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Forest Firefighters

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Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

    Work Activities
    • Rescue fire victims, and administer emergency medical aid.
    • Maintain contact with fire dispatchers at all times to notify them of the need for additional firefighters and supplies, or to detail any difficulties encountered.
    • Collaborate with other firefighters as a member of a firefighting crew.
    • Patrol burned areas after fires to locate and eliminate hot spots that may restart fires.
    • Establish water supplies, connect hoses, and direct water onto fires.
    • Maintain knowledge of current firefighting practices by participating in drills and by attending seminars, conventions, and conferences.
    • Test and maintain tools, equipment, jump gear, and parachutes to ensure readiness for fire suppression activities.
    • Orient self in relation to fire, using compass and map, and collect supplies and equipment dropped by parachute.
    • Operate pumps connected to high-pressure hoses.
    • Train new employees to control and suppress forest fires.
    • Maintain fire equipment and firehouse living quarters.
    • Participate in physical training to maintain high levels of physical fitness.
    • Fell trees, cut and clear brush, and dig trenches to create firelines, using axes, chainsaws, or shovels.
    • Transport personnel and cargo to and from fire areas.
    • Take action to contain any hazardous chemicals that could catch fire, leak, or spill.
    • Inform and educate the public about fire prevention.
    • Extinguish flames and embers to suppress fires, using shovels or engine- or hand-driven water or chemical pumps.
    • Drop weighted paper streamers from aircraft to determine the speed and direction of the wind at fire sites.
    • Participate in fire prevention and inspection programs.
    • Organize fire caches, positioning equipment for the most effective response.
    • Serve as fully trained lead helicopter crewmember and as helispot manager.
    • Perform forest maintenance and improvement tasks, such as cutting brush, planting trees, building trails, and marking timber.
    • Observe forest areas from fire lookout towers to spot potential problems.
    • Active Listening

      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    • Coordination

      Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

    • Monitoring

      Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy
    • Problem Sensitivity

      The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

    • Control Precision

      The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

    • Multilimb Coordination

      The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.

    • Building and Construction

      Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

    • Public Safety and Security

      Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

    • Transportation

      Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

    Career Video
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    • Ohio Annual Salary $47,950/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage $23.05/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage
    Ohio Employment Trends
    • Currently Employed 18,900
    • Yearly Projected Openings 1,290
    Typical Education
    Realistic: People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They do well at jobs that need:
    • Adaptability/Flexibility
    • Dependability
    • Stress Tolerance
    • Initiative
    • Self Control
    • Cooperation
    • Lighters
    • Fire suppression hand tools
    • Fire pump sets
    • Fire hoses or nozzles
    • All terrain vehicles tracked or wheeled
    • Word processing software
    • Spreadsheet software
    • Office suite software
    • Internet browser software
    • Data base user interface and query software
    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.