Where a firefighter works

As a firefighter, you may work in various federal and state emergency response departments. You may also work in rural areas or small towns.

Volunteer firefighters also have the same duties as paid firefighters and can work in different areas.

So typically, firefighters work in the following areas:

  • Local government, excluding education and hospitals
  • Administrative and support services
  • State government, excluding education and hospitals
  • Federal government, excluding postal services

When responding to an emergency, these workers often wear protective gear, which can be very heavy and hot.

Outside of work, firefighters work at fire stations where they sleep, eat, operate equipment and stay in touch. When the alarm sounds, firefighters respond regardless of the weather or time of day.

What skills should a firefighter have?

As a firefighter, you must have basic skills to do the job effectively, and these include the following:

  • Be in good physical shape
  • Be mentally prepared and resilient
  • discipline yourself
  • be able to communicate effectively
  • have mechanical knowledge
  • Be a team player and show leadership qualities

How long does it take to become a firefighter?

Depending on the training program, it takes 3 to 4 months to become a firefighter. Or up to 5 years if you want to take advanced training before being hired and experience a longer application process.

However, it usually takes up to 7 years to become a full-time paramedic-firefighter with a four-year firefighter degree.