In 2024, becoming a firefighter in Indiana remains a noble and challenging pursuit, offering an opportunity to serve communities while facing unique challenges and rewards. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8,680 firefighters were working in Indiana as of May, 2022.The firefighters in the state are doing a great job in combating fires too. As per the data published by the US Fire Administration, Indiana reported 1.3 deaths and 4.9 injuries per 1,000 fires compared to the national average of 2.3 deaths and 7.2 injuries.

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This career path requires not only physical prowess but also mental resilience, a dedication to public service, and the ability to respond effectively in high-pressure situations.

How to Become a Firefighter in Indiana
How to Become a Firefighter in Indiana

Steps to Become a Firefighter in Indiana

To become a firefighter in Indiana in 2024, there are several steps and requirements to consider. These steps are outlined comprehensively across different reliable sources. Here’s a summary:

Basic Requirements
  • Age: You must be at least 21 years old at the time of applying, and not more than 36 years old by the date of appointment.
  • Citizenship: You need to be a U.S. citizen or legally allowed to work in the U.S.
  • Education: A high school diploma or GED is required, with a commitment to further education often expected​​​​.
  • Driver’s License: Possession of a valid state driver’s license is necessary.
  • Clean Record: A clean criminal record with no felony convictions is essential.
Educational and Certification Requirements
  • EMT Certification: Obtaining an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) certification is often preferred or required before applying for a firefighter position​​​​.
  • Firefighter I/II Certification: In addition to EMT certification, you will need Firefighter I/II certification.
Physical Ability and Testing
  • CPAT Certificate: You must acquire a CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) certificate.
  • Written Test: This 3.5-hour test assesses problem-solving, memorization, reading comprehension, and basic math skills.
  • CPAT: A rigorous, timed physical test. You have the option to participate in practice sessions before the actual test.
Hiring Process
  • Background Check: Includes a thorough investigation of your criminal and driving history. Felony convictions result in automatic exclusion.
  • Interview: An oral interview conducted by a board typically lasting around 20 minutes.
  • Aerial Climb: A timed physical test where you must climb up and down within a set time.
Medical and Psychological Examination
  • Psychological Exam: Involves a test like the MMPI, followed by an interview with a licensed psychologist.
  • Medical Exam: Conducted by a licensed physician, includes reviewing medical history and assessing current health.
  • Fire Academy Training: You must graduate from a fire academy, which includes training on firefighting techniques, safety protocols, and equipment use​​. Training programs in Indiana include those offered by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Ivy Tech Community College, and Harrison College-Indianapolis.
Further Education and Experience
  • Utilize the time between high school and meeting the age requirement to gain work experience or further education, such as attending a fire academy or earning a college degree.
  • Volunteering as a firefighter can provide valuable experience and improve your candidacy.

By following these steps and meeting the necessary requirements, you can pursue a career as a firefighter in Indiana, joining a force dedicated to public safety and community service.

Salary of Firefighters in Indiana

The latest figures published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that firefighters in Indiana earned:

  • Annual Mean Salary: $55,420.
  • Annual Median Salary: $57,480.

The below table shows salaries for two major fire departments in Indiana:

Indianapolis Fire DepartmentFirefighter (First Year)$54,215 per year
Evansville Fire DepartmentFirefighter (First Year)$56,883 per year

Career Outlook for Firefighters in Indiana

O*Net Online predicts a 9% growth in job opportunities for firefighters in Indiana between 2020 and 2030. This figure is higher than the national average.

Firefighters Training Academies in Indiana

In Indiana, several certified major firefighter training academies offer comprehensive programs for new recruits. Here are some key institutions:

Indiana Fire and Public Safety Academy

A subdivision of the Division of Fire and Building Safety, this academy provides training and certifications for fire and public safety personnel. The Academy focuses on both public safety and fire training, with specific courses available on the Acadis Portal.

Hub-and-Spoke Firefighter Training Plan

This plan includes new physical training locations to be built in Corydon, Linton, Rensselaer, and Wabash. These centers, expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024, will feature state-of-the-art, three-story training towers​​​​.

Fort Wayne Fire Department Training Academy

Accredited with the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress, they offer a range of NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Training Standards, including Firefighter I and II, Fire Service Instructor I, II, and III, Fire Officer I and II, Fire Investigator, Fire Inspector I and II, Airport Firefighter, and Hazardous Materials Awareness, Operations, and Technician. This academy also offers a three-year comprehensive Journeyman Firefighter certification training program.

Indianapolis Fire Department Training Academy

All new recruits are required to attend this academy. The training program spans 29 weeks and includes EMT training, hazardous materials, fire prevention, extrication, and flashover training.

Please note that while this information covers some of the major academies in Indiana, there are other training facilities across the state that offer various programs for firefighter training. For the most current and comprehensive information, it would be best to contact the respective academies directly or visit their websites.

1)Indiana Employment Trends – Firefighters:
3)Indiana Fire Loss and Fire Department Profile:

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