Fire Fighter Education
Once a firefighter recruit has completed the coursework and physical tests of the academy, a probation period begins. During this time, which may last up to four years, the recruit is in an intermediate stage where extended book learning, physical training, and literal trial by fire under the supervision of the watch commander and captain take place, along wiht senior firefighters who have an opportunity to mold the recruit into a similarly effective member of the firefighting team.
In addition to their fire safety and combat training, many firefighters are also required to become licensed paramedics. This includes emergency medical technician training as well as advanced techniques such as cardiac life support. Out in the field, fire fighters never know what they'll be up against and thus it makes sense for them to be prepared for any eventuality. Generally speaking the fire department or company will provide the paramedic training for the recruit or they may provide financial assistance for the individual to travel to a training session on a need by need basis. National courses are also available and offered by institutions such as the U.S. National Fire Academy. Individual states also have their own certification programs. It is good practice for the young firefighter to pursue these opportunities not only because they better prepare one for what might be seen in the field but also because they generally lead to higher pay grades and opportunity for advancement in the future.