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Article:Firefighter
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(Goals of firefighting)
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{{about|the profession}}
 
{{about|the profession}}
{{Redirect|Fire Fighters}}
 
{{refimprove|date=October 2011}}
 
{{Infobox Occupation
 
| name= Firefighter
 
| image= [[Image:US Navy 080730-N-5277R-003 A Commander, Naval Forces Japan firefighter douses a fire on a dummy aircraft during the annual off-station mishap drill at Naval Support Facility Kamiseya.jpg|250px]]| caption= A [[Commander Naval Forces Japan]] firefighter douses a fire during a drill. He is equipped with a [[fire hose]] with [[fog nozzle]], [[Self-contained breathing apparatus|breathing apparatus]], [[Firefighter's helmet|helmet]] and full structural firefighting kit.
 
| official_names=
 
<!------------Details------------------->
 
| type= Employment, volunteer
 
| activity_sector= [[Firefighting]], [[Rescue]], [[Fire protection]], [[Civil Service]], [[Public services|Public Service]], [[Public safety]]
 
| competencies=
 
| formation=
 
| employment_field=
 
| related_occupation= [[Rescuer]], [[Emergency medical technician]]
 
| average_salary=
 
}}
 
'''Firefighters''' (usually '''firemen''' in England) are rescuers extensively trained in [[firefighting]], primarily to extinguish hazardous fires that threaten civilian populations and property and to rescue people from dangerous incidents, such as collapsed and burning buildings. The increasing complexity of modern industrialized life with an increase in the scale of hazards has created an increase in the skills needed in firefighting technology and a broadening of the firefighter-rescuer's remit. They sometimes provide [[emergency medical services]]. The fire service, or fire and rescue service, also known in some countries as the fire brigade or fire department, is one of the main [[emergency services]]. Fire-fighting and firefighters have become ubiquitous around the world, from [[wildfire|wildland areas]] to urban areas, and aboard ships.
 
 
According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, the English word "firefighter" has been used since 1903.<ref>Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/firefighter "firefighter"]</ref> In recent decades it has become the preferred term, replacing the older "fireman", since many women serve as firefighters, and also because the term "fireman" can have other meanings, including someone who sets or stokes fires - exactly the opposite of the fire-fighting role.<ref>[http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthemove/exhibition/exhibition_9_8.html America on the Move: Locomotive Engineer & Fireman]</ref>
 
[[File:Firemensatwork.jpg|thumb|right|Firefighters during an exercise in [[Franktown, Colorado]].]] [[Image:Firefighting exercise.jpg|thumb|right|[[Firefighting in the United States|U.S. firefighters]] during a training exercise at [[Shaw Air Force Base]] in [[Sumter, South Carolina]]]]
 
 
In some countries, there are often paid, or career firefighters working. Additionally, there are volunteer firefighters (who are theoretically unpaid) and retained firefighters (sometimes called on call or auxiliary firefighters, who are paid for the specific time they are on duty, i.e. permanent part-time career firefighters) on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.<ref>{"Retained Firefighters." Fire and Rescue NSW. Web. 17 Sept. 2011. <http://www.nswfb.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=11>}</ref> In such countries as the United Kingdom and Ireland, the use of additional retained firefighters is standard. In Portugal, the use of volunteer firefighters is standard, along with career firefighters. In Australia there are volunteer brigades which are mostly unpaid rural services, although traditionally they are paid by their employers if called out during working hours.
 
 
==Goals of firefighting==
 
{{merge to|firefighting|date=September 2012}}
 
[[Image:Fire-Grand-Rapids-factory.jpg|thumb|right|Firefighters and [[fire apparatus]] at the scene of a factory fire in [[Grand Rapids, Michigan]]]]
 
The goals of firefighting are (in order of priority): personal safety, saving victims' lives, saving property, and protecting the environment. As such, the skills required for safe operations are regularly practiced during training evaluations throughout a firefighter's career. In the United States, the preeminent fire training and standards organization is the [[National Fire Protection Association]] (NFPA). Often initial firefighting skills are taught during a local, regional, or state approved fire academy. Depending on the requirements of a department, additional skills and certifications such as technical rescue and Para-medicine may also be taught at this time. The acronym for the priorities of the firefighters is RECEO.
 
 
Firefighters work closely with other emergency response agencies, most particularly local and state police departments. As every fire scene is technically a [[crime scene]] until deemed otherwise by a qualified [[Fire investigation|investigator]], there is often overlap between the responsibilities of responding firefighters and police officers such as evidence and scene protection, initial observations of first respondents, and [[chain of evidence]] issues.{{Citation needed|date=February 2007}} The increasing role of firefighters in providing emergency medical services also brings firefighters into common overlap with law enforcement. One example of this is a common state law requiring all gunshot wounds to be reported to law enforcement agencies.
 
 
Fire fighting has some basic skills: prevention, self-preservation, [[rescue]], preservation of property, and [[fire control]]. Firefighting is further broken down into skills which include size-up, extinguishing, ventilation, salvage and overhaul. Wildland firefighting includes size up, containment, extiguishment, and mop up. Search and Rescue, which has already been mentioned, is performed early in any fire scenario and many times is in unison with extinguishing and ventilation.
 
 
===Prevention===
 
{{Unreferenced section|date=March 2009}}
 
Prevention attempts to ensure that no place simultaneously has sufficient heat, fuel and air to allow ignition and combustion. Most prevention programs are directed at controlling the energy of activation (heat).
 
