Become A Fireman

Requirements to Become A Firefighter

February 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Becoming A Firefighter

If you are interested in the steps to becoming a firefighter, you must first be aware of the job requirements. While these will often differ from state to state and even city to city the following will give you a basic idea about what you can expect.

Generally, you must be at least 18 years of age to be accepted into any fire department or training academy. However, some allow 17 year olds to apply. Certain applications also have a maximum age of 29 years to apply. You will need to contact your local fire department to find out the exact age requirements. Most fire departments and academies also require that you have your high school diploma or GED equivalent. This is a common requirement for not only firefighting, but also in order to get continuing education in any chosen field. Many fire departments require that you complete special courses or special education in fire fighting such as EMT Basic or EMT 1 before you can even apply for an entry-level position. Once you have successfully a course in EMT 1 or higher, you can become registered with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, or NREMT. For fire departments, which require these additional courses, you will need to show proof of certification before you may be accepted into the firefighter training program.

With some fire departments, it is required that you have a clear driving record, and must have a valid driver’s license. In some states, they will go back three to five years in your driving record to check for any problems you may have had, and what happened. You cannot have any criminal convictions or offenses on file, especially those that would be in relation to the job of an emergency worker. Every applicant must be in excellent physical shape and a complete physical assessment must be completed during the recruitment process. The fire departments own physician will also conduct a medical exam to ensure you are in perfect health. Your vision must be perfect in most cases, and often times it is preferable to be above average vision. Peripheral vision and color vision is also tested along with your hearing. Both vision and hearing must be unaided.

Some additional qualifications may be a good idea because they help your chances in being chosen for a firefighter position and show your willingness and dedication to firefighting. Volunteer work is one of these qualifications and can be done during high school in firefighter related fields. First aid work or training, driving emergency vehicles, or any form of medical training can be used to an advantage when applying for a position. Any trade or academic program in the firefighter field or relating to the field will definitely be an advantage for you. Be prepared to have a copy of your transcripts on hand when you are applying.

firefighter-jacketFire departments are very particular about who they hire and will only hire the best of the best. This is because a lot of trust and stress are put onto the male and female firefighter. Someone who is physically strong, as well as mentally and emotionally strong is necessary to perform the kind of job firefighters do. The stress of the job can bring even the strongest of men to his knees. Firefighters have the realization that any call they respond to could be their last, and that the jobs they do can lead to long term health effects from breathing air contaminated with smoke and chemicals. It is because of these reasons that most people have no desire to be firefighters, and do not have what it takes. Very few people make their dream of becoming a firefighter a reality.

Aviation Firefighters

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Firefighter Jobs

Airports are very busy places. Planes come and go and people are in and out all the time. So who can help when there is an accident that involves chemicals or fire? Aviation firefighters do. Aviation firefighters are a mini fire department inside the regular fire department. Their job is to quickly respond to any call involving airports or planes. Much of the aviation firefighter training is the same as the training for regular firefighting jobs, however there are some differences. They need to be trained to work under special conditions, and they are taught to treat different types of wounds. We’re going to take an up close and personal look at aviation firefighters, so we can understand more about these differences, and what their specialized jobs entail.

The majority of plane crashes occur over water. When a plane crashes, aviation firefighters are called to the scene to help. They have the ability to respond to the situation quickly and responsibly. They use motor vehicles and also watercraft to assist in evacuating people who are in life threatening situations. They remain calm in the face of danger and make immediate decisions that will help best in each particular situation. Their first aid skills are far above basic training, and their training is constantly refreshed with current information during the entire length of their jobs. While aviation firemen use much of the same equipment as regular firemen, they have access to other tools and chemicals which are to be used for more advanced situations and fires. It is mandatory that aviation firemen have a total understanding of, and the ability to use a wide variety of equipment. In addition to regular fire hoses, they can also use foam sprayers, complex monitors, and machines. Not only do they need to have the knowledge and skills to use this advanced equipment, but they must also be educated in the care and maintenance of this equipment. This way, all fire vehicles, equipment, and hoses will be in top condition when they need to use it.

In addition to saving human lives, and extinguishing fires, aviation firefighters must also keep the environment in mind. They always use the more efficient course of action for the given situation at the emergency site in order to minimize any environmental impact. Even when there are no emergencies, aviation firemen are hard at work in the airports Fire Control Centers making sure that all safety rules and regulations are being followed. By doing this, they help keep flight take offs and landings safe for everyone involved. They also conduct regular inspections of anything concerning fire safety, such as the fire alarms in the airport. Aviation firefighters are also important for updating and educating all airport employees of changes made to safety routines, while organizing periodic fire drills to ensure everyone is able to react properly in a state of emergency. Airports are filled with constant activity so the firefighters job is a busy one.

aviation-firefightersAviation firemen have to be in peak physical condition to do their jobs. They are trained to dive underwater while wearing a breathing apparatus, and must be strong swimmers. While the physical demands are intense, the nature of the job requires it. To find out more information about aviation firemen, contact your local fire department or airport. You can’t truly appreciate an aviation firefighter unless you know them, and what they’re capable of. It takes a special breed of person. They need nerves of steel, really good eyesight, and the ability to accurately control and use all of there hands and feet to navigate and control the helicopter. It also helps if you have a high level of skill with math and are not afraid of heights as you will be up in the air most of the day of course.

