In the United States, many areas are Fire base EMS. You must be both a firefighter and a Paramedic. If a choice between EMS and Fire degrees go with Fire if being hired by a FD to show interest in being a career FF.

These are good to have in the hiring process.

Military experience (Veteran's preference points)

Paramedic certifiate

Fire certificates

Associates degree in Fire Science or Technology

The FDs do recognize college education.

Bachelors in Public Safety Administration is good especially later for promotion.

Be in time physical (CPAT) and mental condition. No smoking for year year prior to application.

Besides Veteran's Preference points here is an example of the point system for some FDs:

Points for EMS, Fire Certification

E.M.T.-Parademic 25 Points

E.M.T.-Intermediate 15 Points

Haz-Mat Technician Cert. 10 Points

Firefighter 1 Certification 15 Points

Points for College Credit:

Four year Fire or EMS Degree 25 Points

Four year College Degree 15 Points

Associates Fire or EMS 15 Points

Certificate of Completion (F.S.) 5 Points

An eligibility list will be established, based on the average score from the written test, the physical agility test and the oral interview. The extra points would be added into this averaged score to determine a final ranking.

Your background check and driving record will also be considered. The driving record is important for insurance reasons. A candidate with a good driving record will have the advantage given other things are fairly equal.