Sunday, June 7, 2009

How to Become a Firefighter in Virginia

Firefighters in the Commonwealth of Virginia are not required to be certified. However, most departments require certifications Firefighter I and Firefighter II which include Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations. In addition to those certifications, Basic First Aid and CPR Training are required. Firefighters should also take several online courses from the FEMA Independent Study Program that is available free.

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You'll Need:
  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school diploma of GED
  • No criminal record
  • Excellent Health
  • Valid driver’s license


  1. Fill out an application for the department you would like to be hired by. Applications can usually be found and sometimes completed online.
  2. Take the written exam for Firefighters that test your basic skills and aptitudes.
  3. Successfully completed Physical Ability Test or CPAT. At a minimum, the test will include the following stations: Striking, balance, ladders, hose drag, hoist, stair climb, and dummy drag.
  4. The oral interview and oral board are one of the most important parts of the hiring process. The oral interview will be conducted by the chief. The oral boards will constant or several people that could be from a recruit committee, city employees, firefighters, or even members of the people. Prepare yourself to answer questions that related to difficult situations that you may encounter on and off the job as a firefighter.
  5. There is really no surefire method to prepare for a Psychological Evaluation. Some departments require them and some do not. The evaluation may consist of written true or false and an interview with a psychologist.
  6. The medical exam or physical is usually that last step and after a conditional offer of employment is given to the applicant. Just remember that every Fire Department drug tests as part of this exam!


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