There’s more to a firefighter’s job than extinguishing fires; firefighters also respond to emergency and save people’s lives.
Firefighter Job Description, Job Duties, Salary, Resume
Firefighters cooperate with their local community to increase their awareness of fire safety. In addition, they are also responsible for promoting fire safety standards by conducting practice drills and other trainings in public and commercial premises.
Working as a firefighter means that you are the direct front line representative for your respective department or team. It is essential that you know how to balance your attitude especially in handling situations. A Firefighter must know how to remain calm and at the same time know how to stay focused. Firefighters are considered as the problem solvers and life savers in times of fire emergencies, which is why it is very important for them to have extensive knowledge and experience in this kind of work.
Firefighter Duties and Responsibilities
- Drive fire trucks and other emergency vehicles
- Test water hoses, fire extinguishers, and pumps
- Treat sick or injured people
- Make sure rehab is established
- Prepare and monitor written reports on emergency incidents, status of condition, hazards and risks to be submitted to the incident commander (IC)
- Prepare and monitor report and issue citations for fire code violations that can be found during inspections
- Testifying in court when violations occured and when required
- Communication with the IC for additional safety support
- Assess traffic hazards and apparatus placement
- Monitor radio transmissions
- Conduct fire drills for buildings and make a report regarding on the training and drills that occured
- Supervise and manage inspection of properties to ensure that they are in compliance with the existing applicable fire codes, ordinances, laws, regulations, and standards
- Clean and maintain equipment
- Monitor conditions, operation, and other activities
- Make sure that the accountability system is being utilized
- Provide a risk assessment of incident scene operation using the incident action plan (IAP)
- Assure the establishment of safety zones, hot zones, collapse zones, and other hazard areas
- Direct and command firefighters in station maintenance duties
- Participate in maintenance duties and attend in-service training classes to remain current in knowledge of codes, laws, ordinances, and regulations
Firefighters usually work long and varied hours. Most work on a 24-hour shift and are off the following 48 or 72 hours. Some work 10/14 (10 hours working and 14 hours off).Depending on the situation, some firefighter work for extended periods without time off.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old and above and have to go through the standard national selection process or NFS (National Firefighter Selection) as well as Personal Qualities and Attributes (PQS) to make sure that the applicant is available for the job. After that, applicant must undergo physical tests while wearing a full firefighter uniform. Then, the applicant will take an unterview and will be invited to take a medical exam and drug test. It is also essential that the applicant has good vision and hearing. To know more about the firefighter job, please read additional information below.
Firefighter Educational Requirements
Aside from the personal qualities and physical attributes, it is also important to have academic qualifications. A firefighter applicant should have at least a high school diploma as well as training(s) in emergency medical services or have obtained an emergency medical technician (EMT) basic certification. EMT requirement depends on your local state or area. A firefighter applicant should also have at least an HND degree course. Though there are other (vocational) related degree courses for an individual to be qualified including fire engineering, fire safety and risk management or fire and explosion.
To become a qualified firefighter, you need to have
- Good communication and teamwork skills
- Practical skills in operating and using tools
- Decision-making skills
- Physical stamina and high level of physical fitness
- Ability to respond quickly and remain calm
- A high level of self-discipline
- Ability to follow instructions and regulations
- Initiative during rescue operations
- Accuracy in writing incident reports
A firefighter’s salary generally vary between $26K and $72K per year. A firefighter may progress into high-paying roles like Deputy Fire Chief wherein median compensation is $79K annually.
Firefighter Job Outlook
Firefighter employment is projected to grow 7% from 2012 to 2022.The continous growth of the (aging) population will lead to an increased demand for emergency responders because the elderly tend to use more emergency medical services. As of now, there are about 2 out of 3 situations that firefighters respond to medical rather than fire emergencies.
In addition, volunteer firefighters are then converted to paid positions in selected areas where population growth creates and demands the need for a full-time workforce. In some areas, where there is an increase in urban population and where full-time firefighters are more common, the demand for firefighters is expected to increase.
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