The job of a firefighter involves the protection of life and property by combating, extinguishing, and preventing fires. Work involves training for and participating in firefighting duties, providing emergency care for sick and injured persons, and conducting fire prevention activities on assigned shifts. Other duties include routine maintenance of fire apparatus, as well as drilling and training in new firefighting techniques and practices.
The job of a firefighter involves extremely difficult physical work as well as the skill to apply previously acquired knowledge to work effectively as part of a team in emergency situations. The physical and mental demands of firefighting are largely underestimated. The job's demanding mental, physical, and behavioral standards are absolutely necessary to ensure the selection of individuals who are capable of successfully performing their job duties.
Ongoing Education & Training
A successful firefighter, in addition to performing assigned duties, must also be a good student. In this day and age, firefighters go through continuous in-service training, adding new facts to and modifying his/her existing firefighting knowledge. This training involves many subjects including fire tactics, public education, hazardous materials and emergency medical and rescue procedures.
Time Demands & Team-Oriented Work
Firefighters spend extended periods of time living and working together as a company or team. On shift, they will spend 24 hours doing apparatus and equipment checks, administrative duties, hydrant detail and maintenance, physical training, and special projects or details as well as training, cleaning, having meals together, and responding to fire and emergency medical calls. Effective teamwork is essential in order to carry out the details involved with this profession.