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Career and Education Opportunities for Fire Fighters in Orlando, Florida

Fire fighters can find many career and educational opportunities in the Orlando, Florida area. Currently, 21,630 people work as fire fighters in Florida. This is expected to grow 13% to about 24,460 people 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.

A person working as a fire fighter can expect to earn about $20 per hour or $43,010 per year on average in Florida and about $21 hourly or $44,260 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for fire fighters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Fire Control in Florida, and not quite as good as the overall Fire Control category nationally. People working as fire fighters can fill a number of jobs, such as: fire hydrant operator, fire fighter/emt, and fire alarm operator.

The Orlando area is home to fifty schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Orlando where you can get a degree 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 Orlando 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

Ridge Career Center - Winter Haven, FL

Ridge Career Center, 7700 State Rd 544, Winter Haven, FL 33881-9518. Ridge Career Center is a small school located in Winter Haven, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 700 students. Ridge Career Center has a less than one year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated seventy-four students in 2008.

Seminole Community College - Sanford, FL

Seminole Community College, 100 Weldon Blvd, Sanford, FL 32773-6199. Seminole Community College is a large college located in Sanford, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,227 students. Seminole Community College has a less than one year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated ninety-three students in 2008.

Lake Technical Center - Eustis, FL

Lake Technical Center, 2001 Kurt St, Eustis, FL 32726. Lake Technical Center is a small school located in Eustis, Florida. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 564 students. Lake Technical Center has a less than one year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated 117 students in 2008.

Brevard Community College - Cocoa, FL

Brevard Community College, 1519 Clearlake Rd, Cocoa, FL 32922. Brevard Community College is a large college located in Cocoa, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,607 students. Brevard Community College has a less than one year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated 127 students in 2008.

Mid Florida Tech - Orlando, FL

Mid Florida Tech, 2900 West Oak Ridge Road, Orlando, FL 32809. Mid Florida Tech is a small school located in Orlando, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,969 students. Mid Florida Tech has a less than one year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated 304 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: Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida photo by A3RO

Orlando is situated in Orange County, Florida. It has a population of over 230,519, which has grown by 24.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Orlando, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Orlando are valued at $217,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred forty-eight new homes were built in Orlando, down from six hundred twenty-two the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Orlando are accommodation and food services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 28.2% of Orlando residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Orlando is 11.1%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Orlando residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of Scientology of Orlando, Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal and Metropolitan Community Church-Joy are some of the churches located in Orlando. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Orlando is home to the Dubsdread Country Club and the Conway Center as well as Mayor Carl Langford Park and Sunshine Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake Conway Woods Shopping Center, Colonial Plaza Mall and Coytown Shopping Center. Visitors to Orlando can choose from Blue Nile Hotel Liquidators, Clarion Hotel Universal and Buena Vista Suites for temporary stays in the area.