 
[[File:FiremanPaffandElmo.jpg|thumb|right|150px|Firefighters frequently give fire prevention talks at schools and community events]]
 
 
[[fire sprinkler|Fire suppression systems]] have a proven record for controlling and extinguishing unwanted fires. Many fire officials recommend that every building, including residences, have [[fire sprinkler]] systems. Correctly working sprinklers in a residence ''greatly'' reduce the risk of death from a fire. With the small rooms typical of a residence, one or two sprinklers can cover most rooms.
 
 
In addition, a major duty of fire services is the regular inspection of buildings to ensure they are up to the current building [[fire code]]s, which are enforced so that a building can sufficiently resist fire spread, potential hazards are located, and to ensure that occupants can be safely evacuated, commensurate with the risks involved.
 
 
Other methods of fire prevention are by directing efforts to reduce known hazardous conditions or by preventing dangerous acts before tragedy strikes. This is normally accomplished in many innovative ways such as conducting presentations, distributing safety brochures, providing news articles, writing public safety announcements (PSA) or establishing meaningful displays in well-visited areas. Ensuring that each household has working smoke alarms, is educated in the proper techniques of fire safety, has an evacuation route and rendezvous point is of top priority in public education for most fire prevention teams in almost all fire department localities.
 
[[Image:FFMemorial.JPG|thumb|right|150px|A firefighters memorial in [[Columbus, Ohio]], United States]]
 
 
===Self-preservation===
 
Self-preservation is critical. The basic technique firefighters use is to know where they are, and to avoid hazards. Current standards in the United States recommend that firefighters work in teams, using a "[[two-in, two-out]]" rule whenever in an [[IDLH]] (Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health) environment.
 
 
Tools are generally carried at all times and are important for not only forcible entry but also for self rescue. A [[self-contained breathing apparatus]] (SCBA) delivers air to the firefighter through a full face mask and is worn to protect against smoke inhalation, toxic fumes, and super heated gasses. A special device called a [[PASS device|Personal Alert Safety System]] (PASS) is commonly worn independently or as a part of the SCBA to alert others when a firefighter stops moving for a specified period of time or manually operates the device. The PASS device sounds an alarm that can assist another firefighter ([[Firefighter Assist and Search Team]] (FAST), or [[Rapid Intervention Team]] (RIT)), in locating the firefighter in distress.
 
 
[[Image:LFB Pump Ladder.jpg|thumb|left|A fire engine from the [[London Fire Brigade]]]]
 
Firefighters often carry personal self rescue ropes. The ropes are generally 30 feet long and can provide a firefighter (that has enough time to deploy the rope) a partially controlled exit out of an elevated window. Lack of a personal rescue rope is cited in the deaths of two New York City Firefighters, Lt. John Bellew and Lt. Curtis Meyran, who died after they jumped from a fourth floor of a burning apartment building in the Bronx. Of the four firefighters who jumped and survived only one of them had a self rescue rope. Since the incident the Fire Department of New York City has issued self rescue ropes to their firefighters.
 
 
In the United States, 25% of fatalities to firefighters are caused by vehicle accidents while responding to or returning from an incident. Many firefighters are also injured or killed by vehicles while working at an incident (Paulison 2005). Recently (November 24, 2008)a new enforcement being made by departments requires firefighters to wear a bright yellow reflective vest over their turnout coats while working vehicle accident to be more visible to the other drivers on the road.<ref>Federal Highway Administration DOT 23CFR634 Worker Visibility</ref> In addition to the direct dangers of firefighting, Cardiovascular diseases account for approximately 45% of firefighter deaths while on duty.<ref>[http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa060357#t=article],"The New England Journal of Medicine",March 22, 2007, Accessed:July, 17, 2011</ref>
 
 
===Rescue===
 
{{Unreferenced section|date=March 2009}}
 
[[Image:PBCFR December Construction Accident 1.JPG|thumb|[[Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue]] Special Operations crews work on the extraction of a buried construction worker.]]
 
[[File:Poisonous gas detection.JPG|thumb|right|Japanese rescue firefighters detecting for [[poisonous gas]].]]
 
Rescue operations consist of searching for and removing trapped occupants of [[hazard]]ous conditions. Animals may also be rescued, if resources and conditions permit. Generally [[triage]] and [[first aid]] are performed outside, as removal from the hazardous atmosphere is the primary goal in preserving life. Search patterns include movement against room walls (to prevent rescuers from becoming lost or disoriented) and methodical searches of specific areas by designated teams. Unlike a fire control team, a rescue team typically moves faster, but has no hose to follow out to safety through the smoky darkness. A rescue rope may be needed for tethering a team involved in exceptionally dangerous conditions.
 
 
Incident commanders also arrange for standby search and rescue teams to assist if firefighters become lost, trapped, or injured. Such teams are commonly, and often interchangeably, known as [[Rapid Intervention Team]] (RIT), or [[Firefighter Assist and Search Team]]s (FAST). According to "[[two-in, two-out]]", the only time it is permissible for a team of firefighters to enter a burning structure without backup in place outside is when they are operating in what is known as "Rescue Mode". Rescue Mode occurs when firefighters have arrived at the scene, and it is readily apparent that there are occupants trapped inside who need immediate rescue. At such a time, properly equipped firefighters (exercising good judgment tempered by training and experience) may enter the structure and proceed directly to victims in need of rescue, RIT will then be put in place when resources permit.
 
