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Date: October 20, 2014 Author: Brandon Winters

Rural fires can be just as devastating as urban fires, but there are several important differences between fighting fires in the city and combatting them in small towns and other rural places. If you are trying to decide between becoming an urban firefighter or a rural one, take some time to read the information below. It will help you decide whether fighting fires in the city would be your forte, or whether putting out fires in rural surroundings would make for a more enjoyable career.

Volunteer Firefighting

In some municipalities, rural firefighters work side by side with volunteer firefighters. This arrangement typically stems from the fire department not having enough trained firefighters to fight several blazes at once. Most volunteer firefighters donate their time because they enjoy and respect the discipline of fire fighting and this makes them excellent partners for trained personnel. If you decide to become a rural firefighter, be prepared to work with enthusiastic volunteers.

More Downtime

Due to the smaller population and more sparsely populated surroundings, rural areas typically experience fewer serious fires than urban areas. Consequently, rural firefighters often spend more time in the station than their city bound counterparts. Some firefighters enjoy the relaxed atmosphere while others are eager to see action. If you fall into the latter category, you may have a more enjoyable career working for a large fire department in the city.     

Water Sources

Depending on their location, rural fires can be difficult to extinguish due to limited water sources. For example, some rural fires must be fought using “draft” sources such as a pond or a lake. There are also times when the only water sources available are those that the fire department can supply. Lack of water sources is a fire fighting challenge that urban firefighters rarely deal with. Part of rural fire fighter training deals with finding viable sources of water to battle blazes.      

Spread of Fire

Fires in the city and suburbs frequently spread from structure to structure while isolated rural fires commonly spread to natural wooded areas and fields. For many fire departments, part of rural fire fighter training necessarily deals with controlling the spread of flames in natural areas. In addition to controlling blazes in homes and buildings, some rural fire fighting units are also trained in how to extinguish woodland fires—something that may happen in rural firefighting.      

Building Construction

There are some types of buildings that rural firefighters don’t encounter like high rises, skyscrapers, and large shopping centers. Most fires occur in homes and buildings that have few floors. The image many people have of firefighting involves battling flames in large buildings. If this is what you envision doing, rural firefighting may feel anticlimactic. By the same token, battling blazes in the city may feel overwhelming to those who envision fighting rural fires.   

Training Requirements

Perhaps the biggest difference between fighting rural fires and fighting urban fires deals with training. Because the variables of rural firefighting are different than those for urban firefighting, rural firefighters learn different skills than their urban peers with certain skills overlapping. If you decide to move from fighting rural fires to fighting ones in the city, be prepared to hit the books, learn new skills, and pass the necessary exams and field training tests.    

Interested in Rural Firefighting ?

If so, Firebooks has all the study tools and practice test resources you need to pass the requisite exams and succeed in the field. We also carry a wide selection of educational material for city firefighters. Regardless of which career direction you take in firefighting, Firebooks is your online source for everything pertaining to firefighting knowledge and skills. Visit our online store today and get the educational tools you need to succeed as a firefighter!
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