CAREER OPTION : Firefighter
Being a Firefighter
A firefighter is someone who attempts to prevent the spread of and extinguish dangerous and unwanted fires in buildings, vehicles, woodlands etc. He performs rescue operations to kill the fire and protect lives, properties and environments. It is a profession that requires a lot of bravery, passion and hard work. As a firefighter your job will not only be to extinguish fire, but also tackle any natural or manmade calamities such as building collapses, accidents, plane crashes, emergency landings, earthquakes etc. since you will be professionally trained in handling such situations.
Even though the primary training provided will be about firefighting, you will also be responsible in evacuating people from locations that are likely to face a calamity. As a firefighter, your general nature shall be to protect the property and lives around you in any dangerous situation. In order to handle such situations you will be trained in handling simple and complicated equipment and technologies. It is your duty to thoroughly check these equipment and maintain them on a daily basis since calamities and fires can happen anytime anywhere. You have to be physically and mentally trained to perform these activities without fear and pain.
- The minimum educational qualification required to join the firefighting force is qualifying marks in your H.S.C. (10+2) examinations in any stream under a recognised board of education.
- You should be between the ages of 18 – 27 to join the firefighting troop.
- You have to meet certain physical requirements since this job demands a lot of physical strength and power.
- Your height must be a minimum of 167 centimetres, you must weigh minimum 50 kg, have a chest measurement of 81 centimetres with an expansion of 5 centimetres and your vision must be 6/6 without any aid.
- You must be brave and have the willingness to risk your life.
- You must be honest, trustworthy, reliable and accountable.
- You should have excellent physical strength to perform strenuous physical tasks.
- You must have skills like good communication, handling people and good articulation.
- You must be flexible to work during odd hours and maintain the law, work under stress, compromise and overcome certain difficulties you will face in the career.
- You must be a team player since your work will not be individual. Keeping a good relationship with your colleagues and superiors are essential.
How to become a Firefighter
STEP 1: After completing your 12thgrade, you have to appear in a written test conducted by various institutions providing a training in firefighting. The training period can vary between 6 – 12 months.
STEP 2: The written exam will have 150-200 objective type questions with topics such as; reading comprehension, human relations, problem solving, judgements, maths, memory, chart, inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, visualisation, listening, speaking, spelling, etc.
STEP 3: After clearing your written test, you will have a physical test followed by medical examination and psychological testing. After this, you will be employed as a trainee for a certain period before you start working professionally.
- National Academy of Fire and Safety Engineering – Nagpur
- Fire Safety and Disaster Management Institute – Firozabad
- Indian Safety Solutions – New Delhi
- Imperial Institute of Fire and Safety – Kochi
The various job titles that you can behold are; Firefighter, Leading firefighter, Sub Officer, Station Officer, Assistant Divisional Officer, Divisional Officer, Assistant Chief Fire Officer and Chief Fire Officer. You can work in petroleum refineries, oil handling and bottling plants, chemical plants, fire department of the government, aircraft industry or any industry with issues of safety.
For a start, the firefighter can earn between Rs.15, 000 per month. With experience this can get as high as Rs.40, 000 per month. Apart from the monthly income, there will be other benefits like medical insurance, uniforms, medical aid schemes, pension, annual leaves and housing subsidy.