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Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Firefighters in Providence, Rhode Island

Forest firefighters can find many career and educational opportunities in the Providence, Rhode Island area. Currently, 1,470 people work as forest firefighters in Rhode Island. This is expected to grow by 1% to about 1,480 people 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. 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 $23 hourly or $48,560 per year on average in Rhode Island and about $21 per hour or $44,260 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Forest firefighters earn less than people working in the category of Fire Control generally in Rhode Island and less than people in the Fire Control category nationally. Forest firefighters work in a variety of jobs, including: wildland firefighter, fire fighter, and wildland fire fighter specialist.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Providence where you can study to be a forest firefighter, among fifty-five schools of higher education total in the Providence area. 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 studying 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 Providence 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Forest Firefighter Training

Bristol Community College - Fall River, MA

Bristol Community College, 777 Elsbree St, Fall River, MA 02720-7395. Bristol Community College is a medium sized college located in Fall River, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,100 students. Bristol Community College has 2 areas of study related to Forest Firefighter. They are:

  • Fire Science/Firefighting, associate's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Fire Protection, Other Specialties, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Providence College - Providence, RI

Providence College, River Ave and Eaton St, Providence, RI 02918-0001. Providence College is a medium sized college located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,180 students and an admission rate of 45%. Providence College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.

Community College of Rhode Island - Warwick, RI

Community College of Rhode Island, 400 East Ave, Warwick, RI 02886-1807. Community College of Rhode Island is a large college located in Warwick, Rhode Island. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,612 students. Community College of Rhode Island has an associate's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Massasoit Community College - Brockton, MA

Massasoit Community College, One Massasoit Boulevard, Brockton, MA 02302-3996. Massasoit Community College is a medium sized college located in Brockton, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,394 students. Massasoit Community College has an associate's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated eighteen 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: Providence, Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island photo by Flickr_upload_bot

Providence is situated in Providence County, Rhode Island. It has a population of over 171,557, which has shrunk by 1.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Providence, 105, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Providence are valued at $75,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, seventeen new homes were constructed in Providence, down from forty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Providence are educational services, health care, and miscellaneous manufacturing. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and miscellaneous manufacturing. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 24.4% of Providence residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Providence is 14.5%, which is greater than Rhode Island's average of 12.2%.

The percentage of Providence residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 63.6%, is more than both the national and state average. United Pentecostal Church, United Presbyterian Church and Providence Assembly of God Church are some of the churches located in Providence. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Episcopal Church.

Providence is home to the Fall River Iron Works and the Broadway-Armory Historic District as well as Burnside Park and Customhouse Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Silver Lake Plaza Shopping Center, Shopperstown Shopping Center and Corliss Landing Shopping Center. Visitors to Providence can choose from Historic Jacob Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast Inn, Agora Restaurant & Bar and Old Court Bed & Breakfast for temporary stays in the area.