Antarctica fire department now hiring for 'summer'

Scientists and support staff will soon make their way to McMurdo Station in Antarctica and are hiring firefighters to come along

By FireRescue1 Staff

MCMURDO STATION, Antarctica — As scientists and U.S. base support staff prepare to make the journey to Antarctica, they are looking for a few firefighters to tag along. reported that the United States Antarctic base McMurdo Station includes a fire department, and there are still openings for qualified firefighters who want to spend five months in the 0 degree temperature.

Skills required to get the job include knowing how to suit up for sub-zero temperature rescues on ice sheets to putting out airplane engine fires.

“McMurdo is a small industrial town,” Assistant Fire Chief Andre Fleurette said. “And it has all the problems of a small industrial town. Small fires, odor complaints and hazardous materials responses are the most common.”

The fire department consists of 46 firefighters and paramedics and crews respond to about 350 emergency calls each year. Chief Fleurette, who is making his 17th trip to Antarctica, said medical emergencies aren’t as common because most of the staff is younger and fitter than the average U.S. citizen.

Chief Fleurette said although temperatures are below extreme, firefighters still use water pumped through hoses thanks to constantly-moving water in the pumper truck.

Chief Fleurette said each year a few new recruits leave because they can’t handle the routine.

“People go to Antarctica for the adventure, but sometimes they forget they have a job,” he said. “They have to mop a floor or roll up a hose line. Combating the routine in such an amazing place can be challenging.”

If you think you have what it takes, the fire department is still hiring for the month of October.


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