Firefighting: a career of service
Professional Firefighters, male and female, come from diverse cultural backgrounds; however, all firefighters share some common traits. The primary one is the desire to serve your neighbor and your community.
As a firefighter responding to calls, you will often find people going through tough situations, the loss of their home and belongings, injuries both minor and extreme—a firefighter must have empathy and the ability to cope with difficult situations. Firefighting is also very team oriented. You must possess the ability to work well with others and be dependable.
Being a Professional Firefighter is a very rewarding career. Through your training and skills you have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life on a daily basis. Firefighters are active in community service projects involving many organizations affecting the young and elderly alike.
Education and Training vary with each individual department. The minimum qualifications that are required for application with the Kansas City Mo. Fire Department (KCFD) include:
- Between the ages of 19-30
- A resident of the City of Kansas City, Missouri at the time of application
- High School Diploma or GED
- Valid Missouri driver's license showing current residency
KCFD is unique in that we train you for all of the standards and certifications that we require including but not limited to:
- Firefighter I &II
- Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations
- Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B)
- Candidate Physical Agility Test (CPAT)
The Fire Academy is 18 weeks long and is a combination of class room studies and hands on applications. It is both physically and academically challenging as you prepare yourself for a career with KCFD. Along with the standards listed above, some of the hands on training will consist of:
- Live fire extinguishment
- Rescue and extrication procedures
- Emergency medical techniques
- CPAT. This test involves 8 different stations or procedures (such as the raising of ladders, search and rescue, forcible entry and others) that mimic firefighting activities. It is a test that demands both upper and lower body strength along with cardio endurance.
To learn more about KCFD, please go to www.kcmo.org/fire
Joe Vitale, Battalion Chief, is the Public Information Officer for the Kansas City Fire Department.
Becoming a Firefighter
Master the Firefighter Exam
By Fred M. Rafilson