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Heroes

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Heroes
Many remember when they were little and would see a fire truck go by they would think to their self that’s what I want to do when I get older. Many children when asked what they want to do as a career normally say a firefighter or police officer. There are many reasons to be both, but being a firefighter can be an easy thing to do. There are many career and volunteer fire departments throughout the nation, even some are mixed between career and volunteer. Firefighting is more than a career or job whether it be volunteer or paid it is a calling. Many people would not go into a house that’s on fire, while everyone else is running out. Firefighters are dedicated to helping others and in some cases like today in Massachusetts three firefighters were trapped when a structure collapsed that they were working in to extinguish the fire. They were all rescued after the collapse and two of them made it out with serious injuries and another gave the ultimate sacrifice. Today unfortunately showed the dangers that the job has and how firefighters put their lives on the line every day. Most believe that a firefighter is a hero and most firefighter’s say it is just part of their job, it is proven daily that it is more than a job they are heroes.
In the United States there are over 1.1 million volunteer firefighters that is two thirds of all fire fighters. In the nation yearly the amount of emergency calls increase significantly the amount of volunteer firefighters has dropped over 10% in the last 20 years. (Hampson) Why is this? It’s because society is changing and a person has little time between working and being with their families. Being a volunteer is very rewarding, they get out at 2am to go help someone that they never met and do it all for free. There are not many people that would sacrifice their sleep daily to go help someone else but volunteer firefighters do.
Volunteer and career firefighters both go through equal training to become a firefighter. The training consists of physical training on fire training grounds as well as classroom training. The average about of training a firefighter first goes through consists of 360 hours. Firefighter train once a week on average and there is yearly government mandated training that every firefighter must complete. Training is for safety but a firefighter can have all the right training and can still get injured or killed it is in the danger of the job. Being safe in a major priority in the fire service, but all the training not only takes up time but it also costs a lot of money. The problem is within the past couple years there has been fire budgets cut and laid offs occurred.
During tough economic times it’s now been a common practice to first layoff firefighters, police, and EMTs. The people who are there for the safety of the public are being laid off. This does have a direct impact on career and volunteer fire departments throughout the nation. It is sad to say be this does impact the safety of not only firefighters but everyone. Less training makes things less safe which equals more injuries and deaths for firefighters and patients. The federal government does have grants that are bringing back firefighters but those grants do eventually run out and then what happens after that? In ending most believe firefighters do a job that most cant then why are they getting put in the way of more danger then they already face daily to help others.
Work cited
Hampson, Rick. Number of volunteer firefighters is declining. USA Today. November 2008 http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-11-06-volunteer-firefighters_x.htm Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Fire Fighters, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos329.htm

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