If you are passionate about firefighting and would like to serve as a firefighter, then you really should not ignore firefighter training. What many people still don’t know is that firefighting has grown into a valuable segment of expertise; with most fire departments demanding firefighter aspirants to have at least a college degree and some form of certification before being seriously considered for placement. While no formal education is necessary to apply for a position in the firefighting department, having the right training and documentation can provide you with an advantage over the competition and prepare you for administrative or leadership posts in the fire service. While not all colleges offer formal education courses in fire science, local fire departments do provide comprehensive training to their employees.
Firefighters are always called upon during emergency situations such as road collisions and fire breakouts among others because they have the skills and resourcefulness to get things under control calmly and quickly. The community is also working closely with local fire services to heighten people’s vigilance on how to stop emergency situations from arising. At the Fire Academy, you will undergo training on how to respect and communicate effectively with all people regardless of tribe, age, race or affiliation. While at the Fire Academy, you will be attending practical teaching sessions, lectures, workouts and drills among other forms of firefighter training to strengthen your confidence and grow your expertise. In addition to acquiring new techniques, you will also get introduced to various equipment that will be useful when responding to fire emergencies and most importantly when performing your duties as a firefighter.
There are many ways that you can acquire the training and education that you need to become a firefighter. While one might be interested in a college degree for firefighters, another might want to attend the fire academy, while another might prefer enrolling in some online firefighting classes not to mention firefighter apprenticeships. All of these are feasible ways of achieving the education requirements for firefighters. If you are interested in developing a career as a firefighter, pick the Fire Academy that will give you the finest firefighter training and will nurture you to become an excellent and competent firefighter. Here are some well-known Firefighter Training Centers in the United States that might interest you:
The US National Fire Academy headquarters based in Emmitsburg, Maryland serves as a central point for the specialized training of firefighters. The US National Fire Academy is a center of a highly organized educational system and training network for the entire county fire officers.
Once you enroll at the US National Fire Academy, you will acquire the necessary skills at no cost as there are no tuition fees charged for all courses and all course materials are freely provided by the federal government.
The US National Fire Academy works to increase the ability of firefighters to deal more efficiently with fire and other similar emergencies. The courses offered at the US National Fire Academy include a large assortment of subjects intended to entice a large number of firefighters across the country. Training sessions are designed in such a way that they can be useful for all firefighters, from rural volunteer fire units to fully equipped city fire departments.
- TEEX Brayton Fire Training Field
The TEEX Brayton Fire Training Field offers realistic and practical training for its fire officers. This Fire Academy’s various training units provide emergency guidelines in rescue missions, firefighting, harmful materials, emergency medical services, marine, and aircraft.
The key TEEX programs comprise:
- Infrastructure and safety
- Fire and rescue
- Economic/Workforce development
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
TEEX ability to access a broad range of evolving research and technical knowledge is matchless. The TEEX Brayton Fire Training Field also provides hosting services for their web-based courses and technology support. They also offer translation services and bilingual training for their students.
- DFW Fire Training Research Center
The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Fire Training Research Center has been providing revolutionary Aircraft Rescue Firefighting and operational training services in a state-of-the-art learning environment since 1995. The DFW Fire Training Research Center employs a blend of researched multi-lingual curriculum and creative digital activities not to mention practical applications during training. This way, students acquire cutting-edge firefighting skills and information in a high-tech training facility.
The Fire Training Academy is dedicated to meeting the needs of an intricate and vibrant fire service by offering programs of the utmost value in the US. Currently, the Academy offers a broad range of fire-related course programs ranging from entry-level to command-level management officers. The Academy also offers programs in technical training through partnering with the US National Fire Academy. Courses are specially designed to meet standards set by the National Fire Protection Association and to also assist the local fire units in complying with mandatory training guidelines put in place by the relevant authorities.
All firefighters get excellent training before getting hired. Generally, a new hire in a large fire department usually gets trained for several weeks at the department’s fire academy even though they might have acquired the same skills elsewhere. Through classroom education together with practical training, new employees study:
- Firefighting procedures
- Local building regulations
- Lethal materials control
- Emergency medical processes (First Aid and CPR)
- Fire prevention
They are also taught how to use rescue and firefighting equipment such as:
- Fire extinguishers
After efficiently completing training, the firefighting trainees are usually assigned to various fire companies, where they go through probation for some time.
