Fire has been a very important tool, yet it can turn very destructive and often deadly. For a long time people have fought to protect their lives and their property from fire. The nature of fire fighting is very dangerous. The range of duties in each fire department varies due to its size and the population of the city or town in which it is located. Fire fighters are called to many different types of alarms. They can be called to huge fires where they have to battle celing high flames or to a cat stuck in a tree. People call the fire department for everything. If they waste time it can result in more property damage, injury, or even death, not only to themselves but also to others. Most of the time fighters answer calls that are reguesting emergency medical care. They usually help by giving artifical resperation to drownding victims, or emergancy aid to heart attack victims on public streets.(Enc. Of Careers and Voc. Guidance,14)
A person in the department has to perform many tasks. Often times they are assigned to them. The fire department has to run like a well oiled machine. When a department goes into action everyone knows their job. There are people to rescue people from the fire, raise ladders, connect hoses, and even break down doors, walls, and windows. While fighters are on what they call station duty they perform many tasks also. They keep all equipment in top order. They do everything from polishing and lubricating the gear to keeping the hoses dry and stretched into shape. They also perform practice drills that let them improve their response time and improve their techniques. Fighters also participate in a number of classes and training programs to learn new skills and prepare for exams. They also have to live in the fire station for periods of twenty-four hours at a time. (Compton,115) While in the station the perform regular house hold tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, and regular maitenence.
Fire fighting can be exciting but it is often very stressful. It is one of many responsibilities and often great danger. Fire fighters are put in a number of risky situations. Fighters are often called into buildings where the whole thing collapses onto them. They are exposed to extreme heat, smoke, fumes, chemicals, and gasses. New devices are always in the making to help them do their jobs as safely as possiable. Fire fighters wear all kinds of protective gear. Almost all of the time they wear gloves, boots, helmets, coats, and a self-contained breathing apparatus. Sometimes they wear a one piece suit that is fire retardent.
A lot of fighters work twenty-four hour shifts. In many places they get seventy-two hours off after a certain numbers on duty. A work day can last any where from eight to fourteen hours, sometimes even longer depending on the situation. Fighters work a total of between fourty and ninety-six hours. Fire fighters are put into burning buildings, forest fires, and on the everyday street.