Technology is always changing… I mean… just 15 years ago it cost 10 cents to send a text and now we can send videos with ease!
So what’s that mean for the Future of Firefighters? Is it a future proof career?
That’s a great question. What we do know is that Firefighters will always be needed, as they have been used since the dawn of fire to mitigate damage from a wild and unruly element.
But what we do know is that Firefighter jobs and focus may change in order to adapt to these evolutions- so let’s talk a bit about what the next 5-10 years looks like, and our predictions for a career in Firefighting
Firefighters then and now.
This job has been around for centuries dating all the way back to ancient times. The first modern volunteer fire company in America was developed by Benjamin Franklin in 1736.
Since then the service has developed from using buckets to using state of the art apparatuses. As well as fire suppression the fire service is now fully integrated with EMS to provide basic life support as well as advanced life support.
In the last 50 years, the fire service has shifted, and is more medical than strictly fire and rescue. The fire service has developed into well rounded public service to help all those in need.
Ranging from fire suppression to fire prevention, educating the public and providing medical care whenever and wherever its needed.
Check this post about why the firetruck always goes with the ambulance!
So why will we always need Firefighters? What makes them future proof?
The fire service has been adapting ever since it was first established. In a classic case of, ‘who moved my cheese’ Firefighters know that they have to adapt or die. There will always be emergencies.
Medical ailments will still occur and fire suppression and alarm systems will still malfunction. The fire service will once again adapt to the these advancements to continue providing a service to the public.
That means the initial requirements to be a firefighter or EMS could change and broaden.
And lets face it people are still going to make stupid mistakes or some sort of poor judgment. After all we are human. And that kind of help requires training that Firefighers have now.
Maybe the biggest reason Firefighters are future proof?
The sense of safety.
The public enjoys seeing their local fire station. It provides a sense of security that their taxes provide care for them.
They know they can call 911 and help is not far behind. Even if calls decrease and fire suppression improved, it will be a long time before Firefighters are removed from the public roster. Also cats will always climb trees so we gotta have firefighters to save the kitties!
What will Firefighting be like in the future?
That’s a good question. The future is ever changing and evolving so their is really no telling exactly what it will look like. But some cities have started at home paramedicine which essentially works like a traveling urgent care.
Paramedics, under medical protocols provided by a doctor, can diagnose infections and viruses and provide a longer term treatment without the patient having to go see a physician.
Medications provided could be things like antibiotics and corticosteroids. Maybe even things like casting limbs for minor fractures.
But that would be pretty far off. The scope of a firefighter and paramedic will surely broaden with the future world of emergencies.
What about the technological advances in the Fire Service?
Technology in the fire service is growing more rapidly than ever. It is an essential tool in the fire service but could never replace conditioning and instinct of a firefighter.
As time passes technology will prove more and more useful for firefighters.
Take for example TICs (thermal indicator camera).These cameras have shrunk so significantly to now its an accessory built into the masks that firefighters wear on fires or they are the size of cell phones that hang freely off of the airpack.
Now they can be attached to drones for search and rescue operations in remote areas. That is just one of the small advancements but fire apparatuses are becoming more and more high tech. With that tech comes better performance but more bugs and glitches.
That’s why you need the firefighter to troubleshoot the problem even in a high stress situation.
What’s the best way for firefighters to adapt to the changes?
The way to adapt is simple to understand but at times can be hard to do. But the answer is consistent. To adapt to the growth and changes firefighters need to be open minded and willing to learn.
Whether that be new skill sets, new tactics or a new equipment. The old school firefighter has a stigma of hating change…that won’t fly anymore.
Firefighters have been around for centuries in many different capacities and scopes of practice. The fire service has adapted to the world as it changes with the only goal being to continue to help people.
This is something that will not change. The future of the firefighters is secured but what capacity they will work is yet to be determined.
Interested in knowing more about firefighters: Find out when and why firefighters choose to run into burning buildings.
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