All you really need to be able to apply for promotion in the fire service is to meet the bare minimum requirements, but if you want to stand out and really be considered for firefighter promotion, you need to do more.
Volunteer At Another Station
One way to get a resume boost is to volunteer at a local station in your time off. Not only will this volunteer work boost your resume, you will also be getting lots of other on-the-job training. In addition you will also be able to meet more firefighters and make more connections with people that might be able to help you get promoted. You may see it as free labor but if you volunteer at a local station you will get a lot of benefits in return, you might even get a little warm fuzzy feeling.
Help at Local Schools
Fire departments everywhere are known for their community involvement, especially their trips to local schools to talk all about fire safety. If you are able, volunteer to go to these schools and help with these talks. Students love it when firefighters come and it is a great chance for you to do impactful work outside of the fire station. In addition, oftentimes schools come and tour fire stations. Always be the first to step up and help with these tours and children's events, they may even be a fun change of pace.
Fire departments are always doing all kinds of local fundraisers or need people to sit on committee boards or help with projects. If they ask for people to help out, volunteer, heck volunteer before they even get the chance to ask you. You have to put yourself out there and show your interest not just in the job but in your station and community if you want to set yourself apart from the other applicants. These types of things are also great ways to build your people skills and even leadership skills depending on what you work on.
Get Involved With Community Organizations
Community involvement is so beneficial if you want to move up the ranks in the fire service. In every town and city there are local volunteer groups that always need more help, for example Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis Club and so on. Some of these groups have areas where fire fighters would be perfect for the job. My local Kiwanis has a smoke detector program where they install smoke detectors to senior citizens for free. They will have a job for you, even if it isn’t necessarily fire related they always need help. With your involvement you will also be given an opportunity to meet community leaders and community members. It is such a huge benefit to know the people you are helping on the job because you will have instant trust if the time comes that they need your assistance which will only make your job easier.
Your fire station and community are always looking for people to help with community events and activities, don’t shy away from volunteering to help. It is a great opportunity to meet local community members while also giving your resume a little extra juice to set you apart from the other applicants looking to promote. Having a passion for the job and the community are something your hiring officers are looking for and demonstrating that will bring you that much closer to your goals.