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Career and Education Opportunities for Fire Fighters in Wilmington, Delaware

There are many career and education opportunities for fire fighters in the Wilmington, Delaware area. There are currently 180 working fire fighters in Delaware; this should grow 12% to about 200 working fire fighters in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for fire fighters are expected to grow by about 18.5%. In general, fire fighters control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.

The income of a fire fighter is about $26 per hour or $54,940 per year on average in Delaware. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 hourly or $44,260 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Fire Control, people working as fire fighters in Delaware earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Fire Control nationally. Fire fighters work in a variety of jobs, including: firefighter/medic, truck operator, and fire apparatus engineer.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Wilmington area, including one within twenty-five miles of Wilmington where you can get a degree to start your career as a fire fighter. Fire fighters usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so you can expect to spend a short time studying to be 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 Wilmington 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.
  • Fish and Game Warden. Patrol assigned areas to prevent fish and game law violations. Investigate reports of damage to crops or property by wildlife. Compile biological data.
  • 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.
  • Lifeguard. Monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.
  • Security Guard. Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fire Fighter Training

Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington - Newark, DE

Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington, 400 Stanton-Christiana Rd, Newark, DE 19702. Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington is a medium sized college located in Newark, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,460 students. Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington has an associate's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting.

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: Wilmington, Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware photo by Malepheasant

Wilmington is located in New Castle County, Delaware. It has a population of over 72,592, which has shrunk by 0.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Wilmington, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Wilmington are valued at $58,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-eight new homes were built in Wilmington, down from forty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Wilmington are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is finance and insurance, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.4% of Wilmington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Wilmington is 13.3%, which is greater than Delaware's average of 8.5%.

The percentage of Wilmington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Saint Andrews Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Beth Shalom Congregation are among the churches located in Wilmington. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Wilmington is home to the Interchange 3 and the The Rocks as well as Rodney Square and Cool Spring Park. Visitors to Wilmington can choose from Howard Johnson Restaurants, Riverview Motel and Hotel Du Pont for temporary stays in the area.