Anybody can apply for a firefighter job

It's a little different applying for a job and actually doing the job you applied for

By Michael Morse

"Thousands of people will apply for your job when you go."

How many times have you heard that one? Too many is my guess.


People with decades of experience leave the fire service every day, people who came to work and applied themselves every day. But it's a little different applying for a job and actually doing the job you applied for.

I've had a lot of jobs, and worked with all kinds of different people. A prevalent comment when the job at hand was difficult or hazardous or plain old nasty was, "They don't pay me enough to do that.”

And, that meant the job simply would not get done. The guys who didn't get paid enough to do that job would quit or get fired and apply for another job, do their time and punch out at the end of the day, never having applied themselves.

There really isn't anything wrong with that. Some people are simply not that complicated, and find contentment by just getting by, watching others do the hard work, collecting their pay and complaining about everything while they relax.

These are the same people who apply for the firefighter and police jobs, but never finish the application process.

The few
We seldom hear about the thousands who forget to show up for the entrance exam, fail the background check, fail the physical agility test or simply do not finish high enough on the list to get hired. A lot of people are willing to take our jobs, but not many could do our jobs.

Over the years I have said goodbye to many who did the job, and did it well. And yes, thousands applied to take their place.

Only a few of those who apply will be capable and willing to stand in front of a fully involved occupied three-story, turn on their pack, mask up, force the door, find the fire and put it out.  

Only a few can pull a bloody, barely breathing victim from the rubble and wash off the blood later, or on the police side, approach the car full of people at 2 a.m., walk up to the tinted windows looking for the suspects from the shooting 10 minutes ago.

The few who complete the application process and survive the training don't say, "They don't pay me enough." The few go in, get dirty and get the job done.

The few will eventually fill the shoes of the ones who came before them and follow their footsteps into places the rest will never go.

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