Firefighting is a unique profession, with the women and men in the service running into situations most would run from. Various forms of firefighting careers offer a range of options for people ready to don bunker-gear and dedicate themselves to a life of public service and work. Fire careers range from forest firefighting to working the gear and apparatus. Choose a fire career and serve your community.
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Work in the backcountry on suppression crews or cleanup teams. Known as "hotshots," wildland firefighters work up to 16 hours a day in harsh and brutal conditions. Job duties assigned to hotshots range from fireline construction and slash burning to cleaning, reconditioning, and storing tools and equipment, according to Kelley Anderson, author of "So You Want To Be a Firefighter." Look for jobs through the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management or individual state land management agencies.
Urban and Structural Firefighting
If you live in an urban area and want to pursue a fire career, there are several job options. Many professional city fire brigades employ fire technicians, rescue technicians and dispatchers. Look for fire science programs through accredited colleges and academies to begin the training for these jobs. Many states have their own fire academies for qualified candidates. Rescue technicians are trained in vehicle/patient extraction, hazardous materials, high and low angle ropes rescue and, depending on geographic location, whitewater or swift-water rescue.
Engineers are valuable and respected members of any firefighting unit. Engineers are trained to work the pumps and fire equipment off trucks, also known as "apparatus." Training to become an engineer is an option if you are not physically capable of running into a burning building or climbing high ladders.
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