The Courageous Efforts of Firefighters

By: Mark Patterson

Firefighters, also known as firemen, are rescue workers whose most important job is to put out fires, and to rescue people who are trapped inside burning buildings or stuck in other unsafe situations. They go through extensive training and are carefully screened for their mental and physical might, so there is no uncertainty whatsoever that they are capable of carrying out their duties. Since they bravely endanger themselves to keep the community safe, they are valued and held in high regard in most advanced countries.

As one of the critical public services in our communities, firefighters closely in tandem with other services responsible for our safety. Fire scenes are typicall thought of as crime scenes until the cause of the fire has been discovered, meaning that police are also there and in communication with the firefighters. Firefighters also endure training in basic emergency medical aid, and tend to arrive at accident scenes before the paramedics and offer initial medical attention.

There are a few very central aspects of firefighting that firefighters are trained to concentrate on and constantly improve. These are fire prevention, self-preservation, rescue, and fire control. "Fire prevention" refers to the creation of regulations and guidelines that help avert fires, and letting the public know about the regulations and conducting enforcement. This might entail, for instance, inspection of an office building to check if the fire alarms are working properly. "Self preservation" refers to the procedures and equipment that help keep firefighters safe and out of perilous situations while on duty. Policies about firefighters following the buddy system and having backup, and having all the proper equipment they need to get out of dangerous situations. An essential rule of self preservation is "two in, two out", meaning that firefighters are not supposed to enter a burning structure without a backup team outside who can move in to rescue their colleagues in an emergency. "Rescue" refers to the complicated and detailed set of procedures that lay out the method of rescuing both occupants and colleagues in danger. Fire control is the aspect of firefighting that involves directly extinguishing fires by robbing the fire of those things it needs to keep burning. To be specific, the fire must be robbed of oxygen, fuel, heat, and any chemical that might have reacted to cause the fire. Firefighters hold various important tools to help put out fires, including fire hoses, fire extinguishers, and ladder trucks to help reach higher places.

Firefighters, or firemen as they are familiarily known, go through comprehensive training and continuous evaluations and refreshers. They embody professionalism and commitment to the community and deserve our honor and respect.

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