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A Short History of the Fire Fighting Profession in the United States. Training, Organization, Success

Essay 2013 10 Seiten

Medizin - Sozialmedizin, Arbeits- und Berufsmedizin

Leseprobe

Table of Contents

Background

Reason for its creation

Special Education/ Training

Certification/ profession Organization

Salary/ Demand

Discussion of major duties

History of success

Opinion/conclusion

References

Background

Effects of fire in the United States of America far outweigh all the natural disasters combined. They include loss of lives and property. In ancient times, people used to fight fires using bucket brigades, constituted of volunteers. The volunteers formed a queue that was used to pass water buckets from the back to the front. Other people provided ladders that were used to access the fire.

In 1736 Benjamin Franklin established the first fire brigade that was run on a volunteer basis in Philadelphia. This was after individual efforts of communities to protect their properties against fires through formation of voluntary societies. At this time fire brigades were not that wide spread. Municipal administrations made them to be an integral part of society in the 19th century, and this was after the modernization of fire departments with paid employees. At this time the pump reservoirs were pulled by horses or pushed by men. These reservoirs were filled by a bucket brigade in the case of big fires which required a lot of water.

The automotive hose carrier was introduced in the 20th century. After the shirtwaist company fire, regulations and codes were formulated, to be adhered to by all constructors. New firefighting technology was embraced and this included the use of fire alarms, sprinklers hydrants and extinguishers.

Firefighting is a profession that has blossomed from an unskilled to a noble and skilled profession. Other duties include fire prevention, investigation and education and community relations. Not only do firefighters put out fires. They are also trained EMTs. They also save people in cases of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes among other emergencies that require assistance.

Reason for its creation

The basic reason of emergence of fire protection as profession is to create awareness about this specific fire fighting. Society of fire protection engineers formed and formal declaration of engineering standards of fire protection had evolved in 1950.

Fires causes huge damages to life and property, to minimize this loss fire protection engineering evolved as profession. The founding organizations Factory mutual (1835) and Factory Insurance Association (1896) launched fire protection engineering by applying principles of science and engineering. Both organizations educate and train graduates to control the loss caused by fire. In 1903 in order to train FPEs, first formal degree was established by William Merrill the founder of Underwriter Laboratories (UL) and other fire insurance executives. Later it became to known as Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), but was discontinued in 1985. In 82 years history it yields more than 1000 FPEs. In 1956, University of Maryland started FPE program and in 1979, Master of Science in FPE was begun under supervision of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) was formed in 1896 to improve fire protection techniques. It is the world’s leading non-profit organization that minimizes the fire hazards on quality of life. Expert committee members of NFPA plays vital role in fire protecting engineering.(Cote, A. E., P.E, & FSFPE, 2008)

Special Education/ Training

Now a days many institutions are providing fire protection education worldwide. Fire engineers gain thorough knowledge of material dynamics, engineering economics, statics, heat transfer and environmental psychology besides foundation studies in mathematics, physics and chemistry. Most curricula also include studies about fire system, risk management, combustion and probabilistic risk assessment. The University of Canterbury gives recognized master degree under direction of Washington Accord. Many other institutions that provide fire protection degree such as University of California, Berkeley, University of Manchester, University of Wales, Victoria University, London Bank University, Newport and University of Kansas. (Certified Fire Protection Specialist,2004

Certification/ profession Organization

Certification is necessary to start career, forming abilities, commitment and enhancement of knowledge. For the purpose of professional qualification and adequate competence, the Certified Fire Protection Specialist Board (CFPS) was established in 1971. The CFPS board credentials are internationally recognized as sign of achievement in fire fighting occupation. Any individual or organization that is responsible for fire safety, prevention and suppression needs certification. Partnership of NFPA and SFPS was deemed to be of professional importance back in 1988. National Institute for Certification in engineering and Technologies (NICET) is used for acquiring License to install fire systems. In U.S, registration is needed to qualify as professional engineer, as FPE varies from state to state. (Certified Fire Protection Specialist,2004)

Salary/ Demand

A fire prevention engineer gets income based on experience and tenure level. Average wage is of $77,600 per annum. People who work in this career tends to earn highest in fields of management, finance and insurance, utilities, public administration while earn below in area of health care, construction, transportation, education and warehousing.

