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There are many levels of seniority for a firefighter in South Africa, but one has to start at the Junior Fire Fighters level, and then move to successive levels like Fire Fighters, Senior Fire Fighters, Leading Fire Fighter, and Station Officers. Junior Fire Fighters can take certification courses and complete most training required to have an essentials module completed, thereby making them ready to undertake the greater challenge of a Firefighter 1 certification when they turn 18. At the most basic Junior Fire Fighters level, the requirements are as follows.
Have your matric or high school diploma. This basically means 10 to12 years of school education. Also, you must be at least 18 years of age.
Take a Basic Ambulance Course. This requires a qualification that is recognized by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). This is the minimum qualification to be a crew member of an ambulance. Candidates complete a 160 hour course comprised of lectures and practical simulations. The lectures cover basic anatomy and physiology, basic life support, emergency care, the use of ambulance equipment and various medico-legal issues.
Pass Firefighter 1 Courses, including the Hazardous Materials Awareness Course. To enroll in these courses, you must be 18 years of age, must be a high school graduate or have earned a G. E. D., must have a valid driver’s license at time of application, and provide proof of physical fitness in accordance with NFPA Std. 1582, Standard for Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments, or appointing authority.