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Career and Education Opportunities for Fire Fighters in Victorville, California

Fire fighters can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Victorville, California area. Currently, 26,700 people work as fire fighters in California. This is expected to grow by 18% to 31,600 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for fire fighters, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.5% over the next eight years. Fire fighters generally control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.

The income of a fire fighter is about $29 per hour or $61,880 yearly on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 per hour or $44,260 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Fire Control, people working as fire fighters in California earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Fire Control nationally. Jobs in this field include: hazmat technician, fire chief's aide, and fire fighter/emt.

There are twenty-four schools of higher education in the Victorville area, including three within twenty-five miles of Victorville where you can get a degree to start your career as a fire fighter. Given that the most common education level for fire fighters is a post-secondary certificate, you can expect to spend a short time training to become a fire fighter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fire Fighter

In general, fire fighters control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.

Fire fighters decide on and attach hose nozzles, depending on fire type, and direct streams of water or chemicals onto fires. They also lay hose lines and connect them to water supplies. Equally important, fire fighters have to respond to fire alarms and other calls for assistance. They are often called upon to dress with equipment such as fire resistant clothing and breathing apparatus. They are expected to clean and maintain fire stations and fire fighting equipment and apparatus. Finally, fire fighters ready written reports that detail specifics of fire incidents.

Every day, fire fighters are expected to be able to lift, push and move large and heavy objects. They need to respond quickly in general. It is also important that they exert themselves over and over again for long periods of time.

It is important for fire fighters to spray foam onto runways and rescue aircraft crew and passengers in air-crash emergencies. They are often called upon to examine buildings for fire hazards and adherence to fire prevention ordinances, testing and checking smoke alarms and fire suppression equipment as needed. They also salvage property by removing broken glass, pumping out water, and ventilating buildings to remove smoke. They are sometimes expected to establish firelines to inhibit unauthorized persons from entering areas near fires. Somewhat less frequently, fire fighters are also expected to examine fire sites after flames have been extinguished to insure that there is no further danger.

Fire fighters sometimes are asked to protect property from water and smoke using waterproof salvage covers and deodorants. They also have to be able to take action to contain hazardous chemicals that might catch fire or spill and participate in courses, seminars and conferences, and study fire science literature, to learn firefighting techniques. And finally, they sometimes have to lay hose lines and connect them to water supplies.

Like many other jobs, fire fighters must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Victorville include:

  • Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
  • Fire Inspector. Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
  • Forest Fire Lookout. Enforce fire regulations and inspect for forest fire hazards. Report forest fires and weather conditions.
  • Forest Firefighter. Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.
  • Security Guard. Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fire Fighter Training

Chaffey College - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Chaffey College, 5885 Haven Ave, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737-3002. Chaffey College is a large college located in Rancho Cucamonga, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,486 students. Chaffey College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated two, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Copper Mountain Community College - Joshua Tree, CA

Copper Mountain Community College, 6162 Rotary Way, Joshua Tree, CA 92252. Copper Mountain Community College is a small college located in Joshua Tree, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,178 students. Copper Mountain Community College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.

Barstow Community College - Barstow, CA

Barstow Community College, 2700 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311. Barstow Community College is a small college located in Barstow, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,318 students. Barstow Community College has an associate's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated one student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Oxygen Administration: Prepares laypersons and professional rescuers with the knowledge and skills needed to know when and how to use supplemental oxygen and breathing devices.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

Incident Safety Officer - Fire Suppression Certification: A fire department incident safety officer's mission is to promote safety standards and practices in the fire, rescue and emergency services community.

For more information, see the Fire Department Safety Officers Association website.

Health & Safety Officer Certification: Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Programs.

For more information, see the Fire Department Safety Officers Association website.

Special Hazards Suppression Systems: This certification program is designed for engineering technicians engaged in the detailing and layout and/or installation and maintenance related to special hazards suppression systems.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Victorville, California

Victorville, California
Victorville, California photo by Sfan00_IMG

Victorville is located in San Bernardino County, California. It has a population of over 110,318, which has grown by 72.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Victorville, 117, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Victorville are priced at $185,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred ninety-six new homes were constructed in Victorville, down from 1,090 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Victorville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and truck transportation. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 10.6% of Victorville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Victorville is 16.8%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Victorville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.0%, is less than both the national and state average. United Pentecostal Church, Holy Faith Baptist Mission and Victor Valley Baptist Church are among the churches located in Victorville. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Victorville is home to the West Wind Golf Course and the Victorville Branch San Bernardino County Library as well as Eva Dell Park and Hesp Crest Desert Ecological Study Area. Shopping centers in the area include Hi Desert Plaza Shopping Center, Bear Valley Plaza Shopping Center and Victor Valley Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Victorville can choose from Best Western Green Tree Inn and Budget Inn of Victorville for temporary stays in the area.