Fire Service Careers
What do firefighters do?
When responding to an emergency, firefighters are responsible for connecting hoses to hydrants, operating the pumps that power the hoses, climbing ladders, and using other tools to break through debris. Firefighters also enter burning buildings to extinguish fires and rescue individuals. Many firefighters are responsible for providing medical attention. Two out of three calls to firefighters are for medical emergencies, not fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
When firefighters are not responding to an emergency, they are on call at a fire station. During this time, they regularly inspect equipment and perform practice drills. They also eat, sleep, and remain on-call, as their shifts usually last 24 hours. Some firefighters may provide public education about fire safety, such as presenting about fire safety at a school.