 
The [[Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire]] provides a stark example of disoriented rescuers perishing when their air supply was exhausted during a fruitless primary search and subsequent RIT searches.
 
 
Searches for trapped victims are exhaustively detailed, often including searches of cupboards, closets, and under beds. The search is divided into two stages, the primary and secondary. The primary search is conducted quickly and thoroughly, typically beginning in the area closest to the fire as it is subjected to the highest risk of exposure. The secondary search only begins once the fire is under control, and is always (resources and personnel permitting) performed by a different team from that which did the primary search.
 
 
Rescue operations may also involve the extrication of victims of motor vehicle crashes (abbreviated MVC). Here firefighters use [[Hydraulic spreader|spreader]]s, [[Hydraulic rescue tools|cutters]], and [[hydraulic ram]]s, collectively called [[hydraulic rescue tools]], known better to the public as Jaws of Life, to remove metal from the patient, followed by actually removing the patient, usually on a backboard with collar, and transferring to a waiting ambulance crew in the cold zone. More technical forms of rescue include subsets such as [[rope rescue]], [[swiftwater rescue]], [[confined space rescue]], and [[trench rescue]]. These types of rescue are often extremely hazardous and physically demanding. They also require extensive technical training. NFPA regulation 1006 and 1670 state that a "rescuer" must have medical training to perform any technical rescue operation. Accordingly, firefighters involved in rescue operations have some kind of medical training as first responders, emergency medical technicians, [[paramedic]]s or [[nurse]]s.
 
 
===Fire control===
 
[[Image:FirePhotography.jpg|thumb|Firefighters trying to save an abandoned convent in Massueville, Quebec, Canada]]
 
'''Fire control''' (or '''[[fire fighting]]''') consists of depriving a fire of [[fuel]] (Reducing Agent), [[oxygen]] (Oxidizing Agent), heat and/or the chemical chain reaction that are necessary to sustain itself or re-kindle (also known as the four components of the ''[[fire tetrahedron]]''). Firefighters are equipped with a wide variety of equipment to accomplish this task. Some of their tools include ladder trucks, pumper trucks, tanker trucks, fire hose, and [[fire extinguisher]]s. Very frequent training and refresher training is required.
 
 
Structure fires may be attacked, generally, either by "interior" or "exterior" resources, or both. Interior crews, using the "two-in, two out" rule, may advance hose lines inside the building, find the fire and cool it with water. Exterior crews may direct water into windows or other openings, or against other nearby fuels exposed to the initial fire. A proper command structure will plan and coordinate the various teams and equipment to safely execute each tactic.
 
:''See also [[:Category:Fire suppression|Fire suppression]] for other techniques.''
 
 
===Structure fires===
 
 
Buildings that are made of flammable materials such as wood are different from so called "fire-resistant" buildings such as concrete high-rises. Generally, a "fire-resistant" building is designed to limit fire to a small area or floor. Other floors can be safe simply by preventing smoke inhalation and damage. All buildings suspected of being on fire must be evacuated, regardless of fire rating.
 
 
While sometimes fires can be limited to small areas of a structure, wider collateral damage due to smoke, water, and burning embers is common. Utility shutoff (such as gas and electricity) is typically an early priority of arriving fire crews. Furthermore, fire prevention can take on a special meaning for property where hazardous materials are being used or stored.
 
 
Some fire fighting tactics may appear to be destructive, but often serve specific needs. For example, during "[[Ventilation (firefighting)|ventilation]]" firefighters are often forced to open holes in the roof or floors of a structure (called "vertical ventilation") or open windows or walls (called "horizontal ventilation") to remove smoke and heated gases from the interior of the structure. Such ventilation methods are also used to locate victims quicker as visibility increases and to help preserve the life of trapped or unconscious individuals due to the poisonous gases inside of the structure. Vertical ventilation is absolutely vital to firefighter safety in the event of a [[flashover]] or [[backdraft]] scenario. Releasing the flammable gasses through the roof often eliminates the possibility of a backdraft and by the removal of heat the possibility of a flashover is reduced significantly. Flashovers, due to their intense heat (900–1200° Fahrenheit) and explosive temperaments are almost always fatal to firefighter personnel. Precautionary methods, such as busting a window out, often reveal backdraft situations before the firefighter enters the structure and is met with the circumstance head-on. Firefighter safety is the number one priority.
 
 
Whenever possible, movable property is moved into the middle of a room and covered with a heavy cloth tarp (a "salvage cover"). Other steps may be taken to divert or remove fire flow runoff (thus salvaging property by avoiding unnecessary damage), retrieving/protecting valuables found during suppression or overhaul, and boarding windows, roofs and doors against the elements and looters.
 
 
===HAZMAT===
 
[[File:Decontamination after incident at Archway - geograph.org.uk - 108750.jpg|thumb|Decontamination after a chemical spill]]
 
Firefighters in the United States are frequently the first responders to [[HAZMAT]] incidents. The [[Occupational Safety and Health Administration]] standard [http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=standards&p_id=9765 1910.120] defines four standards of training First responder awareness level, First responder operations level, [[Hazardous materials technician]], and Hazardous materials specialist. [[Emergency medical services|EMS]]-based [[paramedic]]s are typically trained to the awareness level, whereas career and volunteer firefighters are often trained to the operations level or better. Other nations have trained only elite firefighters and rescuers to do HAZMAT so that funding and equipment could go to fewer stations. This gives departments elite HAZMAT personnel and high-grade equipment for an incident. Departments place these companies in stations where they can be very mobile.
 
