Firefighter - is this the career for me?


The common image of fire and rescue services is traditionally one of
firefighters turning out in fire appliances and fighting fires.

Some work absolutely involves attendance at fires, but the role of the Service, particularly in Shropshire is much wider.

Greater emphasis has been placed on the Fire and Rescue Service's role within the community, with firefighters spending more time raising awareness, conducting home safety assessments,
communicating fire prevention and other safety messages. Work and training is geared to responding at top speed to emergency calls, regardless of weather conditions or time of day or night.

Every time firefighters are called to the scene of an emergency they must be prepared to deploy each and every skill in which they have been trained.
Fully competent firefighters are skilled technicians capable of using the most modern equipment, methods and techniques to undertake the full range of firefighting, rescue, road accidents and other emergencies when called upon to deal with.

When you arrive at an incident as part of a team under the command of a manager, firefighters have to absorb a great deal of information rapidly and apply skills learnt in conditions which will often be extremely dangerous and confusing.

Despite extensive training in preparation for such incidents, firefighters will be faced with new situations and required to provide answers using previous experiences as a guide - a firefighter wearing breathing apparatus, feeling their way through a smoke-filled building with toxic hazards to make a rescue, cannot ask for instructions.

In order to function effectively in emergencies every firefighter's characteristics must be those of courage, physical strength, capacity for rapid, intense and sustained effort, an unquestioning acceptance of orders combined with the capacity to use initiative when alone.

Throughout training, trainee firefighters learn to use the equipment and tools of the profession including an understanding of a wide range of subjects, how to overcome hazards and build empathy towards the victims of emergencies and an ability to carry on in what may occasionally be emotionally harrowing circumstances.

Why not take a look at a few questions to get you thinking about the skills and qualities needed for a firefighter?