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Becoming A Firefighter: Do You Have What it Takes?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

What exactly is a Firefighter?
Every year, fires and other disasters take numerous lives and damage property worth billions of dollars. Fire fighters help safeguard people against these dangers by responding to fires in addition to a variety of other emergency situations. Fire fighters are generally the first to respond in emergency situations in which property, life or the environment are at risk because of fires, floods, natural disasters, or accidents.

What Exactly Do Firefighters Do?
Fire fighters carry out various functions, some much more difficult than others. Their responsibilities may include operating a pump, attaching hoses to hydrants and placing ladders. Though they often put out fires, fire fighters more often respond to other emergency situations. They are often the first emergency workers on the scene of a traffic accident or medical related emergency and may be required to treat injuries or perform other vital activities. Fire fighters save survivors and victims, perform medical aid, salvage contents of structures and ventilate areas to clear out smoke.

During duty hours, fire fighters need to be ready to respond immediately to a fire or other crisis. Fighting fires is definitely complex and risky and requires organization and teamwork. At every emergency scene, fire fighters execute precise functions specified by a superior officer. In some cases they remain at the location of the disaster for days at a time, locating trapped survivors, and helping with medical treatment. In between calls, fire fighters hone their expertise; clean, take care of and fix equipment; exercise; and conduct practice drills.

A lot of firefighters work irregular hours and stay at the fire station a lot of of the time. Fire stations are normally outfitted with kitchen areas, bed rooms and living rooms. Hours may vary but usually include a 50-hour work week. Firefighters often work 10-14 hour shifts for 3-4 days consecutively; a shift routine might consist of three days on shift, three nights on shift and 3 days off. Sometimes, fire fighters work 24-hour shifts, followed by two days off. When they are not responding to fires or other emergencies, fire fighters clean and maintain equipment, master added skills relating to their jobs, run practice exercises, and participate in physical conditioning activities. They also make written reports about fire events and study fire science materials to keep well informed about new trends and changing administrative practices and regulations.

Fire Fighter Education and Training
Applicants interested in fire fighting careers usually are required to obtain as a minimum a high school diploma, however prospects who have some college education are increasingly becoming preferred. These days, many fire fighters have attained college degrees, such as an Associate's degree in Fire Science or even a Bachelor's degree in Fire Science. Furthermore, emergency medical services (EMT) training may be required prior to starting work. Since many emergency calls involve medical related issues, the vast majority of fire departments now are requiring fire fighters to have some sort of emergency medical training and may also send firefighters for emergency medical technician (EMT) training to get EMT-Basic certified.

Physical fitness and health assessments, a medical assessment, and a criminal background check are also necessary when you are applying for a fire fighter job. All fire fighters acquire substantial training after being hired. As a rule, newly hired workers in large fire departments will be trained for several weeks within the department's training center or academy. During in-class education as well as hands-on training, rookies learn fire fighting strategies, fire prevention, hazardous materials control, local building codes, and emergency medical techniques, including first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). They will also learn about how to use axes, chain saws, fire extinguishers, ladders, and other fire fighting and rescue apparatus. After successfully finishing training, the recruits are assigned to a fire company, at which they'll go through a period of probation.

Firefighting will take a high level of conviction and professionalism for men and women who choose it as their career. A firefighter must possess the bravery and endurance to endanger their own lives for the sake of other people. They need to also study many hours as well as go through extensive periods of training to allow them to grown into successful and proficient pros. If you're ready to make a commitment, a career as a Firefighter may very well be one of good reward and gratification, but it is also an exceptionally tough job.



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