Fire Fighting Training: A Comprehensive Guide to Fire Fighting and Hazmat Training with EMCARE

Fire fighter and occupational safety training are essential components of keeping our society safe and protected from any potential harm - being a fire fighter or having training in any of the specialised emergency, medical, rescue and fire courses which we offer at EMCARE, not only leads to a career in safety and protection, but means you can be a hero each and every day. Fire fighters and safety experts help members of society with problems big and small, saving lives and promoting the protection of their fellow citizens through acts of bravery. In just q quick 10-minute read, find out how you can make a difference in your community or build a career in safety and protection through enrolling in one of EMCARE’s many specialised and intensive fire fighting training courses!

8 Steps to Becoming a Good Fire Fighter

Being a successful fire fighter is no simple feat, and neither is the process to becoming one, so we’ve compiled a few steps you should always keep in mind during your fire fighting training to ensure that you become the most successful fire fighter you can be. Competition in the field is fierce and challenging, being a fire fighter is something not everyone is really cut out for, but with the help of the EMCARE training programmes you should find the fire fighting experience to be an enjoyable and fulfilling one. In no particular order, here are some tips, tricks and reminders to reflect back on during your fire fighting training experience with EMCARE.


1. Volunteer Your Time

Regardless of whether your volunteering endeavours are fire-related or not, volunteering is an essential component to have on your CV as a fire fighter in training. This is important because fire departments are looking for people who regularly volunteer their time and offer their services to their community for the betterment and maintenance of a healthy, happy and safe community. This also presents the opportunity for you to have good and reliable references on your CV and demonstrates your willingness to work for a benefit greater than yourself!

2. Maintain a Clean Background and Lifestyle

This is relatively important when it comes to any job but especially so when it comes to jobs or community service roles where you rely on the trust of those you serve. Having a bad track record of anger issues, arrests, unregulated substance abuse, traffic tickets or domestic violence, will count against you in the hiring process. Mistakes from the past do not define your future however it does make it all the more challenging for you to stand out in a positive way from other candidates. Employers also often run background checks and so lying about past discrepancies will also count against you.


3. Pop by the Fire Stations

Take the time to stop by the fire stations in your area or fire stations you would potentially like to work for when you finish your fire fighting training. Chatting to professional fire fighters, specifically those that have been in the field for a long time, can be really beneficial to guide you through your journey to becoming a professional fire fighter - by offering support or advice, fire fighters (when they aren’t busy fighting fires, of course) can be great mentors throughout the whole process, and will more often than not be happy to talk you through the process and advise you on your future fire fighting endeavours!

4. Learn As Much As Possible About Fire Service and Get Hands-On Experience

Working in fire service is far more than a job, the responsibility that comes with it means that it should not only be something that puts food on the table, but something you are passionate about and which inspires you. Do extensive research on the nitty-gritty details about working in the fire fighting sphere - subscribe to publications that are beneficial to you, read plenty of articles (like this one) and get clued up about what it is that you’re really signing up for. Be prepared to answer the tough questions when it comes to applying for jobs, know what role you want to play in your community and what the fire service means to you, should you choose to pursue it professionally.


5. Understand All the Phases of the Process

The fire fighting training and hiring process can often feel like a long and tedious one, but this is because of the duty and responsibility that comes with the job. There are several steps to becoming a fire fighting professional, all of which at EMCARE cover in our extensive fire fighting training and hazmat safety courses. All of the different courses and steps in this process build upon one another to create a cohesive and substantial foundation for entering the world of professional fire fighting.

6. Become an EMT or Certified First Aid Responder

The overwhelming majority of fire departments across the country require applicants to have EMT or First Aid training - it is imperative to a fire rescue and safety job. EMCARE offers a wide range of first said and emergency medical care training courses, all of which would be extremely beneficial to those looking to pursue a professional career in fire fighting. Here are some of the first aid and emergency medical courses which EMCARE offers:

