Firefighters in the Navy have exciting careers putting out fires on ships, rescuing service members and their families and providing emergency medical care. As an enlisted sailor and first responder with the Navy's first responder team, fighting fires is just one of the challenges you will face. And, because you routinely will come in contact with munitions, fuel and radioactive material, you will face hazards daily.
You will be assigned to a naval base or ship in the United States or locations around the world where you will serve fellow sailors and their families. Your specific duties will depend on your assignment, but will include putting out fires and operating fire and emergency equipment. In addition, you will assist in rescues and provide emergency medical care and first aid. You may also operate equipment to deal with biological, radiological and chemical hazards in case of accidents or terrorist attacks.
To enlist in the Navy, you must be between the ages of 17 and 34 with at least a high school diploma or GED. In addition, you must be drug-free, pass a medical exam and physical fitness test and take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. This is an entry-level career, so you do not need to meet any education or experience requirements to become a firefighter in the Navy. A Navy recruiter will help you determine your eligibility to become a firefighter and help you through the enlistment process. When you enlist, you commit to serving the U.S. Navy for a certain period of time. The commitment for enlisted sailors is usually four years.
Training and Education
After you enlist, you will first attend seven to nine weeks of boot camp training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center north of Chicago, Illinois. Here you will complete physical fitness training, swimming, weaponry and other training necessary for Navy life. After you complete boot camp, you will attend “A” School. This is where you learn the skills to become a firefighter and first responder, including firefighting, damage prevention, emergency treatment and emergency equipment repair.
After the Navy
Your career as a Navy firefighter provides you with the training and experience you need to pursue a variety of careers in the civilian sector after discharge. Career possibilities include becoming a firefighter, EMT or paramedic at your local department or working in the medical field as a medical assistant, surgical technician or medical laboratory assistant.