FireFighter's Here We Come!
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What is a firefighter?
A firefighter is a woman or a man. That fights for other people and risked their lives for them.
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What do you do when your a firefighter.
What a firefighter does in one fire department may slightly (or drastically) differ from what a firefighter does in another fire department in the nearby vicinity or across the country. If you watch television it is not uncommon to see firefighters sitting around the kitchen table, joking and having fun, and maybe even watching television or sleeping, during the day time. Rarely do you see firefighters portrayed as doing "busy work," or actually doing productive work such as actual pre-fire planning (and that does not mean going shopping; it means actually walking through existing occupancies or buildings under construction to learn how they are constructed and analyze how they would mitigate an emergency), performing company fire prevention inspections, creating and updating pre-fire plans, fire/rescue training, physical fitness training, or just maintaining their fire station, apparatus and/or tools and equipment.
So, you have just been sworn in as a firefighter. Congratulations on your achievement. You may or may not have completed your academy training, but you are about to report to your shift for the first time to meet the team of firefighters you will be working with, maybe for the next 20 years of your life. Sure, you are excited, but as you sit and think about everything you don't know, you can feel your anxiety level rising. We can relate. We have been there.
Top 10 firefighter statistics
- The estimated number of firefighters working in the U.S. is 1,148,100. Of that number, 335,950 are career firefighters and 812,150 are volunteers.
- Firefighter statistics categorized by age group: Age 16-19 (3%), Age 20-29 (21%), Age 30-39 (28%), Age 40-49 (26%), Age 50-59 (16%), Age 60 and over (6%)
- Firefighter statistics for average firefighter salary as of 2009: $47,270 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).
- The total number of firefighter responses was 26,534,500, reflecting an increase of 5.1% over 2008.
- Medical assistance was the number one reason for firefighter response at 17,104,000. That figure reflects an increase of 8.5% over 2008.
- The second highest reason for firefighter response was false alarms at 2,177,000. That figure was down 2.9% over the previous year.
- The total number of firefighter responses due to fire was 1,348,500, reflecting a decrease of 7.1% from the previous year.
- Seventy-three percent of career firefighters are working in communities with a population of 25,000 or more. This firefighter statistic reflects the fact that the population density is relational to the number of firefighters needed to protect the community.
- Ninety-five percent of volunteer firefighters are in working at fire departments that protect a population of less than 25,000. More than 50% of volunteers are located in small, rural departments that protect a population of less than 2,500.
- There were 1,348,500 building structure fires in 2009. Of those fires, an estimated property loss of $12,531 was reported. The total number of deaths in building structure fires for 2009 was 3,010. The number of injuries reported was 17,050.
If you have completed the academy, you may be wondering why you are still under the microscope. One reason for this is that the men and women you will be riding with want to ensure that you have retained the information you were taught in the academy. They also want to help bring you to the next level—the street-smart level—of firefighting. Yes, you will learn early on that textbook firefighting and real-life firefighting are two different things.
Being on probation does not mean that others have the right to harass or intimidate you. However, it does mean that they will push you to see what you are made of, and it is their obligation to do so because it is their lives that you may have to save one day. This is why they will push you, and evaluate you, and sometimes judge you, but they'll also do more than just that. They will also help educate and prepare you to become a functioning member of their crew.
For now, you are a probie. You may ask, what is that, exactly? In layman's terms, this is the time you gain your reputation—the one that will stay with you for the duration of your career.
Do we have your attention yet? Good, because we know what you are about to experience, and we want to help. Below is a list of 25 things every probationary firefighter should know and do. As a new firefighter, there are things you should know. For example, every firefighter knows the probie's list of responsibilities around the firehouse could be summed up in one word—everything. As a probationary firefighter, however, you may have tons of questions about, well, everything.