There are a few things to consider if you want to become a firefighter. This is not a job for everyone. In fact, very few of those who start on this path make it into this field.
If you’re dreaming about putting on the gear and fighting fires, then take the time to go over the pros and cons. Here are a few of the most vital things worth knowing if this is your number one goal.
Exciting but Dangerous
There are many potential dangers if you want to be a firefighter. There are the obvious ones, such as:
- Fire exposure or smoke inhalation killing or seriously injuring you
- Burning building pieces falling on you as you’re trying to combat a blaze
There are also some less obvious risks, though. For instance, some firefighters have recently gotten a cancer diagnosis from working with aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF. This a foam that many industries use for fire suppression. There’s nothing to say that other firefighting tools are equally hazardous, but you never know.
It’s a Noble Occupation
Then there’s the huge plus side that comes with a career as a firefighter, most people will regard you as a hero. That’s because:
- You save people’s lives
- You put your body on the line for the greater good
You protect humans, pets, and property. You’re engaged in a public service, and most people will revere you.
It’s not usually too difficult getting a date when you tell someone you’re a firefighter. Everyone loves a hero, and they’ll adore you wherever you go. Most firefighters don’t get into it for the glory, but that is a nice part of the job for you to consider.
You Must Be Physically Fit
Going back to what we said before, not everyone can make it as a firefighter. If you’re a couch potato, you probably don’t have what it takes to complete the training and run into a burning building carrying heavy equipment. That’s why many firefighters are ex-military or former athletes. They have the body type for this physically strenuous job. If you’re not in the best shape, then it’s not impossible that you might become a firefighter. You’ll have to change your lifestyle dramatically, though.
If you’re already middle-aged, and you’ve had a sedentary life for many years, it’s probably going to be almost impossible for you to choose firefighting as your new career path out of the blue. If you’re younger, you do have a better shot of making this dream a reality. If you’re already working out and in excellent cardiovascular condition, that improves your chances.
It Can Be Hard on Your Family
Firefighting can be a double-edged sword concerning your family life. Your spouse or partner might think you’re a hero. Your kids may feel the same way.
At the same time, they’re always going to worry about you. You sometimes have to be away from them for a couple of days at a time, since that’s how the job works. Also, every time a fire alarm goes off, calling you to action, you’re putting your life at risk. You might be able to do it for a while, but at some point, your family’s stress level might become too great. If you love the job, then you should let anyone you’re dating know that. They should understand that they’re dating an individual with a career that could kill or injure them on any given night.
You’ll Be Part of an Elite Group
Another plus is that firefighters stick together. Much like police or soldiers, you’re part of a unit, and that solidarity can feel pretty great. Your fellow brother and sister firefighters will stick up for you. They’ll help you get through any rough patches in your life. You’re going to war with them every day and night, and you can form almost familial bonds.
That’s appealing to some people. Some firefighters don’t have families of their own because of the danger of what they do every day. Their coworkers are their family, and that’s enough for them.
Becoming a firefighter is not a decision to ever make lightly. It may be dangerous, but it also might be the most fulfilling career.