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Dinglasan, Cord
English Composition 101
Robinson, Joan
November 8, 2015
Fighting Fire
All my life growing up I have wanted to be a firefighter. My grandfather was a firefighter
and he would tell me stories all day every day. I was intrigued by the fact I could ride on a huge
red truck and wear all this stuff and go put out fires. Yet as the years grew on I slithered my way
into the medical aspect of the job. I became a lifeguard and got some hands on experience with
first aid and helping people. I joined the Las Vegas Fire Explorers and took off from there, with
this being said being a firefighter is all I have ever wanted or dreamed of.
With this job, a typical life as a firefighter sounds relaxing. Hanging out in a fire station,
then slide down a pole and go fight fires. As the years grew on fire prevention took over most of
the problems in the streets(Frederick 165). Fires are now less often and it is more medical calls
that firefighters get. A firefighter will ride on an Engine, which is the one that people see every
day racing down the street. The primary job as a firefighter is to protect and save life and
property. This is a very stressful job and it can be extremely dangerous.
In the United States 88% of the firefighters are volunteer (Klinoff 194). Yet every
firefighter has a station that they workout of. With the professional firefighters, they work strictly
out of the fire station that they are assigned to. With each fire station there is at least one Engine
and one Rescue, like the ambulances that you see on the streets. Yet a volunteer firefighter will
work mostly out of their home and get a page on their pager whenever they are needed.

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Along with being a firefighter they are required to know how to use multiple tools. A
basic outline of the tools that will be used are the hose, nozzle, ladders, personal protective
equipment, hand tools, and medical aid equipment(Klinoff 152). A lot of the tools can be
extremely complex and require hours of practice so that when the public calls for the fire
department, they know their equipment inside and out and perform professionally. Many
firefighters will work a day or two, or even three days in a row without leaving the station. Every
fire department is different, I work two days on three days off no matter what days of the week
those fall on. said Jim Paragas a Fire Captain for Boulder City Fire Department. Yet if there is
a major catastrophe additional personnel may be called in to help on their days off. Knowing all
this information and training can pay off, the starting salary for a firefighter in the academy is
$45,250 a year and can get to upwards of $115,000 as you progress through the ranks in the
department(Bureau of Labor Statistics). Firefighting is a very rewarding job that can set someone
up for life. The job requires young men and women, but as ages increase there are several
positions to move into.
Firefighting is becoming very popular in the younger generations. Its a young man's
job said Captain Mike Thom with Las Vegas Fire and Rescue. Over the years more and more
men and women have been applying for this job. When applications open up there are thousands
of people applying at once but only a select handful make it to the next step in the
process(Fredrick 456). With this being said the men and women try to load their resumes with
highlight points such as a paramedic certification, or military experience to show the work ethic
of the individual. Firefighter employment is expected to grow an upwards of 7% by 2022 said
the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Becoming a firefighter is simple but extremely difficult. As one of the most competitive
jobs to earn you simply need a High School Diploma or GED, no felonies, and an EMT Basic
certification(Klinoff 13). With only a few requirements it is a popular career field but the hiring
process ensures that it only selects the best of the best. The more school and experience someone
has the higher the chances of being picked up by a department. Internships are not an option for
this career field because it requires endless knowledge and skills to perform the job. Mike Thom
shared with his class that someone interested can go on a ride along if they are 18 years or older.
Luckily there is a lot of volunteer work, in fact 87% of firefighters are strictly volunteers(Klinoff
194). Along with this there are explorer programs provided by fire departments for young men
and women under the age of 21 to train like a firefighter and learn the basics. With this being
said the explorers will endure endless volunteer work of their own time to show their dedication
to the department.
Being a firefighter has endless benefits to the career, but there have been many men and
women that have paid the ultimate sacrifice in fact an average of 100 firefighters have lost their
life in the line of duty (NFPA 2011). The career can be extremely dangerous, in fact 443
firefighters lost their life (Klinoff 72). This is the largest loss of men and women in this job in the
past decade. This is due to the unfortunate events of 9/11 where hundreds of firefighters lost their
life. This job is a high calling and the situations you are called to serve can be extremely
dangerous. Yet the job will set an individual for life. There has been men and women working in
the department until the day they retire. With the fire department there are so many diverse fields
that are available to anyone in the department or even civilians.
After endless researching this job since I was a little boy all of the information I have
found is just a review and it only makes me want the job more. After researching more I found

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that small percentages have changed such as the number of volunteer firefighters and the average
death rate has evolved with fire technology and prevention. For me, my next step on this path is
simply getting my EMT basic certification, so that I can start to apply to be picked up by a
department. If that fails then I will continue to get my paramedic certification, and then continue
on to get military experience so that being a firefighter is a forsure option as I have plenty of
school, knowledge, and experience.

Works Cited
Goodson, Carl, Essentials of Fire Fighting and Fire Department Operations ed. 5th ed. Vol. 1.
Oklahoma: Fire Protection Publications, 2012. Fire Protection Publications. Print. 06
Nov. 2015.

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Klinoff, Robert. Introduction To Fire Protection and Emergency Services.


Jones & Barlett Learning, 2015. 466. Print.
Paragas, Jim. "Fire Service." Personal interview. 20 Oct. 2015.
Thom, Mike. "Fire Service." Personal interview. 25 Oct. 2015.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8 Jan. 2014. Web. 06 Nov.
2015.. Print.