Four Things Firefighters Wish You Knew

firefighter spraying water into forest fire

Many people think that they know everything there is to know about firefighters just because they have watched a lot of movies and TV shows about these brave souls. Well, they’re wrong. Firefighters still have their secrets, although, they don’t really consider them secrets because they actually want people to know these details.

It’s getting harder to fight fires

Firefighters say that every year, it’s becoming harder to fight fires and it’s because of the houses people live in today. Most of the materials used to build homes are synthetic, which burn faster compared to traditional materials. Not only that, but synthetic materials also tend to produce highly toxic smoke.

In addition to that, most houses now have open-floor plans that make it easier for fires to spread. So, even if a fire fighting trailer arrives in your street three minutes after you call for help, your house with an open-floor design could already be engulfed in flames. Back then, on the other hand, most houses have several walls, which make it easier to contain a fire in one area of the house.

They’re not the police

When firefighters come to the rescue, their primary concern is the people’s safety. They’re not there to investigate if anything illegal started the fire. So, if by being safe you need to answer all of their questions honestly, they would prefer that. The reason behind this is that they need to see the whole picture in order to do their job well.

firefighter working on the hose

They don’t have any downtime

Movies and TV shows give the public the idea that when there are no fires around, firefighters are just chilling in their stations. Well, that’s far from the truth. When there are no fires around, firefighters are still busy training and checking homes to help reduce their risk for fires.

It’s more dangerous than you think

When you see firefighters in movies and TV shows, you often see them barge into flaming buildings like a bull charging at a matador. They know what to do and where to go. They seem surefooted enough that you know they’ll be able to get all of the trapped occupants outside before the fire collapses the building.

In reality though, it doesn’t look like that. According to real firefighters, the only difference between a civilian stuck in a burning building and a firefighter in the same situation is that the latter has more equipment. Even with all the training and equipment, a firefighter will still stumble and try to make sense of his surroundings when he is inside a burning building.

This is because burning houses or buildings will produce so much smoke that it’s almost impossible to see anything inside it. So, when a firefighter enters a burning building, he almost has the same chances of surviving that ordeal as a civilian trapped inside. The only difference is that firefighters choose to enter a burning building because when a life is at stake, it’s their calling to save that life.