While traditional firefighting was more about extinguishing fires, firefighters today have taken up a bigger role. Firefighters are high-skilled men or women who work to combat fire. They not only take measures to prevent fire, but also act as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and investigate the causes of fire.
Alternately called ‘first responders’, firefighters are the first to respond to a scene in order to save people and minimize damage to properties. Their way of life reflects the fact that they have given their life and soul to this noble cause. When the firefighters are not on duty, they are at the fire station where they sleep, maintain the station and are on call for remainder of their 24 hour shift.
Types of Firefighters
Typically, there are two kinds of firefighters:
Full-time Firefighters: These firefighters work mostly in urban areas and perform their duties on a full time basis.
Retained Firefighters: These firefighters perform their duties in rural areas. They carry pagers which allow them to be notified about an emergency. These firefighters live near the fire station. Retained firefighters are mostly self-employed or are working for an employer who allows them more flexibility in their work schedule.
Duties of a Firefighter
The primary duty of a firefighter is to put out fires. As soon as the firefighter is notified of a fire, he gears up in his appropriate attire that is designed based on fire-prevention codes and reaches the location via one of the several fire trucks at the fire station.
There are various kinds of trucks present at the fire station, some carry or pump water, and some have aerial ladders. In some cities Ambulances are housed at the fire station as well. These ambulances transport the injured to emergency centers and hospitals.
When the firefighter reaches the location, he is supposed to abide by the instructions of his commanding officer who has a special task ready to be undertaken by every firefighter. For instance, hose operators help to connect the hose to the water and direct the water flow towards the burning property or building. Some firefighters are assigned to be tillers, responsible for guiding the aerial ladder in the correct direction.
Firefighters are heroic. They are the first to enter a burning building to rescue any adults, children and elderly that could be stuck inside. They don’t think twice when it comes to saving lives of people while putting their own life at stake.