Do You Have What it Takes to be a Fire Fighter?

Firefighters are among the first responders to accidents, and other emergency situations. Their job often involves them putting themselves in harm's way to save the lives of others, and to protect property. In the effort to do this, they must have a special set of traits as well as advanced training in a variety of areas. Becoming a firefighter is not easy; the high level of responsibility that comes with the job often calls for a hiring process that challenges the candidate's knowledge and mental fortitude. Not everyone who sets out to become a firefighter will succeed; however, those that do find a tremendously rewarding and enjoyable career as they provide essential help to their fellow man.

Firefighter Job Description

A firefighter's job will involve combating fires and handling medical emergencies, which means that they will need to be skilled in driving fire trucks and other emergency vehicles, providing emergency medical treatment to injured accident victims, providing fire safety education to the public, and writing reports on fires and other emergencies Some firefighters specialize in fighting forest fires and therefore they will need to know how to prevent forest fires from spreading, while others are trained to clean up and manage hazardous materials.

The Different Roles of a Firefighter

The roles that a firefighter may take on in order to serve their communities include:

• Driving Fire Trucks and Operating Equipment
Firefighters must know how to use emergency medical equipment, as well as operate the vehicles that carry ladders and fire pumps.

• Fire Marshal
The responsibilities that go with this position include inspections of buildings within their jurisdiction. The goal of the fire marshal is to ensure that businesses and residences comply with fire codes.

• Dispatcher
This role involves taking emergency calls from the public and dispatching emergency vehicles to the scenes of fires and accidents. Dispatchers take information and provide advice until the emergency units arrive.

Ideal Traits for Firefighters 

• Decisiveness
Firefighters must make rapid analysis of situations that they face, and be able to make quick decisions on the spot.

• Courage
It is essential that all who wish to enter this profession be aware of the high level of risk they will face. As first responders, firefighters must be willing to enter hazardous situations without hesitation.

• Physical Strength and Stamina
Firefighters must be in good shape physically to be able to lift heavy equipment, and to carry victims who are not mobile.

• The Ability to Communicate
Firefighting involves working as a part of a team, and thus requires that a firefighter be able to communicate effectively with other team members. Effective communication is a big part of managing emergencies.

Training and Education for Firefighters 

In some parts of the country, a high school education may be sufficient to get a job as a firefighter; however, a certificate or degree will be necessary in most jurisdictions. Most fire departments require their firefighters to be trained as EMTs, and some require that they be trained as paramedics. Along with this, firefighters must pass a variety of tests. They will learn methods for fighting fires as well as for preventing them. They will be taught emergency medical procedures, and to use different types of equipment such as axes, ladders and fire extinguishers.

In order to succeed in a career as a firefighter it is important for an individual to equip themselves with the requisite specialized skills and knowledge. An EKU online safety degree course provides training in areas such as emergency management and fire and emergency services. The degrees offered by EKU will prepare graduates to be leaders and administrators within the emergency services field. For those who are already working in the field, these degrees could be tools for career advancement. Taking the courses online allows them to further their education at their own pace and on their own time.

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