The Role of Firefighters
Firemen normally train at least two hours per day in firefighting technique and organization. They coexist with a fire prevention bureau, a staff of individuals who work a more customary 9-to-5 job. Together, their time is spent pooling their resources into prevention programs and inspections, so that responding firefighters have an edge when called to public service. One of the chief objectives is to ensure that buildings are compartmentalized with fire walls, firestopping or parapet walls, and fire-rated enclosures. Streamlining construction in this manner ensures that there will be smaller areas in which to fight fire. Protective clothing worn by responding firefighters today is extensive, including a helmet, boots, gloves, coat, and selfcontained breathing apparatus (SCBA). They carry hose harnesses, axes, and often a “Denver tool” to pry apart portions of structure to locate smoldering fuel. See Figure 5.1.