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How To Become a Firefighter in New Mexico

Officially christened the “Land of Enchantment,” New Mexico is likely to be America’s best-kept secret and single biggest asset all wrapped up in one vast territorial venue. Just one prime sample of many fine jewels is a brisk tourism trade due to unparalleled diversity in popular vacation sporting activities. After all, not very many places exist on the entire planet where it’s possible to go skiing, hiking, fishing or camping all day long and then play a few holes of golf that same afternoon – right before taking a dive in the pool by moonlight! Not to mention a vibrant high-tech industry that’s largely thanks to many unique tax credits and exemptions designed to provide strong incentives based on job creation for local citizens.

Because of a distinctive blend of topographical features, New Mexico is the 5th most extensive but 6th least densely populated state in the nation. This unique combination affords great privacy but creates higher risk of wildfire. One such case occurred in 1950 when a famous cub now known as “Smokey the Bear” was forced from his treehouse as the result of a fire that destroyed Lincoln National Park. New Mexico legislators finally gave credit where it was due over a decade later by designating adorable black bear Smoke as the state animal mascot. But even that memorable event paled in comparison to a recent 2000 blaze that marked the largest wildfire in New Mexico’s entire history. It began as a controlled burn to prevent future wildfires by clearing out excessive brush growth. Unfortunately, flames leaped far beyond manmade artificial reach and chased 25,000 local residents of nearby Los Alamos from their homes.

Given such unavoidable conditions, New Mexico always has an urgent need for highly trained professional firefighters with specialized expertise and skills. Find out more about how to hop on the lifesaving bandwagon on behalf of Enchanted Land residents.

What Does It Take to Become a New Mexico State Firefighter?

As in a vast majority of these great United States, there is no one accurate reply to the above listed question because specific vary widely among local fire departments. Below are a few basic pointers to keep in mind to help guide your quest to find the best overall match.

• Be at least 18 years old
• Have a valid driver’s license
• High school diploma or GED
• U.S. citizenship or legal residency
• Pass a written exam
• Pass a complete medical checkup (most often CPAT) and complete drug screen
• Face-to-face interview with hiring authority

Many fire departments in New Mexico do not accept applications directly or advertise vacancies during the entire 12 months of each calendar year. Instead, prospective applicants must wait until the next recruitment period opens and apply to a municipal or departmental personnel board.

After satisfying all above-listed basic criteria and any other departmental requirements, new recruits must obtain at least Firefighter I certification to complete the selection process. Some larger fire departments like Albuquerque also require minimum Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) licensure at the basic or higher level by close of end of the open recruitment period. The only acceptable EMT certification training is provided by the New Mexico or National Registry licensing authority.

New Mexico Prerequisites for Professional Firefighter I Certification Training

A major distinction of the post-hiring period is that rookie firefighters must jump through an extra set of hoops even before ever setting foot in the first day of FF-I certification class. This means each candidate must prove satisfactory completion of Hazardous Materials, Basic Firefighter Emergency Medical Services, Incident Command and Wild land Firefighting for admission into the State Firefighters Training Academy.

What Does the New Mexico Firefighter I Certification Exam Cover?

The written portion consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, each of which is computer generated from a database containing over 1500 prep course questions. All applicants must answer a minimum percentage of the same number of randomly selected items from identical sections of IFSTA Firefighting Essentials, NFPA 1001 Standard Firefighter Professional Qualifications and Delmar Thompson Learning TM Firefighter’s Handbook.

Volunteering is a great way to demonstrate sincere motivation and utmost determination to succeed at being the very best firefighter that you can possibly be. However, the perfect final addition is a well-rounded professional resume that exhibits even greater drive and ambition by completing higher education in fire-related subspecialty occupations. Wild land firefighting is an essential skill that’s always in acute shortage throughout New Mexico’s local fire departments. High-rising mountainous terrain located in the middle of low-lying arid desert lands create unique environmental hazards that require specialized expertise and to contain and control. Whatever your preferred firefighting career approach may be, the most important thing is to launch a well-laid game plan ASAP. Also check out wonderful resources like the New Mexico Firefighters Association official website at http://www.nmsffa.nm.org/. Start taking the initiative right now by search our school search widget below!

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