How can I become
Working as Feuerwehrmann*frau
Important Abilities for Feuerwehrmann*frau
Future firemen need to be athletic to endure long and hot operations in a burning house, while wearing a heavy uniform with some extra equipment like masks or tanks with fresh air just to rescue and sometimes carry people out of the scene. Your stamina will be tested on a regular basis to ensure your fitness levels are maintained.
Working with injured people in dangerous situation will take a lot of responsibility and metal strength from you. Since you have to provide first aid on injured people, you should not be afraid of blood or, in the worst case scenario, to touch a deceased.
How to become Feuerwehrmann*frau?
You should start off with a craftsman profession in order to be accepted for the fireman training. Every state has a different system, but what they have in common is that you need at least a certificate of secondary education.
Even if you fulfil all those requirements, you still need to pass a selection process including a medical examinations. After all, they need to check whether or not you are fit enough for the job since you will have to carry lots of weight under high pressure situations.
Once you are admitted, you will have two years of training in Germany to become a fire chief. In those two years, you will not only become a fireman but also a paramedic. If you have not yet finished a professional training, you will have to complete a special education for additional 18 months before you can start. Afterwards you can start with the basic education just as everybody else. On the contrary, in Austria you have 11 months of basic training with 8 hour shifts. In order to finish successfully, you will have to pass an exam after the first half of the training and at the end. Afterwards, you start with the further training consisting of fire fighting (4 months), technical assistance service (8 months) and toxic substance assistance service (8 months). These courses have to be completed during the first four years in 24 hours shifts. You will be employed in the middle fire service, where most firefighters work, for example, as part of a squad, as a vehicle driver or as a personnel for the rescue service.
Training and Specializations
After basic training, you are officially a fireman. You can then approach further education to become a group leader in order to call yourself fire chief. Additionally you can become a fire inspector which is a higher position in the fire department. In case of you having already finished the school for higher technical education, you can also become an officer.
But that’s not all. Firemen have ongoing possibilities for further trainings and courses so that they are always prepared for the worst case scenario and up to-date with first aid standards. Your participation is obligated.
If you want to specialise in a field, the fire department offers you different possibilities. You can participate in different courses to become a rescue diver or an expert in ships command. It would then be good if you already have some experience when it comes to diving. Or you specialise in rescue missions in high places.
- Group Leader
- Rescue diver
- Heights rescuer
- Ship commander
- Disaster manager
- Extinguish master
Future Prospects as Feuerwehrmann*frau
As a fireman you can either work at a professional fire department or you can have an office job and work at the auxiliary fire department. The difference is that at the professional fire brigade, you work in civil service for the state with shifts while at the auxiliary fire brigade you are on stand-by service without a salary.
There are around 100 professional fire departments in Germany alone and additional even more auxiliary fire departments. For some positions, these also have paid positions. Additionally you can work at a plant fire department, a call center for the professional fire department or in the specific school for firemen. At the plant fire department, you are in contract with a company while at the professional fire department, the state is your employer.
In Austria, professional fire departments exist only in capital cities. In Vienna for example, the MA 68 is responsible for fires, while in the country auxiliary fire departments are responsible for fighting fires and car accidents. Those can be found in almost every small community.