Why Firefighters are important

May 12, 2017

When spring rolls by and the snow melts when the sun comes out the risks of fires increases significantly. The moisture that was on all of the dead grass and leafs soon becomes dry after being exposed to the sun, and it soon becomes very flammable.

Fires frequently happen in our large state, and many of us are unaware of how many there are and how much millions of dollars in damages they do each year.

Firefighters in Alaska deal with many different fires in various situations ranging from forest fires to residential fires.

   Fire incidents are on the rise from under 400,000 in 2001 to close to 650,000 in 2015. To add on $54,645,922 were lost due to fires in Alaska. Last year alone over 500,949 acres were burned across the state with the most common cause of these fires being man made.

   Fighting these fires can be a dangerous job since they can spread fast and can be unpredictable under the right circumstances.

The average wage which firefighters get paid is around $11 to $12 an hour starting out with the pay increasing gradually over time.

To qualify to become a firefighter, you will need to receive a certification as an EMT or paramedic as well as complete fire academy courses and a state firefighter certification.

   One of the most common types of fires that firefighters respond to is structural fires here in Alaska with outdoor fires coming in second. Firefighters are also more likely to get injured by overexertion or strains when responding to emergencies.

Forest firefighters have to deal with dangerous situations such as falling trees, smoke inhalation, animals, rolling and falling debris, as well as make escape routes should the fire get out of control.

   Firefighting does, however, come with health risks. Heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and stress significantly affects firefighters as they get older and many firefighters die from heart attacks.

   Firefighters here in Alaska are important to us and the state as fires can start in many different locations under the right circumstances.

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