Firefighting is one profession that calls for a high-level of determination and competence for people who choose it as a profession. As a firefighter, you will be required to have the nerve and stamina to lay your life on the line for the sake of others. You will also need to sacrifice long hours of study and also work for extensive periods during practical training so as to develop a high level of efficacy and proficiency. If you are prepared to make the commitment, firefighting can indeed be one greatly rewarding and gratifying career; however, it is also an incredibly challenging profession.
Recruiting brave women and men to endanger their lives while safeguarding their community may seem like a great job, but when you throw in that it’s a volunteer position, it may be difficult to convince some to join. It isn’t breaking news that volunteering in the firefighting field is decreasing nationwide. Many factors are playing a role. Okay, okay, I admit. You can put some blame on the tough economic times. People who used to volunteer in their off-time find themselves working longer hours or multiple jobs to make ends meet, leaving little or no room for volunteering as firefighters.
So how do you go about it? How do you recruit new people to join a local department without throwing rainbows and unicorns their way? Here are a few suggestions:
Make the Application Process Quick
When a fire department creates volunteer firefighter applications, it’s important to make the application process speedy. While ensuring the process is swift, it’s also essential to be thorough. Keeping the volunteer firefighter application process fast ensures interested volunteers don’t lose interest during a long application process. If volunteer fire department application requires field eligibility tests, you may want to consider them. Not only does this type of testing allow you to determine the physical fitness of new members, but it also allows the applicants to understand their own physical limitations.
Ensure Volunteer Firefighters Know what is Expected of Them
When recruiting volunteer firefighters, it’s important to be completely honest about what is expected from a volunteer firefighter. Making sure interested volunteers understand what the requirements of volunteering at a local department requires guarantees that you will get volunteers who are willing and ready to make the commitment and sacrifices needed to have a successful department. The best way to make sure interested volunteers know what is expected of them is to train often.
As a volunteer firefighter recruit, you’ll be expected to:
- Put yourself in life-threatening situations, such as crawling through tight spaces, going into burning buildings, and entering other unsafe environments.
- Keep a clear mind in life or death situations
- Be composed when assisting traumatic events like car crash fatalities and injuries.
Highlight Opportunities for Growth
Potential firefighter volunteers may not know about the many benefits the fire service can offer, such as the public service scholarship program and Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). Departments should highlight all the different specialized skills and benefits fire training brings. To retain volunteer firefighters, departments create recognition programs to make them feel challenged and appreciated by rewarding their hard work.
Invest in Online Engagement
Recent studies indicate that most people look for job options online. Consequently, fire departments need to make themselves visible online along with doing community recruitment events. Departments can use social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to advertise the advantages of firefighting, show what firefighters do, highlight individual and department accomplishments, and enlighten potential volunteers on how they can join the fire service.
An organized website is also a useful way to attract potential volunteers. The website must be user-friendly and easy to navigate. Information about recruitment events and volunteer opportunities should be listed on the homepage. This is also the ideal place to upload video clips and post testimonials to further promote volunteering.
Encourage Current Members to Train New Members
Irrespective of your location, if you walk into any fire department across the country, you’re liable to find an old timer. With a raspy voice, sooty helmet and gray hair, the old-time firefighters are the ones everyone looks up to. Furthermore, you don’t get to be a veteran without doing some things right. The best way to ensure volunteer firefighters understand the expectations and procedures of volunteer fire departments is to have veterans train the newbies.
Create an Explorer Program
To lure volunteer firefighters, volunteer fire departments need to have strong Explorer programs. The Explorer program is started for girls and boys, ages fourteen to twenty that have an interest in obtaining a firefighter certification in the future. Devoting time and energy to grow this program in your community could provide you with a steady stream of volunteers who are really interested in becoming volunteer firefighters for life.
Brand Your Fire Department
“Branding” is more than just a symbol or name. It summarizes the message you want the community to think or feel about your fire department. Building a strong brand for you, determine the personality and identify your distinctive niche you want your company to convey.
Seek a Professional’s Help
Because of fire departments’ busy schedules, firefighting employees might not have the time for recruitment and marketing. Hire a professional that recognizes budgetary limitations, understands the concept of marketing and recruitment for fire departments, and that is enjoyable to work with. And don’t forget to ask to see samples of work they have done for other fire departments to see if their marketing strategies are right for you.
Ways to Serve Your Local Fire Department
If becoming a volunteer firefighter isn’t for you, there are numerous ways you can still help your local fire department. Here are just a few ideas:
- Teaching fire safety to children
- Installing smoke alarms in area homes
- Maintaining the department’s social media and website
- Cooking for the on-duty staff
- Executing home safety checks
- Distributing disaster preparedness materials
Attracting and retaining good volunteer firefighters is among the problems facing fire departments today. Volunteers are one of the most economical solutions to the snowballing cost of providing quality fire protection to communities. Effective community fire protection depends on the ability of fire departments to attract, recruit, train and retain these key individuals.