 
==Occupational health and safety==
 
 
===Cardiovascular disease===
 
Firefighting has long been associated with poor cardiovascular outcomes. In the United States, the most common cause of on-duty fatalities for firefighters is sudden cardiac death. In addition to personal factors that may predispose an individual to [[coronary artery disease]] or other [[cardiovascular diseases]], occupational exposures can significantly increase a firefighter's risk. For instance, [[carbon monoxide]], present in nearly all fire environments, and [[hydrogen cyanide]], formed during the combustion of paper, cotton, plastics, and other substances containing [[carbon]] and [[nitrogen]], interfere with the transport of oxygen in the body. [[hypoxia (medical)|Hypoxia]] can then lead to heart injury.
 
In addition, chronic exposure to [[Atmospheric particulate matter|particulate matter]] in smoke is associated with [[atherosclerosis]]. Noise exposures may contribute to [[hypertension]] and possibly ischemic heart disease. Other factors associated with firefighting, such as [[Stress (medicine)|stress]], [[heat stress]], and heavy physical exertion, also increase the risk of cardiovascular events.<ref>[[National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health]] Alert: [http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2007-133 Preventing Fire Fighter Fatalities Due to Heart Attacks and Other Sudden Cardiovascular Events.] July 2007.</ref>
 
 
===Heat stress===
 
[[Image:Airport-firefighters-drill.jpg|thumb|right|Firefighters wearing [[Personal protective equipment|PPE]] tackle an aircraft fire during a drill at [[Dyess Air Force Base]] in [[Abilene, Texas]]]]
 
Heat injury is a major issue for firefighters as they wear insulated clothing and can not shed the heat generated from physical exertion. Early detection of heat issues is critical to stop dehydration and heat stress becoming fatal. Early onset of heat stress effects cognitive function which combined with operating in dangerous environment makes heat stress and dehydration a critical issue to monitor. Firefighter physiological status monitoring is showing promise in alerting EMS and commanders to the status of their people on the fire ground. Devices such as [[PASS device]] alert 10–20 seconds after a firefighter has stopped moving in a structure. Physiological status monitors measure a firefighter's vital sign status, fatigue and exertion levels and transmit this information over their voice radio. This technology allows a degree of early warning to physiological stress. These devices<ref>Zephyr Technologies [http://www.zephyr-technology.com/bioharness-bt.html BioHarness BT]</ref> are similar to technology developed for [[Future Force Warrior]] and give a measure of exertion and fatigue. They also tell the people outside a building when they have stopped moving or fallen. This allows a Fire Chief to call in additional engines before the crew get exhausted and also gives an early warning to firemen before they run out of air, as they may not be able to make voice calls over their radio. Current [[Occupational Safety and Health Administration|OSHA]] tables exist for heat injury and the allowable amount of work in a given environment based on temperature, humidity and solar loading.<ref>[http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_iii/otm_iii_4.html OSHA Technical Manual (OTM) - Section III: Chapter IV: Heat Stress]</ref>
 
 
===Structural collapses===
 
Another leading cause of death during firefighting is structural collapse of a burning building (e.g. a wall, floor, ceiling, roof, or [[truss|truss system]]). Structural collapse, which often occurs without warning, may crush or trap firefighters inside the structure. To avoid loss of life, all on-duty firefighters should maintain two-way communication with the [[incident commander]] and be equipped with a [[PASS device|Personal Alert Safety System device]] on all fire scenes and maintain radio communication on all incidents(PASS).<ref>[[National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health]] Alert: [http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/99-146.html Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Fire Fighters due to Structural Collapse]. August 1999.</ref><ref>[[National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health]] Alert: [http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/99-146.html Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Fire Fighters Due to Truss System Failures]. May 2005.</ref> [[Francis Brannigan]] was the founder and greatest contributor to this element of firefighter safety.
 
 
==Firefighting around the world==
 
{{Further|Firefighting worldwide}}
 
[[File:BSPP section Bastille Day 2008.jpg|thumb|The [[Paris Fire Brigade]] is a [[French Army]] unit which serves as the fire service for [[Paris]] and certain sites of national strategic importance.]]
 
In Germany, volunteer fire departments, called the "Freiwillige Feuerwehr", are established in every town: even the biggest German city, Berlin, with more than 3.6 million inhabitants, has volunteer firefighters in addition to a career fire service. In fact, only 103 German cities (most of them are towns with more than 100,000 inhabitants) have a career fire service, called the "[[Feuerwehr|Berufsfeuerwehr]]", but in every one of these cities a volunteer fire service exists, too. In cities with a career fire service, volunteer fire brigades support the career fire service at big fires, accidents and disasters. Many of the so-called volunteer departments (usually in towns with 35,000 to 150,000 inhabitants), except in very small towns and villages, are a mixed service of a core of career firefighters who are supported by true volunteer firefighters should the need arise. However, the official title of those departments is nevertheless "volunteer fire service".
 
