Job Overview

A career in the fire service is both challenging and rewarding. Fire suppression is only one of a wide variety of duties performed by Firefighters. In fact, approximately 85% of all Fire Department responses are to emergency medical calls. Other typical assignments may include:
  • Commercial and residential fire inspections
  • Community outreach and services
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Fire prevention education
  • Post-fire-salvage and cleanup
Additional Details
When fighting fires, work apparel and equipment weighing approximately 45 pounds are worn. A significant amount of time is spent inspecting, cleaning and maintaining this equipment and training in its use. A firefighter is usually a member of a 4 member team that lives and works together in close quarters throughout a shift. Living at the Fire House entails rigorous housekeeping, cooking, cleaning and yard maintenance. Teams may be diverse by gender and ethnicity and each member is heavily dependent on fellow members to successfully perform the duties of the position.

Firefighting is 24-hour work done in shifts that vary by jurisdiction. Calls for assistance can and do come at any hour. Many firefighters contend that the best way to ensure that a call comes in is to prepare a meal or begin a good nights sleep! A typical firefighter works a 24-hour shift with 24-hours off-duty in between shifts. On occasion there may be mandatory overtime. A typical Firefighter may earn between $2,800 and $4,800 per month. Other benefits include excellent medical, dental and retirement plans.