A firefighter offers an essential service that goes far beyond battling the occasional blaze. Firefighters not only help to prevent, put out, and minimize the damage of fires, but every day they are credited with saving people's lives. They are fully trained in dealing with all types of incidents from traffic accidents to chemical spills and many other emergencies. When not on call, firefighters help enforce fire safety procedures and spend time educating the public on safety measures and fire prevention.
Though there are obvious dangers associated with the job, firefighters receive extensive training on safety procedures, first aid, emergency response, and how to properly use equipment like water hoses, aerial ladders, and hydraulic equipment. As technologies are constantly being updated, that training is ongoing. Despite the dangers, many firefighters feel the job's rewards far outweigh the risks.
Whether full-time or working as a volunteer, a firefighter is required to be up-to-date on safety measures and ready to assist in emergencies at a moment's notice. That means participating in regular drills, inspecting equipment, and maintaining a high level of physical fitness. As well, some firefighters are required to visit schools and other areas of the community to share their knowledge of fire safety.
- High levels of physical fitness, including agility and strength
- Capable of working under pressure and in stressful or dangerous situations
- Ability to adapt to different or changing circumstances
- Team player