Many of the men and women that serve at the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) received an opportunity at a new life as a result of joining the fire service. A career as a firefighter provides stability, structure, a second family, and the ability to give back to the community in a very real and direct way.
In addition to the stability and opportunity for personal growth a career as a firefighter can offer, the job also comes with ample opportunity to receive extensive professional development and educational degrees that in turn may lead to promotions and higher levels of pay.
The Lakeland Fire Department has gathered the resources below as a spring board for prospective firefighters. This is not a definitive guide, but is a resource to direct interested individuals in Lakeland and its surrounding areas. Below you will find more information on what is required to be a firefighter and what organizations and schools offer the education and certificates you'll need to work in this field.
Firefighters in the State of Florida must be able to meet all of the general requirements for certification. Aspiring firefighters must be at least 18 years old, must possess a valid State of Florida driver's license, current CPR/ACLS certification, and be able to pass a physical examination designed to test their suitability for working in this physically demanding field.
Fire departments each set their own education standards, but a high school diploma or GED is the minimum requirement. Applicants for certification must also be able to pass a criminal background check.
You must complete the State of Florida Firefighter Certificate of Compliance and at a minimum, an EMT Basic Certification
Although the word fire is frequently used at departments and is in the job title, a majority of the work firefighters do is emergency medical service related. We recommend you complete the EMT Basic Certification or Paramedic Certification first, to learn if this is something you truly want to do. These courses tend to weed out those who don't have the stomach for medical work, and those who are best suited for emergency medical work. However, there is no specific order in which you need to receive your certifications.
Below are locations in Central Florida where you can complete your EMT (EMR) /Paramedic Certification.
The minimum standards program students would participate in, as well as the Candidates Physical Abilities Test (CPAT) required of all newly hired firefighters, are both very physically demanding. Firefighting requires you to be physically able to complete rigorous exercise, heavy lifting, and extended periods of exertion.
In addition to Fire Standards Training, there are series of exams that must be completed to become officially certified. Those are specifically addressed in Fire Standards.
Below are locations in Central Florida where you can complete your Fire Standard courses, Firefighter I and Firefighter II.
The F.O.C.U.S. Scholarship offers an opportunity of a lifetime. The scholarship covers 100% of the cost associated with becoming a certified firefighter. Learn more about the program, who qualifies, and how to apply here.
The Florida Fire Chiefs' Association (FFCA) offers several scholarship opportunities. Learn more here.
The Lakeland Fire Department offers a firefighter internship opportunity. Check here to see if a firefighter internship position is currently available.