Forest Firefighters

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About the Job

Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

It is also Called

  • Crew Boss
  • Engine Boss
  • Fire Crew Specialist
  • Fire Fighter
  • Fire Technician
  • Firefighter
  • Forest Fire Warden
  • Forest Firefighter
  • Forest Ranger
  • Forest Ranger Technician

What They Do

  • Collaborate with other firefighters as a member of a firefighting crew.
  • Extinguish flames and embers to suppress fires, using shovels, or engine- or hand-driven water or chemical pumps.
  • Test and maintain tools, equipment, jump gear and parachutes to ensure readiness for fire suppression activities.
  • Maintain contact with fire dispatchers at all times to notify them of the need for additional firefighters and supplies, or to detail any difficulties encountered.
  • Rescue fire victims, and administer emergency medical aid.
  • Establish water supplies, connect hoses, and direct water onto fires.
  • Patrol burned areas after fires to locate and eliminate hot spots that may restart fires.
  • Inform and educate the public about fire prevention.
  • Participate in physical training to maintain high levels of physical fitness.
  • Orient self in relation to fire, using compass and map, and collect supplies and equipment dropped by parachute.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RS.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Social environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Relationships and Support in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Education Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in United States was $48,270 with most people making between $21,960 and $80,430

Outlook

0.65%
avg. annual growth

During 2010, this occupation employed approximately 310,000 people in United States. It is projected that there will be 336,000 employed in 2020.

This occupation will have about 2,000 openings due to growth and about 110,000 replacement openings for approximately 112,000 total annual openings.