 
The structure in Austria is similar to Germany. There are just six career fire services in [[Vienna]], [[Graz]], [[Innsbruck]], [[Klagenfurt]], [[Salzburg]] and [[Linz]]. As of 2007, some 4,527 volunteer fire departments, the back-bone of the Austrian fire service, could rely on about 320,000 men and women voluntary firefighters as active members.<ref>[http://www.bundesfeuerwehrverband.at/oebfv/index.php?id=154 Österreichischer Bundesfeuerwehrverband: Statistik des ÖBFV<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref> Fire departments exist in even the smallest villages, where they contribute to community life, usually by organizing fairs and other fund-raising activities.
 
 
In [[Venezuela]], there are, beside the types mentioned above, University Firefighters. They attend any emergency inside the campus and the zones around; however, their most important job is to develop new technologies in this area, thanks to the high level of education of its members: in the Simón Bolívar University Volunteer Fire Department, around 80% of its members have a university degree or are in the process of obtaining one.
 
 
In Japan, fire services are organized on a city/town/village basis. There are 894 fire headquarters and 3,598 volunteer fire corps. These have a total of 155,000 active career firefighters and 21,000 vehicles with 4,800 fire houses;{{Citation needed|date=January 2009}} 920,000 volunteer firefighters share an additional 51,000 trucks.
 
 
In [[Romania]], the [[Romanian General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations]] is responsible for fire fighting and civil defense.
 
 
In [[Singapore]], the [[Singapore Civil Defence Force]] is responsible for fire fighting and emergency response. In addition to career firefighters, there are conscripted firefighters, generally young adults between the ages of 18-25, that join under the national service scheme (see [[Conscription in Singapore]]).
 
 
In India municipalities are required by law to have a fire brigade and participate in a regional fire service. Each city has its own fire brigade. The main functions of firefighting services in India are provision of fire protection and of services during emergencies such as building collapses, drowning cases, gas leakage, oil spillage, road and rail accidents, bird and animal rescues, fallen trees, appropriate action during natural calamities, and so on. Industrial corporations also have their own firefighting service. Each airport and seaport has its own firefighting units.
 
 
==Communication and command structure==
 
[[Image:NSWFB112.jpg|thumb|[[New South Wales Fire Brigades]] station officer (red helmet) and firefighters (yellow helmets)]]
 
 
The expedient and accurate handling of fire alarms or calls are significant factors in the successful outcome of any incident. Fire department communications play a critical role in that successful outcome. Fire department communications include the methods by which the public can notify the communications center of an emergency, the methods by which the center can notify the proper fire fighting forces, and the methods by which information is exchanged at the scene. One method is to use a [[megaphone]] to communicate.
 
 
A telecommunicator (often referred to as a [[dispatcher]]){{Citation needed|date=August 2007}} has a role different but just as important as other emergency personnel. The telecommunicator must process calls from unknown and unseen individuals, usually calling under stressful conditions. He/she must be able to obtain complete, reliable information from the caller and prioritize requests for assistance. It is the dispatcher's responsibility to bring order to chaos.
 
 
While some fire departments are large enough to utilize their own telecommunication dispatcher, most rural and small areas rely on a central dispatcher to provide handling of fire, rescue and police services.
 
 
Firefighters are trained to use [[Telecommunication|communications]] equipment to receive alarms, give and receive commands, request assistance, and report on conditions. Since firefighters from different agencies routinely provide mutual aid to each other, and routinely operate at incidents where other emergency services are present, it is essential to have structures in place to establish a unified chain of command, and share information between agencies. The U.S. [[Federal Emergency Management Agency]] has established a [http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nims/nims_doc_full.pdf National Incident Management System]. One component of this system is the [[Incident Command System]].
 
 
All radio communication in the United States is under authorization from the [[Federal Communications Commission]] (FCC); as such, fire departments that operate radio equipment must have radio licenses from the FCC.
 
 
[[Ten codes]] were popular in the early days of radio equipment because of poor transmission and reception. Advances in modern radio technology have reduced the need for ten-codes and many departments have converted to simple English (clear text).
 
 
===Ranks===
 
Many firefighters are [[peace officer|sworn officers]] with command structures similar to the military and police. They do not have general [[police powers]], but have specific powers of enforcement and control in fire and emergency situations.
 
 
====Chile====
 
Ranks are divided between Company Officers and Fire Department Officers, which can be subdivided between Active Officers (Field Officers) and Administrative Officers each.
 
 
====Commonwealth====
 
Most fire brigades in [[Commonwealth of Nations|Commonwealth]] countries (except Canada) have a more "civilianized" nomenclature, structured in a traditional manner. For example, the common structure in United Kingdom brigades is<ref>http://firesafe.org.uk/html/geninfo/ranks.htm</ref>:
 
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
|-
 
! Rank !! Collar/epaulette markings !! Helmet colour/pattern
 
|-
 
| Firefighter || None || Yellow helmet with no markings
 
|-
 
| Crew Manager || Two bars || Yellow helmet with two 12.5mm horizontal black stripes
 
|-
 
| Watch Manager || Two [[impeller]]s || White helmet with one 12.5mm horizontal black stripe
 
|-
 
| Station Manager || Three impellers || White helmet with one 19mm horizontal black stripe
 
|-
 
| Group Manager || One impeller inside wreath || White helmet with one 12.5mm and one 19mm horizontal black stripes
 
|-
 
| Area Manager || One bar and one impeller inside wreath || White helmet with two 19mm horizontal black stripes
 
|-
 
| Assistant Brigade Manager || One impeller and one large impeller inside wreath || White helmet with one 38mm horizontal black stripe
 
|-
 
| Deputy Brigade Manager || One bar, one impeller and one large impeller inside wreath || White helmet with one 38mm horizontal black stripe
 
|-
 
| Brigade Manager || Two impellers and one large impeller inside wreath || White helmet with one 38mm horizontal black stripe
 
|}
 
 
====France====
 
French civilian fire services, which historically are derived from French army [[sapper]] units, use standard French Army ranks. The highest rank in many [[Departments of France|departments]] is full Colonel.
 
