How To Become a Firefighter in North Dakota

To a large degree, North Dakota is a study in contradiction.  For instance, although “Dakota” means “friend” or “ally,” CNN once reported that it is the least-visited of all United States.  Another even more anomalous ambiguity:  North Dakota is both the 19th biggest – and the third least populous -of all American peripheries.

Fortunately, relief for North Dakota’s plight of perversions has emerged through recent reversions.  As of last year, North Dakota had the distinction of being the fastest growing state in the Union.  This comes as no surprise, considering coinciding reports by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that North Dakota’s 3.2 % unemployment rate is the lowest in the land.  Still another simultaneous stunning pronouncement revealed North Dakota as the nation’s best-run state.

Such trends portend definite, imminent, and immensely positive shifts within North Dakota’s social scene and economic winds.  Unfortunately, a latent foe looms large over its physical infrastructures.  Fire is its name and its only game, purpose, and sole malicious mission is seeking the least provocation to conflagrant confrontations of potentially fatal implications.  Here is a brief overview of how to become a firefighter in North Dakota.

FeuerwehrBelow are the basic threshold eligibility criteria:

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• Be over 18 years of age

• Pass a medical exam

• Have a clean criminal history

• Hold a valid driver’s license and Social Security card

• Reside within reasonable proximity of local fire station

Training and Certification Requirements:

Another North Dakota distinction is the absence of legal mandates-for firefighter training or certification.  As the vast majority of local fire departments require it, interested parties should regard it as a de facto perquisite for hire.  This includes both Firefighter I and II training and certification.  The North Dakota Firefighters Association (“NDFA”) is a private non-profit organization that serves as de facto regulator of firefighter training and certification.

Following is an outline of the procedural and substantive aspects of the North Dakota firefighter training and certification processes.

New firefighter recruits must have the following in order to qualify for certification training program entry:

• A First Aid card

• A CPR card

• An NDFA-approved Hazardous Materials Operations Certificate

• Completion of the NDFA-sponsored “Courage to be Safe” course

• Pass a physical agility performance assessment

• Be a current member of a local fire department

Upon meet all the above requirements, newly hired firefighters must obtain and complete a Certification Application Package from their local fire department.  After completing all forms and attaching all required supporting documentation, the applicant must then return the entire package to the appropriate personnel at his or her local fire department.

A comprehensive written examination and practical skills performance assessment are the last steps to becoming a certified firefighter in North Dakota.  A score of 70 percent or higher is required for passage of the written portion of the certification testing.  Failure to pass either segment on an initial attempt requires retaking within one year and payment of a $10 fee for each subsequent attempt.

Firefighter II certification requires prior Firefighter I certification.  As in the first certification phase, higher-level Firefighter II certification requires passage of comprehensive written exam and practical skills assessment.

How do I get Started?

The best place to begin the journey to becoming a firefighter in North Dakota is the NDFA official website at http://www.ndfa.net/index.html.  That site has many helpful features like upcoming training classes and certification test dates.  Various forms are also available for free download.

The Fire Marshal Division of the North Dakota Attorney General official website is also great venue to consult that offers information of interest and assistance to those wanting to learn more about how to become a firefighter in North Dakota at http://www.ag.state.nd.us/FM/FM.htm.

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