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Can you become a firefighter with a felony?


If you get accused of a felony offense, you need to start thinking about your future. If convicted, that charge could keep you from pursuing the career that you want.

For instance, perhaps you have always dreamed of becoming a firefighter. All you want to do is help people, but, in California, that felony could actually make it impossible. Many counties have rules in place saying that firefighters have to get an EMT license. That license, in turn, can be denied to you if you have a felony on your record. So, while you may technically know how to fight fires and want to do so, you could miss out on the proper licensing and paperwork, costing you that career.

As an example, this issue came to light back in 2018, when California was facing massive wildfires. To help fight them, the state gave some prisoners a chance to go serve with firefighters. The pay was nearly nothing, just $1 an hour, but many took the job. They helped prevent the spread of the fires and things eventually came back under control.

However, when some of those who had literally fought some of the worst fires in the state’s history finally got out of jail, they found that they couldn’t get their EMT licenses and so they couldn’t become firefighters. No doubt they had hoped that they could use that career path to make a living after serving their time, but it ironically did not work out that way.

These are the types of hurdles people face after conviction, and they really illustrate why you must know all of the legal options that you have to defend yourself.

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