City of Phoenix Public Information Office - News Clippings - azcentral.com - May , 2013
I’d like to take a little bit of your time to share some information about a typical day in the life of a Phoenix Firefighter. During the average day, our members interact with the community through prevention and community events as well as during medical or fire calls where seconds count. It’s a little difficult to talk about "typical" days these days when many days are anything but typical.
I am reminded that in the last few months, our profession has been all over the news:
An individual in New York set his home on fire to lure firefighters to the scene only to shoot at them as they were getting off the fire truck to fight the fire. Two firefighters died.
- A Georgia man reported to be in financial distress called 9-1-1 and indicated he was having a heart attack. Firefighters hustled to the scene only to be held hostage in his effort to get his utilities turned back on.
- Ten firefighters and medical responders were killed fighting a fire in West Texas when a fertilizer plant exploded.
- Two deliberate explosions at the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured hundreds.
These types of calls are not every day occurrences; however, when a firefighter reports to work in the morning at 8 a.m. they know one thing for sure - they really have no idea what the next 24 hours will look like until it is over. Having said that, there is a general flow to the day that we follow until the alarm sounds
and the emergency lights come on.
- 0730 – 0830 Personal safety equipment and apparatus check -- Firefighters arrive at the station and check out their equipment. They make sure their personal protective equipment and safety equipment is accounted for and on the truck. All equipment is checked and accounted for. Paramedics check the medical equipment and the truck or "rig" is checked by the Engineer or driver of the fire truck. He or she would wash the rig, clean the area outside, and mop the bay floor where the apparatus sits.
- 0830 – 1030 Station maintenance -- Cleaning the station involves cleaning activities that are much like those that go on in your house as well as maintenance of the station grounds.
- 1030 – 1130 "Shop for Chow" --The crew heads to the grocery store to purchase (with their own money) what they will eat during the shift. Crews are in-service and every member has a radio and will hear any emergency call where ever they are. Many times, crews have to ask store management to put their cart in a cooler when they respond to an emergency while shopping.
- 1200 - 1300 Eat Lunch
- 1330 - 1600 Battalion Training, Emergency Medical Training, or other training -- Our crews have to spend time practicing so that when an emergency call comes in we respond quickly, competently, and safely.
- 1600 - 1700 Physical Training -- "P.T." is an absolutely necessary part of being a well trained and capable firefighter.
- 1730 - 1830 Dinner
- 1930 - 2200 Review Medical Calls and Table Top Exercises
- 0600 Wake-Up Call
- 0730 Stand-Up New Platoon at Shift Change
Many of our Fire stations respond to over 20 calls in a 24 hour span. This means, the typical routine rarely happens between set times. You fit things in as you are able to fit them in. We drop whatever we are doing to respond to your emergency. These calls are our absolute priority.
Medical emergencies happen more than 80% of the time and involve responding to a home or business, making sure the scene is safe, and handling the concern or medical need. In large scale incidents, we create emergency areas, provide triage so the most injured are helped first and provide transportation to the hospital.
During fire emergencies, our crews follow emergency driving rules so they can arrive at the call quickly and safely. The engine company will take "command" of the scene and direct the efforts of the arriving crews in an organized fashion to ultimately put out the fire. We also have Special Operations calls that require our special duty trucks with Technical Rescue Technicians to respond. They handle all calls involving high angle, swift water, trench and confined space rescue.
The men and women of this department make it look so easy and I am proud of how well they perform. These firefighters are true professionals. They didn't just stumble into this career, they wanted it, competed for it, and have become the gold standard for the fire service. Our All Hazards approach means that our firefighters wear many hats having several certifications. They have dedicated their lives to serving this community.
I hope you enjoyed the article and learning a little bit about the day in the life of a firefighter. I also want to honor those firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Thanks to the firefighters and their families. Be Safe.
Send comments to Bob Khan at email@example.com or
call (602) 26-CHIEF.
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