What's the grossest thing you've seen on the job?

from /u/Sjunior7

Well, I've had some pretty disgusting things happen...

The most overtly disgusting was a decapitation in a car crash - just because of the sheer amount of blood, but also because I was speaking to the head for a few seconds as if it were a person, without realising it wasn't attached to anything (it was night time, and I only had a small torch at the time).

Another time which springs to mind, which is equally gory, is when I helped lift up an obese woman who was dead and laying in her own stuff for a few days. The underside of her was covered in maggots, puss and filth. The smell....

Audience Approval (20)

What was the first time you felt overwhelming joy that you choose to be a firefighter?

from /u/intermediatehatred

When I got the job, I went and treated myself to a sushi dinner. I was overjoyed! :)

Audience Approval (9)

How fast can you respond to a call?

from /u/baboonlagoon

The moment we receive a call out from our control room, we are usually out of the station within a minute.

Getting from the station to an incident within our station ground is a few minutes also.

If you service the countryside though, it could be much longer!

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How many calls do you get a day? And what’s your training like?

from /u/Duo-Blue

My station usually gets at least 2 call outs a day, and about 3 call outs a night. It does depend though - sometimes we get 10 call outs a day.

Every month, we have 2 modules to study and train in. These modules range from anything from ladders, to petrochemicals. We have theoretical and practical training sessions, which can include lectures, or simulating a leaking tankard of gasoline.

All brigades do have their own dedicated training centres. These are usually kitted out very well to allow fire fighters to train in a realistic and immersive practical session.

Audience Approval (5)

Has your mental health altered in any shape or form during your career?

from /u/CrescentAlliez-

Definitely. Luckily, my brigade is understanding more and more about mental health. After every serious incident, all personnel involved are sent a letter asking them if they wish to use the brigade's counselling service.

I'll honestly say that I've had quite severe depression and anxiety, due to various incidents in the job. The counselling has been useful though.

Audience Approval (3)

US FF here, what's your schedule over there? Ours is 24 hours on 48 hours off.

from /u/theoneandonly78

We're two 10 hour day shifts, followed by two 14 hour night shifts, then 4 days off.

Basically, 4 on, 4 off.

Audience Approval (5)

What are certain stereotypes of a fire fighter that really aren’t true?

from /u/maxims_damndboi

That we're all just big burly men.

It's not true. We come in all shapes, sizes, colours, genders, etc. We're all one team, and it's the diversity which make our team strong.

The job is moving towards more education and prevention too, so brains is more valued over brawns, really.

Audience Approval (12)

Was becoming a fire fighter the manifestation of your childhood dreams? And if so, has it lived up to your expectations?

from /u/pcardune

I didn't always want to be a fire fighter - I only wanted to help people.

It was only when I turned 20 that I realised that being a fire fighter fit everything I wanted from a job and life - help people, exercise, teaching the community (which is a big part of my job), etc.

It's a fantastic job. I love it.

Audience Approval (5)

Did you ever have a calender photoshoot?

from /u/cinjuni

Are you my wife?

Audience Approval (1)

Are Tesla Powerwall batteries an issue?

Would it be helpful to have a big switch next to the battery to turn it off?

from /u/JacobHSR

It'd always be helpful to have some sort of an off switch. If there's a malfunction with it which results in fire, we'd deal with it the exact same way we deal with any other electronic fire - isolate the power, if possible, then use dry powder if we have it at hand.

Audience Approval (1)

Little Late but how do you go about becoming a firefighter?

from /u/PigFucker52

First of all, look at your local fire brigade's recruitment page and see what exactly they want from a prospective fire fighter - what qualities, qualifications, etc. they require.

When you meet them, you apply.

When you get through the application procedure, you go to an academy/basic training for a few months.

Then you're a fire fighter. Over in the UK, you're put on probation for 3 years, and have to pass annual assessments before you are deemed a fully fledged fire fighter.

Audience Approval (1)

What's the best fire fighter movie?

from /u/metroman1

My favourite is backdraft, even if it is completely unrealistic.