Child Fire Safety

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Fire Safety

Fire departments are once again trying to educate people and families on the important issue of fire protection and safety. A small fire can quickly turn into a raging inferno in a very short period of time. Because of this, it is extremely important to educate yourself as well as your children about fire safety.

The number one cause of house fires started by children happened with a lighter or matches. Children seem to find matches and lighters irresistible and can quickly learn how to use them even if they have a child safety feature. These items should always be kept out of reach from the child in order to prevent a possible tragedy. If your child begins showing an interest in fire or matches, there is help you can receive in the form of counseling. The counseling provided will help your child redirect these dangerous desires toward something that is not life threatening or dangerous. Most adolescents, who are “fire starters” and have committed arson, openly admit to having played with matches and lighters often as children. To remove any possible temptation, always keep any matches or lighters in a place where children will not have access.

Another major cause of fire injury with children is clothing related fires, which occur when a child becomes too close to an open flame or source of heat such as a stove element. This may cause their clothing to catch fire. Teaching children at an early age about fire and the damage it can cause will help them to develop a respect for fire. Child fire education may include the basics of what they should do in the event of a fire, or how to “stop, drop, and roll”. This is an important part of firefighter training, and is especially important for a child to learn because their first instinct may be to run away if they catch fire. The concept of stop, drop, and roll is a simple one, but it could save your children’s life. It is also important to always make sure your child is supervised to prevent any possible fire accident from happening in the first place.

child-fire-safetyA law was passed in the 1970′s indicating that all children’s sleepwear had to be manufactured from flame retardant or self extinguishing fabric. Before this law passed, fire related death of children was at an all time high. This decreased by over ninety percent once the law went into effect. This change helped to raise the general awareness of fire dangers and also resulted in another step toward better fire safety and protection practices. Part of a firefighter’s job is to warn parents about possible sleeping garments such as t-shirts and shorts, which are not manufactured out of a flame retardant fabric. You should always read the label on the clothing your child sleeps in, because if your child is not protected with flame retardant or self extinguishing fabrics while they’re sleeping, it could literally be a matter of life and death.

How to Choose a Firefighter Academy

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Becoming A Firefighter

Just like any other job, firefighters need special firefighter training and schooling to be able to do a good job. If you are interested in pursuing a firefighting career, it may be difficult at first to find the right academy to suit your goals. Depending on where you live, you may want to consider one close to you, but not all of them are created equally. Some academies stand out due to their excellent instruction and results. One of these fire training facilities is located in San Diego, CA and proudly offers an acclaimed boot camp and instructional course. They specialize in basic fire management training by using portable pumps, basic training in fire details, water usage, and wild land fire behavior, among others. They use former marine drill instructors in a boot camp type atmosphere to train you how to become a firefighter. The course itself lasts 21 days and assists applicants in securing an entry level firefighting job, assuming they pass the course. At this academy, training begins at 5 in the morning and runs until 8 at night. It is definitely not an academy for someone who wants to take it easy.

If you’re looking for a fire academy in your local area, you may want to visit firejobs.com. Their user friendly navigation makes finding any information you’re looking for easy. As far as informative websites go, this one is the best at providing contact information and they keep everything up to date. Not only do they provide information on training facilities, but also job postings for those who already have training and are looking for an entry level job with a fire department.

No matter what academy you go to, they all require that you be at least 17 or 18 years of age, depending on which state it is located in. You must also have a high school diploma or GED plus you must also have a valid driver’s license. If you would like a better idea about fire training or for recommendations on which fire training academies you should go to, contact your local fire department. Never be afraid to ask questions as they will only add to your knowledge in the field and help you with your firefighting job in the future. Keep your mind open to everyone you encounter on your journey to becoming a firefighter because you never know who you might meet along the way who will have important information to help you.

firefighter-training-dummyOnce you have successfully completed your firefighter training at your chosen academy, you will need to keep a copy of your transcripts for the course, as well as documentation of any specialized training you received. Any fire department you apply to will require proof of this training in order to recruit you. It will look good for you if you have hands on volunteer work experience. This will improve your chances of being recruited. As long as you’re in peak physical condition, and get the necessary training, you could be on your way to becoming a firefighter. You just need to be focused and determined to achieve your goal and you will get there. It’s not an easy road but the payoffs are great. Being able to help your fellow neighbors in emergency situations is a very rewarding experience and it is responsibility that you must earn.

