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How To Become a Firefighter in Tennessee

Regardless of what other preconceived notions and purely mythical stereotypes may persist, virtually no room exists for reasonable misbelief that locals have earn a well-deserved reputation that lives up to an official nickname as the nation’s “Volunteer State”. Such patriotic and altruistic tradition has long lived from war time to peace time. A prime example is a Tennessee fire chief who recently fell to his death from a roof that collapsed on a burning building as he pushed two firefighters out of harm’s way. For those who feel worthy of the challenges and rewards exclusively reserved for professional Tennessee firefighters, below is a list of helpful tips to get started ASAP.

Basic Pre-Qualifications for All Would-Be Professional Tennessee Firefighters

Although standard rules and hiring policies do differ slightly, a few threshold criteria are universally required to get a foot in the door of any local fire department:

• Be at least 18 years of age
• Hold a valid Tennessee State driver’s license
• Reside within a 50-mile radius or 1-hour drive of local fire department after hire
• No prior felony criminal record
• A high school diploma or GED
• Pass a complete physical exam performed by a licensed healthcare practitioner

Most of Tennessee’s larger municipal fire departments also require passing a written civil service exam and physical agility test before placing your name on a list of eligible candidates for hire.

Tennessee Firefighter Requirements and Training Summary

While specifics vary somewhat among local departments, new hires should expect Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Firefighter I certifications as mandatory preconditions of full-time employment. Most fresh recruits obtain required pre-hire certification from the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Agency (TFACA). Training sessions and classes are held at TFACA’s main campus in [CITY] as well as designated local “host” fire departments across the state.

Tennessee Firefighter I Certification Training and Course Material Content

No matter where a specific facility is located, approved Tennessee FF-I certification training entails practical skills development as well as classroom instruction. Common examples of major topics covered in training courses include:

• Hazardous Materials Handling and Disposal
• Forced Building Entry and Exit
• Occupant Search and Rescue
• Fire Truck and Extinguishment Device Operation

As many fire departments must also respond to emergency medical calls, it is best to obtain EMT certification as soon as possible. This is especially true of those located in sparsely populated rural areas. Major subjects encompassed on EMT certification courses include:

• Wound treatment
• Setting broken bones
• Excessive blood loss control
• Infectious and toxic chemical agent containment procedures
• Cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques

Per recently published stats, the average annual pay for Tennessee firefighters exceeds $53,000. Of course, specific figures are highly dependent on length of experience, level of specialized skill and area(s) of subspecialty expertise. For that same reason, volunteer work at your desired local department can reap vast dividends later on in a lucrative paid position as an insurance Arson Investigator or industrial Fire Inspector.

While not required by state law or local municipalities, a two- or four-year degree in Fire Sciences or another related discipline will enhance your resume tremendously. Not to mention considerably boosting lifetime earnings capacity in whatever career path you choose to pursue in the Tennessee firefighting profession. Despite what your particular strengths or perceived weaknesses might be at present moment, the most vital immediate task is to make the step forward by doing the next right thing toward a brighter future. Find out more about the finer things in store that currently await in your near future in a rewarding Tennessee firefighter career by searching the schools below right now!

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