With over 11,000 trained firefighters, as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the State of Georgia boasts of a force of first responders which not only prevent fires but also (literally) snatch victims from the clutches of death. According to 2021 figures from the U.S. Fire Administration, out of 1,000 reported fire incidents, 2.4 deaths and 4.9 injuries were reported in Georgia. The nationwide figures per 1,000 fires were of 2.3 deaths and 7.2 injuries.

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How to Become a Firefighter in Georgia
How to Become a Firefighter in Georgia

Steps to Become a Firefighter in Georgia

To become a firefighter in Georgia, one must follow these steps, according to various sources:

Age and Education Requirements
  • Candidates must be at least 18 years old and possess a high school diploma or its GED equivalent​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.
Driver’s License
  • A valid Georgia driver’s license is required​​​​​​​​.
Medical and Physical Fitness
  • A medical release affidavit is necessary, and candidates must pass physical fitness tests like the CPAT or a similar test. CPR certification is also a prerequisite​​​​​​​​​​​​.
Background Check
  • Candidates should have no previous criminal convictions, particularly no felony convictions within the past 10 years, and must be of good moral character​​​​​​​​​​​​.
Firefighter Certification
  • Some positions may require Firefighter I or Firefighter II certifications, with the latter requiring at least two years of experience as a full-time firefighter​​​​.
Training Program
  • Enrollment in a Basic Firefighter Training program, such as those offered by the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC), is necessary. This training includes practical and theoretical aspects of firefighting​​​​​​​​.
Continued Education and Training
  • Firefighters need to undergo continuous training to update their skills and knowledge in fire safety, inspections, and public education​​​​.

State Certification

  • To become a state-certified firefighter, individuals must complete all necessary training and requirements within one year of hire to maintain employment. This is in compliance with Georgia’s regulations and standards.

It’s important to note that the exact requirements and steps may vary slightly depending on the specific department or region in Georgia. Candidates should always check with local fire departments or training centers for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Salary of Firefighters in Georgia

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighters in Georgia earned:

  • Annual Mean Salary: $40,010.
  • Annual Median Salary: $38,260.

Below table illustrates the starting salaries for firefighters for two major fire departments in Georgia.

Atlanta Fire Rescue DepartmentFirefighter$46,491.00 per year
Savannah Fire DepartmentFirefighter$43,528.00 per year

Career Outlook for Firefighters in Georgia

As per O*Net Online, firefighters in Georgia will experience a 10% job growth between 2020 and 2030.

Firefighters Training Academies in Georgia

In Georgia, there are several certified major firefighter training academies for new recruits. These academies provide comprehensive training programs, ensuring that recruits are well-prepared for a career in firefighting. Here are some notable academies:

Georgia Fire Academy

  • Overview: Founded in 1975, the Georgia Fire Academy oversees all training, both basic and advanced, for career and volunteer firefighters in the state.
  • Location & Contact: Operated under the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC).
  • Programs Offered: The academy offers a range of programs including basic firefighter training and specialized advanced courses.

Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC)

  • Programs: GPSTC provides the Basic Firefighter Training Course for candidates aspiring to become certified firefighters.
  • Requirements: To enroll, candidates must meet certain criteria including being at least 18 years old, having completed a medical release affidavit, and having completed CPR training.

Marietta Fire Department’s Fire/EMS Training Academy

  • Training Highlights: The academy’s training includes various exercises like water tower rappel, field crawl, live burn, and a culmination exercise.
  • Learning Environment: The academy emphasizes an intense learning environment with a focus on a wide range of firefighting and EMS skills.

Faithful Guardian Training Center

  • Experience: The center boasts 45 years of experience and offers a Professional Firefighter Course.
  • Features: The center is locally owned and staffed with highly trained personnel.

Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services

  • Courses Offered: This service offers Firefighter Recruit and Advanced EMT training courses, among others.
  • Availability: The courses are available to non-employees, providing an opportunity for a wider audience to receive training.

South Georgia Technical College (Firefighter I Program)

  • Certification: The Firefighter I Technical Certificate of Credit Program is in cooperation with the Georgia Fire Academy and the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council.
  • Objective: This program ensures that graduates have the necessary skills, knowledge, and credentials to serve in both paid and volunteer fire departments.

Douglas County Fire Department Training Complex

  • Program Length: The Fire Recruit classes are approximately 7-10 weeks long.
  • Curriculum: The curriculum meets and exceeds the standards set by the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council.

These academies provide a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical skills, preparing recruits for various challenges they might face in their firefighting careers. It’s advisable for potential recruits to contact these academies directly for detailed information about enrollment, course schedules, and specific training programs.

1)Savannah Fire Rescue | Savannah, GA – Official Website: https://www.savannahga.gov/2990/Savannah-Fire-Department
2)Benefits | Atlanta Fire & Rescue: https://www.atlantafirerescue.com/divisions/benefits
3)Georgia Fire Loss and Fire Department Profile: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/states/georgia.html
4)Firefighters: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes332011.htm

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