5 Key Personality Traits of a Firefighter
- Excellence in Communication
- Fast and Sound Decision-Making Skills
- Physical Stamina and Strength
Many children dream of becoming firefighters, and these five characteristics of a firefighter are a good predictor of who would be a good fit for this occupation. Jobs in firefighting are expected to grow at a rate of five percent between 2018 and 2028, which is about as fast as the national average for all occupations. A person who has all five of these characteristics as well as the education and training required of a firefighter will have the best chances of gaining employment in this career.
1. Excellence in Communication
Firefighters need to communicate with their colleagues while traveling to the scene of an emergency and providing assistance at the scene. They also need to communicate with the emergency medical technicians and police who may also respond to an emergency. A firefighter should be able to communicate well with the public, too. For example, they should be able to educate the public about how to properly install and test a smoke detector and explain why a smoke detector should be an essential part of every household’s safety plan.
Compassion is another one of the key characteristics of a firefighter. They have to provide emotional support to the people they help. For example, at the scene of a house fire in which children and one or more parents are in a home, a firefighter may have to calm the parent while other firefighters are attempting to rescue the other family members inside. In the event of an accident or other emergency, they may have to calm agitated crowds of people.
3. Fast and Sound Decision-making Skills
Firefighters have to make sound decisions in life-threatening situations. Their ability to think fast on their feet and make a wise decision could be the difference between life and death for a person they are trying to help, for themselves or for their colleagues. They have to rely on their training and their experience in order to make those decisions while under an immense amount of pressure and stress. In an emergency, a firefighter might have to make a difficult decision, such as which person to help first in a burning building.
A firefighter must have courage. They routinely face dangerous situations, including burning buildings and vehicles. They must be able to put any fear aside and still do their job safely and effectively. There will be times when firefighters have to deal with deaths of the people they are trying to rescue, and they will need to have good mental health in order to do that.
5. Physical Stamina and Strength
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a firefighter must possess physical strength. They routinely have physical exams in order to assess their strength and stamina. Firefighters might have to lift and carry victims out of a multi-story burning building or physically move objects off of injured people. They may be on their feet for many hours, loaded with gear that weighs 70 pounds or more.
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Firefighters work in dangerous situations, have long hours and become a part of a cohesive team. The ability to work well with others and get along with different types of people will also be essential in addition to these five personality traits. Each of these five characteristics of a firefighter is a solid predictor of personal satisfaction and professional success as a firefighter.