What is a day like at the firehouse?
A day at the firehouse consists of a 24-hour tour of duty, which begins at 0800 roll call.
Generally, a firefighter must remain with his/her crew the entire tour and “live” at the firehouse. One of the firefighters at each station is designated the “cook” and collects approximately $10 from each firefighter for the “mess.” The crew goes to the supermarket and buys enough groceries for the firefighters for that day.
Working together, the rest of the crew keeps the firehouse clean and the apparatus in good working condition. There are other duties such as fire prevention inspections, hose tests, hydrant inspections and in-service training.
Firefighters spend some time during every shift training in some way. This may consist of studying maps or driving streets. There are structured training sessions covering the vast scope of knowledge which firefighters must keep up to date. Subjects include: Hazardous Materials, Building Construction, Electrical Emergencies, River Rescue, Basic Trauma Life Support, Hose Lays, Ladder Evolutions, Pump Operations, Communications, etc.
While all these routine duties are being accomplished, firefighters must be prepared to drop everything and respond at a moment’s notice to a wide variety of emergency situations. A typical day might include a few fire alarms, a couple of auto accidents, several medical emergencies and a house fire. After 10 p.m., the firefighters are permitted to lie down and catch a series of “cat naps” between emergency runs over the course of the night.
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