The question often asked is..."What can I do to prepare for a career in the fire service?" If you are really interested in becoming a firefighter, there are many ways to become acquainted with the fire service. In the age of the internet you can find almost any information you need. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
To apply for the Indianapolis Fire Department you must be 21 years old but not have reached age 36 at time of appointment. There are however, departments in the State of Indiana, that will hire you at 18. You will have to research those on the internet or by phone.
Stay in High School. If college is in your future, we would encourage you to continue your post high school education. Graduate. While a degree in Fire Science and/or Emergency Medical Services is good, it is not a necessary major. Pick something that interests you and do well in it. Advancement opportunities are plentiful in the fire service and a college degree will help.
Military: Are you interested in the military? Many firefighters come from military backgrounds. The fire service is run like a para-military organization. You can even be a Firefighter/EMT in the military. When looking to advance in the fire service, a military service background often helps.
Explorer Posts are a good way to become familiar with a career in firefighting. High School programs such as J Everett Light http://www.jelcc.com/ and Central Nine http://www.central9.k12.in.us/ offer high school students class credit and certifications in the fire service.
EMT: Becoming an EMT is challenging career opportunity for those 18 years and older. Many become EMT's to work their way through college or to get experience on their way to becoming career firefighters. While it is not a pre-requisite to apply for the Indianapolis Fire Department, many departments across the country require it. Check your local hospital or university for EMT class opportunities.
Physical Fitness: Firefighting is a physically demanding occupation. Firefighters carry 80-100 lbs of equipment, often while navigating stairs, confined spaces and climbing ladders. It is important that you stay in excellent physical condition from the moment you apply. You will not have enough notice to "get in shape." You must be in shape.
Do your homework. Go to the library or bookstore and find books on firefighting. Get a feel for what the job requires. Surf the web. Thousands of websites exist with a wealth of useful information. Firefighting is a great career with endless possibilites. Good Luck!