If you want to become a firefighter in Illinois, you have to get a high school diploma as the first step. An equivalent GED certificate will suffice as well. Having said that, some fire departments might also require aspiring candidates to have a college degree. Most fire departments give preference points for college credits.
If you are in high school looking for an early start or to explore the fire service, consider enrolling in Lake County Tech Campus’ Firefighter Program. Located in Grayslake, this program has you learn the many aspects of the fire service while in high school. Students in the Firefighter program are eligible to receive 3 college credits and certifications, and has you well prepared to succeed in future classes.
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The Tech Campus also hosts its Emergency Medical Services program, which prepares students to succeed in the EMT-Basic exam and experience ride-alongs at a local Fire/EMS department. Students in this program must be seniors, and are eligible to receive 3 college credits and certifications, including an EMT-B.
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To learn more about the Tech Campus’ firefighter and/or EMS programs, coordinate with your school counselor and/or call the Lake County Tech Campus at 847-223-6681.