PDF Think Like A Firefighter

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  1. Firefighter
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Often, the protective gear can be very heavy and hot. Firefighters typically need a high school diploma and training in emergency medical services. Most firefighters also must pass a written and physical test, complete a series of interviews, and hold an emergency medical technician EMT certification.

All firefighters receive extensive training after being hired. They must also pass a medical exam and drug screening to be hired. After being hired, firefighters may be subject to random drug tests. The entry-level education needed to become a firefighter is a high school diploma or equivalent.

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However, some class work beyond high school usually is needed to obtain the emergency medical technician EMT basic certification. EMT requirements vary by city and state. Entry-level firefighters receive several weeks of training at fire academies run by the fire department or by the state. Through classroom instruction and practical training, recruits study fire-fighting and fire-prevention techniques, local building codes, and emergency medical procedures. They also learn how to fight fires with standard equipment, including axes, chain saws, fire extinguishers, and ladders.

Some fire departments have accredited apprenticeship programs that last up to 4 years.

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These programs combine classroom instruction with on-the-job-training under the supervision of experienced firefighters. In addition to participating in training programs conducted by local or state fire departments and agencies, some firefighters attend federal training sessions sponsored by the National Fire Academy. These training sessions cover topics including executive development, anti-arson techniques, disaster preparedness, hazardous materials control, and public fire safety and education. Firefighters must usually be certified as emergency medical technicians at the EMT-Basic level.

In addition, some fire departments require firefighters to be certified as an EMT-Paramedic.

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All levels of NREMT certification require completing a training or education program and passing the national exam. The national exam has both a written part and a practical part.


In some departments, it is possible to earn these certifications after being hired. EMTs and paramedics may work with firefighters at the scenes of accidents. Firefighters can be promoted to engineer, then lieutenant, captain, battalion chief, assistant chief, deputy chief, and finally, chief. For promotion to positions beyond battalion chief, many fire departments now require applicants to have a bachelor's degree, preferably in fire science, public administration, or a related field.

Some firefighters eventually become fire inspectors or investigator s after gaining enough experience. To be eligible for certification, firefighters must have a bachelor's degree. Firefighters typically have an interest in the Building, Helping and Persuading interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Building interest area indicates a focus on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things. The Helping interest area indicates a focus on assisting, serving, counseling, or teaching other people. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people.

If you are not sure whether you have a Building or Helping or Persuading interest which might fit with a career as a firefighter, you can take a career test to measure your interests. Communication skills. Firefighters must be able to communicate conditions at an emergency scene to other firefighters and to emergency-response crews. Firefighters are confronted with dangerous situations, such as entering a burning building, while doing their jobs.

Decision-making skills.

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  • Firefighters must be able to make quick and smart decisions in an emergency. Physical stamina.

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    Firefighters may have to stay at disaster scenes for long periods of time to rescue and treat victims. They must also be ready to respond to emergencies at any hour of the day. Physical strength. Firefighters must be strong enough to carry heavy equipment and move debris at an emergency site.

    They must also be able to carry victims who are injured or cannot walk. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.

    Most Recent Firefighter Job Posts

    Most firefighters belonged to a union in The largest organizer for firefighters is the International Association of Fire Fighters. Employment of firefighters is projected to grow 7 percent from to , slower than the average for all occupations. The aging of the population will lead to an increased demand for emergency responders as the elderly tend to use more emergency medical services. Currently, about 2 of out 3 situations that firefighters respond to are medical—rather than fire—emergencies.

    In addition, jobs will be created as volunteer firefighters are converted to paid positions in areas where population growth creates the need for a full-time workforce. An increase in urban populations, where full-time firefighters are more common, also is expected to increase the demand for firefighters. Prospective firefighters will likely face strong competition for jobs. As a result, a department may receive hundreds of applicants for a single position. Physically-fit applicants with high test scores, some post-secondary firefighter education, and paramedic training should have the best job prospects.

    International Association of Fire Fighters. Fire Administration. National Fire Protection Association. For information about professional qualifications and a list of colleges and universities offering 2- or 4-year degree programs in fire science and fire prevention, visit. National Fire Academy , U.

    PTSD, Suicide, and Despair: The Silent Perils of Being a Firefighter - VICE

    Department of Labor every two years. Truity periodically updates our site with information from the BLS database. The first person to name a price in a salary negotiation loses. Instead, re-iterate your commitment to the job itself. If you have to, give a broad range based on research you've conducted on that particular role, in your particular city. Good answer: "I'm more interested in the role itself than the pay. That said, I'd expect to be paid the appropriate range for this role, based on my five years of experience.

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    I also think a fair salary would bear in mind the high cost of living here in New York City. A good answer will reiterate your qualifications, and will highlight what makes you unique. Good answer: "I've been a firefighter for the past five years — my boss has said time and time again that without me, the department wouldn't function as well.

    I've also taken the time to educate myself on some of the non-standard techniques used in first response. I can react quickly in hectic situations, and handle the responsibilities of a leadership role. What's good enough for most people is never really good enough for me. Bad answer: I never finished law school — and everything that has happened since then has taught me that giving up, just because the going gets tough, is a huge mistake. You don't want to actually highlight a major regret — especially one that exposes an overall dissatisfaction with your life. Instead, focus on a smaller, but significant, mishap, and how it has made you a better professional.

    Good answer: "When I was in college, I took an art class to supplement my curriculum. I didn't take it very seriously, and assumed that, compared to my Engineering classes, it would be a walk in the park.

    My failing grades at midterm showed me otherwise. I'd even jeopardized my scholarship status. I knew I had to get my act together. I spent the rest of the semester making up for it, ended up getting a decent grade in the class. I learned that no matter what I'm doing, I should strive to do it to the best of my ability. Otherwise, it's not worth doing at all. Bad answer: "I was so tired of working, and I needed a break," or "I just can't find a job. Employment gaps are always tough to explain. You don't want to come across as lazy or unhireable.