The Female Firefighter

by : Barney Garcia

Firefighting is no longer just the domain of the male. Just like every other career, trade, or profession women have made inroads into this traditionally male territory. Though some women may be discouraged by the usually male traits required to become a firefighter there are other characteristics that make a good firefighter. If you are not ready to make a full-time commitment to being a firefighter, you can volunteer to see how it fits your life.

A good firefighter must be honest and dependable. Showing up and showing up on time is unisex trait. If you learn quickly and can remember what you learned and apply that knowledge under pressure you are a good candidate to become a firefighter. Because of the nature of the job, a firefighter must be in great physical shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Team play is a necessary function of the firefighter as is respect for co-workers and members of the public.

Good communication skills and common sense are traits appreciated in a firefighter. You need to be emotionally stable and a sense of humor is appreciated in this job as it is in any other. Flexibility and open-minded is also needed. No one person can have all of these attributes, and if they did, as a group their strengths would be redundant and their weaknesses magnified. Each person, male or female, can offer some of these traits and contribute to the team and make it strong.

The hours of work for a firefighter can be irregular and shift work is always involved. There are very real risks involved in fighting fires, from buildings collapsing to the chemicals you are exposed to as materials burn. There have been numerous articles in newspapers lately about firefighters getting cancer more often than ordinary citizens. Firefighters are required to learn how to deal with a lot of different types of equipment and materials to deal with hazardous spills.

Firefighters enjoy the comradeship of their co-workers and because they spend time in very dangerous situations they develop lifelong bonds with their fellow firefighters. In the last few years we have seen calendars featuring male firefighters wearing very little and displaying their very developed bodies for various fundraising goals. So, even though firefighting is a dangerous and often life threatening occupation it's not all work and no play. Firefighting is a career choice with a lot of job satisfaction. Putting your life on the line for others can be very rewarding indeed.