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Career and Education Opportunities for Fire Fighters in Kaneohe, Hawaii

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for fire fighters in the Kaneohe, Hawaii area. There are currently 1,970 working fire fighters in Hawaii; this should grow 7% to 2,100 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%. Fire fighters generally control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.

Fire fighters earn about $23 hourly or $48,430 yearly on average in Hawaii and about $21 per hour or $44,260 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Fire Control, people working as fire fighters in Hawaii earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Fire Control nationally. Fire fighters work in a variety of jobs, including: fire medic, municipal firefighter, and fire equipment operator.

The Kaneohe area is home to twelve schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Kaneohe where you can get a degree as a fire fighter. Given that the most common education level for fire fighters is a post-secondary certificate, it will take a short time to learn 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 Kaneohe 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fire Fighter Training

Honolulu Community College - Honolulu, HI

Honolulu Community College, 874 Dillingham Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96817-4598. Honolulu Community College is a small college located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,218 students. Honolulu Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated three and fifteen students respectively 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: Kaneohe, Hawaii

Kaneohe, Hawaii
Kaneohe, Hawaii photo by Grillo

Kaneohe is situated in Honolulu County, Hawaii. It has a population of over 35,987. The cost of living index in Kaneohe, 167, is far greater than the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Kaneohe are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is public administration, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 30 minutes. More than 29.5% of Kaneohe residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.8%, is higher than the state average.

About 6.1% of Kaneohe's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Kaneohe residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 33.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Door of Faith Church, Pali View Baptist Church and Kaneohe Congregational Church are among the churches located in Kaneohe. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Kaneohe is home to the Kaneohe Civic Center and the ‘Iolani Building as well as Käne‘ohe Civic Center Playground and Kaluapuhi Neighborhood Park. Shopping centers in the area include Käne‘ohe Shopping Center, Käne‘ohe Bay Shopping Center and Windward City Shopping Center.