What skills do firefighters need before applying? A firefighters skills inventory checklist 

If you check off all of these boxes, we can’t say no – Former Fire Chief

skills checklist for firefighter applicants

I had a discussion with my fire chief, and I asked him, what skills is the department looking for in a successful candidate?  He handed me a sheet and he said, “if you check off all of these boxes, we can’t say no”.  

I held onto that skills inventory checklist and have added to it over the years, and if you follow this template, you will be much further ahead than the competition. 

Firefighting is a job that requires a tremendous amount of skill, dedication and hard work. Professional firefighters must possess many physical, mental and technical skills to be successful in their roles. To become a professional firefighter, applicants need to have a variety of skills, including physical strength and endurance, the ability to work cooperatively in teams, knowledge of safety protocols, and an understanding of hazardous materials. They must also be able to think quickly and act decisively in dangerous situations.

The following is a skills inventory checklist that applicants should use to assess their skills and determine if they are suitable for a career as a professional firefighter:

Physical Strength and Endurance: Professional firefighters need to be able to lift and carry heavy objects and perform strenuous activities for extended periods of time.

Teamwork: Firefighters must be able to work cooperatively in teams and take direction from their superiors.

Safety protocols: Firefighters need to understand and adhere to safety protocols to protect themselves and their colleagues from harm.

Hazardous materials: Firefighters need to know how to handle hazardous materials safely and effectively.

Decision-making: Professional firefighters need to be able to make quick and accurate decisions in emergency situations.

What skills do firefighters need before applying?

If an applicant can demonstrate the above skills, they may have the potential to become a professional firefighter. It is important for applicants to understand that firefighting is an extremely demanding and dangerous job and they should carefully consider if they feel suited to the role before applying. These qualities are good, but let’s actually give you an actionable checklist of skills and activities that will give you a plan and direction before you apply! 

What firefighter skills are needed before applying?

Click here for firefighting skills inventory checklist

Click here to download the Firefighting Skills Inventory Checklist –

firefighting inventory checklist

What job experience is beneficial to be a professional firefighter?

Great firefighting applicants come to the interview with previous experience in related fields. There is no substitute for experience and working hard jobs.

1. Firefighting Certification: All professional firefighters must possess a valid certification from an approved firefighting academy in order to be eligible for employment.

2. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification: Professional firefighters are often called on to provide medical aid to those in need and must possess a valid EMT certification.

3. First Aid Certification: Many fire departments require professional firefighters to possess a valid First Aid certification.

4. Hazardous Materials Training: Firefighters are often called to respond to hazardous materials incidents and must be trained in the safe handling of hazardous materials.

5. Physical Fitness: Professional firefighters must maintain a high level of physical fitness in order to perform firefighting duties. Want to do workouts firefighters do? Check out 100 Firehall Workouts  Get the book Now!

6. Conflict Resolution: Firefighters must be able to defuse and resolve conflicts quickly in order to protect the safety of others.

7. Communication Skills: Firefighters must be able to effectively communicate with other firefighters, first responders, and the public in order to coordinate efforts. Make sure the get the firefighter skill sheet template below.

8. Fire Prevention Training: Professional firefighters are often responsible for educating the public about fire safety, and it’s helpful if you have been an instructor or have been involved with teams. Being able to communicate well will help you be able to deliver training in fire prevention techniques. Firefighters also have many interactions with the public, and as a first responder you are held to a high standard and the ability to speak to members of the public or other firefighters about fire prevention is very helpful skill. 

What skills do firefighters need before applying? Get the free comprehensive list now!

skills checklist for firefighter applicants

Don’t wait, download our free PDF skills checklist.

Click here for firefighting skills inventory checklist