Hawaii,HI: How to Become a Firefighter

The fire department in Hawaii is responsible for safeguarding oceans and beaches from hazardous materials, fire prevention, providing land and sea search & rescue operations, and assisting in medical emergencies.

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Owing to the natural diversity of the area – beaches, exotic landscapes, tourists spots, and sprawling metro areas, Hawaii is vulnerable to different calamities. It has suffered due to many hurricanes, storms, and wildfires, which has increased the importance of firefighters in the area. According to the 2021 statistics provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 1,790 firefighters employed in Hawaii. O*NET OnLine has projected a 3% employment growth for firefighters in Hawaii between 2020 – 2030.

How Many Years of College to Be a Firefighter

Despite being a challenging job, it is easy to enter the field of firefighting. The minimum education requirement to become a firefighter is high school diploma. However, with time more and more states have started to give preference to applicants who have at least an associate degree in fire science or a related field. This benefits not just the department as they get a candidate who is more knowledgeable and skilled, but also provides growth opportunity to the firefighter.

Due to its diverse landscape, firefighters in Hawaii have multiple responsibilities and require a varied skillset.

  • With many islands and tourists’ locations, there is a need for water rescue operations. Firefighters go through a specialized Water Rescue Technician Course which includes:
  • Physiology and Mechanisms of Drowning
  • Principles of Water Rescue and Survival
  • Cold Water/Ice Rescue and Survival
  • Basic Contact and Swimming Rescues
  • Management of Aquatic Spinal Injuries
  • Survival Maneuvers and Defense
  • Hawaii also has its share of volcanoes fires. This means that firefighters in the area need to have special skills to deal with situations such as:
  • Make evacuation plans and come up with an alternate route.
  • Firefighters are trained in fire suppression and this includes implementing Direct and Indirect Attack method. This involves using special tools as well as helicopters for sprinkling water to contain fire.

Firefighting Academies in Hawaii

There are different community colleges and firefighting academies in Hawaii that provide specialized training. The Hawaii Fire Department requires all candidates to complete 16-week training course. This is followed by firefighting certification as well as EMT certification.

All firefighters in Hawaii have to undergo one year probation, during which they have to clear several tests and obtain certifications. Water training certification is also among the requirements of Hawaii Fire Department.

Requirements to Become a Firefighter in Hawaii

With its 12 fire departments always alert to combat and prevent fires, the citizens can sleep in peace. If you want to join this skilled team of professionals, then you should consider submitting your application. The applicant has to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible to apply:

  • The person has to meet the residency requirements and has to be a US citizen
  • The person should be at least 18 at the time of his/her application
  • The person should have a good moral character and a clean legal track record
  • The person’s mental and physical health condition must be excellent
  • Should possess a valid driver’s license

How Long Does It Take to Become a Firefighter in Hawaii?

The applicant has to pass through many stages before being hired as a firefighter. First, the candidate has to appear for a written aptitude exam that tests the individual’s reasoning skills and problem solving abilities. If the individual passes this test, he is called for a physical agility exam, which requires the candidate to perform various exercises and tasks.
If the person’s performance on the physical test is satisfactory, he/she is called for a panel interview that assesses the candidate’s potential. He/she also has to go through background screening, psychological exam, medical test, and a polygraph test. After passing through all these stages, the person is finally hired for the position.

How Much Does a Firefighter Make in Hawaii?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2021 the annual mean wage of firefighters in Hawaii was $67,540. Every island in Hawaii requires its own firefighting crew which is why the projected growth in the region is 3% between 2020-2030.

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