How Do I Become a Firefighter?
To be employed as a Firefighter in the State of Florida, as required by State Statute, an individual must successfully complete the Firefighter Minimum Standards Course, pass a State of Florida written and practical examination, and submit an Application for Firefighter Certification with the State of Florida. If an individual has received an equivalent amount of training in another state (or country), they may submit a request to validate their training and “challenge” the state written and practical examinations.
The Firefighter Minimum Standards Course is offered at twenty-seven Certified Training Centers located throughout the state. The course consists of a minimum of 360-hours of training. The first 160-hours are equivalent to NFPA Firefighter I. The following 200-hours are equivalent to NFPA Firefighter II. Each training center has its own course and fee schedule. For further information and an Application for Certification as a Firefighter, please contact the training center of your choice.
Most employers also require applicants to also be Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's) or Paramedics. The most recent rules require EMT-Basic programs to meet DOE standards and US DOT NSC. Programs consist of a minimum of 110 hours with not less than 20 hours of supervised clinical experience (at least ten of which is spent in a hospital emergency room). Also field experience is required aboard a permitted EMS vehicle resulting in patient transports. Paramedic programs consist of a minimum of 700 hours. Field experience must be done on a permitted ALS vehicle. There are currently over 70 state approved EMS training programs. These training programs offer a combination of EMT-Basic and paramedic curricula.
St. Petersburg College - https://www.spcollege.edu/
Florida State Fire College - https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/sfm/FCDICE/