Thinking of Becoming a Firefighter? Here Is What You Need To Know


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Do you want to save lives? Have you always dreamt of becoming a firefighter? Well, it is time to help you make that dream a reality. This is how you can become a firefighter in South Africa.


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What Is A Fire Fighter?

A fire fighter is a trained emergency responder who is responsible for putting out fires and providing other types of assistance during emergencies. Some of the primary duties of a fire fighter may include responding to emergency calls, putting out fires, rescuing people and animals, providing medical care and educating the public. 

Overall, fire fighters play a critical role in keeping communities safe and responding to emergencies of all kinds.

How To Become a Firefighter in South Africa?

Being a firefighter may be exciting and cool, but it is also a very dangerous career path. If you feel that you are the type of person to run into a burning building, or to save a person from a car leaking fuel that may go up at any second, then you're probably made of the right stuff.

A firefighter's job is to protect people and properties from fire. They are also responsible for providing assistance in the event of disasters such as earthquakes, floods, vehicle accidents and train derailments. And getting your cat out a tree. (Probably not)

The training is extremely physically demanding and dangerous, so you need to make sure you're in tip top physical shape.

Firefighter Requirements

  • 18 years or older
  • Matric (Mathematics and Physical Science an advantage)
  • Physically and mentally fit (evaluations will be conducted)
  • Must not be claustrophobic (have a fear of enclosed spaces)
  • Must not be acrophobic (have a fear of heights)
  • High level of discipline
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Ability to manage traumatic and stressful situations
  • Effective communication skills

Firefighter Learnerships

You can also enter the world of fire fighting through a learnership programme. These are often conducted by Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, and they will advertise the programmes as applications open.

General requirements to become a firefighter:

  • 18 years and older
  • Matric (preferably with Mathematics and Physical Science)
  • Complete a 2.4km run in under 11 minutes (males) or 12 minutes (females)
  • Complete 15 bench press repetitions of 25kg
  • Complete 30 sit ups in 60 seconds
  • Carry another person of equal body weight a distance of 100 metres
  • Complete a vertigo test (ladder climb five floors)
  • Claustrophobia test
  • Pass a written test in basic mathematics and comprehension
  • Successfully undergo a competency based interview
  • Successfully pass a medical examination

The assessments described above are carried out on an elimination basis. If an applicant fails to meet a required standard, they will not be permitted to proceed to the next assessment.

On successful completion of the assessment an applicant is appointed as a Learner Firefighter and enters the Training Program. Candidates are appointed on a contract until training is completed.

Firefighter Training

Thereafter a candidate will complete the 16 week Firefighter 1 course module which consists of a practical and a theoretical component.

Training is a combination of 'real life' scenarios simulated in a controlled environment as well as classroom orientated sessions.

Throughout the four month course, values such as teamwork, discipline and perseverance are instilled, ensuring all recruits have a solid basis to start a rewarding career in the CTFRS.

Fire Fighter Course Requirements

The CTFRS' Fire Training Academy, which is located in Epping, is accredited with the LG Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) and South African Emergency Services Institute (SAESI).

Supplementary courses (offered by external service providers) include Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA), Ambulance Emergency Assistant (AEA), Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Advanced Driving. Additional courses are added to the prospectus as they are developed.

Approach your local fire department in your area or monitor your local newspaper. E.g. City Press

You start off as a firefighter by completing four months of training.

 

Suggested Article:

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Being a firefighter requires a commitment to the job and a real desire to help protect their community. Here are some benefits of pursuing a career in firefighting.

 






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Post-Matric Options

 

After completing your matric certificate exams, you are faced with a lot of post-matric options that can shape your future paths.

These options range from pursuing higher education at universities or colleges, entering vocational training programs, joining the workforce, or even starting your own business. There are so many choices but we are here to help.

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