50 The number of hours the typical firefighter works throughout the average week.
18 The minimum age to apply and train to become a firefighter.
The job allows one to work in a variety of settings from rural to metropolitan areas, within airports, chemical plants and other industrial sites where the risk of fires is high. There are also specialized areas of work for firefighters where they are trained to work with certain materials and procedures for different kinds of emergencies. One can work with a hazardous materials unit controlling, preventing and removing hazardous materials such as oils spills or transporting of chemicals. Working with forest fires is also a concentrated area of work for firefighters. Firefighters trained in the particular field of wildfires suppress the fire with heavy equipment and water hoses and set up systems called fire linesâ€”cutting down trees and digging out grass and all other combustible vegetation in the path of the fire in order to deprive it of fuel. The elite form of fire fighting is a position called smoke jumpers. The men and women jumpers parachute from airplanes to reach areas the workers on the ground cannot.
Firefighters spend much of their time at fire stations, which are usually similar to dormitories. They consist of individual sleeping beds, showers, common areas and a full kitchen. When an alarm sounds, fire fighters are ready to respond, regardless of what is happening within the firehouse or outside. Considering the high risks that fire fighters face daily, they wear a variety of heavy protective gear and equipment. Most firefighters work an average of 50 hours per week with some areas allowing a scheduling system of 24-hour duty hours and 48-hour off duty hour intervals. Working holidays and weekends is required and sometimes extra hours are required when fighting fires or responding to the various types of emergencies.
Detailed book relating personality type to career choice.