Become A Fireman

Female Firefighters

We Americans suffered great losses during the 9-11 terrorist attack in New York City. Thinking about it brings to mind some of the devastation that we as a country endured. Although it took place many years ago, the pain is very real even today. Many lives were lost, not all directly from the attack. Many people died during the rescue efforts and evacuation attempts. Firefighters responded as quickly as they were able to and saved many lives on this sad day. Many of these firefighters were women. They deserve just as much recognition and praise as the men do.

The women who were at ground zero, and women everywhere who have embraced firefighting as their career of choice need to be recognized for their bravery and untold sacrifices. Most people do not know that women have been involved with firefighting in some way for the last 200 years. During World War II the firefighting world was actually dominated primarily by women because they were a necessity at the time. When needed, women are there to take up the slack. When the men were all away fighting the war, women stood in their places just as bravely as the men did.

The first female firefighter was Molly Williams who was a slave in New York. From then on women found their way towards fire departments and stood hand in hand with the men who were already there. They worked side by side to help save the lives of people whenever the opportunity presented itself. Wounded and fallen female firefighters have gone unnoticed and most people are not aware that these firefighting women exist. These women are more than just ordinary firefighters, some hold positions in command and they carry these titles proudly. Today strong and brave women everywhere are in full support of female firefighters to keep them from fading into obscurity. The amount of female firefighters in the service is always on the rise. In the United States alone, there are approximately 30 to 40 thousand of these brave women. These large numbers are too large not to attract attention. However not many people are willing to bring this to light. It is up to us to educate younger generations, and today’s world about women in firefighting because if we do not do it who will?

female-firefightersIn certain cases, women who have bravely entered the world of firefighting go through a daily battle with their jobs. Often they suffer sexual harassment and are not recognized as being competent in the firefighting world. For most women this is an uphill battle and they have to work very hard every day of their lives to pave the way for those women who follow them so it is easier. Female firefighters have to fight against workplace discrimination as well as gear and uniforms, which are inappropriate for their bodies. They must fight for equal rights and opportunities. One could spend their entire lives listening to the stories female firefighters have to tell and never hear everything they have suffered through. Female firefighters are no longer fighting fires in the shadow of a man. They will continue to thrive as long as people spread the word about their bravery.

Support Your Local Fire Department

Who are the brave men and women who respond to our fire related 911 emergency calls? Do we really know who they are? Maybe not personally, but we know them. These are the mothers, fathers, sons and daughters and possibly some of the bravest male and female firefighters of the world. We should familiarize ourselves with the firefighters of our communities. All it takes is a brief trip to your local fire department. Simply introduce yourself and listen to the heroic stories that the male and female firefighter has to share.

Lack of community support often makes firefighters feel cut off from the rest of the community. Firefighters are no different from you or me, other than they have been extensively trained to have life saving skills, and have learned the art of fire prevention and suppression. Most fire departments try to reach out to the community by hosting money raising events. Like everyone else, the holidays are important to the firefighters of the community. Often they will have fun little get-togethers for members of the community so that they can educate people on fire safety skills.

Fire departments will have a special member or officer who will visit schools so he or she can assist in educating young children on the importance of fire safety, and how to react in the case of a fire. The famous stop, drop, and roll skill is taught to all children at various ages so that they have the skills to put out a fire on their bodies if needed. Children love to learn about firefighters and how important they are as members of a community.

If you are looking for a way to help your local fire department, and show them the community support that they deserve, try becoming a volunteer firefighter. If you decide to do this, it is important to keep some points in mind when engaging in this type of activity. Start slowly and try not to overdo it. It is best to speak with the fire chief or mayor and make them aware of your ideas for volunteering. They will let you know where volunteer firefighters are needed. It may not be where you want to be, but it is where you are needed.

When recruiting others to volunteer with you, maintain control of the group as a whole, and personally. The fire department already have a full load of work and are very busy, so they do not need additional work. Keep the volunteer group to a number you can easily control and manage. The people in your group should genuinely wish to help and not try to control the fire department.

local-fire-departmentCommunication is very important. Keep open lines between the fire chief, the mayor, and yourself. By having open communication you will show that the volunteers are going to help and not just cause problems. Be sure that you understand everything that is said as this will enable you and others to help appropriately, keeping problems to a minimum.

It is a fun and rewarding experience to support your local fire department. Do not try to fix or change the fire department, just offer your assistance where it is needed the most. Always approach the proper officials in a kind, respectful, and open manner. Share your ideas, and listen to what they have to say. Possible support you could provide can range from cooking for them, to running a fundraising charity. Work together with them as this is how a community stays together.

