Every year, fires and other emergencies take thousands of lives and destroy property worth thousand, millions, or even billions of dollars. Fire fighters help protect the public against these dangers by responding to fires and tons of other emergencies. Although they put out fires, fire fighters more frequently respond to other emergencies like car crashes. They are often the first emergency personnel at the scene of a traffic accident and other emergencies and may be called upon to treat injuries or perform other vital functions to people.

During duty, fire fighters must be prepared to immediately respond to a fire or other emergency. Fighting fires is hard and dangerous and requires organization and teamwork. At fires, they connect hose lines to hydrants and operate a pump to send water to high-pressure hoses. Some carry hoses, climb ladders, and enter burning buildings—using careful procedures, to put out fires. At times, they may need to use tools to make their way through doors, and walls, sometimes with the aid of information about a building's floor plan. Some find and rescue occupants who are unable to leave the building safely without assistance. They also provide emergency medical attention. Fire fighters' duties may change several times while the company is in action. Sometimes they remain at the site of a disaster for days at a time, rescuing trapped survivors, and assisting with medical treatment.



Peterson Foundation