Who is a firefighter
According to Wikipedia “A firefighter is a rescuer extensively trained in firefighting, primarily to extinguish hazardous fires that threaten life, property and the environment as well as to rescue people and animals from dangerous situations“.
In this article, we will concentrate on majorly two (2) things.
- Duties of firefighter and
- Relevant qualification
Duties of a firefighter
Here are some duties:
- Immediately responds in a timely fashion to deals with fire, medical, rescue and other emergency and non-emergency related calls as required.
- Carry out rescue operation, evacuation and conduct head count.
- Give first aid before ambulance crew arrive.
- Conducts full maintenance/safety check on vehicles and equipment.
- Performs routine preventative maintenance tasks to equipment and apparatus.
- Inspect and maintain the appliance (fire engine) and its equipment. Assist in testing fire hydrants and checking emergency water supplies.
- Undertake drills and physical training; take part in training on techniques, use of equipment and related matters.
- Educating and informing the public to promote fire safety.
- After returning from emergency scene, cleans, inspects, and accounts for all equipment used and returns all equipment used to a state of readiness.
- Operates all equipment utilized by TFS such as pumps, hoses, manual ladders, mechanical ladder, generators, automobile extrication equipment.
- Participates in Pre-Incident Fire Planning as required, etc.
Minimum Qualifications to become a firefighter
The qualification depends on the organization and country requirements/standards.
Basically, very basic educational background may be required for the role.
Read Also: What is fire risk assessment: How it is done
Other requirements could be:
- Fire safety training – Involving the understanding of the chemistry of fire, fire extinguishing, managing fire emergency situations, use of fire fighting equipment, etc.
- Understand the country of operation’s fire regulations and minimum requirements.
- Knowledge of basic first aid and CPR
- Professional body membership may be an added advantage.
- Basic personal skills – (See some below), etc.
- Other necessary qualifications stipulated by the organization or country standard.
Example of firefighter required qualification in Canada
- Successful completion of all stages (1-3) of the OFAI Candidate Testing Services (as verified by possession of CTS Certificate) prior to the date of application submission
- Successful completion of NFPA 1001 Level 1 & 2 plus NFPA 472 from a recognized post-secondary institution prior to the date of application submission
- Possession of a current and valid minimum level CPR HCP Certificate issued prior to the date of application submission
- Possession of a current and valid minimum level Standard First Aid Certificate, issued by a WSIB approved First Aid Trainer prior to the date of application submission
- Effective communication skills
- Integrity and composure
- Ability to follow instructions
- Team player
- Posses good problem-solving skills
- Be confident and resilient
- Adaptable and flexibile
- Sound judgement, courage, decisiveness, quick reactions and the ability to stay calm in difficult circumstances
- The willingness and ability to learn on a continual basis
- An interest in promoting community safety, education and risk prevention.
However, if you are interested in developing a career as a firefighter, you need to understand the duties, qualification and the necessary skills.
Congratulations, all the information you need is covered in this article.
You can check for a firefighter trainer close to you to get certified; that is the starting point.
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