Fire Science Protection Technology

The Occupations

Firefighter

Fire Inspector

Fire Chief

About The Occupations

Firefighters respond to a variety of emergency situations in which life, property, or the environment are at risk, such as residential structures and businesses. Firefighters are frequently the first emergency response team at the scene of an accident. They help protect the public against these dangers. Today, firefighters respond to medical emergencies, and their departments require them to have training in medical emergency procedures. Firefighting is dangerous and complex work, which requires the firefighters to work as teams.

Firefighters must respond immediately to emergencies, and each situation presents a unique and challenging experience. Superior officers, such as a captain or chief, guide firefighting teams to accomplish specific duties. Today, firefighters assume a wider range of responsibilities, which require the utilization of sophisticated equipment. They can expect to operate a pump, position ladders, and connect hose lines to hydrants. In many cases, the firefighters will change duties several times at an emergency scene. Ambulances, fireboats, and emergency rescue vehicles may be operated by some firefighters.

Fire stations have dining and sleeping quarters to allow the firefighters to respond to emergencies 24-hours a day. Between emergency responses, the firefighters conduct practice drills, clean and maintain equipment, participate in classroom training, conduct fire inspections, conduct demonstrations to the public, participate in fitness training, check building plans, and inspect fire escapes. Firefighting is hazardous work resulting in environments where floors suddenly cave in, walls topple, and there is exposure to gases, chemicals, and smoke. Firefighters face dangerous situations where injury and death are a risk.

Work Environment

Employers:

Municipal fire departments

Industrial manufacturing plants

Government agencies

Forest protection agencies

Typical Schedule:

Shift work normal; 24 hours on duty

Overtime normal

Tools and Equipment:

Protective clothing

Building and fire codes

Chemicals to put out fires

Emergency rescue vehicles

Firefighting apparatuses

Worker Portrait

Skills and Aptitudes:

Decisive

Leadership

Communications

Team player

Ability to remain calm in emergency situations

Ability to make quick decisions

Physically fit

Good mechanical aptitude

Ability to administer emergency medical procedures

Sound judgment

Ability to take the initiative

Critical Thinking

Interests:

Not adverse to risk-taking

Motivated to take responsibility

Desire to serve the general public

Career Outlook

Outlook Occupation
Stable Fire Chief
Stable Fire Inspector
Stable Firefighters
Position Salary per Year (Average)
Firefighter $45,250 per year

(Note: Individual earnings may vary based upon the job set- ting and position. These are ranges, not guarantees of earnings.) Sources of occupational information include the Bureau of Labor Elementary Statistical Methods, Occupational Outlook Handbook, and Americas Career Information Net.

Degree Plans

Fire Science Protection – A.A.S.

Fire Officer – A.A.S.

Basic Firefighter Certificate

Fire Officer Certificate