3 Ways to Become an Expert on Your New Rank in the Fire Service to Guarantee a Promotion

You are taking the firefighter promotional exam because you want to move up the ranks in the fire service. The goal of your firefighter promotional exam prep should be to become an expert on the job duties of the rank you are applying for, not just pass a test. 

  1. Commit to the Job

Being committed to the fire service is a crucial part in getting promoted to a new rank. This is because, the more committed you are, the more dedicated you will be to becoming an expert in your new fire service rank. If you are just promoting for a pay raise and not because of a true passion for the job you are much less likely to put in the time needed to become an expert in the fire service ranks and get promoted. In addition, one thing most hiring officers are looking for when it comes to promoting new fire service officers is commitment. By promoting a new fire service officer they are investing in that individual and their commitment to the fire service. You must have a passion for the fire service and be able to convey said passion to your superior officers if you want to get promoted. This can be through volunteer work from a young age, volunteering to help with special projects or activities, and so on.

  1. Research the Job

The first step to prepare for the job, not just the firefighter promotional exam, is to extensively research the rank you are applying for. You can start by reading the job description thoroughly. You must understand exactly what will be expected of you if you get promoted to a new rank. A job description will only tell you so much though, so be sure to talk to officers in the position you desire and those that are doing the hiring for the position if possible. Pay a little extra attention to the officer on your crew and what they do on calls and around the fire station, while still doing your work of course. Offer them a hand when appropriate so you can get more time with them and more hands on experience. It is critical that you fully understand what will be expected of you if you are to be promoted that way there are no surprises come test time. 

  1. Never Stop Learning

When you begin your fire service promotion journey, you will have to learn a lot of new information. It is important however, that you never stop learning if you want to get promoted and succeed in your new rank. Don’t do the bare minimum just so you can pass your firefighter promotional exam. You need to know those textbooks like the back of your hand. Once you feel like you have the material down, keep studying in different ways. This will ensure you will also be able to handle any question or scenario during your promotional exam process because you will be an expert on the rank you are applying for. Don’t stop once you get promoted either. Go to trainings, read books, talk to other firefighters and stay up to date on all of the advancing firefighting equipment. If you plan to move up the ranks in the fire service you need to be eager to learn new things and improve yourself so you can be the best officer you can be. 

The Takeaway 

If you are not an expert on the position you are applying for come test day, you will likely not get promoted. You may be able to pass the test and scrape by during your oral interview, but that will not be enough. The competition is steep for fire service promotions. Become an expert on the position you are applying for and you will be a top contender for the new officer position.