Who Is A Fire Fighter?
Firefighters protect life and property from a fire as well as from other natural and artificial calamities like flood, earthquake, building collapses, explosions, accidents etc.
As a firefighter, you would be working in a fire brigade and will respond to calls for rescue. For example, fire breakouts are frequent during festivals. In such times, the fire brigade is always on the alert to attend to emergency calls and douse any fire breakouts.
Roles & Responsibilities
Being alert to respond to calls for emergency assistance. The fire brigade remains ready to respond to emergencies round the clock. Firefighters on duty at the time of a crisis are responsible for responding to any calls promptly.
Ensuring safety of human lives at all times. While engaged in a firefighting or other rescue operation, the primary concern of the firefighter is to ensure the safety of people trapped in an affected area. For example, if a firefighter spots an injured man in a burning house, the person is rescued first before returning to fight the fire.
Safeguarding own and colleagues’ safety. During firefighting or any other emergency situation, the firefighter is expected to think rationally about his/her safety at all times and also look out for colleagues’ safety as well.
Providing aid to the rescued and the injured. Firefighters are mostly the first ones to respond and rescue people from emergency situations. It is, therefore, necessary to be able to provide basic first aid to the injured before medical teams arrive.
Maintaining a high level of physical fitness and technical knowledge. Firefighters need to be active and physically fit during their duty due to the dangerous and challenging nature of the job. They have to stay fit and be updated with the use of equipment and related matters.
Inspecting and maintaining various firefighting equipment. Firefighting involves special vehicles, water tanks, hoses, ladder and other appliances. Maintenance of such equipment is crucial to a successful firefighting operation. The firefighter must ensure regular maintenance and inspection of the equipment either by self or by experts.
Familiarising with the localities in which the fire brigade serves. Rescue calls to fire brigades come at the 11th hour with very little time to respond and with no margin for error. The firefighter must be confident that any address within his/her purview can be reached quickly. To ensure this the firefighter has to be familiar with local streets, roads and buildings.
Ensuring public awareness of fire safety and other crisis handling measures. Firefighters are often invited by institutions to conduct awareness programmes for the general public. This is done so people lead safe lives and know how to react and tackle fire or any other emergency.
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What Skills Will I Need To Have To Do This Job Well?
As exciting as this sounds, there are some things you’ll need to learn to do the job right:
A firefighter’s everyday duties include risky situations, such as arriving at a building on fire. It is hence, obvious that a firefighter must be courageous enough to face crises confidently.
A firefighter must be intelligent to make quick and keen decisions in case of an emergency. The ability to take quick and right decisions under pressure will save lives.
Emergencies do not allow too much reaction time and therefore prompt thinking is crucial.
PHYSICAL STRENGTH AND STAMINA
Firefighters may have to work in a disaster scene for an extended period to rescue and treat people. Fighting fire needs sustained the use of power and strength. Being robust enough to transport and use heavy equipment, move wreckages at a disaster site, helping move injured people is crucial.
Firefighters must be capable of communicating situations at a crisis scene to fellow firefighters and emergency-response teams. Effective communication can make a big difference in the efficient and timely handling of an emergency situation.
Real-life situations are unique in every aspect and can baffle the person facing it. Firefighters need to show resourcefulness in such cases by making the most of the available resources to handle the emergency in the most efficient manner.
What Will My Workplace Look Like?
A firefighter often works in dangerous and unpleasant conditions; from smoke-filled buildings, extreme weather conditions to enclosed spaces, high altitude etc. There is also exposure to danger from collapsing buildings, explosions, smoke and fire.
Although self-employment and freelance work may be possible, it is something that is possible after retirement, in areas such as consultancy or training. Travelling on a working day is frequent. Absence from home overnight (other than rostered duty) and overseas work or travel is uncommon.
What Is My Scope For Career Growth As A Fire Fighter?
A firefighter’s job involves real and specific responsibility at an early stage. Promotions are earned on individual competence in the role and potential shown in assessment and development programmes.
The firefighter can gain experience and go on to lead small teams and ultimately man a fire station itself. More successful firefighters can go on to become in-charge of specific areas as part of jurisdiction.
Thinking of a career as a Fire Fighter? Take the Mentoria assessment & talk to our career counsellors to get personalized step-by-step guidance for your future career path.
How Much Will I Get Paid?
The exact number will depend on the promotions achieved and years in service, but we can give you a general idea.
The average firefighter’s salary in India is approximately INR 270,000 per year. In this profile, it is often necessary to move between services to get adequately compensated.
With experience, the figure can rise to INR 9,60,000 per annum.
Okay, I'm sold. This is amazing
STEP 1: Class XI-XII/Junior College
The entry-level education required to become a firefighter is a high school diploma or similar education.
STEP 2: Graduate degree
There is no specific graduation specification for a student aspiring to be a firefighter. However, there are a couple of very relevant training/certifications for firefighters.
STEP 3: Training/Certification
Certification in Emergency Medical Technician is a relevant certification that aspiring firefighters can choose. Besides, entry-level firefighters get a few months of exercise at fire academies run by the fire department or by the state. They also learn how to fight fire with various equipment.
STEP 4: Land a Job
With the right certification, you can land a job as a firefighter and can help and save lives in trouble.
Congratulations, you are now officially a firefighter!
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