Salary survey facts of 745 fire protector engineers conducted by society of fire protection engineers in 2012 shows 3% increase as in 2011; medium USA total compensation including overtime and bonuses is $113,748 for the year 2012. Medium salaries for those FPEs having appropriate degree and 0-6 year experience are $70,000 per year. Senior level engineers earn highest salaries due to their vast experience. Compensation brings satisfaction which results in increase in job performance of employee. (Salaries Increasing for Fire Protection Engineers, (n.d.) )

FPEs are the highly paid engineers in the country, this reason make career choice easy. Such engineers are highly in demand by every profession. This unique career saves us for ravages of fire that can result in irreparable losses. Demand of these professionals is high as compare to their supply due to problems in hiring qualified engineers. Almost every government and private sector whether large or small, national or international employ fire protection engineers. Besides this, FPEs also have many interesting projects to work on like protecting museum or designing firms. There is extremely favorable market of job offers for students having degrees in fire prevention technology. To fulfill the labor shortage in fire protection industry, universities are offering variety of courses and degrees to students to grab their attention and interests in this field. Fire fighting career opportunities are available around the globe. They can work as consultants and engineers in municipalities, government departments, fire protection equipment manufacturers. And their demand is continuously growing. (Jelenewicz, C,2010)

Discussion of major duties

Society of Fire Protection Engineers defines fire protector engineer as a person who uses science and technology principles to prevent and secure life, property and workplaces. These individuals have knowledge of nature of fire; they use their learning ability to analyze how fire starts and spreads. Fire fighting engineers have options to work with other professionals like architects, aerospace engineers, doctors etc.

The prime goal of fire fighting is to save lives of victims and property by putting out fires. The Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 gives core regulatory duties of fire fighters that includes fire safety provisions, fire extinguishing methods, protecting personal and victim’s lives, making provision to stop fire from growing, expected loss anticipation, rescuing people from harms of road accidents and helping people to manage escape. Some fire preventers have expertise in putting out forest fires. Duties of forest fires professional is to detect the fires, make possibilities to control that fire, know the movement of persons through forests and alert them as fire does occur.

Job description fire protection includes different tasks such as detection of fire protection level in residential and commercial buildings, protecting high buildings, analyzing industrial complexes, suppression of fire in state of the art buildings. Fire inspector has to conduct inspection of existing as well as under construction buildings and test fire safety measures like water sprinklers and fire alarms. He should evaluate standards, rules and regulations regarding fire provisions. One of the major duties of fire protection professional is to act as technical recourse allocator and provide information concerning hazardous material, stability of material used in building. He should show interest in establishing codes and policies as he is the representative of various committees. It is responsibility of fireman to educate people about fire safety and collects water supply data.(Oleksy, 2000)

History of success

History of fire fighting profession lies back to early twentieth century. After collapse of Rome, ancient Roman Empire Nero made authoritative rules and principles to rebuild the city using fireproof material. In 1966, the great fire of London damages major portion of the city because of congested streets and wooden houses. After this London implemented fire building regulations which resulted in number of improvements such as development of hand-pump fire suppressor tool, making houses with bricks and stones, fire resisting wall separators in buildings.

During 18th and 19th century, very intense and uncontrolled fires occurred in Great Britain and in United States. Severe fires broke out in textile and paper mills of New England, these conflagrations were so harsh and unable to overcome by manual fire fighting methods. These fire breakouts stimulated the notion of “intelligent engineering approach”. Automatic water sprinkler is one of the most notable innovations of that time. In this period, massive fire risks were minimized by making public fire departments, underground water storages, installation of fire hydrants and improvement in tools. (History of Fire Protection Engineering,2013)

Opinion/conclusion

Fire fighting discipline emerged as a reputed profession that was much needed. At fires, they are responsible for handling and carrying apparatuses like ladders, water hoses. Although it is extremely dangerous profession as fire fighter put his life in danger when he enters in burning building. This complex job enables fire protection engineer how to treat injuries at disaster scene. Fire protection professional works in high pressure situation under heat stresses. They go in remote areas. Their working hours are unpredictable.

Fire protection discipline has become a renowned profession. Fire protection engineering creates sense of satisfaction among engineers as they save society thus making a difference. Fire prevention profession is well paid due to involvement of various risks. Fire protection engineer have many opportunities to work with other professionals during their training and job tenure. Demand of FPEs far exceeds the supply because of slump economic conditions and increasing population growth rate. This is perfect profession which ensures public safety. In short, job is designed to protect planet from fire hazards. It needs superb team work and planned approaches to rescue people in emergency hours.

References

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nfpa.org/training/certification-programs/certified- fire-protection-specialist Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS). (2004). Retrieved 2013, from http://www.nfpa.org/training/certification-programs/certified-fire-protection-specialist

Cote, A. E., P.E, & FSFPE. (2008, Sept 30). History of Fire Protection Engineering. Retrieved Nov 2013, from Fire Protection Engineering: http://magazine.sfpe.org/professional-practice/history-fire-protection-engineering

Jelenewicz, C. Salaries Increasing for Fire Protection Engineers. (2010) Retrieved from http://www.sfpe.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=0z-V1N-8q3w%3D&tabid=115&mid=766

Oleksy, W. G. (2000). Choosing a Career as a Firefighter.The Rosen Publishing Group

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Details

Seiten
10
Jahr
2013
Sprache
Englisch
Katalognummer
v503727
Institution / Hochschule
Murray State University
Note
A
Schlagworte
short organization training states united profession fighting fire history success

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Titel: A Short History of the Fire Fighting Profession in the United States. Training, Organization, Success