Can You Get a Perfect Score on This Firefighter Exam?


By: Kale Havervold

6 Min Quiz

Image: shaunl/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

There is a good chance that when you were a child, you had dreams of being a firefighter. Saving lives, rescuing people from a burning building and being a hero are all things that stood out to you. However, becoming a firefighter requires you be in excellent physical shape, both in terms of strength and agility.

Of course, you need to keep in mind that being a firefighter is about more than just being strong and courageous. You also need to have the brains to back it up. Firefighters find themselves in many compromising positions and need to use their training, expertise and knowledge to help them navigate. Also, because firefighters are often among the first responders to the scene of an accident, they must be knowledgeable enough and ready to provide emergency medical assistance at any time. While their knowledge might not need to be as deep as that of a paramedic, they will definitely need to know some of the same things. 

As you can see, a lot goes into becoming a firefighter. Many have the dream, but do you think you possess the knowledge to make it a reality? If so, challenge yourself against our replica firefighter entrance exam! The quiz will cover a wide range of topics including general firefighting knowledge, fire prevention, knowledge of first aid, real-life scenarios and more.

So without any further ado, read on and take the firefighter quiz. Do you think you can get a perfect score?

You have discovered that a car accident victim is unconscious; what is the very first thing you do?

While there might be a lot going on at an accident scene, the most important thing to do is save lives. So if you see someone unconscious, you need to check their breathing. If they aren't breathing, perform CPR to try and restore breathing.


You are asked a question you don't know the answer to during an inspection. As a firefighter, what do you do?

As a firefighter, you have some specialized knowledge, but you cannot possibly know everything. As a result, if someone asks you something you don't know, be honest and tell them that you'll look into it for them.


What is the normal pulse rate for adults?

The average pulse rate for healthy adults and adolescents is around 60 to 100 beats per minute. Some extreme athletes will be much lower, but most regular people will fall somewhere within that range.


During an incident, what does the incident commander do?

An incident commander is the one person in charge of all aspects of the incident. This includes managing operations, assigning responsibilities, developing the objectives and more.


Salvage operations are used to ______.

The safety of victims is always first and foremost. However, once that is taken care of, firefighters can work to protect the structure or building where the fire took place. Common practices during salvage operations are using covers to protect furniture or walls from smoke or fire damage.


How soon do brain cells begin to die when they don't have access to oxygen?

Our bodies need oxygen to live, especially our brains. If brain cells go without oxygen for only a few minutes (or even a single minute), they can begin to die. Anything over 10 minutes and the chance of survival is very low.


Which degree of a burn is the most harmful/devastating?

Third-degree burns are the most devastating. First-degree burns are relatively minor, second-degree may cause blisters and thick skin, but third-degree often cause charred or leathery skin, with the potential for numbness.


Where is the femoral artery?

The femoral artery is located in your leg and is the main arterial supply to your legs and thighs. Injuries to the femoral artery can cause heavy bleeding and can be incredibly serious.


You get a call to an accident and see someone trapped and unconscious in their car, how do you get them out?

If the car doesn't open, and someone is trapped inside, many fire departments will resort to the Jaws of Life. The Jaws of Life is a hydraulic rescue tool that can pry apart the wreckage after a car accident to extract trapped individuals.


What is not a part of the role of a fire captain?

A fire captain is in charge of a lot of things, but isn't always the one to use the hose. Think of them as the manager of the team, both on the fire apparatus but also back at the station.


How old does someone need to be before adult CPR techniques are used?

If someone is 8 years old, adult CPR techniques can be utilized on them. The reason the same methods cannot be used on everybody is that toddlers and babies have a different bone structure and require specific CPR techniques.


If a bystander is angry or upset during an incident, what should you do as a firefighter?

People being upset or uncomfortable around the fire is understandable, and there might be people angry that you aren't doing more (in their eyes) to help. It is essential to stay calm, cool and collected and do your job as you were trained.


What is the largest job-related cause of death among firefighters?

Heart attacks are far and away the most common job-related cause of death that firefighters face. Many contributing factors could be part of the reason why this happens, such as high levels of stress, long exposure to chemicals and fires, irregular sleeping patterns and more.


What is a water hammer?

Sometimes, a pressure surge will cause the water inside a pipe or hose to suddenly stop or need to change directions. As you can imagine, this can be devastating for firefighters in the middle of an incident.


How many lives did the deadliest fire in U.S history take?

