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What’s the best size city for a first career firefighter job?

There are pros and cons to running calls in a big city and a small town; here’s our readers’ advice to those aspiring to a career in firefighting


Are you made for the big city life or small town living?

There are pros and cons to both, but deciding where to take your first career firefighter job is an important decision.

We wanted to know which type of city would be best for a firefighter’s first career job — whether it be in a large or small city. So, we asked our readers on Facebook which type of city they preferred and why. Here are some of their responses.

1.“I’m from a small town. When I’m on duty, I’m the driver, the pump operator, the hose man, the nozzle man, the entry team, the EMT, the cleanup, etc. In what big city department do you get experience filling all of those shoes right out of the gate? I have to be able to handle any call with a whole crew or by myself until mutual aid arrives. We don’t do near the call volume of a big city, but I think what we do is pretty great.” — Brian S

2.“Large city. There’s a sink or swim mentality. Go for the gusto while you’re young and hit the smaller places as you age.” — Patti Starnes

3.“In a small city you can get hands-on with an overall variety of different types of fire callouts, as opposed to a large city where you can get stuck in only doing one type of fire position for many years.” — Wayne Elsbett

4.“To each their own. Just be safe and enjoy the career.” — John Martin

5.“You get more calls, learn more and get more experience in a large place.” — Leon Sauer

6.“Small city gets you hooked on the career. That’s how I started. Big cities have more calls, though. Small districts, towns, cities have more of a family feel cause you get to see them more often. " — Sid Darvill

7.“It’s best to go with whoever gives you the first opportunity, because it is such a competitive career choice.” — Luke Barron