To become a firefighter in the state of Michigan you must receive the Firefighter I/II certification. Some municipalities operate as Public Safety Departments where the police officers are also firefighters. Others operate in the traditional fashion of separate police and fire. Decide which direction is right for you. Several different types of departments exist and are classified as career, volunteer, paid-on-call, and combination. A combination department is made up of paid-on-call and career firefighters.Emergency Medical Services or EMS is now largely integrated into the fire service and many departments require a Michigan EMS license as a Medical First Responder, EMT-B, or a Paramedic.
- To start earning your firefighter certification you need to be Eighteen years of age or older and member of an organized Michigan Fire Department or a pre-service student registered through a recognized College or University based Regional Training Center.
- Determine the minimum requirements for the departments in which you would like to apply.
- Most departments require an agility and written test, oral board interview, and a psychological exam.
- Apply for the firefighter positions that are available in your desired area and meet your interest level. Most large city hiring are posted and only accept applications for a certain period of time. So start researching early.
- Physically and mentally prepare yourself for any agility and written test well in advance. These test are used as a method to shrink the applicants down to a manageable size for interviewing.
- Usually the last step is a medical exam and drug screen.
- Exercise extreme patience! Fire departments usually receive hundreds of applications for each firefighter opening posted. The entire process is not as quick as a normal job.
Tips & Warnings
- Fire departments are a paramilitary organization.
- The psychologist is not your friend.
- Firefighters are under payed and work long hours.