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Common Characteristics of Firefighters

Posted by on May 14, 2017 in Remodeling Of Interior |

A career as a fire fighter involves a number of aspects such as physical strength, endurance and mental strength. As a fire fighter, you are bound to face great responsibilities and also encounter difficult challenges. At times, body strength and determination aren’t enough; and no matter how much you train as a fire fighter, if you lack essential personal fire fighter qualities, your performance and overall success may suffer.

When you go for an interview as a fire fighter applicant, recruiters will not only look for physical traits, strength, endurance and flexibility; but also your personal qualities. These personal qualities are generally known as the Firefighter Personal Qualities and Attributes (PQAs). Your personality reflects your work ethics. It shows how much you love and value your job of helping other people in jeopardy. So, apart from the physical exam, you will be assessed based on your outlook in life and personal character traits. Therefore, it is important that you understand what are some of the most common characteristics of firefighters:

1. Demonstrate an obligation to Integrity and Diversity

This essentially means that as a firefighter, you should be able to treat all people impartially, whether at the work place or within the community. You also need to be aware of your community. A competent firefighter should always maintain an open approach when dealing with people of diverse backgrounds. You should also be willing to accept other people’s differences such as gender, social background, disability, age, physical appearance, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

Firefighters are also expected to maintain the relevant ideals, be candid, and also be responsible for their own actions. You should be ready to challenge any unbecoming behavior, as long as it is inconsistent with the principles of the Fire Service.

2. Always open to change

The Fire Service is always changing. As with any establishment that has a desire to constantly develop and improve, change is inevitable. In order for that change to be realized effectively, firefighters must accept and be accommodating of it. All great firefighters must understand that there is need for change before applying for the role. In the course of your career as a firefighter there will be numerous changes and working practices that you will need to uphold. Working practices must change as safety procedures, technology and equipment improve.

3. Toughness

The physical burdens of firefighting are crystal clear. Firefighters usually lift and move very heavy equipment. At times, they have to carry people during rescue operations. Typically, they do all of this while wearing heavyweight shielding gear and breathing devices. Resting is often simply not possible during emergencies. Apart from being in excellent physical condition, firefighters need an attitude of determination and hardiness. This is what will help you to make use of your physical abilities to push through difficulties and to endure in the heart of grim situations to save lives and property.

4. Demonstrate a certain degree of confidence and flexibility

As a firefighter, you will at some point attend some tough episodes. Some of these instances will test your emotional stability, physical strength, not to mention your ability to stay calm when everything else around you is going wrong. As other people leave burning buildings, you will be going in, employing your skills and equipment to save property and life. Thus, with all of this in mind, you need to always stay cool and in control of your emotions and especially when emergency situations arise.

Firefighters must always remember their training and learn to concentrate with the task at hand in spite of all the confusion and panicking around. Even when things don’t go according to plan, firefighters must get the job done and learn from their mistakes later on.

5. Have the ability to work with other people

You can’t work alone as a firefighter. You must be able to work as a team. The size of the team will vary, depending on several factors such as the nature of the assignment in hand. However, firefighters always work in teams ranging from 2-20 people. Hence, being able to work effectively as a team member is crucial for the job.

In order for a team to work well and competently, its members need to have a positive relationship. You don’t have to personally like each other, but you need to have a good and concrete working relationship. You won’t always work with members of your fire brigade; you will meet many different teams including Police and Ambulance crews. Wherever your superiors find it appropriate to post you, you will need to be in a position to calm and reassure members of the public.

When you work as a team, you need to always be mindful of the wider team goals. For instance, when given a task that needs executing in short notice, you need to be competent enough to deliver appropriately. Always be on the ready.

It is also very important that you represent the Fire Service positively wherever you go. Obviously, you are definitely proud to work as a firefighter and that should come across in your everyday work. The Fire Service has a vital and esteemed image to keep and it is your job as a firefighter to maintain it.

Others important characteristics include:

  • Being able to communicate effectively
  • Being an apt problem solver
  • Being conscious of situations around you
  • Showing some level of commitment to excellence

Conclusion

The reason why firefighter personal traits are very vital is that unlike tests and other forms of training, personal traits cannot be acquired in a short period of time. In most cases, personality traits must begin earlier on within an individual. When you absorb these distinct and honorable traits first, the mental and physical aspects of the job will certainly follow. Therefore, leading to an effective and superior performance. When it comes to serving others with lots of dedication, Fire Brigades only want what’s best; and for this reason, personal quality assessment is taken very seriously and followed to the letter.

