Firefighter and First Responder Career Video

Firefighter and First Responder Career Video Transcript

Fire fighting is a tough, yet rewarding career reserved for motivated individuals. This video provides an introduction to the career of fire fighters (traditionally referred to simply as firemen.)


Fire fighters respond to fires and other emergencies in metropolitan, rural and wilderness areas. Typically being the first responders, fire fighters must work quickly and efficiently to assess a situation and choose appropriate action.


Interestingly enough, most fire fighters respond to emergency calls that are medical in nature rather than a fire emergency. In this case, the fire fighter changes roles and becomes an emergency medical technician making sure victims are breathing and sustaining the victim's condition well enough for them to be taken to a hospital. The more traditional role of a fire fighter aims at putting out the fire, rescuing trapped victims and reducing the amount of damage if possible. With average property losses totaling nearly $11 billion dollars a year in the United States [1], fire fighters will always be in need to protect the lives and properties of citizens and ensure those figures go down.

Job Skills and Duties

Each person in a fire fighting unit is assigned a specific task to eliminate confusion during stressful emergency situations. One may connect hose lines to hydrants, another operates a water pump for the hoses and others may be assigned CPR duties to victims.

Training Required

Prior to being employed as a fire fighter, an applicant must meet several criteria. The basics usually require that the applicant be 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or equivalent. The applicant must then pass a series of tests, including physical tests, written examinations and drug screenings. Fire fighting courses taken at postsecondary schools are helpful in setting you apart from other applicants and being accepted as a candidate. Education comes in many forms, including college and university degrees, apprenticeship programs and training sessions hosted by the United States National Fire Academy [2]. Initial training for new candidates usually includes hands-on training at the local fire fighting training center or academy. Almost all departments require fire fighters to be certified as emergency medical technicians.

Typical Careers

Municipal fire fighters are the 'typical' fire fighters most people think of when this occupation comes to mind. However, fire fighters aren't all the same; some specialize in different types of fires they fight. For example, fire fighters may specialize in hazardous materials fires at chemical plants. In addition to the types of fires they put out, fire fighters can also be fire investigators, fire inspectors, forest fire inspectors or prevention specialists. With enough experience, fire fighters can climb the ranks to eventually become fire chief.


Fire fighting is a tough and dangerous job, which requires dedicated, skillful and courageous workers. Fire fighters have a range of skills and specializations they often employ when responding to different types of emergencies. A strict application process and training time ensures only the most qualified join. Check with your local city or state to find out more information about the application process in your area.


[#1] United States Fire Administration (USFA),

[#2] The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),

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