Deciding to promote in the fire service is a huge decision that can affect every aspect of your life. Before you sign up to take the firefighter promotional exam and begin your firefighter promotional exam prep, ask yourself these questions to ensure you are ready.
Am I qualified?
Before you even begin to seriously consider promoting in the fire service you need to make sure you are qualified to do so. Every station and department has their own requirements and qualifications. Check out your local job listings and talk to your superiors to see what is needed to promote to the next rank. If you find out you are qualified, excellent, if not you now have something to work toward. If you want to be promoted but find out you are not qualified yet, use that as our motivation to get qualified. Find out what is missing from your resume or skill set and go get it. If you have trouble getting what you need to reach the qualifications in order to promote that may be a sign you are not ready for more responsibility on the job. On the other hand if you go after your goals and take the time to meet those qualifications you are off to a good start on your way to promotion in the fire service.
Do I have the time?
Before you sign up to take your firefighter promotional exam you must ask yourself, do I have the time. The time to study for and prepare for the exam as well as the time to do the job once you pass. You will not be able to pass your firefighter promotional exam if you spend only a few hours studying. You must be able to devote several hours a week to studying the material, maybe even more, if you want to pass your firefighter promotional exam. Then once you pass the exam, your new rank and position is going to come with more responsibility and likely longer working hours. Before you even begin thinking about taking your promotional exam you need to be sure you have the flexibility in your personal schedule to devote to the promotion process and your potential new position. You do not want to pull the trigger and promote before you are ready.
Can I handle less action?
Getting promoted and getting a fancy new title sounds great, but the reality of it is, the higher up the rank ladder you go, the less action and more paper you see. Sure you will still go to the scene of emergencies, but you will be much less likely to be running into burning buildings or busting out the jaws of life. You will be managing the scene instead. When you are not on the scene of an incident you will likely be doing paperwork. Management and paperwork are still very critical and important jobs and do bring some excitement, but they are not for everyone. So just ask yourself before you begin your firefighter promotion journey, is that something you want? A great way to get a better understanding of the higher ranks job duties is to talk to your superiors. They are the best people to advise you on what you are getting yourself into before you decide to promote.
Making the decision to promote in the fire service is not one that should be taken lightly. Take the time you need to decide when the time is right for you to begin your firefighter promotional journey, this way you won’t regret it later.