1. #1
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    Default General FireFigher Questions From a Student

    Hello Everybody,
    I Would like to start off by thanking all of you for your dedication and service to the communities you serve. I'm a college student in Washington and have recently been looking into firefighting after my education. Basically I'm interested in what daily life consists of? Your on duty 24 hours then 48 hours off something to that degree. What do you do in your free time at the station? Also how frequent are calls and what do the majority of calls consist of? What are the first steps in becoming a firefighter? Do you have to attend an academy or get certified in different areas? If anybody could shed light on my situation that would be most appreciated. Thanks

    --David

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    Default Re: General FireFigher Questions From a Student

    Originally posted by drot1969
    Hello Everybody,
    I Would like to start off by thanking all of you for your dedication and service to the communities you serve. I'm a college student in Washington and have recently been looking into firefighting after my education. Basically I'm interested in what daily life consists of? Your on duty 24 hours then 48 hours off something to that degree. What do you do in your free time at the station? Also how frequent are calls and what do the majority of calls consist of? What are the first steps in becoming a firefighter? Do you have to attend an academy or get certified in different areas? If anybody could shed light on my situation that would be most appreciated. Thanks

    --David
    Your question is very hard to answer, as each fire department is different in the way they operate, call volume, etc.

    You will get a lot of differing opinions, so here is mine based on my perspective.

    Daily life at the firehouse: Just like being at home, ecpet there is a very large garage attached to it! You have a kitchen, day room (living room/den) bathrooms, gym, dorm rooms, classrooms, offices, etc. You have to do "housework" every tour of duty.

    Weekday tours of duty are usually busy. The day starts with roll call, apparatus and equipment checks, coffee (most firefighters can't function without it! ) inspections, training, etc. Many departments will have EMS classes (open to the entire FD and top other FD's) at least once a month and refresher courses scheduled evenings. After that, most nights and weekend are pretty laid back.

    Free time: a lot of firefighters use free time to socialize within the station, cook, work out, study for promotional exams and to rest up for what could be a busy tour of duty.

    Types of calls and volume of calls: this is the biggest variable. For my time on the FD, the record number for most calls in a 24 hour period is 75 (this was a few years ago when we were under a severe thunderstorm warning for a few hours.) The least number of runs in a 24 hour period was 3. My department averages 5100 runs a year based on data for the last 10 years.

    We do fire suppression,prevention and education, first response EMS at the BLS level, Hazmat, rescue and tech rescue.

    First steps to joining the ranks of the "Brotherhood": keeping an eye out for job openings, taking the entrance exams, staying physically fit to pass the CPAT exam, passing the medical and pyschological exams.

    Fire Academy: This depends on the Department and the State. Some states such as Florida run fire academies on a regular basis, but you have to pay tuition to attend. Some FD's run their own drill schools, my state has the Massachusetts Fire Academy, where you have to be an appointed member of a fire department to attend the Recruit training program. Academies can run anywhere from 8 to 16+ weeks.
    Academy grads come out certified at the firefighter1-2 certification levels.

    Some FD's require that you be an EMT or Paramedic at the time of hire, or you have to become one withing a certain time frame.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 05-04-2005 at 01:08 AM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Default

    Awesome thank you for your help!

    --Dave

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