A firefighter is a person whose job is to fight fire and provide assistance during the development of various types of accidents. The name comes from the term pump since it was common for, to put out a fire, water was obtained from a river or well near the site of the event through a hydraulic pump.
For example: “I am proud because my son is a firefighter and tries every day to help others”, “The firefighters came instantly and were able to extinguish the fire in a few minutes”, “The neighbors called the firefighters to cat that had fallen into a sewer ”.
Groups of people dedicated to fighting fires, known as fire brigades, emerged in the Roman Empire. Currently firefighters tend to work in bodies whose ownership is public, although there are countries that have firefighters who work for private companies.
Firefighters can be volunteers or salaried. In the first case, they are men and women who, in their free time, fulfill these functions. Salaried firefighters, on the other hand, belong to the police or other security forces and receive a salary for their work.
For their risky work, firefighters can suffer health problems, injuries or even lose their lives. That is why they are individuals highly valued by society since they work for the welfare of the community at the risk of their own lives.
The building where firefighters rest, perform administrative tasks, store their work material and wait to be called to act is called the barracks. The fire trucks are also parked there.
Requirements to work as a firefighter
The media often focus on the outcome of the tasks carried out by firefighters: “they have managed to put out the fire”, “they have successfully rescued the victims.” Needless to say, they show them as true heroes, something they deserve well; However, it is not so common to talk about the harsh demands that this profession entails, both physically and psychologically.
One of the first filters is a series of medical requirements, after having overcome the merely legal issues such as having reached the age established by law to sign an employment contract. Among the most common are the following: not having overt obesity; thoracic girth that reaches or exceeds 4 cm; corpulence index from 3 to 5; spirometry that exceeds 3000cc; not having lost any limbs, nor the lips; not have marked infantilism, flat feet, scoliosis, deafness, varicose veins, shortening of any limb or myopia of 2 or more diopters.
On the other hand, there are the difficult physical tests that every aspiring firefighter must pass, for which prior training is necessary. Some of the most common are the following: 100-meter speed test; 1000 meter run; 100 meter swim; horizontal jump; climb the rope.
In addition to these tests, there is a long list of others that are even more difficult, such as: 200, 1500 and 2000 meter races; 50 meter swim; Cooper and Barrow test; vertical jump of 1 meter; ball throw; agility circuit; flexibility; dominated; apnea; Balance; ABS; shoulder and bench press; ground bench.
As can be appreciated, being a firefighter requires impeccable physical condition, great dedication to physical exercise and constant health care, as well as courage and selfless dedication to others at crucial moments. But the requirements do not end here, since applicants must also pass theoretical exams, the contents of which vary by country and region, although they usually cover topics ranging from laws to the environment.