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Personal Narrative: A Career As A Firefighter Essay

All of the journeys that lead to greatness start with a dream, whether it is big or small, but what the person does with their dream is what controls whether it comes true. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. ” -Walt Disney. Anyone can have a dream but just like Walt Disney said, they need to have the courage to pursue them if they are to come true. Even today, if a child is asked what they dream of being when they grow up, they usually answer with a police officer or firefighter.

The reason for this is because at such a young age all they are interested in is superheroes who save eople and the closest thing they have to a superhero is a police officer or firefighter. My answer to this question of course was a firefighter and it has never changed. The difference between me and the other children is that I’m sticking with my dream and I have the courage to pursue it. I want to become the hero that people look up to. To be the person who is ready to give strength and hope to people that have lost it.

Becoming a firefighter is not just another career that someone can apply for and hope they get it, it requires work, dedication, sweat and the will to succeed. Being a firefighter needs to fit that person ursuing that career field professionally and personally because they need to be serious and passionate about being a firefighter or else lives will be lost. Becoming a firefighter is something that has to interest the candidate more than anything. A question frequently asked is “am I wired for the job? ” (Vitalie).

Since the field is so competitive, a candidate that isn’t sure what they want shouldn’t even apply for the job. The reason I started really looking into firefighting is because last summer I became a volunteer firefighter in McDermitt, Nevada. I put out five fires over the course of the summer along with my uncle who was he Crew Chief. I witnessed people lose land and even one person who lost a house due to a fire started by a lightning strike. Even in their darkest state, people can’t help but be so grateful to firefighters because firefighters put their lives out on the line for others almost everyday.

When someone looks at another person with tears in their eyes saying how grateful they are that a hero came to help them, is what makes it all worth it. If someone is thinking of becoming a firefighter they need to be willing to put in the hard work because this field is competitive and highly demanding, to the point that if the candidate doesn’t ant to put in the work, then the department will hire someone who does. Just like any job, there is no guarantee that someone will ever get it.

Becoming a firefighter is something that can only be earned, and there are ways to prepare and give oneself an edge on the competition. The first thing anyone striving to become a firefighter must do is become a volunteer firefighter, either at the department they want to work or at the local police department. After they do this they need to volunteer as much as possible no matter what the job is because if they’re working hard and dedicating themselves to the program it won’t go nnoticed. The more work a candidate puts in, the more people will remember his or her face and name.

Volunteering will give them connections to a wide range of important people who can help on their journey of becoming a firefighter. One of the most frequently asked questions according to Tony Vitalie, a 20 year fire service veteran is, “Do I have and will I be able to maintain the physical strength and fitness required for the job? Everyone knows that firefighting is a physical job, but most people do not realize just how strenuous it can be. ” Being a firefighter is a very physically demanding job and candidates eed to be able to withstand the physical requirements of the profession.

Therefore they need to be physically fit and work out on a regular basis because they will be required to take a strenuous physical exams upon applying. This physical exam will consist of stair climbs on stepmill, lifting/carrying ladder a set distance and knowing how to rack and unrack it from the vehicle, pulling a fire hose 50ft through a set obstacle course in which you must complete in 20. 00 Seconds, forcible entry through obstacles, and rescue through a doorway (Vitalie).

Not only do candidates need to be able to withstand the physicality f the career but the psychological and mental stress of the career. Since this career path has such a high level of stress, according to Ronald Spadafora, a nine year fire service veteran, “Psychological tests are administered during recruitment process to help determine whether candidates are mentally prepared to cope with the stressful nature of the job. ” Any job that has to do with the natural disasters of the world can be a very stressful yet rewarding job.

A firefighter will see some pretty horrible things in their career, families burnt to ashes, every valuable thing lost to the flames and maybe even the eath of other firefighters. That is why routine psychological exams exist in this career field, it is a highly stressful job and candidates need to be able to separate themselves emotionally from the situation. Of course there is no way to prepare for these situations because we don’t know what the future holds but firefighters need to be able to cope with what they see and experience and still do their job effectively to the best of their ability.

This psychological test will also be testing to see if the candidate has the personality traits needed in that field such as being an outgoing, and good communication skills. Having good communication skills is not the only trait needed to be a firefighter, according to Jake Fuhriman, a seven year firefighter at the Nampa Fire Department, “There are a wide range of personalities in each department but a new recruit most of the time, needs to have leadership traits or ‘alpha’ traits, communication skills and a good sense of humor.

