Introduction to the Fire Service & Other Emergency Services

A career in the Fire Service is among the most rewarding that any male or female, from any background, can aspire to. While sometimes looked upon as heroes, we are simply members of the departments we work for, service providers for the cities that employ us, and most importantly, critical support systems for the communities we serve.

In addition to the small percentage of time that we actually fight fires and rescue people from burning buildings, another important aspect is tending to their medical needs. We do this without regard to Race, Ethnic Background, Religious Beliefs, Gender, Economic Status, Age, Health, Social Status, Sexual Orientation or, Language Spoken. Firefighters are sworn to serve all.

Within this profession, there is a special bond with both the community and your co-workers that is not often found in other careers. In many respects, when you become a Firefighter you become part of an extended family.

There aren’t many careers as rewarding as that of Firefighter. From the camaraderie with fellow Firefighters and members of the community to financial security and pride, few career choices offer such a desirable mix of benefits.

Financial Security

Ever dream of making over $1 Million? Many Firefighters make this, and much more, throughout their careers. Across the country, starting salaries for entry level Firefighters range between $40,000 and $70,000 per year. With merit increases, you could easily average an annual income of $60,000 over your 25-year career. That equates to $1,500,000 in total earnings. And, this does not include medical coverage, lucrative retirement packages and other benefits. Excellent working conditions are an added bonus.

Keep in mind that Firefighters can also achieve a financially secure retirement at a relatively young age. This allows them to embark upon a second career or to pursue a post-retirement activity that they are passionate about.

We all desire professions that will provide for our financial needs and for those of our families. A fire service career offers this and much more. But, these rewards don’t just magically appear. To become a successful recruit demands a high level of dedication, professionalism, hard work and diligent preparation.


Along with your families and loved ones, you must endure long hours of study and extensive periods of training to become a Firefighter. Even more time and effort is required to become eligible for promotions through the ranks. These pursuits can be successful for the chosen few that truly want it.

No matter how hard you work at becoming a part of this noble profession, you need to understand one fact.

There are far too many excellent candidates seeking this career than there are available positions. Therefore, no matter how well you prepare, the odds can be daunting.

Hopefully, this reality will encourage you to put in the extra effort to ensure your best chances at success. This is particular true for people of color and women. The reasons are many.

The Fire Service has come a long way regarding diversity, but it still has a long way to go in terms of fully embracing all segments of society.

While it is true that elements of sexism, racism and the glass ceiling still persist, these traits are much less prevalent than in bygone years. In fact, you will find fire departments with professionals throughout their ranks that harbor no bias at all.

Your economic situation can also be a challenging factor in terms of having the funds to attend EMT courses, Paramedic school and other training requirements.

For women, the physical challenges, the continued existence of the glass ceiling and sexism can also be factors.

A criminal background could eliminate you as a viable candidate. However, as many have done before, these challenges can be overcome.

The Keys to Success

We at Firefighter’s ABC’s strongly urge you to follow the best path to becoming a successful recruit. Simply stick to the basics of professionalism, hard work, integrity and honesty. Above all else, never give up. And when you do reach success as a Firefighter, be sure to reach back and help those coming behind you.

By far, the most important thing that you can do is to take full advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Also receive valuable tips and resources to better prepare you for every phase of the entry-level application process.

Check out our “Directory Listings”