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In most areas, a firefighter/EMT is required to have a high school diploma (or a GED), to complete basic EMT certification and to have successfully completed training at a fire academy. Many individuals looking at becoming a firefighter/EMT work as a regular EMT first before obtaining a position within a fire department. Those wanting a more competitive edge may consider obtaining an associate's degree in fire science or another related field. These programs often include coursework in fire investigation, rescue procedures, emergency management and basic and advanced firefighting.
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What is the work schedule like for a firefighter/EMT?
Firefighter/EMT work schedules often vary but generally include working 24-hour shifts. During this time, they remain on-call either at a base location or within a predetermined distance from a base location.
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What on-the-job training does a firefighter/EMT receive?
A firefighter/EMT receives continuous on-the-job training operated by local or state fire departments and it typically lasts for several months. A new firefighter/EMT will undergo a combination of hands-on training and classroom instruction in areas including building codes, emergency medical procedures and fire prevention techniques.