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Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Firefighters in Coral Springs, Florida

Coral Springs, Florida provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for forest firefighters. About 21,630 people are currently employed as forest firefighters in Florida. By 2016, this is expected to grow 13% to about 24,460 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for forest firefighters are expected to grow by about 18.5%. In general, forest firefighters control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

A person working as a forest firefighter can expect to earn about $20 per hour or $43,010 yearly on average in Florida and about $21 hourly or $44,260 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for forest firefighters are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Fire Control in Florida and not quite as good as general Fire Control category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: smoke chaser, forestry crew chief, and wildland firefighter.

The Coral Springs area is home to fifty schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Coral Springs where you can get a degree as a forest firefighter. Given that the most common education level for forest firefighters is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a forest firefighter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Forest Firefighter

Forest Firefighter video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, forest firefighters control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

Forest firefighters patrol burned areas after fires to identify and eliminate hot spots that may restart fires. They also extinguish flames and embers to suppress fires, using shovels, or engine- or hand-driven water or chemical pumps. Equally important, forest firefighters have to manage knowledge of current firefighting practices by participating in drills and by attending seminars and conferences. They are often called upon to fell trees, cut and clear brush, and dig trenches to generate firelines, using axes, chainsaws or shovels. They are expected to manage fire equipment and firehouse living quarters. Finally, forest firefighters manage contact with fire dispatchers at all times to notify them of the need for additional firefighters and supplies, or to detail any difficulties encountered.

Every day, forest firefighters are expected to be able to lift, push and move large and heavy objects. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for forest firefighters to perform forest maintenance and improvement tasks such as cutting brush, planting trees, building trails and marking timber. They are often called upon to inform and educate the public about fire prevention. They also operate pumps connected to high-pressure hoses. They are sometimes expected to transport staff and cargo to and from fire areas. Somewhat less frequently, forest firefighters are also expected to participate in physical training to maintain high levels of physical fitness.

Forest firefighters sometimes are asked to serve as fully trained lead helicopter crewmember and as helispot manager. They also have to be able to observe forest areas from fire lookout towers to spot potential problems and test and maintain tools, equipment, jump gear and parachutes to insure readiness for fire suppression efforts. And finally, they sometimes have to manage fire equipment and firehouse living quarters.

Like many other jobs, forest firefighters must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Coral Springs include:

  • Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
  • Fire Fighter. Control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.
  • 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.
  • 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: Forest Firefighter Training

Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale, 1500 NW 49th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309. Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale is a large university located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,305 students and an admission rate of 41%. Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale has an associate's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated 125 students in 2008.

McFatter Technical Center - Davie, FL

McFatter Technical Center, 6500 Nova Drive, Davie, FL 33317. McFatter Technical Center is a small school located in Davie, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,039 students. McFatter Technical Center has a one to two year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated 159 students 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: Coral Springs, Florida

Coral Springs, Florida
Coral Springs, Florida photo by Legionarius

Coral Springs is located in Broward County, Florida. It has a population of over 125,783, which has grown by 7.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Coral Springs, 115, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Coral Springs are valued at $140,000 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two new homes were constructed in Coral Springs, down from thirteen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Coral Springs are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and finance and insurance. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 33.9% of Coral Springs residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Coral Springs is 8.8%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Coral Springs residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Coral Baptist Church Mission, Coral Springs Community Church and Royal Palm Christian Church are among the churches located in Coral Springs. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Coral Springs is home to the The Plaza at Coral Springs and the Ramblewood Plaza. Shopping centers in the area include Coral Springs Mall, Coral Square Mall and Village Green Shopping Center.