The role of the firefighter is changing as mass shootings, natural disasters and mass casualty events increase in frequency, requiring additional training.
Times are changing and they are changing fast. The world where firefighters are concerned is also changing fast. In fact, the mission is changing and the term fire department doesn’t really tell the whole story.
The term has already made a shift by adding “rescue” to our title. Almost all fire departments run more medical calls than fire calls. And, the number of actual structure fires is down in many areas.
After driving the same vehicle every day, you will learn to hear and feel anything occurring that is out of the norm. Regardless of your level of expertise or knowledge, one must take action before “more expensive issues” add injury to insult.
At the start of a tour of duty or shift day, I would always perform a walk-around of the apparatus to assess any new damage or abnormalities.
At some point, a firefighter will experience a "major working fire." These types of fires are usually large in scale and require 6-12 hours (or more) of active working, crew changes, staging areas and subsequently a "fire watch" with one unit on standby at the scene after the fire has been extinguished to assure there are no rekindles.
These drawn-out battles take a toll on firefighters, both mentally and physically, regardless of their rank or position.
Time seemed to go by quickly when employed by the fire service, but I can still recall the first day I walked into the fire station after completing the fire training college — as it was called back in the day — some 36 years ago.
As a probationary firefighter (known in my department as a "boot"), we were given many tasks that needed to be completed during a tour of duty.
Health & Wellness
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