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Being a Firefighter, What is Involved in this Noble Profession?

By: TrBrian Jenkins

Firefighters are considered by many to be modern day cowboys, universally loved and respected. While this level of admiration can be flattering, it may not be enough to make fire fighting the right job for you. The duties that a firefighter performs are much wider ranging than many people realize. A great deal of work goes into the preparation of fighting a fire.

Firefighters are often the first responders on the scene of an accident, and as such they must be prepared for anything. When a call comes into the fire station, the firefighter must assess the call and determine what equipment should be used and how many men should respond. Once they arrive on the scene, the firefighters can more accurately determine what is needed, but in accidents and fires even a few minutes can have a great impact on the outcome of a situation.

After they arrive, the firefighter will begin to treat the situation. In the case of a structure fire, this will involve putting out the blaze and determining if there is anyone inside the building. If they have responded to an automobile accident, they will help paramedics extract and treat victims and prepare them for transport. Many firefighters also have paramedic training, which makes them invaluable in these types of situations.

Other emergencies, such as chemical leaks or fallen electrical lines are taken care of by firefighters as well. Because of the extensive nature of emergencies that the firefighter is expected to face, they must be well trained in all types of situations. Regardless of the type of situation that a firefighter faces, they must remain calm and be ready to make an instant decision on how to proceed. This type of judgment is partially a personality trait and partially the result of training and experience.

Despite the chaos that surrounds an emergency, a firefighter is expected to maintain their concentration and provide communication, both to other emergency responders and any victims or victims’ families that may be at the scene. Because firefighters often see people at the most tragic moment of their life, this can be a difficult process. No one wants to be told to stand back or calm down when everything that they own is going up in smoke. A firefighter must retain empathy for the victim without being so emotionally involved that the job becomes too much to handle.

Could I Be a Firefighter?

Firefighting is a very physically demanding job. Not only do you put your life at risk if you are not able to do the work that is required, but you put others at risk as well. Firefighter must drag heavy hoses, climb high ladders and carry people from buildings. Regardless of how exhausted they are at the end of a run, they must put their equipment away so that it is ready to go the next time that their is an emergency.

The process of becoming a firefighter varies from department to department, and is different if you are on a volunteer fire department or a paid fire department. As a rule, to be considered you must have your high school diploma or GED, and many fire stations require a fire science degree from a community college. Most departments will also require that you receive emergency medical technician (EMT) training. This is not as involved as paramedic training, but will allow you to stabilize a patient while waiting for an ambulance.

Most fire departments will run a background check on you before accepting you. While a criminal background is a definite no-no, a spotty driving record is also a red flag. For liability reasons, most fire stations will not consider putting a driver with a poor record behind the wheel of a fire truck. Before you are accepted for training you should also polish your communication skills. Most fire academies require an interview before acceptance, and the more poised and confident that you appear; the more likely it is that you will be accepted.

Probably the part of any firefighters training that is the most nerve wracking is the physical test. While each department has its own requirements for the physical fitness test, typical fitness tests are used to measure the applicant’s strength, agility and endurance. Exercises may include a mile run, a shuttle run, push-ups and pull-ups, as well as firefighter specific activities such as tunnel crawl, beam walk and ladder climb. Often the firefighter specific activities are performed in full gear. To pass the physical fitness portion of the assessment you will need to be in excellent physical fitness and mentally strong.

Firefighting is a wonderful career, but not everyone is suited for the job. A good firefighter is confident, calm, works well without supervision and communicates well with others. While someone who is passionate about firefighting may work hard to develop these skills, the best firefighters seem to naturally have these traits.

Firefighters are considered by many to be modern day cowboys, universally loved and respected. While this level of admiration can be flattering, it may not be enough to make fire fighting the right job for you. The duties that a firefighter performs are much wider ranging than many people realize. A great deal of work goes into the preparation of fighting a fire.

Firefighters are often the first responders on the scene of an accident, and as such they must be prepared for anything. When a call comes into the fire station, the firefighter must assess the call and determine what equipment should be used and how many men should respond. Once they arrive on the scene, the firefighters can more accurately determine what is needed, but in accidents and fires even a few minutes can have a great impact on the outcome of a situation.

After they arrive, the firefighter will begin to treat the situation. In the case of a structure fire, this will involve putting out the blaze and determining if there is anyone inside the building. If they have responded to an automobile accident, they will help paramedics extract and treat victims and prepare them for transport. Many firefighters also have paramedic training, which makes them invaluable in these types of situations.

Other emergencies, such as chemical leaks or fallen electrical lines are taken care of by firefighters as well. Because of the extensive nature of emergencies that the firefighter is expected to face, they must be well trained in all types of situations. Regardless of the type of situation that a firefighter faces, they must remain calm and be ready to make an instant decision on how to proceed. This type of judgment is partially a personality trait and partially the result of training and experience.

Despite the chaos that surrounds an emergency, a firefighter is expected to maintain their concentration and provide communication, both to other emergency responders and any victims or victims’ families that may be at the scene. Because firefighters often see people at the most tragic moment of their life, this can be a difficult process. No one wants to be told to stand back or calm down when everything that they own is going up in smoke. A firefighter must retain empathy for the victim without being so emotionally involved that the job becomes too much to handle.

Could I Be a Firefighter?

Firefighting is a very physically demanding job. Not only do you put your life at risk if you are not able to do the work that is required, but you put others at risk as well. Firefighter must drag heavy hoses, climb high ladders and carry people from buildings. Regardless of how exhausted they are at the end of a run, they must put their equipment away so that it is ready to go the next time that their is an emergency.

The process of becoming a firefighter varies from department to department, and is different if you are on a volunteer fire department or a paid fire department. As a rule, to be considered you must have your high school diploma or GED, and many fire stations require a fire science degree from a community college. Most departments will also require that you receive emergency medical technician (EMT) training. This is not as involved as paramedic training, but will allow you to stabilize a patient while waiting for an ambulance.

Most fire departments will run a background check on you before accepting you. While a criminal background is a definite no-no, a spotty driving record is also a red flag. For liability reasons, most fire stations will not consider putting a driver with a poor record behind the wheel of a fire truck. Before you are accepted for training you should also polish your communication skills. Most fire academies require an interview before acceptance, and the more poised and confident that you appear; the more likely it is that you will be accepted.

Probably the part of any firefighters training that is the most nerve wracking is the physical test. While each department has its own requirements for the physical fitness test, typical fitness tests are used to measure the applicant’s strength, agility and endurance. Exercises may include a mile run, a shuttle run, push-ups and pull-ups, as well as firefighter specific activities such as tunnel crawl, beam walk and ladder climb. Often the firefighter specific activities are performed in full gear. To pass the physical fitness portion of the assessment you will need to be in excellent physical fitness and mentally strong.

Firefighting is a wonderful career, but not everyone is suited for the job. A good firefighter is confident, calm, works well without supervision and communicates well with others. While someone who is passionate about firefighting may work hard to develop these skills, the best firefighters seem to naturally have these traits.

Article Source: http://www.marketmyarticle.com

About Author:
Brian Jenkins is a freelance writer who writes about topics concerning emergency planning, safety preparedness and demonstrations for emergency response such as Safety Training Videos

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