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Depending on the state you are in the requirements can vary a bit but typically to be a firefighter you have to have a high school diploma and then basic firefighter certifications. These can usually be obtained through local community colleges or the state fire academy. A lot of department require some sort of medical certification as well. Whether it is an emergency medical technician-basic certification or a paramedic certification depends on the department.
Most fire departments will accept "interest cards" and then keep those cards on file until there is a test being given for a position. If you have an interest card on file the department will notify you with the test details: time, date, etc. and then you can register to take the test. The tests are usually general aptitude tests. Once you pass the written test, most departments have a physical ability test and an oral interview. Once you have passed all three, you are placed on a hiring list for any open spots.
Hopefully that helps you a bit. Let me know if you have other questions.