Ever since I was a little girl I have dreamed of becoming a firefighter. My dad has been a firefighter with the Phoenix Fire Department for almost 15 years. He loves his job, and I always have a great time whenever I come to visit him at the station.
Becoming a firefighter is a long process. To get hired, you need to pass a physical, oral and written exam. To pass the physical you need to be in great shape. You also need to become an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). Even though college isn’t required, it is very helpful.
These days there are more and more female firefighters. Girls are proving that they can do the job just as well as the guys. In fact, the Fire Chief of the Phoenix Fire Department is a female. I have had a chance to meet a few of the female firefighters, and they are very strong and athletic.
Being a firefighter can be very demanding and dangerous. My dad was part of a Technical Rescue Team and rescued hikers off of mountains when they got stuck. He had to rappel from a helicopter into areas that he couldn’t hike to. He also has had to respond to many fires. Since he works on a ladder truck, his job is to go on the roofs of burning buildings and cut holes to let the heat and smoke out of the house. Then other firefighters can go inside and put out the fire.
Because firefighting is a demanding job, it is very important to stay in good shape. Most of the equipment they use is very heavy. For instance, the jaws of life and the S.C.B.A. (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) are types of equipment they use that are very heavy.
One of the best things about being a firefighter is that they help people, and every day is different and exciting. They are also very involved in the commu-nities where they work. They take part in fundraisers and even go to schools to teach kids about fire safety. Some firefighters coach sports when they are off duty. I hope that one day I will get to do this exciting job.