Four Stresses Fire Fighters Endure and How They Manage

Four Stresses Fire Fighters Endure and How They Manage

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, AMC

posted on Nov 12, 2014, at 9:49 pm


A CAREER AS A FIREFIGHTER IS OFTEN A DREAM OF YOUNG BOYS AND GIRLS, but more than often these dreams change over time due to the amount of stress and danger involved in firefighting. Furthermore, the pay that most firefighters receive – if they are not volunteer firefighters who do not receive any pay – is typically about $45,000 whereas a similarly stressful career of an airline pilot makes about $114,000 according to To better appreciate the work of local firefighters, consider reasons their careers make firefighting one of the top most demanding careers.

The risks of enduring a career as a firefighter pose the greatest threats of injury and death – more so than any other career – due to intense flames and heat.


Despite the protective gear those firefighters wear, entering buildings and saving lives surrounded by sweltering flames will always be dangerous and deadly. Having trust in the team and technology is crucial. The humanistic reflex when confronted with fire is to run therefore it takes an immense amount of bravery to try and combat one of earth’s natural forces.

Firefighters are typically the first on the scene – they see everything

Because of the nature of the job, firefighters are often first on the scene of several emergencies such as suicides, accidents and violent tragedies. Firefighters also are the first to respond to natural disasters, like earthquakes and floods. More often than not, these types of high stress emergency situations involve deaths and intense property destruction. They are sometimes the first people that victims of abuse and trauma see, where emotions and actions are uncontrollable and effusive. While these heroes often help victims find comfort, they are also extricating bodies, dead or alive, from various accidents.

The stress of firefighters often impacts family life

Firefighters, because of the stressful nature of the job, are more prone to experience family stress in their home. Life-saving jobs are difficult for anyone, including a spouse or child, to understand. It is easy for firefighters to feel somewhat alone in these kinds of situations. The enormousness of the duties of these men and women are not understood and so often taken advantage of.

Firefighters know their surroundings – including the residents 

Local firefighters know their community and sometimes personally know the victims they are called to rescue. As most can imagine, when finding out a friend, even acquaintance, is in danger, it is extremely stress inducing.

Firefighters are indisputably some of the bravest men and women around us. It’s important to understand their jobs and a part of understanding their jobs involves being considerate of the stressors they face. They see events on a daily basis that are concealed throughout most of the outside world’s lives. They have greater risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder and sometimes do their jobs voluntarily. Next time you see a firefighter, consider thanking him or her for their valiant services.

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at

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