Working as a Firefighter

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Aug 2003

I'm a 27 year old woman looking into a career in firefighting. I'm enrolled in an EMT class starting this fall and I'm working out regularly to prep for the physical test. Is there anyone out there who can give me a little advice about being a woman and getting into firefighting? Do I stand a chance against the thousands of men I'll be competing with to get hired? Is there anyone who has used and can tell me about it? My partner and I have twins due in March so I'm trying to get as much done as I can now as I know I'll have little time for classes later. Any advice/info is greatly appreciated! dana

My brother-in-law pursued a career in firefighting for several years. I dont want to discourage you but want to share his experience with you. He became an EMT and worked for an ambulance company, he was and still is a reserve firefighter in Contra Costa County. He tried for 1 year to get on full time with a fire dept and always tested in the top 10%. He was told that fire dept's won't consider applicants unless they are paramedics. So he went to school and became a paramedic. He spent three more years trying to get on as a full time fire fighter. Last year he stopped pursuing a full-time fire fighter position. I am not sure if you have done so, but I would suggest getting in contact with berkeley fire to find out if the dept still requires applicants be paramedics. Good luck to you. Anon