There are countless ways to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters. However, the volunteer agency should make sure that it’s not extending benefits that could lead to a loss of the volunteer status. Loss of such a status could result in lawsuits, loss of disability protections and loss of life insurance offered to volunteer firefighters. Check with your attorney to determine whether any retention or recruitment program may result in a loss of the volunteer status.
For most individuals, a home is a source of stability in life, serving as an environment in which to spend time with our loved ones and entertain guests. However, the National Fire Protection Agency estimates that in regards to all fires that occur inside a structure, ninety percent of these occur in a home, this translates to about three thousand civilian fatalities annually.
But what exactly leads to these fatal fires? This is a question unanswered up to date. Well, here are some of the causes that lead to fire becoming destructive as well as life threatening.
Causes of fires in homes
A small kid, say, 7-10 years is home alone. On the table with him is a matchbox. As we all know kids are curious beings. They will light a match and watch what it can possibly burn, just to satisfy their curiosity. Consequently, they end up lighting something like a paper on the table which will spread to the sofa and before you know it, the whole house is on fire. To avoid this, matchsticks and matchboxes should be kept as far away as possible from them.
- Cigarette smoking
Smoking cigarettes is also one of the major causes of fire. Once one is done smoking, he/she forgets to put off the cigarette completely and hence, the cigarette lights up something flammable like the tablecloth then the table and then every other thing in the house will catch fire. Smokers should therefore be extremely careful when smoking in the house. They should make sure they completely put off the cigarette and dispose off the cigarette butts in the right places.
Did you know that cooking is ranked as the leading cause of fire in the home? Well, you may be going about your cooking in the kitchen as well as holding a conversation with friends in the living room. It is said that serving two masters at the same time will have one master overpower the other. In this case, the conversation with friends gets too interesting to a point of forgetting the cooking taking place in the kitchen and soon, everything in the kitchen area catches fire and it spreads to the other rooms in the house.
- Extension cords
Never use an extension cord as a long-term solution for your electricity needs. A much safer alternative is to hire an electrician to install additional electrical receptacles. The results will be that it will be safer and much more convenient.
- Faulty home appliances
Inspect your appliances regularly to ensure they’re still in proper working condition. Pay close attention to plugs and power cords. If they’re bent or frayed, stop using the appliance immediately and discard responsibly.
Candles look small and pretty but if left unattended, can easily cause a room to burn in flames. They should be kept away from flammable things like books and clothes.
Barbecues are great for an outdoor meal but should be kept far away from the house. This is because, wind blows uncontrollably and if the barbecue is next to the house, it will easily light up the house and since there is wind outside, the fire will spread very fast.
Causes of fires at work places
- Faulty electrics
Loose wires and overloaded plugs are death traps at work. This comes hand in hand with negligence and human error, for instance, spilling liquids into electrical equipment. Extra care should be taken when dealing with electronic equipment. Every person working should be well informed on the do’s and don’ts of electric equipment.
- Flammable liquids
Most workplaces have flammable liquids and once these liquids sense just a little fire, become a disaster that is sometimes almost impossible to avert. Flammable liquids should be kept as far away as possible from places that fire is often is used.
Causes of fires in schools
- Students and staff
Fire in school in most cases is started intentionally by the students or even staff. These fires are usually unpredicted and are started in trash cans or piles of garbage since they are the easiest to light. A fire can also be started in the laboratory when there is use of equipment like the Bunsen burner. As such, there should be close monitoring of students in school and precautions taken immediately in case of any suspicious activity noticed.
Other causes of fires
Camping is a fun activity but can also be disastrous if extra care is not taken. During the night, campers tend to light up fire to keep warm. If the fire is not well put out or is left unattended, it can spread wildly and uncontrollably. This leads to massive destruction of the environment and even loss of lives. While camping, caution should be taken when lighting a fire, campers should ensure they totally put off the fire and never leave it unattended to.
- Car fires
These fires occur when there is a mechanical error, oil or fuel leak and less often by an accident. Once car owners have taken their cars for repair, they should double check the cars before driving off, for the sake of their safety.
Those are just a few causes of fire. Basically, as seen above most fire outbreaks are caused at home. Safety starts with you, so it’s up to you to ensure you take extra caution when handling fire. Fire related incidents are potentially devastating, but fortunately they’re easy to prevent, especially if you are aware of the most common fire hazards and take steps to combat them