The deadliest fire in U.S. history took place back in 1871 in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. It killed at least 1,200 people and burned through an astonishing 1.2 million acres. Multiple factors contributed to the extent of the fire, including drought, high winds and logging.


What is the incipient stage of a fire?

There are many different stages to a fire, and the incipient stage is the first one. It is when a fire is small, controlled and isn't giving off a lot of heat. Incipient fires are easily put out but can grow into something much larger.


When should preventative fire inspections take place?

Preventative fire inspections are used to ensure that locations have the right fire prevention tools and plans in place. If you pre-announce these, establishments will have time to prepare and might not give you an authentic look at how things really are.


How much water does a fire truck hold?

There are a variety of different fire trucks and engines, so it is to be expected that they will have different water capacities. Some smaller brush trucks will have around 250 gallons, while large tankers can have over 2,000.


What is the normal rate of breath for babies?

Babies breathe much faster than adults and older children do, at around 40 breaths a minute. This will sometimes decrease to approximately 20 or so during slumber, but not all the time. Sometimes, it can be normal for a baby to breath slightly more or slightly less than the 40.


You have discovered a grease fire on the stove after turning off the heat source; what is the very next thing you should do?

Water should never be used on a grease fire, so it is important to keep that in mind. After turning off the heat source, you need to try to suffocate the fire by removing the oxygen. This can be done with something like a pot, pan or lid.


CPR should not be performed if a victim has suffered from what?

While a broken leg can be a serious injury, it is not one that will require CPR, unless the victim has passed out and isn't breathing. CPR should only be used when you are trying to help someone restore breathing.


Which of these is not a sign that someone is in shock?

One of the first things you will notice about someone in shock is how cold and clammy their skin will be. In addition to that, they will be weak, have large pupils, have a rapid pulse rate and breathing.


Which is not a sign of heat stroke in a victim?

That's right, despite getting a heat stroke from the heat, heat stroke victims normally won't sweat much. They will feel weak, have rapid short breaths, feel dizzy and have red, hot and dry skin.


How many firefighters work in the USA alone?

The USA alone is home to over a million firefighters working in tens of thousands of stations across the country. While many of them are volunteer firefighters, they still put their lives on the line for the communities they live in.


How many "types" of buildings are there?

In total, there are five different types of buildings, ranging from high-rises to wood-frame constructions. Each has its own unique qualities and features, and firefighters should know what each one is and how to fight fires in different structures.


What is the normal rate of breathing for adults?

Adults typically breathe 12-20 breaths per minute. This is a resting rate, and if you are outside of this range, you should look to see a doctor. It is important for firefighters to know this to ensure victims are breathing properly.


How many classes of fires are there?

In the USA fires are classified in 5 groups. Class A is combustible materials, Class B is flammable liquids and gasses, Class C is electrical fire, Class D is flammable metals and Class K is cooking oils and fats.


How fast do radiated heat waves travel?

Radiated heat travels at an incredibly high speed, which is the speed of the light. The exact speed of light is 299,792,458 meters per second. At this speed, you would be able to travel around the earth seven and a half times in a single second.


What is "Two in, two out"?

As you could imagine, firefighting is an extremely dangerous profession. While they are responsible for saving others, there are also times where firefighters need to be saved. Two in, two out refers to the rule that says that two firefighters should stand outside the incident area to save the first two firefighters if needed.


Among these options, which is the leading cause of house fires in the USA?

While smoking is the largest cause of home fire deaths, it is actually cooking equipment fires that is the leading cause. This is often due to forgetting about things cooking or leaving the oven or stove on.


How much does basic firefighter gear weigh?

The basic equipment that firefighters are responsible for wearing weighs in at around 45 pounds. Additional equipment might be required depending on the job.


What is a normal blood pressure range among adults?

Having a blood pressure that is too high or too low can both present some problems for people. As a result, your blood pressure should fall somewhere between 90/60 and 120/80.


What is convection?

Convection is when a gas or fluid is heated and carries the heat and thermal energy along with it when it moves. As a firefighter, it is important to know all about the different heat transfer methods.


When arriving at the scene of an incident with your crew, what is the first thing you do?

While you might think firefighters go fight the fire as soon as they arrive, they first must wait for the incident commander to assign roles and communicate a plan of attack.


Which artery should first respondents use to check the pulse rate in a conscious adult?

Generally, it is recommended that the radial artery is the first pulse point you use on a conscious adult. There are a few reasons for this, including the fact it is less invasive, less aggressive and easier to maintain contact on.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!