Have you ever dreamed of becoming a firefighter? You might be able to turn that dream into reality.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how many people work and has caused some to rethink their career goals or make career changes. Perhaps it's your time to shake it up a bit or move in a different direction. Maybe you've thought about becoming a firefighter but don't know how to proceed.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is offering a Municipal Firefighting Examination this fall, but you've got to act fast to get registered. Everything you need to know about the exam is on the Mass.gov website, including important dates and deadlines.

Massachusetts Is Offering Municipal Firefighting Exam This Fall
New Bedford Fire Department Photo
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Your age and physical condition must be considerations when determining whether you are cut out to be a firefighter, as fighting fires is a demanding occupation.

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Salary.com reports the average firefighter salary in Massachusetts as of June 28, 2022, is $53,315. The site says the range can fall between $39,987 and $66,645 but "can vary widely depending upon the city, and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession."

Massachusetts Is Offering Municipal Firefighting Exam This Fall
Kate Robinson/Townsquare Media
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Billy Sylvia, President of the New Bedford Firefighters IAFF Local 840, has been a firefighter for 16 years.

"I tell everyone it's the best job in the world because it is," he said.

Sylvia said fighting fires is "a humbling and rewarding career" and "the good days far outnumber the bad when you can see the difference you can make and how we help people."

"I would encourage anyone to take the exam to become a firefighter and have the best job in the world with some of the best people you will ever meet," he said.

Fall River Fire Dept. via Facebook
Fall River Fire Dept. via Facebook
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Jason Barker, a New Bedford firefighter for 20 years, called it "a noble profession, caring for people at their darkest moments."

"I didn't expect it to become such a large part of my life and identity," he said. "It becomes who you are."

Some of the best, most selfless people I've ever known I have met in the fire service," he said. Barker would "very much encourage young people to go for it."

Massachusetts Is Offering Municipal Firefighting Exam This Fall
Ed Pepin/Fairhaven Fire Dept.
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Fall River's Jason Burns is District 8 Vice President of Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts (PFFM). Just shy of 16 years with the Fall River Fire Department, Burns said he became a firefighter in part because his grandfather "was on the job" for 38 years.

"It's a great way to help people, and that's what I love about it," he said.

If becoming a firefighter is something you've considered, go for it, and good luck.

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