One of the most important decisions that anyone will ever make in their lives is their choice of a career path; for some, money and recognition are most important in making that choice. For others, myself included, there is a higher calling- the desire to serve the community, protect others, and promote the safety of those who cannot protect themselves. In this case, my calling is to become a firefighter. With this choice in mind, this paper will focus on various elements of professional firefighting, including educational requirements, an overview of what this career path will entail, how this course will help me in this choice, and other elements. Ultimately, this paper will provide me with a great deal of self discovery, and will inform other readers about this noble and challenging career choice.
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The Career of a Firefighter
Firefighters in the 21st century have a more challenging position than ever; not only are they required to perform the conventional duties of fighting commercial, industrial and residential fires, but they are also the first line of defense from the constant threat of terrorism and the like, especially in light of the horrors of September 11, 2001 (McKay, 2002). Because of this increased role for the firefighter, educational requirements are ever-changing.
While they vary by state, city or municipality, suffice it to say that all professional firefighters today must demonstrate the ability to pass comprehensive written examinations on the various key subject areas of the profession, be able to demonstrate certain levels of physical fitness, and to be able to successfully complete continuing educational programs (Hanna, 2009).
The Pros and Cons of Professional Firefighting as a Career
Tying together some of the earlier points made in this paper, becoming a professional firefighter in the present day is one of the most rewarding and simultaneously dangerous professions. Of course, today’s firefighter is a well-respected individual who has the power to save lives and protect property, but on the other hand, the violent nature of the 21st century world makes firefighting higher-risk than ever before (Latuourette, et al, 2003). The challenge for today’s firefighter is to stay vigilant, stay prepared, and stay safe.
Why This is the Right Choice for Me/Next Steps in this Career Path
After a great deal of deep thought and consideration, I have come to the conclusion that professional firefighting is the right choice for me because I have the deep desire to protect the public and serve others. On the more practical side, a career in public safety in the modern day could represent one of the best ways to have secure employment and the kinds of benefits/compensation that is needed in today’s challenging financial environment (Reynolds, 1999). Additionally, the science of firefighting is fascinating to me, which I feel will be a huge motivator for me to excel in this career. In order to be able to become as a profession, I will need to focus on those educational programs that are needed to become accredited in whichever locality I choose as the place to start my career. On the positive side, the need for professional firefighters in all parts of the nation, and indeed the world, will allow me to be able to choose any area in which to live, which is exciting in and of it. However, my primary motivation for this career is not as much the external benefits as it is the self-satisfaction of serving the community and helping others.
Applying this Course Content to this Career Path
It has often been said that the true value of any education is the ability to transform learned concepts into real-world skills, and this is very true in applying some of the concepts learned in this course to the field of professional firefighting. One of these which quickly come to mind is the idea of personal habits; as a firefighter, I will need to be in top physical and mental condition, both of which can be improved or harmed by my choice of personal habits. Therefore, I will have to be very careful in my personal choices of nutrition, exercise, education and the like. Further, the management of time and the ability to learn new information will also are vital in firefighting as a career, as my ongoing education over the years will be a key ingredient to career success. Overall, course concepts will certainly aid my career path.
Through the composition of this paper, a great deal has been learned about an important career path- one that has the awesome potential to save and change endless lives for the better. With all of this in mind, in conclusion, what can honestly be said is that there are challenges in the quest to become a professional firefighter, but in relation to what such a career can provide to the firefighter and those whom he serves, it seems to be well worth the effort.
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