 
====Germany====
 
In Germany every federal state has its own civil protection laws thus they have different rank systems. Additionally there is a difference between a rank and an official position. This is founded on the military traditions of the fire departments. Every firefighter can hold a high rank without having an official position. A firefighter can be promoted by years of service, training skills and qualifications. Official positions are partly elected or given by capabilities. These conditions allow that older ordinary firemen have higher ranks than their leaders. But through this ranks are no authorities given ([[Brevet (military)|Brevet]]).
 
 
====Italy====
 
The [[Vigili del Fuoco]], literally the Fire-watchers, (official name Corpo nazionale dei vigili del fuoco) (CNVVF, National Fire-watchers' Corps) is Italy's institutional agency for fire and rescue service. It is part of the Ministry of Interior's Dipartimento dei Vigili del Fuoco, del Soccorso Pubblico e della Difesa Civile (Department of Fire Watch, Public Rescue and Public Protection). The corps' task is to provide safety for people, animals and property, and to give technical assistance to industries and fire prevention advice. It also ensures public safety in terrorist emergencies such as chemical, bacteriological, radiological and nuclear attacks.
 
 
====Ireland====
 
In [[Republic of Ireland|Ireland]], the traditional brigade rank structure is still adopted. In [[Dublin Fire Brigade]], ranks are as follows:
 
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
|-
 
! Rank !! Helmet colour/markings
 
|-
 
| Firefighter || Black Helmet With Yellow Markings|-
 
| Leading Firefighter/Driver Mechanic in retained brigades || Yellow Helmet with one 12.5mm horizontal black stripe
 
|-
 
| Lieutenant || Yellow helmet |-
 
| Safety Officer || White helmet
 
|-
 
| Captain || Red helmet with one 19mm horizontal black stripe
 
|-
 
| Deputy Chief || White helmet with two 19mm horizontal black stripes
 
|-
 
| Assistant Chief || White helmet with one 38mm horizontal black stripe
 
|-
 
| Chief || White helmet with one 38mm horizontal black stripe
 
|-
 
|}
 
 
====Japan====
 
Japanese Fire Department's rank insignias are place on a small badge and pinned above the right pocket. Rank is told by stripes and Hexagram stars. The design of the insignias came from older Japanese style military insignias. Officers and Team Leaders could wear an [[arm band]] on the arm of fire jacket to show status as command leader. Sometimes rank can be shown as different color fire jacket for command staff. The color whites and gray are reserved for EMS. Orange is reserved for [[rescuer]].
 
{| class="wikitable" border="1"
 
|-
 
| '''Firefighter'''
 
::One Star with one stripe across
 
| '''Assistant Fire Sergeant'''
 
::Two Stars with one stripe across
 
| '''Fire Sergeant'''
 
::Three Stars with one stripe across
 
|-
 
| '''Fire Lieutenant'''
 
::One Star with two stripes across
 
| '''Fire Captain'''
 
::Two Stars with two stripes across
 
| '''Battalion Chief'''
 
::Three Stars with two stripes across
 
|-
 
| '''Assistant Chief'''
 
::One Star with solid background
 
| '''1st Assistant Chief'''
 
::Two Stars with solid background
 
| '''Deputy Chief'''
 
::Three Stars with solid background
 
|-
 
|
 
| '''Fire Chief'''
 
::Four Stars with solid background
 
|
 
|}
 
 
====Russia====
 
{{main|Russian State Fire Service}}
 
In [[Russia]], the decals are applied symmetrically on both sides of the helmet (front and rear). The location of the decals on the special clothing and SCBA is established for each fire department of the same type within the territorial entity.
 
 
[[Image:Russian Firefighters.jpg|thumb|right|175px|Russian Firefighter with a Head of duty shift fire station helmet.]]
 
[[Image:Insignia Emercom.gif|thumb|left|175px|Insignia of a helmet Federal Fire Service of EMERCOM]]
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
|-
 
! Rank !! Helmet colour/markings
 
|-
 
| Firefighter ||The all color helmet with the applied number, indicating the fire station
 
|-
 
| Head of fire brigade || The all color helmet with the applied number, indicating the fire station, underlined by line 50&nbsp;mm wide and 5&nbsp;mm thick
 
|-
 
| Head of duty shift fire station || The all color helmet with the applied a circle, inside which the applied number is indicating the fire station
 
|-
 
| Deputy Head of the fire station || The all color helmet with the applied a triangle, inside which the applied number is indicating the fire station
 
|-
 
| Head of the fire station || The all color helmet with the applied a square, inside which the applied number is indicating the fire station
 
|-
 
| Commanding staff of the fire department || The all color helmet with the applied a circle, inside which the applied a rhombus
 
|-
 
|}
 
 
====USA====
 
[[Image:FF Helmet.JPG|thumb|right|175px|American Firefighter with a [[Lieutenant]]'s helmet.]]
 
