Although organized efforts to fight urban fires have been around for over two millennia, International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) was first marked on May 4, 1999. It is a day to salute the men and women who help keep us safe, protect our property, our communities, and our wilderness, and honor the men and women who have given their lives in the line of duty.
On IFFD, every person in the emergency service career gets recognized; hazardous materials specialists, fire prevention specialists, paid firefighters, volunteer firefighters, wildland firefighters, fire fighting heavy equipment operators/mechanics, emergency medical technicians, and many more.
The first-ever International Firefighters’ Day was held on May 4, 1999, and was recognized around much of the globe.
In the Catholic tradition, May 4 is recognized as a feast day for St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters, chimney sweeps, and brewers. The cross of Saint Florian remains a common mark of firefighters and the organizations that support them. So, the feast day that honors the patron saint of firefighters was selected as the day to honor the service and sacrifice of firefighters everywhere.
Here are some Interesting Firefighting Facts
- Do you know that in 1815 in New York City, Molly Williams became the first woman recorded that served as a firefighter in an official capacity?
- Do you know that before a firefighter is legally allowed to go into the interior of a burning building he needs 100 hours of training?
- In 1736, Franklin Benjamin started the first fire company in Philadelphia.
Firefighters enjoy respect and high standing in the community they serve.
Firefighters have jobs where they are expected to help other individuals within the community.
- Do you know that firefighters were sometimes known as Benjamin Franklin’s Bucket Brigade?
- Firefighters respond to emergency medical situations.
- Do know that it takes a firefighter only 2 minutes to get dressed for duty?
- Firefighters respond to building and outdoor fires.
- They also respond to traffic accidents.
- Firefighters work long shifts, they only work 8 days in a month and their shift is usually 24hours on and 48 hours or even 72 hours off. They have flexible schedules.
- Camaraderie: Firefighters are trusted and are most likely want to be friends with.
- Firefighters have extensive benefit from medical and dental coverage for themselves as well as their family members.
- They are commonly given access to credit union memberships, disability insurance, retirement programs, sick leave, and vacation accrual, and sick child care services.
- Every firefighter has the opportunity for advancement and continuing education, generally provided by the fire department.
- Many firefighters are proud of the type of work they do and appreciate the work environment they are in, having the opportunity to potentially save someone’s life or assist them in a time in need is the ultimate reward.
- Team spirit: Since so much time is spent at the fire station, firefighters tend to bond strongly with their co-workers and come to deeply trust and rely on each other.
- Firefighters go through extensive physical conditioning during their shifts and this can act as an encouragement to lead healthy lifestyles.
- Volunteer firefighters in some states have a volunteer pension system.
- Volunteer firefighters also have a break in property taxes in some states.
- Free training classes are enjoyed by volunteer firefighters.
- Firefighters must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- A firefighter must have a valid driver’s license to apply for positions with state and local fire departments.
- Firefighters must also pass written and physical exams, and multiple interviews in order to gain employment.
- Firefighters must complete regional or state on-the-job training to advance in their careers.
- Firefighters receive classroom and field training in fire prevention, fire-fighting, and emergency medical procedures by their departments or National agencies or Academy.
- Knowledge and training in hazardous materials control will be necessary to maintain employment with most fire departments.
- Firefighters may also be required to have Paramedic certifications.
- Bachelor’s degrees in fire science or public administration help firefighters advance in their careers.
- Firefighters can apply for advanced positions such as lieutenant, captain, battalion chief, and fire chief.
- A firefighter must have the ability to lead a team and work with others.
- The minimum age to be a firefighter is at least 18 years, you will have to be at least 21 years in some state to apply.
- A firefighter must have a clean record, so make sure that you don’t have any traffic issues or records of chronic drug use in your past.
- Many fire departments run over 70% or more emergency medical-related responses, so having Emergency Medical Technicians training is crucial for success.
- Studying subjects such as Math, Chemistry, Biology, Communication Skills, or even Computer Literacy are relevant to firefighting.
- A firefighter has the ability to handle stress: this is because a firefighter has to pass the psychological examination that will be used to check his ability to handle the pressure of the job.
- A firefighter is courageous.
- A firefighter has good analytical skills.
- A firefighter has to go through regular medical exams in other to make sure he is always fit to face the work ahead.
- Do you know that a firefighter keeps increasing his knowledge by learning new skills?
- Do you know that firefighters inspect buildings and take part in public relations activities?
- Do you know that getting lifeguard certification makes you more useful to your firehouse?
- Do you know the official dog for firefighters is the Dalmatians breed?