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Mar 06

Fun Facts About Firefighters

Cover When I Grow Up I Want To Be...a Firefighter! | www.whenigrowupbooks.comWith our latest book, When I Grow Up I Want To Be… a Firefighter! out now, and our upcoming Fire Up for Reading event (stay tuned for more info about that), we thought we’d share some fun facts about firefighting heroes for you and your kids.

Firefighters founded this nation.

Did you know that our Founding Fathers were firefighters? That’s right! Ushistory.com says that though the first paid firefighting department was founded in Boston in 1678, Benjamin Franklin founded the first volunteer firefighting service in 1736 in Philadelphia. Other founding father volunteer firefighters include George Washington, Samuel Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.

Firefighters are strong.

Did you know that in total, a firefighter’s basic gear weighs over 75lbs? Yikes! It adds up. The jacket weighs about 15 pounds, the boots and trousers weight about 30 pounds, and the mask and air pack weigh another whopping 30 pounds. That’s just the basic gear, it doesn’t account for hoses and axes they might need.

Firefighters are educated.

Did you know that many firefighters have their college degrees in Fire Science? They get to study fire! You can learn everything from first aid and emergency response, to the science of fire. There’s even an Executive Fire Leadership master’s degree program available. Also, most firefighters are certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs) as well.

Firefighters are females too.

Female firefighters have been around for longer than you might think, about 200 years in fact. The first woman firefighter we know of was Molly Williams, who was a slave in New York City and became a member of Oceanus Engine Company #11 in about 1815. Currently there are over 6,500 female career firefighters and 30,000-45,000 female volunteer firefighters in the U.S. and hundreds more abroad. They make up about 4% of the firefighting force. (International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services)

Firefighters can start early.

Did you know that you can take a firefighting course as early as age 16? Though this may be years away for your little one, there are fun options to discuss for when he or she gets older. Many counties offer junior firefighting programs so that high school students can begin their fire education early. There are organizations to help connect interested teens with the programs like the NVFC National Junior Firefighters, the National Fire Academy programs.

 

Other fun facts (National Geographic Kids):

Not all fire trucks carry water, not all fire trucks are red.

A truck company carries a long ladder to reach high-up places.

A rescue company has a big toolbox with almost every tool you can think of.

There are different kinds and sizes of fire hoses for different situations.

Firefighters respond to more false alarms than fires.

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