Firefighting Museums

In the United States alone, the number of museums that exist for the sole purpose of educating people about, and creating memorials for fallen firefighters, has grown dramatically. Most of these museums are run on donations, and are a great place to visit for those interested in firefighter history. These museums help keep the memory of fallen firefighters alive. Although firefighter museums are often small, in the United States, there is one in almost every state. Each museum holds pieces of history, which tell stories of long forgotten firefighter traditions and keeping the memories of these men and women alive. Educating people about firefighter history is essential to our culture because not many people know even a small amount of firefighter history. It is part of the history of our great nation and is what defines us as a whole. Being aware of our past can teach us valuable lessons and help us to plan for the future.

These male and female firefighters are brave men and women who have sacrificed themselves to save others, as well as their families. The family members of firefighters are not recognized often enough. They provided strength and love to these firefighters while they were alive and it takes an emotionally and physically strong person to be the mate of a firefighter. These family members of firefighters lost parts of their hearts and lives when their firefighter was lost. Museums do help, even if it is only in a small way, by keeping the memories of these brave firefighters alive long after they are gone. The museums proudly display their actions and bravery to the world. These firefighters are heroes, and should be treated like heroes.

The history of firefighting is very fascinating. It evolved over time and turned into the major occupation that we know of today. The changes in equipment and tools used by firefighters have changed drastically since just the 1970′s. Firefighters used to wear plain rubber boots and jackets. The firefighter costume has changed quite a bit since then. They now wear special hoods made of flame resistant materials, a breathing apparatus that aids in less inhalation of smoke or gasses, and helmets, which have special face visors. With all of the changes that have been made in the firefighting industry, who knows what the future will bring? Things we do not even think are possible now may be around ten or twenty years from now. Can you imagine what people in the future will think about the equipment and methods used today?

firefighter-museumI recommend that you visit the nearest firefighter museum to you so that you can completely immerse yourself in their world for a while. You will leave with knowledge you did not have before, and an understanding of what firefighters go through on a regular basis. You will be able to see what an average day is like for a firefighter, and gain a stronger appreciation for the jobs they perform. These brave firefighters have given so much of themselves while asking for little in return. Most of the time the price to enter, if there is one, is donated to fallen firefighters families or to buy new equipment for active fire fighters. Its a great way to spend the afternoon. Most of the time they have great gear and artifacts to look at that are from centuries past. Its amazing they were even able to put fires out with some of the ancient equipment.

The Five Fire Classifications

In a firefighters world, types of fire are broken up into five different classes, so that those with firefighter jobs can have a better system of understanding for the types of fires they face. When people learn how to become a firefighter in a training academy they are fully educated about each fire class, and what methods should be used to fight each type of fire. Each fire class needs to be handled differently, requiring a different strategy to control it. The classifications of fire are listed under either A class, B class, C class, D class or K class. As a side note, in the United Kingdom, the K class is known as the F class.

Class A Fires

Class A fires are the most common in today’s firefighting world. These fires are caused by wood and other combustible materials. Other fires that are considered part of this class are campfires, candle fires, and fires caused by matches or lighters. A fire requires three things, also known as a fire triangle, to stay hot. These three things are heat, oxygen, and a source of fuel. Class a fires require all three of these things in order to continue. When oxygen is available, and the material becomes hot enough to cause combustion, flames often result, spreading the fire to other materials around it. Generally, a campfire is safe and contained, however under the right circumstances such as a wind gust or a spark landing in the surrounding brush the fire will leave the confines of the campfire into the surrounding area. This type of fire accident can quickly spread into surrounding forest. This is known as an A class fire. Water is commonly used to extinguish this type of fire, and it does so by removing the oxygen and heat. Certain chemicals such as those found in household fire extinguishers can also smother the flames.

Class B Fires

Class B fires use the same fire triangle as class A fires, however gasoline or another similar fuel is used as a substitution for wood. Class B fires cannot be extinguished easily with water so a foam or co2 based product is usually used to smother the fire. The K class is very similar to the B class with the only difference being the use of cooking oils as the source for the fire. Specially designed fire extinguishers are used for this class.

Class C Fires

Class C fires are caused by electrical devices or defective appliances. The fire triangle in this situation uses the electrical current in place of a lighter or match as the source of heat for the fire. Using water to extinguish this type of fire would result in electrocution, so it should never be used. Many firefighters have died while fighting this type of fire because of the electrical current traveling up the water stream into the hose. To extinguish a class C fire the oxygen section of the fire triangle must be interrupted. To do this, a special protein based foam is often used, or if possible, the source of the electricity is cut off. Special fire extinguishers can be used to fight this class of fire.

types-of-firesClass D Fires

Class D fires are fires that deal with metals. These metals can be magnesium, uranium, calcium, potassium, sodium, plutonium, or titanium. These types of fires are very hot, often reaching over 1200 degrees. Water should not be used to extinguish this type of fire because water actually makes the fire hotter in this case. A dry powder is often used to extinguish these fires, which smothers the oxygen supply to the fire.