Fire Industry Conferences in 2017 – Firehouse Design

Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 in Firehouse Reconstruction, Remodeling Of Interior |

For anyone looking to learn about the current trends of firehouse design and architecture, there are two grand-scale conference opportunities in 2017. Firehouse’s Station Design Conference will be held in Fort Worth, Texas in May (it was in Anaheim, California last year). Not to be upstaged, F.I.E.R.O. is hosting what it calls the ‘premier fire station design conference in the country’. The 2017 Fire Station Design Symposium will be in late September in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Firehouse’s Station Design Conference promotes itself as covering the entire scope of building a brand-new fire station. These details include the complete bidding and construction process, construction site costs, selecting a design team, and incorporating the newest technology and equipment. There are so many considerations that don’t get a ton of thought until they become a problem. The 2017 conference will discuss unique troublesome issues such as zoning complications, dealing with city architectural review boards, planning with tree preservation in mind, height or bulk restrictions or building around natural elements such as wetlands, streams or steep hills. Of course, keeping within your budget is a major topic that will be addressed.

Topics that probably never dawned on the fire house architects of yesteryear are also on the agenda. Making your station ‘green’ and efficient, and also how to create gender-friendly locker/shower rooms and bunkrooms. Time will also be devoted to fire fighter safety, protection and training. Sponsors and exhibitors will of course also grace the facility, along with plenty of time to network and brainstorm.

The F.I.E.R.O. (which stands for Fire Industry Equipment Research Organization) Fire Station Design Symposium has held an annual symposium since 2010. It specifically focuses on not only fire stations and training facilities planning to be built but for those already in existence. This event has a schedule full of speakers, demos and exhibitions but one of the big highlights is the annual Design Awards. The goal of these awards is to showcase public safety buildings that not only serve the community but also advance what the personnel who work there can do. Six judges with fire fighting backgrounds and architectural degrees determine the contest winners.

F.I.E.R.O. is a non-profit fire service agency. All income from the symposium is channeled into the following year’s event. All attendees receive a convenient USB thumbdrive with any digital handouts the presenters share.

Between these two events, 2017 looks to be a year of education, sharing, camaraderie and architectural advances in the fire house and fire training facilities department.

Exotic Firefighting Vehicles

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in Fire Trucks |

Today’s post is a slight departure from the usual firehouse articles here. The topic: fire trucks. The words ‘fire truck’ usually evoke the image of a red pumper or ladder truck. Certainly these are the two typical options for kids toys. But are fire trucks all red pumper or ladder trucks? No way. Here are a few less heard of fire apparatus that you won’t see in your typical toy aisle.

Unofficially the world’s smallest fire ‘truck’, the Nobleton Fire Department in Ontario has a truck the size of a large golf cart. (In fact, it IS a converted golf cart). A short YouTube video shows it ‘zooming’ down the road with its sirens on but the fire department reports that, while it is a legitimate truck, it’s mainly used for parades and education nowadays.

While you’re on YouTube, check out these next three trucks. First is the Pink Heels Tour. Organized throughout the year, volunteers drive a bright pink fire truck and fire fighters don pink fire gear. Making house calls to people effected by cancer, giving public educational displays, and raising money through donations and product sales this organization sets out to celebrate and uplift the cancer survivors individually rather than focus on a entire cause. Plus, they let people whip out a sharpie and write a message on the side of the pink truck!

‘Stinger’ fire trucks are exactly what the name suggests – they have a sharp stinger that can penetrate the side of an airplane to extinguish an internal fire. Used primarily at airports, the truck has a hose like a regular pumper truck and the stinger attached to a tall, adjustable boom arm. It has a maximum reach of 55 feet and can spray water and foam at the same time. Now why don’t they make kids trucks with a big piercing stinger?

The Chinese have done away with a standard truck completely and employed a battle tank chassis to fight hazardous fires. The armored walls can withstand heat and bio-hazard material and allow the fire fighters to literally roll into a fire and fight it from within. Used mainly for oil plants and chemical factories, the fire tank sprays water and foam retardant and is equipped with an internal sprinkler system to provide temperature relief. The definitely need a toy version of one of these.

You won’t see an Antarctic ARFF truck roll down the street during a Fourth of July Parade. These essential, yet problematic vehicles are on tracks instead of wheels in order to contend with the elements of the South Pole. Battling issues such as freezing fire retardant foam inside the pipes and corroding machine parts make these trucks very high maintenance.

Just like individual fire houses cater to the needs of their community, so do the fire apparatus. There’s endless possibility for uses and modifications.