What Are The Requirements To Become A Firefighter?

If you've dreamt of saving lives through firefighting, but you're wondering what it would take to do so, then keep reading. We've listed all the requirements needed to make that dream a reality.  

While the job of firefighting may seem like an exhilirating experience, it is a very dangerous career path as you may have to deal with life or death situations quite often. 

Fire services often respond to different kinds of fire emergencies such as house fires, shack fires, vehicle fires, bush and veld fires and ensure fire safety at airports and high-rise buildings. 

However firefighters are also trained and may be called to respond to other emergencies such as motor accidents, near drownings, assaults, heart attacks and other medical emergencies. 

The training for this job requires very good physical strength, so you need to make sure that you're in good shape if you plan on applying.  

Requirements for firefighting will differ from one South African fire department to another. These are the basic requirements if you wish to join at the entry-level. 


  • 18 years or older
  • Matric (Mathematics and Physical Science an advantage)
  • Driver's licence ( a Code 10 with PrDP will be an advantage)
  • Physically and mentally fit (evaluations will be conducted) as a you have to pass a physical test in which you must be able to:
    • run 2,4km in 11 minutes or less,
    • do 15 bench presses of 25kgs,
    • do a minimum of 30 sit-ups in 1 minute,
    • carry another person of equal body weight on your shoulders for 100m,
    • climb a ladder of 3 stories in 60 seconds and
    • pass a claustrophobia test.
  • 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

To apply for a firefighting job, you should approach your local fire department for more information. 

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.

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