Firefighting isn’t for the faintest of hearts, but it’s a rewarding, well-paid, and fulfilling career that lets you serve your community best. Moreover, it’s an always in-demand position. The National Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the employment of firefighters to grow 4% from 2021 to 2031.
If you’re looking to enter this career path or join a new fire department, you’ll have to prepare two job application documents — a resume and a cover letter. This post offers a sample firefighter cover letter you can use as an inspiration for writing, followed by extra actionable tips.
Firefighter Cover Letter Example (Word)
Firefighter Cover Letter (plain text)
Good day Chef Strapolinsky,
Following a discussion with your colleague, Sergeant Mitchel, I would like to express my interest in the open position at Tahoe Fire Department.
I’m a trained firefighter and paramedic (EMS1), a former volunteer at Clay County FD, and a retired US Marine Corps Military Police officer. Currently, I’m employed part-time as a wildland firefighter with the Jackson Country FD for assistance with seasonal wildfires. I’m looking to relocate to Placer County in September 2023, although I would be open to traveling for on-site interviews at an early date.
During my career, I have organized rapid, effective, and precise emergency responses with multi-jurisdictional emergency teams to help deal with massive rural wildfires and emergency rescue operations in the cities. Among my strengths are a naturally calm demeanor, effective communication, and strong rapport-building skills.
My past military experiences have taught me the importance of fast, unified response, which I effectively implement in my current position. I’m also well-trained in facilitating and coordinating cross-departmental efforts, as well as coaching personnel on safety and operating procedures. As a volunteer, I have regularly provided fire safety training at schools and business establishments around Clay County.
Recognized among peers as a reliable partner and dynamic leader, I am confident that I will be a great addition to the Tahoe Fire Department. A copy of my resume and a list of references is enclosed.
Look forward to speaking with you soon,
How to Write a Firefighter Cover Letter
A cover letter allows you to bring up your most marketable qualifications in front of the reader. Effectively, it provides a preview of your resume and allows you to talk a bit more about your background, motivation, and career trajectory.
To create a compelling cover letter, similar to the above sample, start with an outline where you write down your main talking points:
- Your professional background
- Current role and duties
- Main skills and achievements
Once you have a couple of key talking points, expand them into a full-length cover letter by applying the following tips:
Give a Walkthrough of Your Career
Some enter the fire-fighting industry straight after school. Others transition to this role later in life. Most decision-makers aren’t phased by candidates with diverse backgrounds. Still, it always helps to explain what skills and competencies you already have to avoid the reader from second-guessing your abilities.
If you’re a career changer, talk a bit more about your transferable skills — competencies that you can bring from your past role into the new one. For example, the author above explains how his military career made him a better team player and shaped his ability to perform well under stress.
Likewise, if there are any gaps on your resume, a cover letter is the place to address and explain them.
Emphasize Your Teamwork Abilities
Successful incident containment requires meticulous coordination and unified response. Moreover, rash or foolish behaviors on the scene can put others in danger. Show that you understand the importance of following the procedures, checking in with your colleagues, and coordinating your actions with others. This is best done with several examples from your previous roles.
It also helps to highlight your ability to remain calm under pressure and work effectively. When emotions run high, a good firefighter knows how to avoid conflict in teams and effectively convey the information to others.
Showcase a Wide Range of Skills
Firefighters are mostly seen in action, battling the fire and conducting rescue operations. But a lot of the time, you’d be also tasked with various admin jobs — from handling supplies and equipment maintenance to providing training to the general public or peers.
Therefore, your cover letter shouldn’t just focus on your physical strengths and courageous personality. Show that you are a well-rounded professional who also understands the “business” side of the profession. Share a couple of examples, demonstrating your organizational and self-management skills.
If you can, quantify some of your past accomplishments. For example, you can mention something along the lines of “reduced supply costs by 15% through vendor negotiation”. Such data-backed snippets will add extra weight to your cover letter.
Final Tip: Bring Up Extra Qualifications
You don’t need a degree to land a fire-fighting job. A high school diploma or GED certificate would do. That said, you can stand out more among other applicants by bringing up any extra training and certifications that you have.
For example, having an emergency medical technician (EMT) or equipment management specialist (EMS) certification is a big plus. There are also a number of other professional training programs you may want to consider such as hazmat training or arson investigation. Specialized training and knowledge will always make you a more attractive candidate.