Date: October 20, 2014 Author: Brandon Winters

Aerial pump apparatuses play a crucial role in firefighting. In addition to extinguishing fires on the ground, this equipment can rise to great heights and extinguish blazes that burn several floors up. If you plan on becoming an aerial apparatus driver operator, passing testing and training requirements will be a big part of attaining the position. Besides meeting technical requirements, success at this position is also predicted by certain personal characteristics.  

Not Afraid of Heights

A fear of heights and operating an aerial pump apparatus go together like cats and dogs. Not all aerial pump operations require you to stand at great heights using a ladder or a lift, but some situations do require the operator to ascend. Operators who have no fear of heights can better focus on fighting fires that require them to be positioned high in the air for long periods of time.

Good Physical Condition

Serving as an Aerial pump operator requires you to be in good physical condition. Climbing tall ladders, lifting and positioning hose equipment, and hurrying to carry out orders on short notice are all part of the job. While you won’t need the fitness of a professional athlete to fulfill your duties, you will need a fair amount of physical stamina to perform the job efficiently.     

Technically Inclined

Aerial pump driving and operation requires you to know technical information that pertains to driving the truck, operating the pump apparatus, and maintaining the apparatus. All three tasks are technical in nature and ideally suited to people who are technically inclined. If you love working with challenging machinery, being an aerial apparatus driver operator won’t disappoint.

Prepared for Casualties

An aerial apparatus driver operator often responds to large fires that occupy several floors and could easily cause casualties. Consequently, the ideal candidate is someone who understands that large fires can involve deaths that firefighters are unable prevent. Mentally preparing yourself for the reality that not everyone will survive every fire is essential for the position.  

Follows Procedures

An aerial apparatus driver operator works with the rest of the department to extinguish fires and must work within the department’s incident management system that an incident operator oversees. Like most firefighting positions, being an aerial apparatus driver operator doesn’t leave much room for being a maverick. The ability to follow procedures and take orders is essential.

Enjoys Learning

Throughout your career as an aerial apparatus driver and operator, you may need to fulfill continuing education requirements and learn how to use the new apparatuses the department acquires. Pumping equipment becomes obsolete, and incident management system standards change. Those who enjoy the challenge of learning new things are well-suited to the position.  

Interested in Aerial Apparatus Driving and Operating?

If so, Firebooks has a wide array of educational resources to prepare you for the position. In addition to absorbing technical information and passing written tests, your success at the position will be determined by the characteristics you possess. If you have the personal characteristics above, being an aerial apparatus driver and operator could be a highly rewarding job for you. Visit our online store today to get the educational tools you need to jumpstart your career.

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