Colorado is booming with career opportunities in firefighting. In fact, Colorado is considered one of the highest-paying states for firefighters.
With an annual mean wage of almost $61,000, firefighters can live a suitable life in Colorado.
So, how to become a firefighter in Colorado? With the increasing number of job benefits for firefighters in the state, the competition has been pretty fierce.
To become a firefighter in Colorado, you need to meet a few requirements, have a clean background and show some effort.
Keep reading to find out everything about securing a firefighter job in Colorado.
About Firefighting in Colorado
Firefighters in Colorado have to go through challenges on an everyday basis. A career in Firefighting can help you work for mankind and give the world something better and more positive.
You can work with a team, sharing experiences and learning from each other.
This career provides with the opportunity of working life safety, deal with emergencies and minimize damage.
Colorado deals with fire accidents and emergency medical calls every day, and a competent firefighter is expected to utilize his training and experience to save the day.
From rescuing trapped people, providing emergency medical services, extinguishing fires to protect property or sites — firefighters in Colorado should be able to do anything.
They must possess remarkable mental abilities and emotional fortitude to perform daunting tasks.
How to Be a Fire Fighter in Colorado?
Colorado is a big state and the minimum requirements for becoming a firefighter in this state are different for each county or city.
Again, every city or county has different fire departments which follow certain protocols in selecting candidates for the firefighter training position.
Here’s a quick glance at some of the basic as well as optional requirements for becoming a firefighter in Colorado—
High School Diploma
Just like other states, Colorado requires a high school diploma or a GED certification for hiring firefighters.
In the past, education was not very important for getting a blue-collar job like firefighting but today, no state will provide you with an entry-level firefighter job without a minimum education like a high school diploma or equivalent GED certificate.
Fire Science Degree
Leading institutions like Colorado State University, Pikes Peak Community College based in Colorado Springs, Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, and Aims Community College in Greeley has great fire science degree programs.
Further education in fire science programs and fire science technology can be an optional but positive point for your interviews in any fire academy or fire department.
Age is also an important factor here and the minimum age requirement for getting a firefighter job in a fire academy is 18 years.
High CPAT (Candidate Physical Abilities Test) scores
The Candidate Physical Abilities Test is one of the major requirements you need to fulfill to become an entry-level firefighter.
A test that is conducted for 10 minutes and 20 seconds, this test can evaluate your physical strength and capability. Any candidate that can ace the 8 steps of the test in due time and obtain satisfactory scores can expect to move towards his dream of becoming a firefighter.
Colorado’s Driver’s License
Firefighter job in Colorado also needs a valid driver license. Emergency circumstances require an entry-level firefighter to drive the vehicle and provide help as soon as possible.
This is why a valid driver’s license is very important.
One of the most important requirements Colorado looks for in a firefighter is a neat record.
You can’t have any convictions; your drug test should be negative, and the employment verifications checks should yield good results.
Besides, they should be in excellent physical condition and must successfully complete all kinds of medical exams to get hired for the position.
US Citizenship at the Time of Appointment
Firefighters must be citizens of the United States at the time of receiving their appointment letter and must present legal documents to support their nationality.
Valid National Testing Network Score
This is considered an important scoring system in the fire department for recruiting firefighters in Colorado.
Questions related to human relations, mechanical aptitude, reading, and math are given in this test.
No minimum score (Mechanical Aptitude & Human Relations), 70% minimum score in reading, and 70% minimum score in math determines whether you’re fit to be a fire fighter.
EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) Certifications
This is an essential requirement in most fire departments. Firefighters are not only trained to deal with extinguishing fires. Their work is extensive and requires a lot of knowledge on different sectors.
Since they are required to perform emergency medical services and save lives in the incident site, they must possess CPR training and EMT certification. Besides, with the increasing competition in the Colorado job market, these certifications can prove to be positive points for your resume.
Firefighter training is definitely difficult, but with a volunteer service record in firefighting, you can excel at any job interview in Colorado. In fact, Colorado fire science departments truly appreciate candidates who have a volunteer service record prior to joining as a firefighter.
National Wildfire Coordinating Group Basic Firefighter Course
This is an optional course that might not be helpful for firefighters based in the city. However, if you’re planning to combat natural disasters like raging forest fires and flash floods in Colorado, this course can be a solid element to your resume.
Completing this course will help entry-level firefighters obtain the Interagency Incident, Qualification Card.
Introduction to Fire Behavior Course
This is also an optional course that can prove to be pretty effective for entry-level firefighters and firefighters planning to fight wildfires.
It deals with the wildland fire environment components, fire codes of the region, and identification of critical factors. A course like this can help you in tackling wildfires and protecting the wildlife in Colorado.
Firefighter Resources in Colorado
Colorado has a wide range of resources designed for firefighters. Most of the resources are professionals, while some of them are operated directly by the state.
The organizations run by the state work in accordance with training programs to control wildfire, create public awareness, and minimize the damage by natural disasters.
Professional resources include different firefighting associations directly involved in providing a multitude of benefits to firefighters. These benefits include strength training programs, building team management skills, and focusing on combating emergency situations.
Here are some notable firefighting resources in Colorado —
Colorado Professional Firefighters
Also known as CPFF, this organization offers its support to firefighters in Colorado through the implementation of safety protocols, assistance to cancer-affected groups, and through different kinds of sponsorship.
Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control
From providing annual statistics reports to playing an active role in natural disaster and wildfire control-this division has a huge role in integrating fire abstention throughout Colorado.
This division also brings new and effective fire science training programs to build the skills of firefighters. It is one of the leading associations that actively deal with wildfire supervision.
Colorado State Fire Chiefs
One of the many resources in Colorado, this one plays an active role in community action. This organization creates unity among different fire departments, provides opportunities for learning innovative methods, practicing upgraded medical care, and participating in different training programs.
Colorado State Fire Fighters Association
Also known as the CSFFA, this organization is one of the biggest supports for firefighters all over Colorado. It actively participates in strengthening the team members of the firefighting batch and arranges yearly conventions for unity and harmony.
This association puts emphasis on team management skills and conducts training programs that show how group efforts can make a difference in emergency situations. Besides, you get benefits like insurance protection, newsletters, and aid programs through this association.
Colorado State Forest Service
They recruit firefighters on a regular and occasional basis to prevent and control forest fires in Colorado.
Its aim is to minimize the damage, rescue animals and save the towns from any contact.
If you’re struggling with learning how to become a firefighter in Colorado, we recommend taking it slow and steady.
Take your time to go through certain courses, participate in voluntary services, prepare for the written test and keep moving forward to achieve your target goals.
With plenty of firefighting job opportunities in Colorado, the right track will definitely lead you to the career of your dreams.