Becoming a firefighter in Iowa requires completion of intense training courses and public safety certifications. These programs ensure Iowa firefighters possess the knowledge and skills to handle all emergency situations, from house fires to statewide forest fires.
You must possess at least a high school diploma to become a firefighter in Iowa. You also must possess a valid Iowa state driver’s license. This ensures that you are able to respond to any emergency, whether on duty at the fire station or at home as a volunteer firefighter. You must be at least 18 years old and have no criminal record. People younger than 18 may apply to work within a junior firefighters organization.
You must meet certain physical and mental fitness standards for acceptance in Iowa’s firefighter training programs. Applicants undergo tests to prove they can perform duties, such as operating nozzles and pumps, climbing ladders, responding to non-fire emergencies, and controlling/extinguishing flames -- all while wearing full protective gear and breathing apparatus.
There are two levels of certification for Iowa firefighters: FF1 and FF2. These certification courses involve both written and performance examinations. Aspiring firefighters must demonstrate knowledge and technical expertise on firefighting procedures and equipment. They are graded on the accurate selection and operation of firefighting equipment, vehicles, and emergency medical skills. These certifications also grade applicants on their awareness of the role of firefighters within society, plus their moral grounding.