Audience Approval (2)

I’m 27 years old and have never worked as a first responder but have worked in human services (working with people with autism, providing crisis intervention, and behavioral therapy) for a couple of years now. I am not a licensed EMT.

Am I completely hopeless next spring when I apply for my city’s fire department? Am I too old to be a first time applicant?

from /u/dollahbill_

You'll be fine.

Here are a few personal qualities and attributes fire brigades look for in prospective applicants:

- Resilience and ability to work under great pressure

- The ability to learn and follow rules and procedure

- Experience in working with people and serving the community

You won't need direct experience in these things in a first responder sense. What you will need to show is experience in them in other areas.

If you feel you are lacking in any areas, I advise volunteering as a first aider of some sort to gain necessary skills.

You first department should be able to supply you a job application which shows the qualities they're looking for.

Audience Approval (2)

I've heard some very hard stories, like a few you've shared already, from a fellow, fire fighter. I feel vicariously traumatized by a story he mentioned re: helping teens in an accident and one's face so burned he begged him not to talk just to keep his skin in place.. .. jeepers.. I don't know how you do what you do. I hope many in your line of work are comfortable with counselling. Do you have any other self-care or self-talk that help?

from /u/cre8f8now

Just being open with wife and loved ones help. Also, coming to terms with the fact that you won't save everyone is good for me.

Audience Approval (1)

What do you do on your days off? Do your shifts leave you mentally/physically exhausted?

from /u/Gognoggler21

The first day after my last night shift, I'm pretty exhausted - mainly due to lack of, or interrupted sleep. Healthy sleep is crucial guys!

As for what I do on my days off, I like to spend my time writing and spending them with my kids. A lot of fire fighters do have second jobs.

Audience Approval (2)

Hi there I have two questions;

  1. What is the hardest fire you fought?
  2. Do you go down poles when there is a call?

    Thanks for your time and service keep the UK safe from fires.

from /u/Abdulla05

What is the hardest fire you fought?

The hardest fire I fought was an explosion at a drug dealer's home. He lived on the ground floor, and the fire spread throughout the upper floors. Hearing the screams of woman and children as I fought to get through the darkness, fire and smoke to get to them is seriously disturbing.

Do you go down poles when there is a call?

Yes! It saves time. It's also funny when the cleaners/fire fighters decide it's a good idea to wax the poles...

Audience Approval (5)

what piece of suiting or equipment would be a vast improvement over what you use, and would be used if it were not so expensive?

from /u/coryrenton

what piece of suiting or equipment would be a vast improvement over what you use

The hydraulic gear we use for cutting up cars is quite dated. They also run on high pressure hydraulic fluid, which poses a great amount of risk if the system is compromised, leading to a high pressure injection injury, which can lead to this (warning, gory picture): https://www.google.com/search?q=high+pressure+injection+injury&sxsrf=ACYBGNRLsuh0rGeFyQ3pPGGQIkiE4m4D0g:1573757559788&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6_cDir-rlAhXKYcAKHe5TBwsQ_AUIEigB&biw=1205&bih=916#imgrc=C8yAPjiNYZLT7M:

would be used if it were not so expensive?

Electric battery powered gear.

Audience Approval (2)

What is the very best cheese?

from /u/Chtorrr

Blue cheese from Cornwall - Cornish Blue.

Audience Approval (2)

What are the most creative ways you have seen people burn their own house down to try to collect insurance?

from /u/Simpdogg

Not very creative, but someone cut a hole in their wall and filled it with fire works.

Audience Approval (1)

How important is physical fitness on the job itself, and what are the implications this has on ones career path?

Also, are there any special training courses only a select few do, like chemical fires, bio hazards, terrorist attacks and the like, or is this part of the regular training anyway?

from /u/wineandcandles

Physical fitness is extremely important, regardless of the fact that a few fire fighters don't take it that seriously. My physical fitness is literally the difference between my life and my death, or my ability to find, carry out, and save an unconscious casualty in a smoke-filled building.

