Becoming a Firefighter
Whether it’s a blaze in your home or an emergency involving people or animals, a firefighter can help. Firefighters have specific training to extinguish hazardous fires and rescue people and animals. They are also trained to fight the spread of fire and keep the public safe. They are highly skilled professionals who respond quickly to any emergency. This career choice may not be for everyone, but it is a rewarding one.
To become a firefighter, you must be physically fit, and you must be willing to undergo several tests. These include a written exam, a medical exam, and a psychological evaluation. Applicants must also have excellent hearing and vision. Depending on the fire service, some may also use an online application form and ability test early in the recruitment process.
As a firefighter, you’ll be exposed to many physical and chemical hazards, including smoke and soot. These can affect your health, so you must be ready for such challenges. You’ll also have to learn to handle pressure situations and make decisions in emergencies. A firefighter can expect to work 12-hour shifts and experience extreme temperatures, high levels of stress, and high-stakes situations. A firefighter’s paycheck includes health insurance and access to a fitness center.
After completing a firefighter’s training, you’ll have the chance to become a captain, assistant chief, or battalion chief. Some departments even require firefighters to earn a college degree to advance to the higher ranks. The job can be rewarding and you’ll be providing a valuable service to the community.
A firefighter’s role is to respond to fire emergencies and help evacuate people and animals. A firefighter will typically be the first on the scene and will work closely with other emergency personnel. They’re also trained to handle medical and hazardous materials. If the fire is out of control, a firefighter will assist law enforcement with the cleanup.
A firefighter’s salary can vary greatly. While the starting salary for a firefighter is $45,196, overtime and holiday pay can add up to almost $100,000 in a firefighter’s career. Some firefighters choose to specialize in certain types of disasters, such as wildland fires.
A firefighter’s job is challenging. In addition to dealing with hazardous materials and battling the fire, they must keep the firefighting station and its equipment clean. Moreover, firefighters must clean their living quarters and equipment on a regular basis. The job requires a lot of judgment, as they often come into contact with hazardous materials.
Firefighters must wear protective gear when fighting a fire and carry self-rescue equipment. These include self-contained breathing apparatus, which provides air to firefighters while protecting them from smoke inhalation and toxic fumes. They also wear Personal Alert Safety Systems, which alert other firefighters if a firefighter is unable to move.