Fighting Fires

Have you ever wondered about what is involved in being a firefighter? As a firefighter, you will be the front line responder called upon to tackle various emergency situations where your problem solving skills and training will be put to use to resolve issues quickly and calmly. Incidents vary from tackling fires and rescuing people from burning buildings to dealing with chemical spillages and attending Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs).

A sensitive approach will be required when dealing with members of the public, who may be vulnerable, extremely distressed and confused. Today’s firefighter also works closely with the community to increase their awareness of fire safety issues and to help prevent incidents from occurring in the first place. Being able to communicate effectively to schools, community groups, voluntary organisations and others is important, as is treating people with dignity and respect regardless of their background or culture. As well as fighting fires, you need to be a people person.

There are some important personal qualities that you will need in your role as a firefighter. These include confidence, resilience, adaptability, ability to communicate effectively, integrity and have a commitment to diversity. The role of the firefighter is continually changing as new techniques and equipment are introduced and this is why you have to be adaptable. One example of new technology being employed is with the possible introduction of Body Worn Cameras. These are used to capture real time evidence and could be useful in investigating the causes of a fire and whether it was arson. They are also great ways to capture any abuse from members of the public as unfortunately for our emergency services, they do come under attack from anti-social behavior. For more information, visit

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In this profession, there will always be the need for continuous training and you’ll be expected to  attend lectures, exercises, practical training sessions and other forms of training to maintain competence levels. This is to ensure that your emergency skills are always kept up to scratch. You will be expected to take responsibility for developing your own skills and ensuring that your fitness levels are maintained as the work can be demanding, both physically and mentally.

Becoming a firefighter in the fire and rescue service is not an easy process. It can take months and years of applying and preparing prior to application. It is very hard work hard and takes a great deal of commitment so you’ll need to be both patient and tenacious in your goal.

To be successful in the process, you need to be one step ahead of the next candidate, and be better prepared than they are. The fire and rescue service only take on the best, so those who have put the work in, will be more likely to be rewarded by the offer of places on recruitment courses. It’s also worth noting that recruitment into some fire and rescue services only happens every couple of years, so this may be your only attempt for a while.

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