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Firefighter

by Staff Reporter
If you’re physically fit, have the ability to work well under pressure and enjoy serving others then a career as a Firefighter could be for you.

Career Overview

A Firefighter, you will be responsible for being first responders to an emergency situation.  This involves being on scene and extinguishing any fires that are burning buildings, cars and forests.  In addition to the protection of property, FIrefighters also need to safeguard human lives as well as that of any animals.  The role of a Firefighter also includes promoting public safety, continuously updating your knowledge and performing basic first aid in medical emergencies.  

Required School Subjects

There are no specific high school subjects that you need to take in high school in order to become a Firefighter.

Recommended subjects:

  • Geography
  • Life Sciences

Institution and APS

The following institutions are potential options if you’re looking to get a formal qualification to become a Firefighter:

  • Cape Penninsula University of Technology (CPUT) – APS of 28+
  • Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) – APS of 27+
  • University of Johannesburg (UJ) – APS of 26

Required Qualification/s

In order to qualify as a Firefighter, you don’t need to have a formal qualification.  However, there are certain courses that you study at tertiary institutions which will equip you with a Bachelor of Technology in Fire Technology or a Diploma in Emergeny Medical Care.

Required Skills

You will need to have the following skills to succeed as a Firefighter:

  • physically fit
  • ability to problem-solve
  • ablity to work under pressure
  • excellent communication skills
  • decisiveness
  • have a valid drivers license
  • basic first aid

Where you can work

As a Firefighter, you will be able to work for a Fire and Rescue organisation.  Your services could be required by local goverments, airports, forestry departments and in the navy.  The envirornment you work in will be mostly on the scene of a fire or in the department in which you work.  There is also the possibility of being selected by the United Nations (UN) or African Union (AU) for peace-keeping operarations.

Working Hours

In general, a full-time Firefighter will work a 42 hour week in a shift pattern.  Your shifts will be determined by the department you work for.  There is also the possibility of working part-time as a Firefighter.

Expected Salary

The average annual salary of a Firefighter in South Africa is R126 178.  In this career, your salary will increase significantly with the years of experience you have behind you.

What to expect

Here are a few things you can expect from a career as a Firefighter:

  • it goes without saying that you will often work in dangerous environments where your life is threatened – you will need to be physically fit, adventerous and able to cope in unpleasant conditions
  • your job might also involve cleaning firetrucks and maintaining equipment
  • you might be called upon to deliever talks around fire safety
  • often you will exposed to be great heights, confined spaces and large crowds

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