According to the US Fire Administration, Maine recorded 2.7 deaths and 11.4 injuries per 1,000 fires. Despite being one of the least populated states in the US, Maine still has fourth-highest concentration of firefighters in the nation.
As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3.73 employment per thousand jobs was recorded in Maine in 2022. The requirements to become a firefighter in Maine vary from city to city. Overall, a minimum high school diploma is required but in some cities, applicants must have additional qualifications like three years of post-high school work, along with EMT certification.
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Steps to Become a Firefighter in Maine
To become a firefighter in Maine, there are several steps and requirements that need to be fulfilled. These vary slightly depending on the city or region within Maine, but generally include the following key steps and considerations:
- Age and Education: Candidates must be at least 18 years old and possess a high school diploma or equivalent.
- S. Citizenship and Residency: Candidates must be U.S. citizens or have a valid work permit and be residents of Maine with a valid state driver’s license.
- Physical and Mental Fitness: Candidates must be physically and mentally fit to perform the duties of a firefighter.
- Background Check: Applicants must pass a background check and drug screening.
- Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification: Obtaining EMT certification is recommended and, in some cities, mandatory. This involves completing an EMT-Basic training course (typically 120-150 hours) and passing the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam.
- Fire Science Education: While not always required, a degree in fire science or a related field can be beneficial. Candidates can pursue fire science certification, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree in the field.
- Firefighter I and II Training: Essential training covering areas like live-burn skills, handling Class-A combustibles, vehicle fire, and more.
- Job Openings: Keep an eye on local fire department job openings and apply when vacancies are announced.
- Hiring Process: Shortlisted candidates undergo a rigorous hiring process, including medical tests, psychological evaluation, drug tests, background checks, a written test, and an oral interview.
- Physical Ability Test: Candidates must pass a physical ability test such as the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT).
- Bilingual Skills: While not a requirement, bilingual skills, especially in French, can be advantageous in certain areas of Maine.
- Probationary Period: After training, there’s usually a probationary period where new firefighters work under supervision and are evaluated.
Salary of Firefighters in Maine
As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighter’s salary in Maine is:
- Annual Mean Salary: $42,830.
- Annual Median Salary: $40,460.
Career Outlook for Firefighters in Maine
As per the projection made by O*Net Online, firefighters in Maine will experience a 3% job growth between 2020 and 2030.
Firefighters Training Academies in Maine
In Maine, there are several certified training academies and programs available for new recruits who wish to become firefighters. These academies offer comprehensive training courses that cover various aspects of firefighting, emergency response, and fire safety. Here are some of the notable certified firefighter training academies in Maine:
Maine Fire Service Institute (MFSI)
- An important organization in Maine that offers training and certification for Firefighter I and II. MFSI helps firefighters across Maine obtain the necessary skills and can send instructors to smaller departments for improved accessibility.
Eastern Maine Community College
- Offers a Fire Science Technology program, a two-year associate degree program that prepares students for the vocation. In the first year, students learn basics of handling fires and emergencies, and the second year focuses on leadership skills and advanced strategies. They also offer a Live-In Student Firefighter program providing hands-on experience in a local firehouse.
Southern Maine Community College
- Located in South Portland, this college is another option for those seeking training in firefighting.
Central Maine Fire Attack School (CMFAS)
- Located in Waterville, CMFAS provides training and education for firefighting professionals.
Kennebec Valley Emergency Medical Services (KVEMS)
- Based in Winslow, KVEMS offers training programs relevant to firefighting and emergency medical services.
Kaplan University-Maine Campus
- With campuses in South Portland and Augusta, Kaplan University offers programs that might be relevant for those interested in a more academic approach to fire service training.
These academies and colleges provide a combination of classroom instruction, physical training, and hands-on experience necessary to become a proficient firefighter. The courses typically include training in firefighting techniques, hazardous materials, rescue operations, fire behavior and combustion, fire protection systems, and emergency medical services. It is always recommended to check with the specific institution for the most current program offerings and admission requirements.
For more detailed information, you can visit the websites of these institutions or contact them directly.
1)Maine Fire Loss and Fire Department Profile: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/states/maine.html
2)Maine Employment Trends: 33-2011.00 – Firefighters: https://www.onetonline.org/link/localtrends/33-2011.00?st=ME