What Is The Difference Between A Firefighter And A Fire Services Administrator?

Fighting fires and responding to different kinds of emergencies are the tasks of firefighters and fire services administrators. They respond promptly to the public’s call for help to prevent the loss of lives and damage to properties. While both professionals are in the business of firefighting, there are subtle differences in the roles they perform.

Firefighters are dispatched to respond to emergency calls. When they are sent to put out a fire, they typically utilize high pressure hoses, pumps and fire extinguishers to fight the raging inferno. While they usually try to extinguish a fire from the outside, there are times when they may need to enter the building to rescue people trapped inside. If there are victims who have been injured because of the conflagration, firefighters also give them the necessary first aid care before transporting them to the nearest hospital for more comprehensive treatment.

Many of the cases that firefighters respond to these days are not about fires. Rather, most of the time, their help is requested for medical emergencies. They may be called to resuscitate persons who have collapsed due to a heart condition, pull out victims from burning cars or rescue those trapped in raging floods. Firefighters have received the necessary training to also undertake these kinds of missions.

Fire services administrators, on the other hand, are firefighters who have advanced to supervisory positions in the fire department. They have worked as firefighters before they were promoted to this role. They ensure that other fire safety workers do their work in a safe and efficient manner. If the fire department is called upon to respond to emergencies, they are the ones who are responsible for assigning firefighters to their respective posts. This is especially true if the department has received more than one call for assistance and resources have to be allocated wisely to ensure that both emergencies are properly attended to.

Fire services administrators are also responsible for doing the paperwork and managing the fire department’s budget. In addition, they also evaluate the emergency response plans of the organization and provide the necessary training to all personnel. They may handle classes themselves or they may assign an instructor to take care of a particular class. They also conduct regular evaluations of the firefighters under them.

Firefighters and fire services administrators also differ in terms of the training they get. Many firefighters are able to enter the profession with a high school diploma, although some need post-secondary education to be able to earn their Emergency Medical Technician-Basic certification. They also get more extensive training in the fire department’s or state’s fire academy after they have successfully hurdled the hiring process. Fire services administrators, on the other hand, already have sufficient work experience in the field as firefighters. They have also finished their bachelor’s degree in fire services administration or related fields. These programs them such vital topics as fire service personnel management, fire tactics and strategy and fire services administration, among others. Usually, aspiring fire services administrators go back to school to earn their bachelor’s degree after gaining field experience. Since many schools offer online options for this degree, they don’t necessarily have to quit their jobs as firefighters to be able to get the education they need to advance in their career.

Career Spotlight: Firefighter



If you see yourself in a career that gives you the chance to keep fires under control then you can consider a career as a firefighter. But let’s get this straight: Putting out fires is not going to [...]

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