Firefighting is a career that can make you feel proud and accomplished, and it is a career in which I have a lot of respect for. In order to be a firefighter you must be in shape, prepared, experienced, and ready to deal with your job emotionally as well as physically. I realized as a firefighter you certainly have a lot to be proud of. It’s not your average job and does require quite a bit of organization to stay on top of everything.
The reasonings on why I want to study in this particular career field is the flexible schedule, someone with a servant’s heart, and the demanding physical activity. Many firefighters work long shifts with long breaks followed, with 24 hours on and 48 hours of work off. The flexible work schedule allows some firefighters to work a second job for extra pay on days off. The number one reason as a firefighter is to serve others. The willingness to take risk and save someone else is the true definition of a servants heart.
Firefighting takes care of others and puts them first no matter the circumstances. As a firefighter you must possess stamina, endurance and strength to perform in an emergency. Staying physical as running, walking, and working out as a team can help you get closer to your co-workers.
The history of a firefighter goes way back as far as 24 BC. The Roman emperor Augustus is credited with instituting a corps of fire-fighting vigiles “watchmen” in 24BC.
Regulations for checking and preventing fires were developed. In the preindustrial era most cities had watchmen who sounded an alarm at signs of fire. The principle piece of fire-fighting equipment in ancient Rome and into early modern times was the bucket, passed from hand to hand to deliver water to the fire. Another important fire-fighting tool was the ax, used to remove fuel and prevent the spread of fire as well as to make openings that would allow heat and smoke to escape a burning building. In major conflagrations long hooks with ropes were used to pull down buildings in the path of an approaching fire to create firebreaks.
When explosives were available, they would be used for this same purpose. Following the Great Fire of London in 1666, fire brigades were formed by insurance companies. The government was not involved until 1865, when these brigades became London’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade. The first modern standards for the operation of a fire department were not established until 1830, in Edinburgh, Scotland. These standards explained, for the first time, what was expected of a good fire department. After a major fire in Boston in 1631, the first fire regulation in America was established. In 1648 in New Amsterdam (now New York) fire wardens were appointed, thereby establishing the beginnings of the first public fire department in North America.
In the United States there is a decent amount of firefighters in this career and there are approximately as of 2017, 24,430 firefighters in Florida, with a seven percent growth in the future. The current employment of firefighters is projected to grow seven percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The jobs related to this career are most often found in the same career field. These similar jobs are EMTs and paramedics, fire inspectors, forest and conservation workers, and police and detectives.
The general duties of a full time firefighter are to help protect the public in emergency situations. They respond to a wide variety of calls, such as car crashes, chemical spills, flooding, water rescue, and general rescues as well as fires. Their specific duties are using sophisticated firefighting and rescue equipment, promoting fire safety via talks, advice and training sessions, inspecting and enforcing safety standards in commercial and residential properties, demonstrating the use of firefighting equipment, performing practice drills, working with police and ambulance training, and checking and maintaining vehicles, equipment, hydrants, and water supplies. The hours of work that are ordinarily required are 24 hours followed by 48 hours off, or ten to twelve hour shifts for three to four days in a row. The nature of the work schedule that relates to this job are the long shifts that include weekends and holidays.
The qualifications of a firefighter in this career field both male and female (four percent). You must be eighteen of age and the age limit is usually between 28 and 30. You must pass the physical ability test, CPAT. Every firefighters personality must embody these qualities: commitment to diversity and integrity, openness to change, and confidence and resilience. As of your experience you need a fire science degree and your hiring organization has their own specific training requirements. The Mettl’s Aptitude Test for firefighters from Mettl’s standardized Aptitude Test Library is specially designed to cater to the level of technical, verbal, and quantitative aptitude that a firefighter would be expected to possess. The education you need to be a firefighter is a high school diploma and a degree in fire science (if wanting to advance their careers). Another thing you need is a valid driver’s license, pass physical and written test, drug screening and medical exam. The most common methods of entry into this career are a certificate or associates and bachelors degree or a firefighter apprenticeship. I would choose the firefighter apprenticeship because you have more opportunities to have hands on activity and you’re able to gain a paid experience.
