Firefighter training is almost always provided by a fire academy that is run by the state, a university, or other regulatory agency. One will often have very little choice in the kind of firefighter training one receives because these programs are overwhelmingly uniform in order to ensure that all firefighters are safe and knowledgeable about the profession. Some fire academies are better than others, not because of the subject matter taught, but because of the equipment and funds available to the academy. It is very important to choose not only a good school but to choose a school that provides the right kind of certification for the job one wants. Requirements may vary between areas, so choosing the best training is often a matter of choosing where one wants to work.
The most important feature of firefighter training, whether it is offered through a school or less formally, is safety. A training program should teach firefighters how to perform this extremely hazardous kind of work without getting injured or killed. First and foremost, one should make sure that the training program teaches techniques that will keep firefighters safe.
It is also important to learn how to effectively fight fires during firefighter training. There are academic components to this knowledge, such as understanding the mechanics of a fire, but there should also be physical practice with putting out controlled fires. Many firefighter training programs include practice with burning buildings that have been built for exactly these kinds of exercises. Firefighters learning how to put out wildfires may not have as many opportunities for practice, but one should at least gain experience with all relevant equipment.
Firefighter certification is usually the ultimate goal of firefighter training. In the very least, a program should set a potential firefighter up in such a way that he or she may legally work as a firefighter. Preparation for any relevant exams should be included during training, and regular exercise should be included to prepare for any physical components of the test. When choosing a program, it may be helpful to inquire about how many students go on to become professional firefighters in order to judge how well the program prepares students.
It is possible to improve one's body and mind through additional training in order to become the best firefighter possible. These factors may not help one choose the best firefighter training, but they can help a person make the most out of time spent at a fire academy and then successfully transition from training to professional work. Getting into a good firefighter training program requires some degree of physical and mental prowess specifically related to the career. Maintaining one's health and doing well in school may be the difference between getting into a fire academy and being rejected.