Firefighters work to protect people and property from the hazards of fire, as well as other disasters.
Firefighters will respond to emergency services reports of a fire, and will attend the scene to help anyone in danger, secure the scene, and put out the fire.
Firefighters are also called out to many other emergency situations, such as traffic accidents.
They are often the first to attend the scene of an emergency, and are called on to provide medical assistance to anyone injured.
To become a firefighter, you will need to be physically fit, and have good hearing and vision.
You will also need to be a stable person who is able to be calm in a crisis.
You will likely be exposed to some things that are difficult to deal with, so you will need the skills to cope with this.
Helping the community and saving lives can make for a very rewarding career.
Though the career of a firefighter is demanding, it is also one with a very high rating of job satisfaction.
Education Requirements to Become a Firefighter
The minimum requirement to become a firefighter is a high school diploma.
There is not a formal requirement for any education past high school, however more and more firefighters are attaining two and four year degrees in fire science.
You can complete these courses at college, or community college.
To attain promotions later on, these qualifications are essential.
Some fire departments run apprenticeship programs, where new recruits will have the opportunity to learn on the job.
All new firefighters are required to go through training before they start working.
If you’re in high school, you can start working towards becoming a firefighter now.
Try and do some work experience with your local fire station.
In some places, you can also become a volunteer firefighter.
Another good idea is to get involved at a community level, many fire stations host community fundraising events, why not offer to lend a hand?
Firefighter Job Description
Much of the time spent as a firefighter is responding to emergencies.
In reality, a firefighter is more likely to respond to an emergency situation than they are a fire.
They are usually the first of the emergency services to arrive on the scene.
Being able to provide first aid and other medical assistance is a large part of the role.
Firefighters may be required to complete administrative tasks, or complete reports on situations that have attended.
they may also work in the community, helping to fundraise, or visit schools for the purpose of education.
- Manning a fire station
- Communicating with 911 operators
- Working with law enforcement officers and paramedics
- Attending emergency situations
- Providing medical aid
- Assisting people who are trapped in dangerous situations
- Putting out fires
- Assessing risk of further fires
- Assessing risk of explosions
Working as a firefighter can be a hazardous job.
Beyond the obvious exposure to dangerous situations and injury, a firefighter must also work in hot environments where they can breathe in smoke and dangerous fumes.
When you become a firefighter, you’ll need to get used to long hours and shift work.
Some firefighters stay at the station, waiting for a call out.
Others will stay at home, then go in what they are asked to attend an emergency.
Firefighter Salary and Career Path
Firefighters have much opportunity to rise up the ranks.
Promotion is usually based on the results of internal exams, along with any further training a candidate has undergone.
There is also opportunity to work in fire prevention and related services.
This line of work is more administrative and offers a higher salary.
Some firefighters will go on to work in different parts of law enforcement, medicine, or emergency services later on in their careers.
Some become fire investigators and reporters, while others gain employment with insurance agencies.
A firefighter just starting out could expect to earn around $30,000 a year.
The median wage is around $45,000 a year.
The top firefighters in senior positions can earn six figure incomes.
There is no doubt that working as a firefighter can be a dangerous occupation.
However, it is an important job that is essential to the safety of the community.
If you want a job where you can make a different to people’s lives, then you might like to consider becoming a firefighter.