Wednesday, August 18, 2010


What Does It Take To Become a Firefighter?

I have gone over the reasons why a firefighter does what he or she does, the history of the distinguished firefighter community, and what the firefighter is kept safe by during his or her walk into the flame; now I will go over what it takes to become a part of the elite few who risk their lives. It is not easy to become a fire fighter, nor is it easy to be one. The firefighter has to have sound judgment, academic capability, courage, and strength. All the characteristics I have provided come quickly to a firefighter because he or she was born to do it, but how do they get their foot in the door, so to say?

All firefighters have to be educated; they have to first take an entry level exam to participate in the Fire Academy. The exam consists of mathematical problems, English and reading skills, mechanical aptitude, perceptual ability, spatial relations, matching parts and figures and map reading(Lepore 331). The best way to ace the exam is to study, from what you might ask? There are so many books out there that help you get ready for the firefighter’s exam, and whoever is interested should look into purchasing one of these sources. After passing the exam in the top 10 percentile, you will now be ready to enter into the fire academy and EMT program (Lepore 25). If this route doesn’t sit well with you, just spend the money to get into the fire academy and take college courses like I am doing.

After the test is all out of the way, and you are now at the academy or training school, there is a lot of physical fitness requirements that you will have to meet. I wouldn’t worry about this too much because the instructors will be there to push you to the fitness standards required (Smeby 2-3). This rigorous fitness is all part of the training; there is also the fire training aspect. You will learn what causes a fire, how to extinguish it, and what agent to use. There are training simulators that test firefighter’s capabilities in a safe manner without exposing them to the real thing (Anonymous 1). This helps with the real life training soon to come. After all is done in the academy, it is time to graduate and submit your resume to all the fire stations you can.

This is the route in becoming a firefighter. I have shown the inner workings of the community and the history of the brotherhood. I personally give thanks to those who sacrifice their lives for someone they haven’t even met. It is an honor to say that I served as a firefighter for the military and soon will continue to do so as a civilian.

Works Cited

Anonymous. Fire Chief. Atlanta. 2007. Volume 9. Issue 3. Pg 10. Periodical. ProQuest ID: 1381846141. 17 Aug 2010.

Lepore, Paul S. Smoke Your Firefighter Written Exam. 2007. Pg 25, 331. 17 Aug 2010.

Smeby, Charles L Jr. Fire Training. Washington. 2005. Volume 87. Issue 10. Pg 34. Periodical. ProQuest ID: 924615331. 17 Aug 2010.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What Keeps The Firefighter Safe?

                                                                                    We now know why the firefighter risks his or her life and we also know how they came to be, but what actually keeps the firefighter safe during his or her venture into the flames?Training, first and foremost, is what keeps a firefighter safe. Although, the training is the key point of their safety, the ensemble is what also keeps them intact. With so many dangerous elements involved with a fire, whether it is the fire itself, smoke, falling debris, and the heat, the firefighter’s gear protects them from all of these (Gottschalk 134). The firefighter’s important clothing, which is called “turn out” gear, protects him or her from most of the fire’s attributes. “Turn out gear (fire resistant coat and pants) keeps the firefighter cool in the fire, warm in the winter, and dry in wet conditions (Gottschalk 134).” This is very important because heat from a fire can reach up to 1,000 degrees and the clothing protects the firefighter from cooking. The protective clothing is also water resistant which prevents hot water from scalding the firefighter. Fire could actually cook a firefighter from the inside-out, just like a baked potato, if he or she were able to get wet.

         The safety accessories of the ensemble include: the helmet, gloves, the SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus), and the personal alert safety system monitor “pass.” The helmet protects his or her head from heat and falling debris, and the gloves also protect from heat and sharp objects that may be around the scene of the fire. The other life saving accessories are the SCBA, which provides oxygen to the firefighter during the hellish, space like environment and the “pass” system, which beeps loudly after 45 seconds of no movement from the firefighter (Gottschalk 134).

       If a man or woman risks his or her life to step into the most unsafe environment, they have to be well equipped. Thanks to former firefighters and inventors, firefighters have a better chance of surviving and saving some pedestrian’s life.

work cited :
Gottschalk, Jack.  Firefighter.  2002. DK Publishing.  P131,134-135. August 15,2010.

Photo by: http://www.osnf.com/

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Importance of History

It is important to know the history of a profession, especially one as well known as the firefighter. History has shown us that the most unpredictable mishaps can occur. When this occurs, it’s always reassuring to know someone will be there to help.

In Ancient Egypt, the Egyptians used wooden water pumps to extinguish fires. Several hundred years later, “200 BC,” a man named Ctesibius invented a new and improved water pump to put out fires in Rome. Rome had now started the first fire department. These men were known as “Spartoli” or “Little Bucket Fellows.” (Graff)

Fires were also a growing problem in Colonial times of America’s upbringing. The people in these communities also used the bucket solution to extinguish the fires. The Bucket Brigade was a line of volunteers passing buckets full of water back and forth to the fire. “Wheel mounted hard pumps were brought to America from England in the early 1700s.” (Graff) These pumps were run by several men including the bucket brigade, who filled the pumps instead of fighting the fire (Graff).

In the 1800s, a steam driven pump was introduced, but had to be transported by horse drawn carriages. At this time, the men were named firefighters. The 1900s brought change when the gas powered engines were introduced. These are still used today (Graff).

The history of firefighting shows that in even the worst of conditions, and lack of equipment, there are brave souls who risk their lives in order to save one. It is truly amazing how firefighting started and where it is today.

Work Cited

Graf, Christine. “Firefighting Through the Ages.” Appleseeds, 10997725. Nov 2006. Volume 9. Issue 3. EBSCO 2010. 12 August 2010.

Picture produced by : http://www.artofmanliness.com/

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why The Importance of Fire Fighting?

Mostly everyone knows of what a fire fighter is most recognized by, and that is by their bravery. They are the ones who run into a fire while everyone else is running out. The fire fighter shows no fear and only cares about getting everyone out and extinguishing the fire. Although people may know what they stand for, but they don’t really know how they came to be a fire fighter. Fire fighters have intrigued me ever since I was a child, and as a child, I told myself that I would become a fire fighter so that I may save lives. I joined the Navy right after high school, while speaking with the recruiter, I told him that I wanted to become a fire fighter. Soon after boot camp I was sent to Pensacola, Florida for the Crash and Salvage school, there I learned and trained on how to become a fire fighter. Four years went by and I was ready to put my knowledge to work in the civilian world, as it would turn out, the type of qualifications don’t meet the standard for the state of Texas.

This is the reason why I am attending TCC; I am working on enrolling into the Fire Academy this fall. I will be going over what it takes to become qualified and also the history of the fire fighter. Hopefully this knowledge will help you understand where they come from and how they got there.