Become A Fireman

Female Firefighters

March 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Becoming A Firefighter, Firefighter News

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.

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.

The Five Fire Classifications

January 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Firefighter News

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.