He went on to explain that people looking for a job in fire service and rescue need be a leader or “alpha” in their own way because they need to be able to get the job done effectively. They need to be able to communicate with other people in all age groups because hey need to know all of the details of the situation so that they know the problem and can figure out how to fix it. The last trait a firefighter needs is a good sense of humor because in each department, it’s like being a part of a family that is always around each other a good majority of the time and emotions run high sometimes.

One big problem seen in candidates in these modern times is they are not team players. They think they can do everything themselves and it will all be okay. Another big problem seen in candidates applying today according to Fuhriman is “Candidates today are applying for firefighter jobs ithout even taking a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation class (CPR). ” He went on to say that the candidates who do this are usually the last people to be reviewed for being hired.

When Fuhriman was asked about some of the long term developments he expects to see in the future he responded by saying “I expect to see, with growth of population each year, more paramedics, firefighters, emts and more emergency responders. We’re going to need the all of the help we can get in order to keep up with a forever growing society. ” His explanation ties back to people not taking an emergency medical service course or even being CPR certified before pplying.

Even though these classes and certifications are not required in order to apply for a job in the field, a candidate can almost guarantee he or she will not get the job if they do not take these precautions. The career field is so competitive in today’s society that these certifications are almost required to even be considered being hired, and even if someone does surprisingly get hired without these certifications, they will be required to get them at some point.

The reason for this is because most of the time fire crews go on more medical service calls than actual fire emergency calls. Emergency medical lasses are not the only certifications that play a big role in being a firefighter, just like all careers in today’s society further schooling after high school can dramatically increase your chances of being hired over another according to the team of authors of the article “How To Become a Firefighter. Depending on which stations someone is applying for, each station usually has different requirements than another, some even require a degree in fire science. According to the the team and authors of an article called “How to Become a Firefighter”, “By going to a college such as University of New Haven, you will be trained for ork in jobs such as a fireman, fire investigator, fire arson, fire inspector, and other useful jobs in the emergency responder field.

The type of education students will receive by majoring in this field is knowledge in how to suppress and extinguish fires with hoses, pumps, and additional apparatus, evacuate fire structures and treat victims, drive and operate emergency vehicles, maintain equipment, and participate in public education. Each of these skills and lessons are required according the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Even if someone is hired on with all of these certifications and degrees hey should not stop there.

Life is something that never stops teaching our society and with new advancements in technology and medicine, firefighters can still take classes to advance their profession. It seems like a lot to do just to get a job but this career is definitely worth all of the time put into it, especially if this is someone’s dream job. Fuhriman explained it as, “the lottery job for some people, it has great benefits, pay, schedule and we do some fun things. ” Which is true. At most fire departments, the schedule for an average firefighter is four days on and four days off.

They also get full benefits which consist of medical, dental, and on top of that they have a pretty good annual income. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The average firefighter last year made around $45,500 which is about $21. 50 an hour rate. ” So with the schedule and benefits of the job it’s not hard to understand why it so competitive to get into the career field, the expectancy of the job outlook between 2012 and 2022 is a growth of only 7%, however these are not the only things that attract new people to this career field everyday (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

On their free time most fire departments participate in community service projects and giving back to society. According to Fuhriman, “The best part of my job is helping people, you see people in their darkest state sometimes and if you can help it’s very rewarding. ” He went on to explain that the Fire Department does not only help in the time of a crisis or emergency, he said that they go and teach community education of fire safety at local schools and at The Boys and Girls Club.

They basically help the community wherever they are needed and at the end of the day when Fuhriman knows he could have changed someone’s life that day. Interviewing Jake Fuhriman and seeing how passionate and happy he was with his job not only motivated me to keep pursuing my dream of being a firefighter, but made me want to come home at the end of the day and know that I changed someone’s life that day too, even if it was something small.

Another aspect of it that is important for anyone, or at least it is in my mind, is the ability to say they are happy with their job, no matter what it is. I feel like if my dream came true and I got to help people everyday, I would be able to look back on my life and be happy with the result. As the quote was describing me at the beginning of this paper, I have the courage and motivation to pursue my dream and I will succeed.

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