Often people have preconceptions about who firefighters are and what goes into their work. Many assume that firefighters are simply heroes that show up to put out fires, but don’t typically know much about them. There are many things that firefighters might want civilians to know about their line of work that most simply aren’t aware of. Here are a few things you might not be aware of about firefighters, which will hopefully help showcase not only the heroic efforts of these men and women, but the diligence and dedication that goes into their jobs.
Most Firefighters are Volunteers
There are over a million firefighters across the nation, and at least 73% of them are volunteers. While there are plenty of stations that use volunteer and career firefighters in tandem, there are vastly fewer career-only fire stations. What this means is that many firefighters work full-time jobs in addition to serving their community. That doesn’t mean that they’re not as qualified as career firefighters either, as even being a volunteer firefighter takes just as much rigorous training and discipline.
Firefighters Spend an Enormous Amount of Time Training
Speaking of training, each firefighter spends a large amount of time training for the job, even as much as one hundred hours; whether it comes from books, courses, or even hands-on training. Firefighters train on nearly a daily basis and are always trying to keep up with the ever-evolving firefighting trends and methods.
Firefighters Carry a Lot of Weight
Being a firefighter is often a very active job, involving running, climbing, and generally being in hazardous environments. And firefighters have to work in those conditions while carrying pounds and pounds of vital gear. The exact weight generally depends on the materials used, but considering their gear often involves thick pants, steel-toed boots, a heavy turnout jacket, and several extra layers of protective equipment and tools that can result in upwards of sixty pounds or more. Often this gear also requires meticulous care and maintenance, which firefighters are also responsible for.
The work firefighters put in every day is almost impossible to imagine unless you’ve actually been in their shoes. Nonetheless, it’s worth trying to better understand the difficult processes these brave people go through in order to keep their communities safe.