Desire first and foremost. Without a burning desire to become a firefighter, one is highly unlikely to achieve it. On average, it takes someone 5 years from the initial thought of, “I want to become a firefighter” to actually suiting up and entering a burning building. I’ve talked with countless men and women “trying” to become firefighters and I can tell within the first minute or two whether they actually want to, or if they’re just saying it. If you’re not set on this being your career, don’t waste your time and money. This is not just a career, this is a lifestyle. I can assure you you’ll spend more than you think while chasing this dream.
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) school is the first step. There are countless schools. A quick, simple google search can lead you to a school that best suits your needs. Some courses last an entire semester and are scheduled two days a week with “street clothes” being the acceptable uniform attire. Some last only a month, scheduled eight hour days, five days a week with a heavy militaristic culture. Don’t forget to iron your uniform for this one and make sure you have enough boot polish to get you to the end. Whatever your preference, get it done. The checklist is long in this endeavor and this is where it all begins.
It’s easy to do things when you feel like it, right? What about when you don’t? Learn to develop GRIT: the ability to make yourself do something when you don’t feel like doing it. Start building this quality NOW. Go out and take on challenges that scare you or make you feel uncomfortable. When setting any goal, if it’s large enough to scare you, you know you set one worth pursuing. Our ability to get comfortable being uncomfortable will ultimately get us where we want to be in life. I recommend cold showers, easily performed and there’s no “I kinda did it.” Either you turn the knob all the way cold for 3 minutes or you don’t. There are a ton of studies on the benefits of cold showers. Stronger immune system to fight off foreign pathogens, eases stress, improves circulation and increased confidence just to name a few. If you have any questions or would like further explanation, DM them to @MuertosCoffeeCo on Instagram and I’ll be happy to answer them.
Don’t overthink it! Go visit a firehouse in your area and see if it’s something you think you’d be interested in. And do me and all the other firefighters out there a favor, don’t commit to an eight hour ride along when you haven’t the slightest idea if this is something you want to pursue. Talk to a friend who’s already doing the thing you want to do and see if he can make some connections for you to do a station visit. Typically, a station visit will give you an hour or so to gather information about the city and the department and have any questions you have answered. Remember, if you show that you’ve taken the initiative to research everything you can from the city and department websites, the crew is more likely to meet you in the middle and offer more detailed information. The more value you give, the more value you get!
Find a mentor! Every firefighter had someone who helped them along the way. If you need help, that’s what we’re here for. We are proud to offer our Mentored By Muertos Program which helps men and women of all backgrounds pursue their dream of becoming firefighters. Here we will either talk over the phone or if possible, meet in person at the firehouse to talk about where you are in the process and what you need to do next. For all you kids out there thinking you’re too young to get started, you have been blessed with already having the desire to go after what you want. It’s never too early, let us know how we can help and we’ll get you started.
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