Types of Emergency Workers

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Firefighter Jobs

The term emergency worker is used to describe a variety of job titles. Although firefighting jobs are included in that list, the United States government has a listing of the various classes of emergency workers, and what is expected of them. We’re going to look at the different labels for emergency workers, and what their jobs require during a time of emergency or disaster.

Before you even enter a disaster situation, Administration workers are there to manage and coordinate support activities as well as directing and recruiting. Their jobs also include technical, clerical, and administrative duties.

Firefighters are one major class of emergency worker. They go through firefighter training to learn how to fight fire related emergencies, but can also help out with medical issues as well as search and rescue missions. Those with firefighter jobs educate the general public about fire safety and hazards and have a heightened awareness of the dangers involved in different types of fires.

Pilots are also considered to be emergency workers and are necessary to assist in not only flying planes, but also search and rescue efforts in a disaster. Aviation workers must be licensed by the Federal Aviation administration, and all their aircraft must be approved by them.

Communications workers set up communication posts in an emergency. This enables contact to be made where it normally wouldn’t be possible. These workers are educated in the laws governing state and local emergency communications directives.

Engineering workers have a very busy job which consists of activities involving structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering. They are responsible for rebuilding permanent posts, and temporary shelters. They can maintain highways, streets, and bridges.

General emergency workers are used in many disaster situations and are used when needed. Unlike many other types of emergency workers, they don’t specialize in any one form of emergency. These workers may be called to help bag sand for a sand wall during a flood, or they may be called upon to join in search parties or assist in handling casualties during a disaster. They work whenever and wherever they are needed most. By law, they are required to register as a temporary emergency worker every time they help in a disaster situation.

Law enforcement workers such as police are responsible for upholding the laws of their particular city and state. To the best of their ability, they have sworn to protect and serve their communities.

firefighter-training-dummyMass care emergency workers help hand out clothes, food, and other necessities in the event of a disaster. They help land evacuations and manage mass care centers. These emergency workers provide as much help as necessary to people who have survived a disaster.

Although there are many types of emergency workers that exist, they are all completely necessary. They are essentially the glue which holds our society together and without them our world would be chaotic and unsafe. Emergency workers provide us with peace of mind. They sacrifice their time and occasionally their lives for other people and are truly selfless.

Improve Fire Safety with Smoke Detectors

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Fire Safety

Whether you call them smoke alarms, or smoke detectors, these small devices are a very important addition to any household. Having smoke detectors installed will ensure that you are alerted to a possible house fire before it is too late. It will give you the time you need to contact the fire department and most importantly, get everyone out of the home safely. One of the reasons why fire related deaths are so high is because people are often asleep when fires start. Because people are asleep they will often not wake up and realize that there is a fire in time to get out safely. Smoke detectors can be purchased from most hardware stores for around $15. You may also want to contact your local fire department for information on how to install and maintain your smoke alarm so that it functions effectively.

In the event of a house fire, smoke is actually the number one cause of death. Most people who die as the result of a fire were killed by suffocation. Smoke removes oxygen from the air around it, making it very difficult or impossible to breathe. If you are asleep in a room and smoke starts filling the space, you are at a great risk of not waking up in time to get out quickly and safely. The more smoke in a room, the darker it becomes, and the harder it will be to navigate your way out. The best thing you can do if you wake up in a room filled with smoke is to stay as low as possible while trying to get out. There will be much more oxygen near the floor than there will be if you’re standing up, because smoke naturally rises. Whatever you do, if there is a house fire your first priority should be getting you and your family out safely. Do not go back into the house for any other reason, such as to get material items out of the home. If you do not have firefighter training, or the requirements to become a firefighter you will not know how to safely enter the home. Just worry about getting out alive, leave the rest to the firemen.

smoke-detectorSmoke alarms must be installed and cared for properly for them to be effective at all times. Every smoke alarm in your home should be tested monthly. This is normally done by pushing a button on the smoke detector, which will then sound the alarm so you know it’s working. Smoke alarms normally have batteries but some can be hard wired into the home so batteries are not needed. It is a good idea to have both types installed so at least one will be effective even if the power goes out, or if the batteries are dead. Smoke alarms need to be taken seriously, so if you find that yours is malfunctioning and sounding the alarm even when there is no smoke, you may want to consider replacing it. Otherwise, you will be conditioned to ignore the alarm, and may not react properly in the event of a fire.

In the unfortunate event of a fire, the smoke alarm is your first line of defense. It allows you to notify the fire department so they can get there faster, and minimize damage to your home. More importantly, it can save your life, and the lives of your family members. The cost of a smoke detector is minimal compared to how much you can save. By adding smoke detectors to every room of your house, you are adding a sense of security to you and your family’s lives.