Career prospects as a Firefighter


Fire-fighting is a daring and challenging profession which needs plenty of courage and commitment for flawless work. It uses the principles of Engineering and sciences to save people's lives in risky scenarios. Fire-fighters also teach others how to live and safeguard others from hazardous effects of smoke and fire. Fire-fighters design and mount the fire defence systems which helps minimize the consequences of fire. 

Industry Overview: 

Fire-fighting is one of the toughest and challenging professions on this planet. It is an imposing field as it deals with preserving life of many people around. The progress in this sector is growing on day to day basis as numerous people are now becoming conscious of the safety and prevention. Today, more and more people are keen to learn the safety measures so that they can practice it in a crisis scenario. The industry is growing rapidly due to upsurge in requirements of safety. 

Scope of Work:

The fire-fighting field offers numerous options and prospects for those who are fascinated about grasping a new subject and the chance to grow. It is a risky field but it permits one to safeguard others from any hazard. Fire-fighters can opt for either government or private jobs according to their choices. They can also get engaged in other businesses such as chemical or combustible products manufacturing companies like petroleum refineries, textiles, fertilizers, etc. The possibility is enormous in the field of engineering, chemicals, handling bottling plants etc.  

Skills required: 

Communication skills: Fire-fighters must be able to communicate situations and status in a crisis scenario to other fire-fighters and to emergency-response teams. 

Courage: Fire fighters’ everyday duties include risky situations, so plenty of courage is a must.

Decision-making skills: Fire-fighters must be intelligent enough to make quick decisions in case of emergency. The ability to make proper judgments under pressure can save someone’s life. 

Physical stamina: Fire-fighters are require to be present in disaster scenes for extended periods of time to save lives and treat victims. Fighting fires needs a lot of stamina.

Physical strength: Fire-fighters must be robust enough to transport important instrumentation and move wreckages at a disaster site. They must also be capable to move victims who are injured or cannot walk.

Work Atmosphere for Fire-fighters 

As per the National Fire Protection Association, around 69 percent of fire divisions were operated completely by volunteer fire-fighters. Volunteer fire-fighters share similar responsibilities as professional fire-fighters and account for the majority of fire-fighters in numerous areas.

When not working at emergency sites, fire-fighters work at fire stations, where they sleep, eat, and stay on call. When an alarm sounds, fire-fighters answer it irrespective of the conditions or time of day. 

Injuries and Illnesses: Fire-fighters have one of the maximum rates of injuries and infections of all occupations. They frequently deal with risky situations, excluding crumpling floors and walls, rush-hour traffic accidents, and overexposure to flames and smoke. As a consequence, workers must wear defensive gear to help mitigate these risks. Habitually, the defensive gear can be very thick and hot.

Fire-fighter Work Schedules: Fire-fighters naturally work long and wide-ranging hours. Most fire-fighters work 24-hour shifts and are off the subsequent 48 or 72 hours. Some fire-fighters grind 10/14 shifts, which means 10 hours at work and 14 hours off. When battling forest and wild land fires, fire-fighters may work for lengthy periods. For example, the 2016 Uttarakhand Forest Fire Siege took almost a month of constant effort by National Disaster Response Force and fire-fighters to control the fire.

Role and responsibilities of a fire-fighter officer:

1. Safeguard the security of the employees by making them conscious of the probable accidents through informative seminars. 

2. Make them aware about the practice of numerous safety gadgets through illustrative sessions. Making them attentive of accidents through security posters etc

3. Safeguarding that the actions are put into exercise by the employees

4. In a nutshell, the job involves teaching them the Do’s and Don’ts at the workstation. 

Training

Practical training will be prearranged as per the industry norms. Substantial importance is given to hands-on training in this course. Aspirants need to do ‘On the Job Training’ in numerous firms for which study centre helps the contenders so that their placements can be done properly after accomplishment of the curriculum with Hands-on Training experience. 

Career Options as a Fire-fighters: 

A course in fire-fighting management can open doors to exceptional career opportunities, some of which are as follows: 

Fire Safety Officer 

Fire Safety Instructor 

Fire Safety Engineers 

Design Engineer fire protection 

Estimation Engineer Fire protection 

Fire Alarm Technician

Fire protection technician 

How to Become a Fire-fighter:

Fire-fighters normally require a high school diploma and training in substitute medical services. Potential fire-fighters must pass written and aptitude tests, with a personal interview which is followed by a practical training at a fire academy for an emergency medical specialist (EMT) certification.

Fire-fighter Education: The entry-level education required to become a fire-fighter is a high school diploma or alike. Though, some class work further than high school, such as trauma care, is generally required to achieve the emergency medical technician (EMT) elementary certification. EMT necessities vary by city and state.

Fire-fighter Training:

Entry-level fire-fighters get a few months of exercise at fire academies run by the fire department or by the state. Through classroom teaching and hands-on training, recruits study fire-fighting and fire-prevention methods, narrow building codes, and emergency medical techniques. They also study how to fight fires with normal equipment, comprising axes, chain saws, fire extinguishers, and ladders. After joining a fire academy, fire-fighters must customarily complete a provisional period.

Some fire departments offer alified internship programmes that last up to 4 years. These programmes aggregate technical training with on-the-job-training under the direction of qualified fire-fighters. In addition to enrolling in training programmes accompanied by local or state fire divisions and agencies, some fire-fighters join centralised training sessions supported by the National Fire Academy. These exercise sessions address topics comprising anti-arson methods, disaster awareness, dangerous materials control, and community fire safety and education.

Documentations and Certifications: Normally, fire-fighters must be certified as emergency medical technicians at the EMT-Basic level. In tally, some fire subdivisions need fire-fighters to be proficient as an EMT-Paramedic. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) endorses EMTs and paramedics. Both levels of NREMT authorization need finishing a exercise or education program and passing the nationwide exam. EMTs and paramdeics may work with fire-fighters at the sight of accidents. 

Some states have compulsory or charitable fire-fighter training and certification programs. The National Fire Academy also offers an Executive Fire Officer certification. To be eligible for the post of Fire officer a fire-fighters required a bachelor's degree.

Remuneration:

Fire Safety management is one of the highly paid careers in India as well as overseas. In India, preliminary salaries vary among Rs.15000 to 20000 per month. Outside India, it varies between Rs. 65000 to Rs. 80000 on a monthly basis. Salary for fire safety specialists differ by industry and knowledge level. Those working in more hazardous industrial organisations like oil and gas mining companies, chemical companies etc earn higher salary compared to others. 

Institutes offering fire-fighting courses in India: 

Council of Education and Development Programmes (CEDP Skill Institute), Mumbai

National Academy of Fire and Safety Engineering (NAFS), Nagpur

Institute of Fire & Safety Management Dehradun 

National Institute of fire Engineering & Safety Management, Jaipur 

The author is Shaheen Khan, founder director of Council of Education & Development Programmes (CEDP) Skill Institute, Mumbai.