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Becoming a Volunteer Firefighter: Getting Your Paramedic Training Online and Other Recommendations

Working as a volunteer firefighter can be beneficial for a number of reasons. It allows an individual to give back to the community, as well as to gain valuable training and skills that can help the individual eventually pursue a full-time career as a firefighter or emergency medical technician (EMT).

Although it is a volunteer position, there are still several requirements you must fulfill in order to take on this important role. While these requirements will vary based on location, a volunteer firefighter must meet some basic requirements (such as age and education level), receive on-the-job training (including equipment operation and fire codes), and pursue additional emergency medical care certifications (such as paramedic training, online or through a traditional certification course).

Basic requirements

Requirements for volunteer firefighters will vary based on the department and state in which you work. However, there are a few basic requirements that apply to all volunteer firefighters. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an individual must be at least 18 years old, and have a valid drivers license and a high school diploma to qualify for the application process.

While a high school diploma is the base education requirement for volunteer firefighters, individuals who have an undergraduate degree in fire science or fire safety engineering are more likely to advance to a paid position.

During the application process, applicants must also pass a fitness test to prove they can handle the physical aspects of firefighting and emergency response. 

On-the-job training

Individuals who make it through the initial application process must go through on-the-job training before being allowed to work in the field. Through both hands-on training and classroom instruction, volunteers learn how to use firefighting equipment, review fire safety and building code protocols, and receive training in emergency care and first aid.

Training requirements vary from state to state. Availability of resources and training materials may also affect how a fire department sets its requirements for volunteer firefighters. According to firerescue1.com, volunteers are generally required to complete at least 110 hours of training certified by the National Fire Protection Association.

Emergency Care Training

Many fire departments require firefighters to become certified EMTs. Several fire departments offer EMT-Basic instruction within their training programs, but volunteer firefighters may have to seek outside resources, such as community college courses or paramedic training online courses.

Because volunteer firefighters typically have other jobs and, therefore busier schedules, taking a paramedic course online may be the best option.

Other healthcare certifications may be required depending on the fire department that employs you. Additionally, getting advanced certifications, such as advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), increases an individual’s chance of moving up into a full-time firefighter position down the road.

Paramedic Course Online at HealthEdSolutions.com

Medical professionals and first responders in need of ACLS online certification and other healthcare courses can count on Health Education Solutions. HES provides a variety of online courses, many of which were developed in partnership with Union College. For course information and additional resources, including an ACLS certification practice test, visit HealthEdSolutions.com.