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Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Firefighters in Ramapo, New York

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for forest firefighters in the Ramapo, New York area. About 14,360 people are currently employed as forest firefighters in New York. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 4% to 14,910 people employed. 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.

Forest firefighters earn approximately $27 hourly or $58,200 per year on average in New York. Nationally they average about $21 hourly or $44,260 annually. Incomes for forest firefighters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Fire Control in New York, and not quite as good as the overall Fire Control category nationally. Forest firefighters work in a variety of jobs, including: fire technician, smoke eater, and wildland firefighter.

The Ramapo area is home to 136 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Ramapo where you can get a degree as a forest firefighter. The most common level of education 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 Ramapo 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.
  • Security Guard. Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Forest Firefighter Training

CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice - New York, NY

CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice, 899 Tenth Ave, New York, NY 10019. CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice is a large college located in New York, New York. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,066 students and an admission rate of 77%. CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice has a bachelor's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated six 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: Ramapo, New York

Ramapo, New York
Ramapo, New York photo by Mwanner

Ramapo is situated in Rockland County, New York. It has a population of over 115,096, which has grown by 5.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Ramapo, 150, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Ramapo are valued at $187,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, one hundred seventy-four new homes were built in Ramapo, down from two hundred fourteen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Ramapo are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 33 minutes. More than 34.5% of Ramapo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Ramapo is 6.6%, which is less than New York's average of 8.7%. About 16.3% of Ramapo's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Ramapo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 82.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Wesley Chapel and Saint Vincent De Paul Church are all churches located in Ramapo. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

Ramapo is home to the Kanes Open Camp and the Cedar Hollow Country Club.