The education planning I’ll need as to becoming a firefighter is a valid driver’s license, able to pass the physical and written tests, a drug screening exam and medical exam, and in terms of formal education I will need a highschool diploma or equivalent. Classes that I can take in high school to help me become a firefighter are health and medical classes because I will need to be able to become a certified EMT or Emergency Medical Technician, math and science, communication, and some college classes. The post-secondary schooling I will attend to is a fire training academy. It has on-the-job training to advance my career and will give me more opportunities to have an increased employment. The length of training is three to four months to become a firefighter, five years for pre-employed advanced training and experience a longer application process, and seven years for a full paramedic and acquire a four year fire science degree.
The cost of training will be $5,300 plus the expenses of your gear and books which conclude up to $650. The armed force training has an opportunity you can take which is an Air Force Firefighter, you will report to work everyday at the fire station and you will complete all the daily tasks that go along with operating a fire department. The things that I can apply for that will help me with the cost of my training, gear, and books is to apply for financial aid. I can also check out the many different scholarships they have to offer and the many grants that I am eligible for. Other things a firefighter experiences is receiving an on the job paid experience before they officially begin work for their department. Once they are hired every firefighter and EMT attends several weeks of training programs, regardless of prior experience.
There are many different career fields that are related to firefighting. You have a municipal fire fighting and prevention supervisor, their job is to supervise fire fighters who control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property, and conduct rescue efforts. A forest fire fighter and prevention supervisor, their job is to supervise fire fighters who control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land. An electrical power-line installer and repairers job is to install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems. May erect poles and light or heavy duty transmission towers. An emergency medical technician and paramedics job is to assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals. Transport injured or sick people to medical facilities.
A ship engineers job is to supervise and coordinate activities of crew engaged in operating and maintaining engines, boilers, deck machinery, and electrical, sanitary, and refrigeration equipment aboard ships. A forest firefighters job is to control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land. Lastly a commercial divers job is to work below surface of water, using scuba gear to inspect, repair, remove, or install equipment and structures. May use a variety of power and hand tools, such as drills, sledge hammers, torches, and welding equipment. May conduct test or experiments, rig explosives, or photograph structures or marine life. A few local places that might hire me are the City of Lakeland, Civil Service as a firefighter EMT/paramedic, the City of Lake Alfred as a firefighter, and Polk County as a firefighter-paramedic (fire rescue). If I were to apply to one of these jobs I would ask these three people to be my recommendations; Corbin Weeks, Melissa Allen, and Amanda Bradshaw.
The earnings that I can expect to make from this career is the beginning salary starting out as $16,842, the average salary as $43,488, and the exceptional salary as $75,897. The expenses that I might have to meet are the tuition cost for all students which is $5,300. Other costs include bunker gear purchase or rental which can range from $400 to $1,500; uniforms at $150 to $300 and books and class supplies can cost from anywhere from $100 to $200. Some benefits I could expect to gain from this job is since it requires physical prowess, endurance and a working knowledge of medical procedures. This is why a city or other municipality employing a firefighter isn’t shy about extending an attractive benefits package to firefighters, including a competitive wage, health care coverage, retirement pay and fringe benefits. The hazards that you can anticipate from this job are inadequate fresh air to breath, exposure to chemicals during rescue, inhalation of chemical vapors, and exposure to large quantities of carbon monoxide.
They may seek advancement opportunities by completing specific training or attending a university for related degrees that will prepare them for more advanced positions. Yes, advancement will require additional training as in some states will have extensive firefighter training and certification training. A number of colleges and universities offer courses up to a two to four year degree in fire engineering or fire science. Many fire departments offer firefighters incentives such as tuition reimbursement or higher pay for completing advanced training. Yes, advancement will require additional duties because the training will cover the more advanced topics including executive development, anti-arison techniques, disaster preparedness, hazardous materials control, and public fire safety and education. No there is not a need to continuing education to hold this position but as an experienced firefighter can continue studying to improve their job performance and prepare for a promotion examination. They acquire expertise in advanced fire fighting equipment and techniques, building construction, emergency medical technology, writing, public speaking, management and budgeting procedures, and public relations.
