The art of firefighting around the world

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Firefighting, the term brings images of martial arts and fire to mind. The fire part is correct, but there is no place for martial arts in the world of firefighting. It is definitely an art, and a skilled accomplishment for those that choose to attempt it, succeed, and are full fledged, certified firefighters. Simply put, these are the men and women that are called to put out fires, rescue people and sometimes animals. Most of us have a broad, even generalized idea of what their jobs and training entail, few of us realize the details or difficulties they must champion through on a day to day, and week to week basis.

The profession of firefighting is known world wide, ranging in areas from urban and outback to cities and towns. Wherever the possibility arises for a fire to break out is where they will be. Some of them are paid for their service as professional firefighters, and some are not. Volunteers are not usually paid firefighters, but those that are referred to as call or retained are paid for the times they are called to respond to an emergency. They are not employed full time as firefighters, and most usually work other jobs. Many countries around the world use much the same system for firefighters. They have some that are full time who live at and run the fire stations, and retained firefighters that man the fire stations in emergencies. These retained and call firefighters have the ability and the authority to assume command at the scene of the fire if they are first responders, and may run the local career Brigade due to their training. All firemen are trained at the same levels as professional firemen.

Germany is one country that takes firefighting seriously. They have volunteer fire department in every town, and although they do have career fire services, which are professional firefighters that are paid for their services. There are far fewer of these types of fire departments, though, and the volunteer fire departments most usually handle the fires everywhere. Even in the cities that have the professional firefighters, the volunteers assist them and are more than equal in their knowledge and skills. They are perhaps the most important of emergency workers, and more often than not outnumber the career firefighters however they are still referred to as volunteer fire servicemen and women.

University Firefighters are an added label to some firefighters in Venezuela. These firefighters are specifically for the universities and campuses in this country. They specifically fight fires and handle crises within the campus boundaries and certain surrounding zones that are relevant to the university. This country takes education quite seriously, both on campus and within the fire departments. They are expected to also develop new firefighting technologies and ideas, which is encouraged by their governing bodies. Almost 80 of the members of the university firefighting squads possess a degree from the university, or are currently working toward one. This alone, promises a higher level of intelligence and ability, and proves that higher education applies to all walks of life.

Australian firefighters are broken into mainly two groups volunteer brigades and career brigades. The volunteer brigades are trained similarly to those in the career brigades and are able to assume command if they arrive at the scene of a crisis first. This would involve assuming command over the local fire brigade as well, whether it is a volunteer brigade or a career brigade. These volunteer firefighters are most usually paid by their employers when called during the course of a work day. The volunteer firefighters are also able to run career fire stations in the even of an emergency. The art and profession of firefighting is much the same the world over, but one thing stands to reason — it is far more difficult than it seems, and it is not a game.

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