Firefighters 101

Firefighters 101

By: F/SUPT JORGE J RALOZO (Ret.)

Firefighters are modern day cowboys, universally loved and respected. They have a lot of ride and satisfaction of their work and just feel good about what they do. The duties that they perform are ranging wider that many people realize. A great deal of work goes into the performance of fighting a fire. Firefighters are first line responders putting themselves on the fire line at risk.

When one decides to be a firefighter, one must be searching for a very rewarding career. It means helping people is his/her primary objective which plays a vital role in the community. It is not just about putting out the fire and saving lives but it’s the constant caring about people making the community a better and safer place to live in. It is a career where one finds himself a member of a huge one caring family while he enjoys the outstanding advantage of having a job security on top of the noble service of saving lives and properties.

What does it take to be a firefighter?

Firefighting is a job that requires physical demands. Not only do firefighter put his life at risk if he doesn’t perform the work that is required, but endangers the lives of others as well. Firefighters drag heavy hoses, climb high ladders and carry people from burning buildings. No matter how exhausted they can become at the end of a run, they must settle to put their equipments in place right away making sure these equipments can be used and ready to go if in case emergencies may come the next minute. Indeed, firefighting is but a wonderful career which not everyone is suited for the job. A good firefighter is confident, calm, and works well with or without supervision and communicates well with others.

A decision of becoming a firefighter requires a careful consideration; by heart and soul, one must be more than dedicated to the choice he makes. A firefighter must have a lot of courage and allows to risk his life, unselfish and willing devotedly to save others. Becoming a firefighter is not that easy. It requires a lot if not all the courage to long study hours and training as effectively and efficiently as possible. Becoming a firefighter is a very competitive and tough career to choose. The heavy dose of trainings may not be desired by many, but for the men and women who have become firefighters now, that rewards of saving life and touching so many lives is what matters most and is more gratifying to them than any other hindrances out there, incomparable to the intensive hours that they were subjected into such trainings. Numerous physical and psychological examinations are conducted and firefighters go through extensive criminal background checks to get accepted into the program. It is not just about simply filling up an application form and subject to a conventional interview and he gets the job; No! it is not.

A firefighter has to have certain characteristics to be considered into the program. They must have the ability to withstand amidst crisis and work well with others. A firefighter must be very flexible and self motivated who needs to be able to handle a lot of stress and stay calm when situations are dangerous and threatening, standing gracefully firm even at the height of the emergencies. Importantly, the ability to be emphatic towards others and be able to be supportive when things are falling apart is one top quality required in the search for a firefighter.