED
• No prior felonies
• A valid Kansas State driver’s license with insurable driving history
• Pass a background check
• Pass a pre-hire medical exam
• Undergo drug screening and a psychological evaluation

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    Another noteworthy point is that some Kansas fire department policies prohibit employment of current municipal employees’ immediate family members.

    Kansas Firefighter Certification Training prerequisites:

    Two common pre-admission exams that many certification programs require include:

    • Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), typically during last 12 months
    • Written Fire Service Entrance Exam (FSEE) with a prevailing passing score of 70 that must have been earned during the two years prior to hire date

    Kansas Firefighter Certification Nuts-and-Bolts

    Firefighter I/II

    Applicable regulations mandate Firefighter I and II certifications from a Kansas venue or comparable International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) program.

    Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

    Kansas Firefighter candidates must also be EMT certified by a Kansas training facility or affiliated National Registry certification provider. Whatever level or subspecialty that candidates seek, the bulk of formal education with any relation to fire can be achieved only via registration at a college.

    For more details about current certification requirements, procedures and free downloadable forms, visit the Office of the Kansas State Fire Marshall website. To learn about the latest trends, relevant news and major developments, scope out the Kansas State Firefighters Association official website.

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