The Importance of Teamwork in Firefighting
Like most service industries, teamwork is required in firefighting. Performing your duty of battling fires and rescuing people definitely requires several firefighters working harmoniously and effectively to get the job done. So, if you’re planning to become a firefighter, you must definitely know how to work in a team in order to get selected and progress in this career.
More importantly you need to be able to demonstrate that you have the skills and attributes to work well in a team. You will be asked a question around teamwork amongst the firefighter interview questions. Make sure you have an extremely robust answer for this. To give you an example your answer needs to be better than approximately 60 other people’s answers to get selected. It’s worth putting some thought and effort into this beforehand,
Why is Teamwork Important in Firefighting?
There are two scenarios why the fire service requires teamwork amongst its firefighters. One is in the office, where most of your time as firefighters will be spent. And the second is the actual firefighting scene, where teamwork will spell the difference.
Teamwork on the Fire-ground and on Station
Working in an organisation means you have to deal with several people from different ranks with different personalities. While it’s not required that firefighters have the same stand and opinion on important matters—or even like each other all the time—having a culture of teamwork makes everyone compromise and cooperate for the good of the organisation.
Teamwork means better interpersonal relationships. If the service cultivates its firefighters to foster meaningful and productive relationships with each other, then it’d be easier to do the job. Firefighters even become more open about how they feel about the job and eventually share details about their personal lives.
Problem Solving and Decision Making
Two heads are better than one, as they say. If everyone contributes ideas to the table freely, whatever problems the fire service is facing, they can easily solve them. More so, firefighters can come up with better decisions from the seniors down to the firefighter recruits.
If you are an aspiring firefighter, you would want the firefighters you’re going to work with to be as collaborative as possible. Aside from the firefighter salary and perks, this becomes your motivation to go to work because you know that you get to spend time with people who have the same values and aspirations in life as you. The fire crew becomes a second family of sorts and the station a second home in some ways.
Teamwork in the Firefighting Scenes
For obvious reasons, firefighting involves several people. It’s impossible to attend to fires and accidents when you do it all alone.
In a Quora thread on why teamwork is important in the firefighting industry, James responded by saying that teamwork is important because firefighting is a matter of life and death.
“In the simplest terms because there is a risk of death if the unit does not work as a team. There is a correlation between the danger of a task and the important of teamwork. Effective teamwork often comes more naturally to to teams where jeopardy exists.”
A certain Melissa also responded to the thread and explained that having teamwork means you can trust your fellow firefighters that they will help you during firefighting. You become more at ease when doing firefighting when you have someone you can rely on.
“You have to have good teamwork and partner too when an FF goes into a burning building and (if) his partner doesn’t like him how does he know if that man has his back? If he gets lost in the house and it’s easy to, smoke can cause blindness until it clears up! Even on a brush fire, (it’s) nice to know someone there will help you..,Teamwork makes the the fire dept!”
When you attend to fire incidents in a group, the more firefighters mean the bigger chances of getting the work done in a more efficient manner. It would be easier the firefighter hose or break walls, doors, and windows.
How to Develop Better Teamwork and Interpersonal Skills
If you wish to become a firefighter, by now you should be aware that teamwork skills are very important. You should also know that during the firefighter recruitment process, it will already be determined whether you are a people person or not.
So, if you think that you lack teamwork and interpersonal skills, maybe because you’re an introvert or what not, here are a few tips that you can follow to improve yourself.
- Have that positive mindset
- Share enthusiasm to other people
- Practice active listening
- Learn how to empathise
- Be assertive
You must understand your people skills and communication strengths along with learning the ins and outs of the firefighter recruitment process if you want to stand a chance of getting selected.
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