{{Main|Firefighting in the United States}}
 
[[Image:Fire Department Rank Insignia.gif|thumb|left|US Fire Department Rank Insignia]]
 
In the United States helmet colors often denote a fire fighter's rank or position. In general, white helmets denote chief officers, while red helmets may denote company officers, but the specific meaning of a helmet's color or style varies from region to region and department to department. The rank of an officer in the U.S. fire service is most commonly denoted by a number of speaking trumpets, a reference to a [[megaphone]] like device used in the early days of the fire service, although typically called "[[bugle]]" in today's parlance. Ranks proceed from one (lieutenant) to five (fire chief) bugles. Traditional ranks in American Fire Departments that exist but may not always be utilized in all cities or towns include:
 
 
{| class="wikitable" border="1"
 
|-
 
| '''Firefighter'''
 
::no bugles
 
| '''Engineer/Technician/Sergeant'''
 
::3 Chevrons
 
| '''Lieutenant'''
 
::1 bugle
 
|-
 
| '''Captain'''
 
::2 either traditionally side by side
 
::or less usually crossed bugles
 
| '''Battalion Chief/District Chief'''
 
::2 either side by side
 
::or more traditionally crossed bugles
 
| '''Division Chief or Assistant /Deputy Asst.'''
 
'''Chief/Commissioner'''
 
::3 crossed bugles
 
|-
 
| '''Deputy Chief/Commissioner'''
 
::4 crossed bugles
 
| '''Chief/Commissioner'''
 
::5 crossed bugles
 
|
 
|}
 
 
The basic US fire department unit is a small unit called a "company" (under a lieutenant or captain depending upon rank structure) which is equivalent to a commonwealth "watch" (under a sub-officer). A US fire captain is thus often equivalent to a commonwealth sub-officer, and a US fire lieutenant to a commonwealth leading firefighter. In many fire departments in the USA, the rank of captain or lieutenant are both used to denote the most junior fire officer at the company level. There is no state or federal rank structure for firefighters and each municipality or volunteer fire department creates and uses their own unique structure.
 
 
Still some other American Fire Departments such the FDNY use military rank insignia in addition or instead of the traditional bugles. Additionally, officers on [[Glossary of firefighting#T|truck companies]] have been known to use rank insignias shaped like axes for Lieutenants (1) and Captains (2).
 
 
==Firefighter equipment==
 
{{Main|Glossary of firefighting equipment}}
 
<!-- Before you add anything else to this list, ask yourself "Do many or most firefighters use this piece of equipment in a way that's notable, verifiable, and of interest to the general audience?" If not, consider just adding it to the glossary of equipment article instead. -->
 
<gallery>
 
File:TFS fire equipment.jpg|[[Toronto Fire Services|Toronto firefighters]] prepare their equipment
 
File:Aa RN firefighter 00.jpg|[[Royal Navy|British naval men]] in firefighting gear on [[HMS Illustrious (R06)]], [[Liverpool]], 25 October 2009
 
File:Aa RN firefighter 01.jpg|[[Royal Navy|British naval men]] in firefighting gear on [[HMS Illustrious (R06)]], [[Liverpool]], 25 October 2009
 
</gallery>
 
A partial list of some equipment typically used by firefighters:
 
* Hand tools, such as
 
** Flat-head and pick-head axe
 
** [[Pike pole]]
 
** [[Halligan bar]]
 
** [[Flashlight]]
 
** [[Spanner wrench]]
 
** Circular ("K-12"), Cutters Edge, and/or chain saws
 
** [[Hydraulic rescue tools]] such as spreaders, cutters, and rams
 
* [[Personal protective equipment]] ("PPE") designed to withstand water and high temperatures, such as
 
** [[Bunker gear]], including turnout jacket and pants
 
** [[SCBA|Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)]]
 
** Helmet, face mask and/or visor; climbing helmets
 
** [[Safety boots]], gloves, and [[Nomex]] and Carbon flash hoods
 
** [[PASS device|Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) device]]
 
* Handheld radio, pager, or other communication devices
 
* [[Thermal imaging camera|Thermal Imaging Camera]]
 
* Gas Meter
 
 
==History of fire brigades==
 
{{Main|History of firefighting}}
 
[[Image:Old firefighters.jpg|right|thumb|A picture of American firefighters in the 1770s]]
 
 
Although people have fought fires since there have been valuable things to burn, the first instance of organized professionals combating structural fires occurred in Ancient [[Egypt]]. Likewise, fire fighters of the [[Roman Republic]] existed solely as privately organized and funded groups that operated more similarly to a business than a public service; however, during the [[Principate]] period [[Augustus]] revolutionized firefighting by calling for the creation of a fire guard that was trained, paid, and equipped by the state- the first truly public and professional firefighting service. Known as the [[Vigiles]], they were organised into cohorts and also served as a night watch and city police force.
 
 
Today, fire and rescue remains a mix of paid, call, and volunteer responders, with some Fire and Rescue Services in the UK employing a combination of retained firefighters (who carry pagers to remain on-call while at home or at work) and a small number of unpaid volunteer firefighters- a practice common with other services.
 
