Firefighters protect the public by responding to fires and other emergencies. In addition to putting out fires, firefighters frequently respond to other situations, and are often the first personnel at situations such as traffic accidents or medical emergencies. At fires, they connect hose lines to hydrants and operate a pump to send water through high-pressure hoses. They may need to use tools to make their way through doors, walls, and debris and may rescue people who are unable to leave a burning building safely without assistance. They may also provide emergency medical attention or attempt to salvage the contents of buildings.TCC programs that are right for you:Criminal Justice and Public Safety Programs
Firefighters spend much of their time at fire stations, which are similar to dormitories. When an alarm sounds, they respond regardless of the weather or the time of day or night. Because they must respond to fires and other emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, firefighters may be required to work unusual hours beyond the average 40-hour workweek, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Firefighting involves a high risk of death or injury, with common causes including building collapses, traffic accidents or exposure to flames and smoke.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of firefighters is expected to grow 9 percent between 2010 and 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Continued population growth will increase the number of emergency calls requiring firefighter responses. The majority of situations that firefighters respond to are medical – rather than fire – emergencies, and the aging of the population will lead to an increased demand for emergency responders.
Career information courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook.