Types of Firefighters and their Job Descriptions and Duties

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Firefighters and their Job Descriptions and Duties

A firefighter profession is not just about suppressing fires. They bear a humongous responsibility during the time of emergencies such as earthquakes, flood, tsunami, etc. There is no place for slackness in this line of work as it would be a matter of life and death. Hence, this profession requires discipline, determination, dedication, and a lot of sweat and toil. Firefighters are trained to work under various possible adverse conditions, and their duties can sometimes extend beyond their usual shifts, which can even extend to a day.

Furthermore, have you ever wondered how do they manage their responsibilities so flawlessly? A Firefighter works in a strict hierarchical structure, each level/type has a different role to play and hence require different qualification and skill sets. By working in tandem under the strict supervision, the department manages their day to day responsibilities and keeps everything in check. Also, firefighters work in diverse locations and have to handle equally diverse roles and responsibilities. If you are looking forward to having a career in firefighting, then you must know the different types of firefighters, their duties, responsibilities and job description.

What Do Firemen Do?

A Fireman does a lot more than just putting away fires. They respond to different situations like medical emergencies, rescue operations, vehicle accidents, building collapses and much more. They play a significant role in serving and protecting the community.

Firefighter Job Duties

Different firefighters perform various duties under their specialized units. Some of the most common fireman job duties include:

  • Driving Firefighting and Emergency vehicles
  • Extinguishing fire and rescue those in danger
  • Take proper position and climb ladders to rescue victims from upper levels of buildings
  • Educate people on fire safety via talks and sessions
  • Clean and maintain fire truck, hoses, and other equipment
  • Perform drills and conduct physical training
  • Prepare reports on occurred incidents and submit them to the superiors
  • Collaborate with police and medical personnel

Firefighter Responsibilities

Whenever there is a fire outbreak in the city, the primary responsibility of the fire department is to contain the incident and rescue all the victims, who are trapped in the fire or are affected from it, directly or indirectly. As soon as the firefighting department receives a call in distress, each firefighter suits up in proper uniform with all the safety gears in place before getting on to the fire truck. Department carries multiple types of trucks suited for different needs in an emergency. Some trucks have water pumps to spray and extinguish, some have scalable ladders that can scale any building and allow the firefighter to reach any floor or height, and some trucks are for the rescue mission and transport victims to the nearest medical facilities as early as possible.

Firefighter department is a very cohesive unit and follows a strict hierarchical structure. Each firefighter follows a direct order from their respective commanding officer and is responsible for performing a specific task. Hose operator is responsible for the connecting of hose from the fire hydrants; pump operator regulates the water flow; tillers are responsible for scalable ladders and others have to get inside the building to rescue the trapped or injured victims. Moreover, all the firefighters have to get themselves certified in the Emergency Medical Treatment (EMT) and get victims to stabilize once they are rescued.

Likewise, educating the local communities about the fire hazard, auditing safety equipment to ensure its functionalities are intact, maintainability of rescue equipment and investigating the causes of fire are some other responsibilities of the firefighters.

Firefighter Job Description For Resume

Below mentioned details encompass responsibilities that every firefighter must have in its resume:

  • Ability to work under strict hierarchy and follow orders of the superiors
  • Respond to emergency callouts, extinguishing the fire, rescuing victims and providing medical assistance
  • Educate the general public on fire prevention by conducting campaigns and workshops
  • Maintain and repair fire equipment and apparatus
  • Assist officers at the fire scene by receiving reports, message delivery and transmitting orders
  • Collaborate with the police officials, other fire service departments, and medical teams
  • Train and supervise recruits
  • Supervise day to day activities of the department and follow safe working policies
  • Quick decision making during emergencies.
  • Maintain physical fitness to perform heavy lifting tasks and other activities

Type of Firefighters

Mentioned below are the types of firefighters and their job description:

1. Firefighter Paramedic Job Description

  • Extinguish fire, and protect life and property
  • Respond to medical emergencies and assist other medical personnel
  • Perform complex diagnostic and medical procedures
  • Drive and operate the medical truck or other apparatus, as assigned
  • Inspect the fire scene and preserve evidence, if any
  • Manage inventory and conduct maintenance check of medications and equipment
  • Clean, maintain and repair fire stations and fire equipment
  • Prepare incident reports and provide it to the hospitals
  • Participate in drills, and other physical training and mock activities

2. Volunteer Firefighter Job Description

  • Work in extreme climatic conditions
  • Perform firefighting duties and respond promptly to emergency calls
  • Use firefighting tools such as ladders, hoses, hydrants, extinguishers to prevent the fire from spreading further
  • Participate in drills and physical training classes
  • Administer first aid procedures at the time of medical emergencies
  • Drive fire trucks and other medical related vehicles
  • Inspect and investigate the fire scene to determine the cause of the fire
  • Inspect and maintain firefighting equipment and tools
  • Perform any other specific tasks assigned by the commanding officer

3. Firefighter Engineer

A Firefighter Engineer drives the firefighting vehicle that transports firefighters, carry equipment and pump water through hoses and pumps at the fire scene. They are also responsible for its repair and upkeep. They make sure that the engine of the vehicle is running smooth, gas tank consists enough fuel, etc. All equipment and tools are cleaned and maintained after every call, and also reviewed each morning before heading for the next task.

The firefighter engineer job requires a lot of technical knowledge. A firefighter engineer must also have some leadership and management skills. Since they have to work under stressful and adverse situations, this knowledge can come handy anytime. The position of a firefighter engineer comes with great responsibility, and they also receive a considerable pay bump. The average salary of a firefighter engineer in the U.S. is approximately $70,473 per annum.

4. Forest Firefighter

Forest firefighters control and prevent fires in the forest. Their duties include fighting fires, maintaining tools and equipment, inventory and supply management, educating people on fire prevention, and assessing fire damage. Forest firefighters work under different ranks ranging from forest fire warden, forest ranger, technician, wildland firefighter, inspector, and a prevention specialist.

Forest fireman job description requires them to work in adverse conditions where they get exposed to flames and other hazards. The job demands them to spend too much time in outdoor activities. They have to get trained to work under extreme climates. Sometimes, whenever there is a fire outbreak in the forest, they also have to work overtime for extended periods. According to BLS, the average salary for a forest firefighter is $50,520 per year.

5. Air Force Firefighter Job Description

  • Provide support for operational aircraft off and on the airfield
  • Handle emergency and medical situations
  • Conduct fire safety awareness and training, as and when required
  • Timely inspection of the Air Force premises to ensure adherence to fire safety practices and detect fire safety hazards
  • Take appropriate corrective action during fire hazards
  • Providing aid to the victims, when required
  • Perform onboard rescue operations and administer first aid procedures
  • Educate fire personnel on department policies, procedures, and fire prevention

6. Reserve Firefighter Job Description

  • Assist local fire departments during events like rescue operations, fire and medical emergencies, etc.
  • Quickly respond to any emergency or non-emergency situations
  • Perform under stressful conditions
  • Maintain and operate firefighting tools, vehicles, and equipment
  • Participate in public education activities such as workshops, sessions, campaigns, etc.
  • Get equipment and vehicles ready to prepare for the next emergency
  • Perform day to day activities of the fire station
  • Attend visitors at the fire station and answer their queries
  • Perform specified tasks as directed by the officer, when needed

7. Wildland Firefighter Job Description

  • Extinguish and contain wildfires using equipment and maneuvers
  • Conduct regular check and repair on various types of equipment such as fire tractors, movers, hand tools, etc.
  • Perform different role as a crew member to other firefighters
  • Perform forest maintenance tasks such as bush cutting, clearing fallen trees, building trails, etc.
  • Perform daily physical training to maintain a high level of fitness
  • Rescue victims, sometimes hikers trapped in fire areas and provide them medical aid
  • Conduct fire safety education programs within the community
  • Inspect the fire area, determine the cause of incidence and document the evidence

8. Firefighter EMT Job Description

  • Respond to emergency incidents, thus protecting life and property
  • Extinguishing fire and providing medical services
  • Drive emergency vehicles under adverse conditions
  • Rescue injured victims/animals from danger
  • Delivering safe medical care to victims suffering from illness or injuries while adhering to the medical protocols and departmental policies
  • Educate people on fire safety
  • Prepare and maintain incident reports and other documents
  • Maintenance of the assigned stations or grounds


1. https://www.environmentalscience.org/career/forest-firefighter

2. https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/job-descriptions/279533-firefighter-job-description

3. https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/lasvegas/classspecs/886206

4. https://work.chron.com/engineer-fireman-do-16898.html

5. https://www.indeed.com/salaries/Fire-Engineer-Salaries

6. https://www.owlguru.com/career/forest-firefighters/salary/