The main task of firefighters is the days of harsh work, sweat, and even blood to fire fighting, saving people’s property and especially saving people in emergencies. In this article, you will discover about firefighter life expectancy!
Being a fireman is definitely some risk. Firefighters always operate in fast-paced, high-stress circumstances. Even if the contemporary fire service does all possible to keep its fires safe, there will always be some danger. Is it true that firefighters have a shorter life expectancy than the rest of the population? Scroll down and discover useful information about this sacred firefighter job.
1. The main tasks of firefighters
Firefighting a noble profession, a dangerous job with a high potential for injury and death. Due to the feature of the job, there is certain characteristics are required to become a standard firefighter. However, due to the good remuneration and salary, this is still the dream career of many people.
A typical firefighter workday consists of training, education, residential and commercial fire inspections, vehicle, equipment maintenance, fire hydrant maintenance, fire drills, public education – all of which are set aside at a moment’s notice to respond to emergencies and calls for assistance. In more detail, below are the main jobs that every firefighter must perform.
- Directly extinguish all fires notified by residents.
- Saving people in emergencies, natural disasters, storms, floods, etc.
- Instantly saving the assets of people, organizations, businesses…
- Practice for 8 hours/day on the field to build strength, psychological training in the face of danger, practice fire fighting, and rescue skills.
- Be familiar with and practice with the most specialized fire fighting, and rescue vehicles to perform their duties.
- Also, participate in many other meaningful social activities to support the community.
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2. What risks do firefighters have to face?
Being a firefighter is putting your safety on the line to assist those who are in need. The firefighters always put themselves in circumstances where they jeopardize their own safety to save a life.
Aside from hitting by cars, being crushed by buildings collapsing on top of them in a fire, or suffering other terrible events. The following are some of the dangers that firefighters have to face:
- Inhalation of smoke
- Toxic chemical exposure
- The wear and tear of a physically demanding job.
Another factor is change. With the advent of SCBAs (self-contained breathing apparatus) and much better and more efficient decontamination of equipment from the toxins found in a fire, the fires have changed as well.
Because of plastics and synthetic materials rather than old wood and natural fibers, fires burn hotter and faster. These materials also emit smoke that contains far more hazardous chemicals and other noxious substances.
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3. What diseases are firefighters susceptible to?
Heart attacks were the leading cause of firefighter death, but that has changed. Cancer is now the leading cause of death among firefighters. Depending on which statistics you research, cancer is the leading cause of mortality among firefighters. Some still rank stress and cardiac disorders such as heart attacks as the leading causes of mortality.
Firefighters are exposed to a greater number of things than normal people. Everything from diesel exhaust to toxic contaminants to the noxious chemicals found in today’s fire smoke. Though it’s difficult to establish that being exposed to these items causes cancer because it can take years for symptoms to appear.
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4. What is the work schedule of firefighters?
A full-time fireman works 56 hours per week on average, however, his or her shifts are separated into 24-hour shifts. Although some departments schedule firemen for eight or 12-hour shifts, this is not the norm. Firefighters typically work 10 of the 24-hour shifts per month, giving them around 20 days off each month. Many firemen use this opportunity to enhance their income by working a second job.
Besides, the crew members reside and eat together at the firehouse while on duty. Rather than working an eight-hour shift and then going home, firefighters work together all day. They’re coworkers who act like roommates and, in the end, like family.
Firefighters work in high-stress environments. They dispatch to fires and other crises, and in some cases, they may be required to work while sleep-deprived. They witness injured or dead people from fires, accidents, and other incidents frequently as part of their work obligations.
5. Shorter life expectancy
Due to the great risks, hardships, and dangerous properties of the firefighter profession, the firefighter’s life expectancy is that the firemen have a short lifespan.
The conditional life expectancy of a 30-year-old firefighter was 45.3 years as compared to 42.9 years of a German male in the normal population. Job tasks, rank status, and early retirement negatively impact mortality.
Firefighters have lower life expectancies compared to the typical population and are three times more likely to die on the job, partially as a result of inherent dangers, physical and psychological stress, as well as exposure to toxic and carcinogenic chemicals released in smoke.
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In conclusion, the research shows that while firefighting is a more dangerous job than many, the life expectancy for firefighting is shorter firefighter life expectancy than non-firefighters. Also, the risk of cancer is significantly higher as a firefighter, but we hope this will improve over time.
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