Johnson, Chris. “Re:Interview.”Received by Isabel Villanueva, 31 Nov. 2018. To learn more about this profession that I am interested in, I reached out to Chris Johnson who is a former firefighter and asked him to answer a couple questions, the following are: Why did you become a firefighter? He answered back “I was in another career before this that I loved, but worked way too many hours for the pay and it was wearing on me. After having the opportunities to save a couple people’s lives in my last career, I decided that Fire Rescue is what I really wanted to do. I left the career I was in and enrolled in the fire academy and EMT school. I became a firefighter because I like having the opportunities to help people. I also like the work schedule.” When did you realize that this is what you wanted to do? “I realized that I wanted to be a firefighter paramedic when I had the opportunity to save a person’s life one day in my last career.” Did you attend a fire academy? If so, can you describe your experience? “I did attend the fire academy. It was an all-day program for several months that was physically demanding, but taught the foundation of firefighting skills.” What is your work schedule like? “I am on shift 24 hours, from 8am to 8am the next day with 48 hours off between shifts.”
How does being a firefighter affect your life at home with your spouse and children if any? “This is one of the hardest aspects about my job for a couple of reasons. The obvious reason is that we see things that most people never will see in their lives, and we have to find ways to keep that separate from our families. There are times that certain tragedies way heavy on the mind and it is important to find a way to deal with these things and not let it impact the time I have with my family. The less thought about situations that has a significant impact on my family, is the fact that there are many shifts were I don’t get much sleep if any. If you ever pulled an all-nighter, you know that you are not always in the best mental state the next day. Finding time for a nap the day after a shift is needed, but not always possible. I find myself having to put extra effort into staying in a right state of mind with my wife and son when I’m really tired.” What are the pros and cons of being a firefighter? “We get to do some pretty cool stuff. Fighting fire is a lot of work and physically demanding, but it is something that I believe all firefighters would say still gets them excited and gives a feeling of accomplishment. Most of us are also paramedics, and we get to do some pretty awesome medical stuff too.
There are also parts of the job that some may see as cons, but still have to be done. When we get to work in the morning, the station and bathrooms have to be cleaned and there is a chore list for each day, which could include mowing or doing a thorough cleaning of the engine or rescue. If I have to pick out one of the biggest detractors of the job, it would be the sleep deprivation that happens way too often.” What was your most exciting call? “Everyone wants to ask this question, but it really is hard to answer. Something can be exciting simply because it was mentally challenging and you know you made a difference, but if you were to tell someone it was exciting, it may appear somewhat morbid twisted. So unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for you on this one.” Have you experienced any tragedies? How did you manage to cope with it? “Tragedy is something we deal with frequently. Most firefighters/paramedics are pretty good at compartmentalizing our lives. We try to leave work at work, and family at home. There are times though, especially with pediatric patients, that is can wear on us.
It is in those times after a rough shift, simply getting some exercise helps.” How is it living in the firehouse? “The firehouse has multiple personalities and there is a rank structure, much like in any family. But overall, life in the firehouse is fun, just be sure you can handle a prank or two occasionally.” Lastly, what would your advice be to any up and coming firefighters? “Try the reserve firefighting program. You get assigned to a crew and an engine and get to run calls. It will give you a look into the fire/rescue service to see if it is what you really want to do. Get your education. Go to fire school and get your EMT schooling done, then start applying. Then start on the paramedic program. Make sure it is an accredited school, as your education credits make a big difference when it comes to getting promoted.”
After studying this career field in depth, I am very interested in making this into my own career! I am ready to put myself into determination to make it. Becoming a Firefighter is a very rare job to pursue in, I think that’s why I’m interested in doing it. The research for this career was a next step thing, it lays all the requirements out. I am very determined for this hard work ahead because very little women get/go into this career field. After my interview with Chris Johnson it was amazing. He hit every key aspect and explained himself very clearly. After this interview it made me want to drive harder to become a firefighter. He explained that at times it will be tough and some may be easier. This is the profession I want to pursue in if God allows it.