How To Become a Firefighter in South Carolina

Are you interested in learning how to become a firefighter in South Carolina? South Carolina, with its colonial history dating back to 1663, has a wide variety of geographic and historic regions ranging from the beautiful foothills of the Upstate to the popular coastal town of Myrtle Beach down to the renowned low country region of Charleston. The Midlands of South Carolina, where the capital city of Columbia is found, is the center of commerce and government for the state. The nationally acclaimed animal park, Riverbank Zoo, is one of the most popular attractions in the state.  With some of the fastest population growth in the nation centered around the coastal regions, there is a continual need for more firefighters in the state.  If you are interested in becoming a firefighter in South Carolina, you will need to meet the several criteria points, in addition to any preliminary physical fitness requirements.

You will need to make sure you meet the following guidelines:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Possess a valid SC driver’s license
  • Have no felony convictions within past seven years
  • Have no DUI/DUS or other license suspensions over past seven years
  • Possess a High School Diploma or G.E.D.

If you meet the above requirements, you will need to obtain firefighter training before taking the examination to receive your certification as Firefighter I.

Part of the training for Firefighter I will include courses in the following areas:

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  • HAZMAT Awareness/Operations
  • Fire Behavior
  • Search and Rescue
  • Ropes and Knots
  • Forcible Entry
  • Ladders
  • Ventilation and Fire Suppression.

Training will take approximately 212 hours to complete. Once training is complete, you must take and pass the Firefighter I certification exam. Afterwards, if you would like to obtain advanced training in firefighting techniques, you could proceed through training for Firefighter II and then pursue certification.

With so many rural areas in South Carolina where communities cannot afford to maintain a large salaried fire department, there are numerous opportunities for volunteer firefighters. Volunteer firefighters are vitally important to families dealing with a structure fire. Working as a volunteer firefighter can provide you with opportunities to network with other firefighters, which may assist you later should you decide to pursue a career as a firefighter.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter in South Carolina, here are the starting requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Hold a valid driver’s license
  • Be legally allowed to work within the United States
  • Pass a criminal background check

Choosing to serve as a volunteer firefighter in South Carolina is a great starting point if you are interested in eventually pursuing certification as a firefighter. Working as a volunteer firefighter will put you in contact with career professionals in the field, increasing your networking opportunities. It will also give you a vast field of experience and knowledge you could never receive through classroom training alone. Volunteer firefighters are a necessary component of rural areas in South Carolina, and volunteer firefighters are an essential  and valued as generous volunteers who protect and serve the community at large.

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