Stories From The Inferno: Six Realities of Being a Firefighter

Why is a 9 to 5 job nice? Well, first off it is very rare for a white collar worker to be forced to wake up at an ungodly hour to run into a flaming multi-story building while wearing hundreds of pounds of equipment. On the other hand, if running into a dangerous multi-story inferno sounds like fun, the 9 to 5 grind might be a little mundane for you.

Here are some stories from the inferno and a few realities of being a firefighter.


As mentioned above, as a firefighter you will have to be available to jump into action at any given time. On the john? Tough luck, wipe haphazardly and don your regalia because not even the call of nature comes before the call to action. Making sweet sweet love to your wife/husband? Too bad, now you have to make sweet sweet love to a flaming house with your very stout, very long hose (that inevitably make you feel inadequate about your actual lovemaking). Okay, so it’s difficult to have an unmolested bowel movement as a firefighter, most stay at home parents would be like “buck up buttercup” but think of the implication- you could be recovering off the back of an epic runaway fire, sound asleep when the alarm goes off. Now without the time to stop at Starbuck’s to perk up you have to climb hundreds of feet of ladder to enter a building that even the people that own it are running away from.


You’d think that someone that runs into a flame engulfed house as a result of a cooking experiment gone awry would get compensated more than a banker that watches an economy in flames as a result of a number of cooking experiments (yes, that was subversive that’s just how I roll). In reality, firefighters don’t get paid jack and some fire departments are man completely by volunteers…but let’s concentrate on the paid heroes in this case. The pay is so poor in fact that most firefighters have other jobs to augment their economics. So, not only do you not get to sleep, poo or make sweet sweet love without being interrupted, you have to work a second job for the privilege of doing so.

Let the Motherflower Burn

Yes, although they are paid to put out fires, sometimes the risk is so high that they won’t be allowed to get into the fire. If the structure is compromised, or the materials that are burning are too dangerous, the department’s safety officer might order a “surround and drown” as in stand around the building and douse it from a distance and wait for it to burn to the ground. The terrifying aspect of this, is the fact that sometimes people might be in the building, but the firefighters aren’t allowed to run in and save them. This is obviously the worst case scenario for a person that is tasked and feels the obligation of saving people.

See Also: 11 Awesome Career for the Future

Do you know of any other scary realities of being a firefighter? Let us know in the comments section below.