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Want To Help People? Consider Becoming A First Responder

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First responders are responsible for responding to emergencies involving the safety of life. These include police, firefighters, paramedics, and other emergency personnel who rescue citizens from hazardous conditions. The first responder’s career choice requires an extremely high level of emotional maturity and stability.

This type of job requires a great deal of physical strength to prevent injury and the ability to make quick decisions without the supervision of superiors.

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Many individuals find it rewarding to help people during times of crisis; however, this career choice is not for everyone. Although salaries vary depending on education level, experience, and skill level, there is still little room for error during stressful or dangerous situations where lives are at risk. It can be complex to undertake these life-threatening tasks daily. Additionally, one may be under scrutiny from the public or media if they make an innocent mistake or even an error in judgment while trying to help others.


Entry-level requirements for first responders vary from country to country and from state to state. Although there are no formal education requirements for firefighters or paramedics, most states require a high school diploma or GED and certification that one has passed a physical examination and completed an introductory training course within 24-36 months of being employed. Visit for great CPR certification. Local fire departments also look at whether individuals have previous experience in the field before hiring them as officers.  

Many individuals find it rewarding to help people during times of crisis; however, this career choice is not for everyone. There is still little room for error during stressful or dangerous situations where lives are at risk.Click To Tweet


To be employed by law enforcement agencies, applicants must complete police academy training typically 12 to 14 weeks long. In many cases, this must be done after employment is attained and before one can work as a full-fledged police officer.  


Military personnel may find it easy to become employed as first responders once their service has been completed. There are three ways that someone with military experience can enter into law enforcement: take the civil service exam, compete for a position through a lateral entry program or take a direct commission route. The first two options typically require an associate’s degree but do not require previous law enforcement experience. Individuals with no prior law enforcement training may apply for these positions if they have two years of specialized military background and pass written exams physical ability tests.


The requirements for police officers may also vary locally within the same state, depending on the agency. For example, Los Angeles County requires potential recruits to possess an associate’s degree. In contrast, other counties only need at least 60 college units, along with being 21-years old and having a clean criminal record. Applicants must pass physical agility tests along with written exams to be considered for positions. Training typically lasts 18-24 months before they begin patrolling the streets alone.  


A similar process is required in most states when applying to become a firefighter. Younger individuals who are just beginning to gain experience in the field may be hired as a firefighter or a cadet after passing physical and written exams. After two years of employment and achieving a high score on an open exam, they can become a certified firefighter. A higher level of certification can be earned once an individual has been employed for three years and has gained sufficient experience working alongside experienced firefighters.  


In addition to passing physical ability tests, individuals who want to be emergency medical technicians must complete over 200 hours of training from a licensed agency to do the job. They are required by law to maintain their certification by completing 48 hours of continuing education every two years.  

Many states look at whether potential first responders have previous experience in their respective fields when hiring them for employment.

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