I am very interested in getting into the field of firefighting and an assignment for one of my writing classes was to interview a professional in the field of my interest. I know it would be much more beneficial for me to interview a firefighter face to face, but because of a schedule conflicts I am unable to do so before the assignment is due. I plan on volunteering in the future to make these connections and more importantly to just be around the professionals in the field that I plan on pursuing, but for now I was hoping someone could help me out and answer a few of my questions. Here are the questions:
1. What skills and personal assets does the job entail?
2. What training and background is useful and required?
3. What is some advice to succeeding in this field?
4. What are some of the benefits and challenges of the field?
5. If you could tell me a little bit of your own career path to this job.
6. Whether you would recommend doing anything differently.
I know itís a lot of questions and I appreciate you taking the time to read them
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05-12-2009, 08:53 AM #1
- Join Date
- May 2009
Newbie has questions regarding Fire Service
05-19-2009, 03:04 PM #2
Your questions are deep and many. Maybe too much for someone to digest in one thread. That could be why you haven't received any responses. Try breaking it down to one or two questions that someone can answer in a few lines or paragraphs. I think then you will get some replies.
I'll put in my two cents by telling you what I think makes a good firefighter:
-Good physical strength and endurance: You need to able to go-go-go and have the strength to lift heavy ladders, heavy victims, tools, and the list goes on.
-A calm, cool demeanor: The last thing you need at a fire scene is a firefighter - especially an officer - who loses his/her cool. One of the most important traits that separates firefighters from civilians is our ability to stay calm and think clearly, under highly stressful conditions.
-Teamwork is paramount: Your life and the life of your fellow firefighter depends on it. Be a team player.
-Have thick skin: A term used to describe someone who doesn't let anything bother them. During your career you will be teased, chided, and yelled at by your peers and your supervisors. It's all part of the job and the stress relief. Also, you will encounter scenes that can haunt you for years. You can't let these things get under your skin. You won't last long in the firehouse if you do.
-Mechanical aptitude: Be good with tools and have a strong understanding of mechanical systems, leveraging, construction basics, and automobile functions.
-Creativity: Every emergency is different. You will respond to calls where there seems to be no plausible solution. Think clearly and use your creativity to "think outside the box" and come up with a plan. Firefighters are the last line of defense. If you can't solve the problem, then who can?
Maybe others can chime in here and add to this list.
www.firewerxfilms.com Home of "A Firefighter's Journey"
05-21-2009, 09:19 AM #3
Some skills required are; attentive listening, attention to detail, ability to keep calm and level headed in stressful situations, the ability to rationalize, resourcefulness, creativity (all situations are different) and basically the ability to just plain think. Some assets are; honesty, trust, respect, responsibility, reliability. These are important because firefighters need to always have a good appearance in the public's eye. They serve the public and must look professional.
I first started out with no training what so ever. As far as background goes, I will answer it in the personal background approach. It is very important to have a clean background. Everyone's criminal background is checked. With a clean background comes no questions about certain things that may have happened that might keep you from the fire service.
Advice to succeeding; never stop learning, each and every situation is completely different. Do not form the "I have this many certifications, I know everything and anything mentality". Keep in shape, you will be moving hose, raising ladders, and lifting.
Benefits are summed up in one word, brotherhood. The fire service has a brotherhood that only firefighters understand. They are your second family. They will always stick with you through thick and thin. Your brothers are your support system.
My career path has been short thus far. I joined in September of 2008 as a senior in high school. I had no training at all. I could not really tell you a single thing about the fire service. I have always been interested in being a firefighter since I was young. In college I plan on living at firehouse and I am not sure if I will choose this as my career. However, I will always be in the fire service as a volunteer.
Hope this helped.
Upper Macungie Township Station 56, Allentown, PA
Vigilant Hose Company #1, Shippensburg, PA
The things I post do not reflect the views of the affiliations I belong to.
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