We train in many different courses, which educate us on many different incidents which we get turned out to.

This includes, but is not limited to:


Road Traffic Collisions



Water Awareness



Audience Approval (4)

What does the shift schedule look like in your house, is it 3 on 3 off? 12h or 24h?

from /u/scoobyjew00

It's 2 day shifts (10 hour shift), followed by 2 night shifts (14 hours), then 4 days off.

Audience Approval (1)

Hi, I'm from Yaroslavl) I have a few questions.

  1. Why did you decide to become a firefighter?

  2. I recently heard that firefighters should not have a beard or piercing on their faces. It's right? Why?

from /u/Elizaveta20209
  1. I decided to become a fire fighter to help people. :)

  2. Yes, it's true. This is mainly because having a beard can affect proper seal on the BA masks, which you wear in smoke-filled environments. As for piercings, it can also affect the masks.

Audience Approval (1)

Hello there,

What inspired you to become a fire fighter?

What is the most common cause of fire?

How many cases you have to deal with a day on average?

How does a fire fighter's job look like every day?

from /u/mezzopiano1234

I wanted to help people!

Accidental cooking fires, cigarettes, faulty electricals are the big 3 causes if fire.

1 or 2. About 2 or 3 in the night. Some stations have more, some less.

We test equipment, train, study, go to incidents, exercise and eat!

Audience Approval (1)

How often do you work with Police officers? I’m trying to be a cop and my city will soon have a natural disaster (Earthquake). Whats a good skill that would make your life and my life easier and more efficient? I’m going to do disaster management in university, so I can be more complatible with first responders.

from /u/fiveXdollars

We work with police officers a lot - at all car crashes, house fires, etc. It's important that we work very closely with ambulance and police officers, since we overlap so much.

A general skill? Cooking.

A professional skill? First aid.

Audience Approval (2)

Is dinner ready yet? Kidding kidding. Stay safe out there brother.

from /u/Bronzeshadow

Dinner's already ready somewhere!

Audience Approval (1)

1, Hey do fire fighters get annoyed if let say a single mom, calling emergency ( and they dispatcher direct them to fire fighters) but not about fire related?.

  1. Do you have to be in full gear ( not just simple uniform like shirt, pants, and shoes) when someone calling a fire fighters?. Or can you and da squad must be using complete fire fighters uniform? ( hopefully you get my question)
from /u/teddybearalfredo

1, Hey do fire fighters get annoyed if let say a single mom, calling emergency ( and they dispatcher direct them to fire fighters) but not about fire related?.

The fire service is there to serve the community - if you have an emergency of some sort, be it fire related or not, and we can help you, give us a call. I've had call out for all sorts of things - people locked out of their house while their cooking is on, water leaks from a flat above, etc.

Only idiot fire fighters would get irritated at you. Our job is to help you.

  1. Do you have to be in full gear ( not just simple uniform like shirt, pants, and shoes) when someone calling a fire fighters?. Or can you and da squad must be using complete fire fighters uniform? ( hopefully you get my question)

We must always be in full PPE (personal protective equipment). This means we need to don fire boots, fire leggings, fire tunic, helmet, gloves.

Based on what the emergency is, we'd then don more PPE as is required.

If it's a fire, we'd wear a BA (breathing apparatus) set.

If it's a chemical issue, we'd wear a Gas Tight Suit, or a PRPS (Powered Respirator Protective Suit).

Audience Approval (2)

Who's the (invincible/luckiest/freak human being) at the stations where you work? Like the one who will brave anything and still come out unscathed.

What's your bike make and model?

Liverpool FC to win the Premier League this season?

Hot weather or cold weather? When is your job the easiest in general?

from /u/ooololoolll
  • There's one guy who came out of a building 5 seconds before the doorframe caved in, sealing off the entrance/exit. That was pretty close....

  • I don't own a bike! Wish I did though.

  • Not a chance, mate.

  • Cold, for sure. Hot weather is when the kids like to run around and set fire to grass and bins. Cold is when they stay indoors and play games.

Audience Approval (4)
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