The role of a firefighter is varied and encompasses a lot more than you might think. As well as responding to emergencies, much of a firefighter’s time is taken up by duties that aim to prevent incidents, as well as ensuring training is up to date and complying with fire station duties.
As a firefighter you will be expected to be able to demonstrate a number of personal attributes which you will be required to adhere to in all aspects of your work. These include:
- commitment to diversity
- effective communication
The work undertaken by firefighters can be broadly divided into four areas:
Incident prevention and community safety
While attending to emergencies is important, taking steps to ensure fires and other accidents don’t happen in the first place is just as crucial. Firefighters engage with the local community in order to provide advice on the steps needed to keep individuals safe. This is done by:
- educating the community through delivering safety advice through visits to schools, community centres and domestic visits
- keeping up to date with local area knowledge
- advising people on planning an exit in the case of an emergency
- delivering safe and well checks to members of the community which inform them of the risks to their health, safety and wellbeing
- engaging with the diverse groups of people within local communities in order to foster good relations and understanding
- working with some of the most vulnerable members of the community in order to ensure they are supported.
Responding to emergencies
Firefighters are expected to be able to respond immediately and safely to emergency calls. A call could come at any point, which means being prepared to drop what you’re doing and attend an incident.
As well as fires, there are a variety of different emergencies that you will be expected to attend. These include:
- chemical spillages
- providing casualty care and extraction at road traffic accidents
- rescuing individuals trapped in buildings and lifts
Once at the site of the emergency firefighters work to minimise the distress and suffering of anyone involved and provide first aid where necessary.
Training and development
Maintaining training levels is crucial and is an ongoing obligation for all firefighters. Training is delivered in both theoretical and practical exercises in order to keep competency levels up to date. On top of this, firefighters are required to take responsibility for developing their own skills and, crucially, ensuring fitness levels are maintained.
In order to keep equipment in good working order firefighters are required to maintain, clean and test equipment using established health and safety procedures. You will also be required to process and record information using our IT systems.
Our staff are ready to respond to any call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Crews are trained to respond to a whole range of challenging situations including:
- road traffic collisions
- animal rescues
- water rescues
- incidents involving hazardous materials.
The role of protecting the community also starts before the 999 call. Our prevention work within communities includes:
- safe and well checks
- educating children in schools
- undertaking business premises checks
- carrying out arson prevention work
- working with communities to provide advice on fire safety and prevention.