  • Basic First Aid/First Aid Refresher Course (FAR) - This full-day entry-level course is aimed at learners wanting to cover the basics of first aid or refresh their previous first aid course by going over fundamental skills such as CPR, the treating of burns, wounds and fractures, as well as dealing with bleeding, the legal implications of injury and he ethics associated with it (all of which is beneficial to basic fire fighting training.
  • First Aid Level 1 Course (FA1) - This one and a half-day course is designed to be an introduction to emergency care, equipping learners to apply and perform basic first aid skills in medical emergencies which they may encounter - a common occurrence in fire fighting training.
  • First Aid Level 2 Course (FA2) - This two and a half-day course builds upon the previous First Aid Level 1 course, as it is still considered to be an intermediate-level course, designed to equip learners with a more extensive knowledge of emergency care whilst also teaching a high-standard of patient care.
  • First Aid level 3 Course (FA3) - This four-day course is the final instalment in the advanced First Aid training programme which we offer at EMCARE. As this is the highest First Aid certification one can achieve, this course is designed for all workplace supervisors and people working is hazardous environments (such as people considering fire fighting training), as well as people without easy access to healthcare services.

Fire and Hazmat Courses

Fire and Hazmat Safety courses are regarded as arguably one of the most useful and valuable trainings to have under your belt. With the unpredictability of fire-related emergencies, rescue and fire fighting training is extremely beneficial in any of the capricious incidents you may come across in your lifetime. The Fire and Hazmat courses EMCARE offers will equip learners at various levels of training and understanding to manage fires in different environments, from home and office incidents to larger fire fighting endeavours for those seeking to pursue careers in fire safety and rescue.


Here are all the hazmat and fire fighting training courses we offer at EMCARE:

Basic Fire Awareness Course (BFP) - This half-day course is designed to equip learners with the knowledge and necessary skills to take on and home or office-related fire emergencies. Throughout the course, a variety of skills and various fire fighting equipment is covered - with demonstrations - aimed at preventing fires from happening, curating an environment prepared to manage fires and having confidence when in a fire emergency situation. The certificate of fire fighting training received from this course is valid for 2 years. Please visit this page to learn more about this course.

Basic Fire Fighting Course (BF1) - This full-day course is one step up from the BFP, it is aimed at learners who want to gain additional fire fighting training, learning more advanced techniques and applying them safely and correctly in emergency situations. Like the BFP, the certificate from this course is valid for 2 years. Please visit this page to learn more about this course.

Advanced Fire Fighting Course (AFF) - This two-day course builds upon the BF1 course mentioned above. This course specialises in the practicality of fire fighting training, by teaching the practical uses of skills and the use of hand-operated fire fighting equipment. Fire prevention and fire rescue also forms a significant part of this course, the second day of this course is also used mainly for practical fire fighting demonstrations on fire department grounds. The certificate received from this course is valid for 2 years. Please visit this page to learn more about what this course entails.

Fire Fighter 1 SP & Hazmat Awareness SP Course (FF1) - This nine-week fire fighting training is regarded as a career course, aimed at those wishing to pursue a professional career as a fire fighter. The course includes Hazmat Awareness SP training as part of the package but can also be done separately upon special request. This course is offered by Nirvana Business Solutions, a EMCARE affiliate company operating in Polokwane at the EMCARE training grounds. To learn more about the course and the requirements for applicants, please visit this page.

Fire Fighter 2 SP & Hazmat Operations SP Course (FF2) - This seven-week fire fighting training builds upon the level 1 course discussed above. It is seen as the next progression from the previous course and also therefore intended to be a career course for those wanting to pursue a professional career in fire fighting. This fire fighting training however encompasses hazmat operations SP, a step above hazmat awareness SP which can also be made available separately upon special request. This second level course is also conducted by EMCARE affiliate Nirvana Business Solutions on the EMCARE training grounds in Polokwane. To learn more about this course and read about the applicant requirements, please visit this page.

Hazardous Material Handling Course (HMH) - This two-day course is aimed at those who want/need to learn how to identify and incident (accident or emergency) involving hazardous materials, and how to take preventative measures whilst calling and/or waiting for assistance. This course certificate is valid for 2 years. To read more about this course and learn about the applicant requirements/prerequisites, please visit this page.

For expert, comprehensive and certified fire fighting training, EMCARE is your leading health and safety academy! To fulfil your dreams and aspirations of becoming a certified fire fighter or health and safety professional, please contact us.

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