Dupuis, Peter - Firefighter

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[edit] Job Title (Peter Dupuis)


[edit] General Overview

Firefighters (Volunteer and Full Time) are present in all communities. They are expected to not only fight fires, but work closely with both the Police and Paramedics to deal with any other emergencies that may arise. Additionally, Firefighters are active in the community with health and safety promotion, home inspections, and numerous volunteer events. Firefighters are expected to act in a professional manner both on and off duty, as they are looked at as leaders by the general public.

[edit] Job Duties and Responsibilities

Firefighters have a wide variety of everyday duties, including but not limited to:

  • Fighting fires
  • Assisting Police Officers and Paramedics in other emergencies (Environmental, etc.)
  • Performing first aid and emergency medical procedures
  • Daily equipment checks (Fire trucks, hoses, sirens, suits etc.)
  • Local house inspections or overview of building permits
  • Community health and safety promotion
  • Maintaining optimum physical fitness
  • Housecleaning duties at the station (cleaning, mopping, laundry, etc.)
  • Career promotion and recruitment (Job fairs/school appearances)
  • Maintaining a professional, respectful relationship with fellow fire fighters
  • Maintaining a professional manner both on and off duty

[edit] A Typical Workday

In most jurisdictions, firefighters work either two 24 hour shifts a week, or three 16 hour shifts[1]. Due to the long work hours, and the nature of their work, firefighters have an extremely close bond with others in their service[1]. Firefighters treat those that they work with like a family, regardless of if they are on or off duty. There is no such thing as a “typical” work day in the life of a firefighter, as responsibilities can change as a result of certain events. As per the job title, a fire fighters main responsibility is fighting fires. However, they may also be asked to respond to other emergencies (or non-emergencies) with both Paramedics and Police. These may include environmental emergencies, crowd control, or any other scenario where they could be of service. On top of emergency services, there are many other tasks completed by firefighters on a daily basis, both in the station and in the community. In the station, a firefighter may be expected to perform daily equipment checks, cleaning duties, paperwork, and general maintenance. In the community, firefighters may be expected to be active in health and safety promotion, career recruitment, building planning, and various other volunteer events. Firefighters may also engage in certain forms of training throughout a general workday, which can include medical certifications (EMT/First Aid), fire service certification (Level 1 or 2) and physical fitness training.

[edit] Education Requirements and other Certifications

The requirements for a firefighter vary between different jurisdictions. Generally, the larger the population that is being serviced (Toronto, New York etc.) the more requirements are needed. In general, any given fire department may ask for the following:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Legally able to work in Canada
  • High school diploma (or equivalent)
  • First Aid (Level C or higher)
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Community service hours
  • Volunteer Firefighter experience (In a small community or part time)
  • Valid “G” Drivers licence
  • Be in optimal physical condition (Pass a strength and conditioning test)
  • Be comfortable with shift work
  • Be comfortable with heights and small spaces
  • Be comfortable working in close quarters with others
  • Be comfortable working under intense pressure and stress

Further certifications that may be required by larger jurisdictions may include:


[edit] Related skills, interests, and hobbies

Due to the length of their shifts, and nature of their work, firefighters maintain an extremely close bond with one another. Additionally, they are looked at as role models in the community, so much so that many consider them heroes. Aside from the education and certificates required, a few personal skills that may be looked for in a good firefighter include:

  • Very personable and sociable
  • Puts others before his/herself
  • Experience working as a team (athletics, clubs, jobs)
  • Public speaking skills
  • A general interest in helping the community and being involved
  • Genuine interest in their own health
  • Discipline
  • Respect
  • Confidence
  • Leadership

[edit] Relevance of Psychology Undergraduate Degree

In certain educational programs for firefighting, students are expected to complete general psychology courses as a part of the curriculum. As an example, Humber College’s Pre-Service Firefighting Program requires that students complete a minimum of 1 psychology course in order to graduate. To see the entire curriculum, visit http://www.humber.ca/program/pre-service-firefighter-education-and-training

In addition, an undergraduate degree in psychology can be extremely useful in pursuing your career as a firefighter. More specifically, courses that focus on health psychology, social psychology and forensic psychology all teach relevant knowledge for a career in firefighting. Firefighting is a very demanding occupation and can be extremely stressful. Knowledge in personal coping methods, causes and treatments of anxiety, and other forms of self-care are all taught in a basic health psychology. Additionally, a social psychology course may teach invaluable information about effective leadership, teamwork skills, and communication. All of these skills are essential as firefighters work closely not only with each other but with the community as well. Lastly, basic knowledge in forensic psychology may be useful a firefighter because of their work with police and paramedics. This is including but not limited to basic interrogation skills, knowledge in witness testimony, and other legal matters.

[edit] Salary Potential

Firefighting wages vary in jurisdictions. As of 2015, the average annual wage for a firefighter in Canada is $58,164[2]. Overall, wages can range between 37,000-88,000 annually[2]. The more experience and certifications you have, the higher your wages can get. Additionally, you can be a volunteer firefighter in small communities, which for the most part is unpaid (Tax right off is possible).

[edit] Job Outlook

According to Statistics Canada (2015) the availability of full time firefighter jobs throughout Canada should steadily increase over the next few years [3]. This is primarily due to the retirement (firefighters generally retire at an early age), and the rapid expansion of populations in certain communities. The two provinces with the largest need for full time firefighters are Alberta and Prince Edward Island.

[edit] For More Information


[edit] Notes and References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Become a Firefighter in Ontario. (2015, January 1). Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://www.oafc.on.ca/becoming-firefighter-ontario
  2. 2.0 2.1 Firefighter Salary. (2015, January 1). Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Fire_Fighter/Salary
  3. Firefighters. (2015, January 1). Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/qc/job_futures/statistics/6262.shtml#outlook
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