How firefighter, EMT trainees prepare for the job

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The El Paso Fire Department is accepting applications to become a firefighter. 

If accepted, recruits will be part of a rigorous six-month course with mock scenarios and courses needed to become a certified EMT and firefighter.

Currently, there are more than 40 recruits being trained for scenarios.

“We may have a fire in the middle of the night that may last hours and they have to be at peak fitness for hours, so we have to get them to that point,” EPFD Training Chief Kevin Mende said.

Mende tells KTSM the program strains students with at least one-and-a-half hours of physical training and eight hours of mental activity.

“What we have seen is learning to be an EMT Basic is the one where we lose a lot of guys,” he said. “If they fail three exams, they are released from the program.”

The El Paso Fire Department is considering increasing the training to seven months to better prepare the recruits. 

To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age

  • High School diploma or GED

  • Applicants are required to have twenty-four (24) post-secondary semester credit hours in any field of study with a minimum of 2.0 GPA, or at least two years of full-time military service with an honorable discharge

  • Texas Class “C” driver’s license or equivalent from another state

Officials say candidates will also be required to pass a written exam, background check, fitness test, interview, and other testing.

The deadline to apply is March 15th. 

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