What Does a Firefighter Do?
A firefighter is a person who responds to and fights fires. They undergo extensive training in the field and are responsible for putting out dangerous fires that threaten life, property, and the environment. They also rescue people and animals. Firefighters are the first responders in emergencies and can be found at the scene of most types of fires.
Firefighters usually work under a commanding officer. Some fire departments have sworn members, while others are volunteers. The role of a firefighter is varied, from guiding an aerial ladder to connecting a hose to a fire hydrant. They also go inside burning buildings to rescue potential victims. Some firefighters are also EMTs, and some specialize in stabilizing injured people after they are removed from a burning structure.
Firefighters also undergo intensive training, including continuing education. They must be in excellent physical health and have a desire to help people. In addition to fighting fires, they must also monitor safety regulations at residential and commercial properties, coordinate with local police departments, and maintain their vehicles, equipment, and water supplies. In addition, firefighters are responsible for managing building fires and forest fires, as well as analyzing fire scenes and removing burned items. They must also be able to work under pressure.
The application process for firefighters varies from state to state. In general, firefighters must pass a written exam, psychological evaluation, and physical aptitude/agilty test. An extensive job history and academic record is also required, along with a list of references. During the written exam, candidates must answer questions related to math, human relations, and psychology. In addition, a psychological evaluation is performed to determine specific personality traits relevant to firefighter performance.
Firefighters are exposed to many health risks, including burns and smoke inhalation, and other physical injuries. They may also experience long-term job-related illnesses, including asthma and persistent coughing. Despite these risks, firefighters need to face these hazards in order to save people. The demands of this job are considerable, and a firefighter’s mental state is also susceptible to depression and substance abuse.
Firefighters respond to emergencies, including fires, and help evacuate people and animals. They work with law enforcement agencies and other emergency services. Firefighters often provide emergency medical care and are often certified as full-time paramedics. In some states, firefighters can initiate advanced life support techniques and conduct investigations.
Those who wish to become firefighters should contact local firefighters to find out how they can get started. While becoming a firefighter is not easy, it is a rewarding career. Those who meet the required criteria can progress from firefighter to engineer, captain, or battalion chief. However, there are other options to consider.
The main cause of death for firefighters is structural collapse, which can occur without warning and crush firefighters inside the structure. To minimize the risk of this kind of accident, all on-duty firefighters should be equipped with personal alert safety systems and two-way radio communications with the incident commander. Founder Francis Brannigan created this safety system.