How To Become a Firefighter in Vermont

Native Vermonters have valid claim to great fame by living up to a very fitting official nickname of the “Green Mountain State.” Vivid images of evergreen fauna and flora are not mere fictional artist renditions but easily verifiable depictions of Vermont’s factually existent visible topography. Many famous Americans are also Vermont natives. Two prime examples are former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge and snow golf inventor Robert Kipling. Vermont is also the smallest and least populated states in the Union. To a very large extent, vast spatial distance leaves local community residents to fend for themselves during severe emergency crises. This is evidenced by an average six-minute fire department response to residential fires that allow occupants just three minutes to escape alive.

Those with burning desire to play a direct part in saving human lives throughout the Green Mountain State are well advised to heed to the guidelines below that outline essential steps to become a Vermont firefighter.

What’s Basic Eligibility Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter in Vermont?

As in virtually every other one of these great United States, a few threshold eligibility criteria apply across the board to all aspiring Vermont Firefighters who must have:

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    • Attained minimum age of 18
    • A valid Vermont driver’s license
    • A high school diploma or GED
    • No prior felony convictions
    • A complete medical exam to verify good overall health condition
    • Excellent physical fitness (evidenced by passing a standardized Candidate Physical Assessment Test “CPAT” for the following local fire departments:
       o Burlington
       o South Burlington
       o Williston
       o Hartford
       o Saint Johnsbury
       o Springfield
       o Brattleboro

    • Passed any general knowledge and/or other written local departmental exams

    Entry-Level Vermont Firefighter Education and Certification Eligibility Criteria

    Once accepted for hire by a local fire department, the new recruit must obtain all required certification(s) prior to expiration of an initial probationary period. Specifics vary somewhat among local fire departments and municipal hiring agencies but Firefighter I certification should be regarded as a virtually universal requirement.

    Common topics covered in approved training courses include practical skills training and classroom instruction on:

    • Hazardous Materials Handling and Awareness
    • Fire Incident Management
    • Fire Vehicle & Equipment Inspection and Proper Operation
    • Building Evacuation and Forcible Entry Techniques
    • Interior/Exterior Anti-Combustion Attacks (Commercial Fire Extinguisher Usage)

    After successfully completing all state-approved FF-I training coursework, certification candidates must pass a written multiple-choice exam consisting of 100 questions and a practical skills assessment. Both are administered by the State Fire Academy in Pittsford and the latter evaluation targets five basic skill stations that typically include:

    • Current Adult and Child CPR with AED and First Aid Course
    • Hazardous Materials Operations
    • Highway Safety
    • Wild land Fire Fighter

    Firefighter II Certification is quickly becoming standard policy in virtually all local fire departments and municipalities. In any case, applicable regulations currently mandate continuing education every 12 months to retain valid entry-level Vermont Firefighter I or II certification. Both certifications expire on December 31st each year and have to be renewed by completing 24 clock hours of updated practical skills training. A vast majority of larger Vermont localities also require either pre-hire or early post-hire Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification.

    The Vermont Division of Fire Safety (VDFS) maintains four regional offices throughout the state that provide Firefighter training, fire services data management and Fire Service Training Council support services. VDFS boasts outstanding public safety achievements via “high levels of training” in various related skilled trades that have led to a 50 percent reduction in fire-related fatalities in Vermont over the last decade.

    Find the latest basic qualifications for becoming a member of Vermont’s fine-tuned Firefighting team by visiting the Fire Safety Division official website. However, do not let your quest stop there by any means. Formal documentation of advanced fire education is essential to optimize employment options, post-hire career advancement and lifetime earnings potential. Not to mention proficiency in performing various tasks and making critical decisions that are vital attributes for first responders who face daily crises when split seconds make the difference between life or death for Vermont residents. Learn more about Green Mountain State firefighting educational programs by searching the firefighting programs and schools widgets below.

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