 
==Miscellaneous traditions==
 
{{Unreferenced section|date=November 2009}}
 
[[Image:Vintage firefighters.jpg|thumb|An 1879 illustration of firefighters]]
 
In popular literature, firefighters are sometimes depicted with [[Dalmatian (dog)|Dalmatian]] dogs. This breed originated in southern Europe to assist with herding [[livestock]] and run along with [[horse]]s, and in the days of horse-drawn fire vehicles, the horses were usually released on arrival at the fire and the Dalmatians would lead the horses through traffic and to a safe place to wait until the fire was out. Dalmatians also filled the role of protecting the horses' feet from other dogs as equipment was being transported to the fire scene.
 
 
In reality, most fire dogs were [[Mixed-breed dog|mutts]] pulled from the street (and thus cheaper to acquire). In addition, Dalmatians have a reputation for skittishness and congenital defects, such as deafness due to inbreeding.
 
 
Many fire companies around the world, especially in the United States, develop annual beefcake calendars. In these calendars, handsome and/or muscular firefighters appear scantily clad and sometimes cavorting. Calendar proceeds function as fund raisers for their fire department and for charities. Other forms of fund raising may include traditional Firemen's Balls (gala events attended by firefighters and supporters from the community), community fairs, and ding-a-ling car washes (where the price is whatever donation one wishes).
 
 
Some firefighters are known to be good cooks. This is because some firefighters have long shifts and cannot leave the station for food. Most stations have a kitchen or lunch hall with some cooking appliances. Firefighters who can cook take turns in making lunch and dinner meals. The Firefighter's cooking skills are sometimes so good that they use them for fund raisers. Common American firefighter cooking fund raisers serve fried fish or chili beans soup.
 
 
==Notable firefighters==
 
 
* [[John Decker (fire chief)|John Decker]] (1823–1892), chief of the New York City department during the 1863 draft riots
 
* [[Raúl Gándara-Cartagena]] (1895-1989), first and longest-serving Puerto Rico commonwealth fire chief
 
* [[James J. Kenney]] (1869–1918), Berkeley, California, politician, the city's first fire chief
 
* [[Louis R. Nowell]] (1915–2009), Los Angeles, California, City Council member, a firefighter for 23 years
 
* [[Chip Prather]] (born 1953), second chief of the Orange County, California, Fire Authority
 
 
==See also==
 
* [[Portal:Fire]]
 
* [[Women in firefighting]]
 
* [[Fire hydrant]]
 
* [[Fire truck]]
 
* [[Fire services in Scotland]]
 
* [[Incident Command System]]
 
* [[Index of firefighting articles]]
 
* [[Volunteer fire department]]
 
* [[Wildland Firefighter Foundation]]
 
* [[Wildfire suppression]]
 
* [[Rescue]]
 
* [[History of firefighting]]
 
* [[Firefighting]]
 
* [[Ministry of Civil Aviation Aerodrome Fire Service|UK Ministry of Civil Aviation Aerodrome Fire Service]]
 
 
==References==
 
{{Reflist|35em}}
 
 
==External links==
 
{{Commons|Firefighter}}
 
{{Wiktionary}}
 
* [http://www.fireandrescuedecals.com/product_info.php?products_id=155 Example of Firefighter Maltese Cross Emblem]
 
* [http://www.firefightingnews.com/ International FireFightingNews.com - Fire and Rescue News]
 
* U.S. [[National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health]] Topic: [http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/othpubs.html Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program]
 
* [http://fireextinguishertrainingcenter.com/ - Fire Extinguisher Training]
 
{{Fire fighting}}
 
{{Fire services by country}}
 
 
[[Category:Firefighters| ]]
 
[[Category:Protective service occupations]]
 
 
[[ar:رجل إطفاء]]
 
[[bjn:Pamajah kagusangan]]
 
[[bg:Пожарникар]]
 
[[bar:Feiawehr]]
 
[[br:Pomper]]
 
[[ca:Bomber]]
 
[[cs:Hasič]]
 
[[da:Brandmand (job)]]
 
[[de:Feuerwehr]]
 
[[et:Tuletõrjuja]]
 
[[el:Πυροσβεστική]]
 
[[es:Bombero]]
 
[[eo:Fajroestingisto]]
 
[[fa:مأمور آتش‌نشانی]]
 
[[fr:Pompier]]
 
[[ga:Lucht dóiteáin]]
 
[[gl:Bombeiro]]
 
[[xal:Түүмрин харулч]]
 
[[ko:소방관]]
 
[[hi:अग्निशमक]]
 
[[hr:Vatrogasci]]
 
[[id:Pemadam kebakaran]]
 
[[it:Vigile del fuoco]]
 
[[he:מכבי אש]]
 
[[ht:Ponpye]]
 
[[la:Siphonarius]]
 
[[lv:Ugunsdzēsējs]]
 
[[ms:Ahli bomba]]
 
[[nl:Brandweer]]
 
[[ja:消防士]]
 
[[no:Brannvesen]]
 
[[nds:Füerwehr]]
 
[[pl:Straż pożarna]]
 
[[pt:Bombeiro]]
 
[[ro:Pompier]]
 
[[qu:Thasnuq]]
 
[[ru:Пожарная охрана]]
 
[[simple:Firefighter]]
 
[[sl:Gasilec]]
 
[[szl:Fojerwera]]
 
[[sr:Ватрогасац]]
 
[[fi:Palokunta]]
 
[[sv:Brandförsvar]]
 
[[tr:İtfaiye]]
 
[[uk:Пожежна охорона]]
 
[[war:Bumbero]]
 
[[yi:פייער לעשער]]
 
[[zh:消防員]]
 
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