The Duties of a Firefighter

We always see firefighters in the thick of the action, saving lives, extinguishing fires and carrying the injured. But if you are thinking of pursuing a career in firefighting, perhaps you'd be more interested in learning the specifics about the job.

Firefighting is more than the ability to put out a fire or rescue people trapped in a burning building. It spans watch duties, responding initially to incidents, driving, firefighting equipment (e.g. hose, pump, mechanical and manual ladders operations, doing search, rescue, salvage and overhaul, giving emergency medical care, maintaining equipment and undergoing continued professional training and development.

Once a firefighter receives calls and alarms, he notifies all the station personnel and relays information about the scene. They make sure that all orders from their superior officer are carried out. In fires, they have to connect or hook up hoses to fire hydrants and operates them correctly to ensure that the right pressure is exerted to put out the fires. It is also part of their duty to locate the seat of the fire by using their sense of smell, hearing and other senses.

Part of their duties is learning how to operate their mechanical and manual ladders to be able to rescue victims and do other operations. They also learn how to open or break down doors, windows and other parts of a building using axes, hooks and other tools to provide ventilation and open up walls, ceilings or floors to check for hidden sources of fires which might rekindle the conflagration. They also salvage furnitures, appliances and other property and clean up the area to minimize further damage.

As far as rescuing the victims of a fire are concerned, firefighters hoist, carry or drag victims from the scene of the fire using various methods and escape plans. And in case you think that firefighters can only work on land, think again. They can also perform water rescues using boats and other life-saving techniques in accordance with standard operating procedures.

Firefighters are able to provide emergency medical care. They can assess the patient's vital signs using such medical apparatuses as a watch, stethoscope and a sphygmomanometer to determine if he or she needs emergency medical transport or not. They are equipped to manage life-threatening bleeding and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or oxygen therapy when necessary.

The job of a firefighter is not only confined to emergency situations, they are also involved in the inspection of buildings to ensure that these do not violate any fire prevention codes. They do this periodically or even upon the request of the owners or occupants themselves. They are also involved in the building of the fire station's image to the public. They conduct tours and give information to civilians as well as aids them even in non-fire emergencies.

To ensure that their skills, abilities and knowledge remain up to date, they participate in drills, trainings and seminars. They also join physical fitness sessions and on their own, read professional journals and publications related to their profession. Through continued training and education, firefighters become even better at their jobs and are able to provide the best service to their respective communities.

If you believe that you have what it takes to be a Fire Fighter, then the first step is the Fire Fighter Exam Study Guide that walks you through the entire Fire Fighter hiring process.

For more information, go to our page for the Fire Fighter Exam Study Guide.

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