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Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Firefighters in Pembroke Pines, Florida

There are many career and education opportunities for forest firefighters in the Pembroke Pines, Florida area. There are currently 21,630 jobs for forest firefighters in Florida and this is projected to grow by 13% to 24,460 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for forest firefighters, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.5% over the next eight years. Forest firefighters generally 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 per hour or $44,260 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Fire Control, people working as forest firefighters in Florida earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Fire Control nationally. Forest firefighters work in a variety of jobs, including: fire fighter, forestry technician , and wildland firefighter.

There are ninety-seven schools of higher education in the Pembroke Pines area, including four within twenty-five miles of Pembroke Pines where you can get a degree to start your career as a forest firefighter. Given that the most common education level for forest firefighters is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Pembroke Pines 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.

Miami Dade College - Miami, FL

Miami Dade College, 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33132-2297. Miami Dade College is a large college located in Miami, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 57,106 students. Miami Dade College has a less than one year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated seventy-nine students in 2008.

Palm Beach Community College - Lake Worth, FL

Palm Beach Community College, 4200 Congress Ave, Lake Worth, FL 33461-4796. Palm Beach Community College is a large college located in Lake Worth, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,122 students. Palm Beach Community College has 2 areas of study related to Forest Firefighter. They are:

  • Fire Science/Firefighting, less than one year which graduated 107 students in 2008.
  • Fire Protection, Other Specialties, less than one year.

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: Pembroke Pines, Florida

Pembroke Pines, Florida
Pembroke Pines, Florida photo by Dawn Ashley

Pembroke Pines is situated in Broward County, Florida. It has a population of over 145,661, which has grown by 6.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Pembroke Pines, 116, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Pembroke Pines are valued at $117,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, five new homes were built in Pembroke Pines, up from three the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pembroke Pines are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is public administration, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 28.7% of Pembroke Pines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pembroke Pines is 8.6%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Pembroke Pines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Pembroke Road Baptist Church, Boulevard Chapel and Taft Street Chapel are all churches located in Pembroke Pines. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Pembroke Pines is home to the Hollywood Lakes Country Club and the Pines Bank Plaza as well as Kennedy Park and Snake Creek Park. Shopping malls in the area include Pembroke Pines Shopping Center, Pembroke Village Shopping Center and University Mall.