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oral board response

When asked by the oral board "What is the job of a firefighter?" Should the response be really in depth and specific to the orginization you are applying to, or more of a general outline of the job. This definately seems like a question that one could easily get carried away with. Do the oral board members just want to see if you have a good understanding of what is expected of you? Any reply is greatly appreciated.


"What is the job of a firefighter?" Simple translation.............."Did you read the discription of the duties of firefighter for this department as listed on the job flyer?" Best wishes



That was too easy Tomdeltazulu. I'm sure I'll have more questions in the future. I appreciate the reply.
Your response makes perfect sense. Usually I make things much more difficult than they really are.



I think this will help:
1. Describe the job of a firefighter.
The job of a firefighter is a unique and complex one. As firefighters, we must be able to function like a paramilitary organization following directions but we must also have our wits about us and keep out of harm?s way. We must accept and follow the department?s policies and procedures. We must be well spoken, be role models in the community, and maintain good physical conditioning.
As firefighters we must always be prepared to respond to a variety of emergency situations. One of the unique aspects of being a firefighter is never knowing will be doing next. You can have an overall plan, but it is important to be flexible since there is always a possibility that you will be interrupted by an emergency response.
Firefighters must be flexible in their approach to accomplishing tasks, both on the fire ground and in the fire station. We must get along well with others for long periods of time. In addition, since firefighters are often in the public eye. It is imperative to maintain a professional demeanor at all times.
Members of the community are continually watching firefighters. Small children will look up to us as role models. It is imperative that firefighters conduct themselves in a professional manner no matter who our audience.
The job of a firefighter has many different dimensions. It is different than jobs because we are required do be proficient in so many areas. In addition, firefighters must be able to live and work together for long periods of time.
It is important that firefighters be able to follow orders. An organization in which there is no command and control is doomed to fail. In the fire department, the captain or lieutenant is the first level supervisor.
It is important that a firefighter be able to follow direct orders; however, due to the ever-changing conditions on the fire ground it is also imperative that a firefighter have the common sense and good judgment to keep safe and operate effectively. These orders may come from an officer or they may come from a firefighter with equal rank who has had many years of on the job training.
Organizational policies and procedures must be followed. They are written to ensure orderly conduct and safety in the course of duty. Many operational policies are written as the result of an accident or injury. Most policies are prefaced by the statement, ?These policies are to be followed at all times, and common sense and good judgment shall dictate your actions?.
One of the joys of working in the fire service is the deep-rooted friendships that develop between crew members. You can guarantee that behind closed doors there is plenty of kidding around and practical jokes that take.
Being in good physical shape is important. You never know when you are going to have to drag a hose line through a commercial building at two o?clock in the morning, or when you will need to have the stamina to rescue a trapped person. Your physical demands may be as simple as carrying a sick person down a flight of stairs or as strenuous as pulling a fellow firefighter out of a burning structure. Whichever the case, you never want to have to rely on others to take over for you in a crisis situation.
Firefighters must be flexible in their approach to getting things done. Contingency plans are a way of life in our business. It is important to be able to roll with what the day brings.
If you have fire prevention inspections planned for the morning but are unable to complete them because of several emergency responses, you may have to finish them after lunch, or reschedule them for another day.
It is important that you have an understanding of the job description of a firefighter. A complete job description can usually be found on the job announcement flyer provided by the personnel or fire department, whichever one is in charge of the hiring process.
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has an official job description for firefighters. These are defined as the essential functions that firefighters are expected to perform at emergency incidents and are derived from the performance objectives stated in NFPA 1001, Standards for Firefighting Professional Qualifications.
A firefighter must be able to:
∑ Operate as a member of a team and independently at incidents of uncertain duration.
∑ Spend extensive time outside exposed to the elements.
∑ Tolerate extreme fluctuations in temperature while performing duties. Must perform physically demanding work in hot, (up to 400 degrees F.), humid (up to 100%) atmospheres while wearing equipment that significantly impairs body-cooling mechanisms.
∑ Experience frequent transition from hot to cold and humid to dry atmospheres.
∑ Perform a variety of tasks on slippery, hazardous surfaces, such as from rooftops, or ladders.
∑ Work in areas where sustaining traumatic or thermal injuries are possible.
∑ Face exposure to carcinogenic dusts such as asbestos, toxic substances such as hydrogen cyanide, acids, carbon monoxide, or organic solvents either through inhalation or skin contact.
∑ Face exposure to infectious agents such as Hepatitis B or HIV.
∑ Wear personal protective equipment that weighs approximately 50 pounds while performing firefighting tasks.
∑ Perform physically demanding tasks while wearing positive pressure breathing equipment (with 1.5 inches of water column resistance to exhalation at a flow of 40 liters per minute).
∑ Perform complex tasks during life threatening emergencies.
∑ Work for long periods of time, requiring sustained physical activity and intense concentration.
∑ Face life or death decisions during emergency conditions.
∑ Be exposed to grotesque sights and smells associated with major trauma and burn victims.
∑ Make rapid transitions from rest to near maximal exertion without warm-up periods.
∑ Operate in environments of high noise, poor visibility, limited mobility, at heights, and in enclosed or confined spaces.
∑ Use manual or power tools in the performance of duties.
∑ Rely on senses of sight, hearing, smell, and touch to help determine the nature of the emergency, maintain personal safety, and make critical decisions in a confused, chaotic, and potentially life-threatening environment throughout the duration of the operation.


Paul Lepore
Captain