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Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Firefighters in Lewisville, Texas

Forest firefighters can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Lewisville, Texas area. There are currently 26,260 working forest firefighters in Texas; this should grow 21% to about 31,770 working forest firefighters in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for forest firefighters are expected to grow by about 18.5%. 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 $21 hourly or $45,300 yearly on average in Texas and about $21 hourly 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 Texas earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Fire Control nationally. Jobs in this field include: wildland firefighter, fire fighter, and smoke eater.

The Lewisville area is home to eighty-eight schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Lewisville 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. 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 Lewisville 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Forest Firefighter Training

Collin County Community College District - Plano, TX

Collin County Community College District, 4800 Preston Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093. Collin County Community College District is a large college located in Plano, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,000 students. Collin County Community College District has a less than one year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated fifty 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: Lewisville, Texas

Lewisville, Texas
Lewisville, Texas photo by U

Lewisville is situated in Denton County, Texas. It has a population of over 101,624, which has grown by 30.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Lewisville, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Lewisville cost $140,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, one hundred seventy-three new homes were built in Lewisville, down from three hundred thirty-seven the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Lewisville are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 32.4% of Lewisville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Lewisville is 6.7%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Lewisville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Pentecostal Church of God, Cedar Crest Community Church and Prince of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Lewisville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Lewisville is home to Woods Park and East Hill Park. Visitors to Lewisville can choose from Accommodation Now, Best Western Inn & Suites and Baymont Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.