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Initial Response
On receipt of incoming calls from the dispatcher regarding requests for emergency response, firefighters respond to and drive emergency apparatus to and from a fire. Once at the scene, they communicate with fire scene commanders to assess the situation, identify immediate hazards, and request assistance from other firefighters and agencies if necessary. Firefighters search for trapped victims, determine the safest evacuation route and assess the stability of supporting surfaces. They may need to evacuate persons from the scene by assisting or carrying them down ladders or stairs out of buildings or other structures.

Fighting the Fire
Firefighters perform a number of tasks inside and outside a structure to ensure the fire is safely and fully extinguished. These tasks can include:
  • Connecting fire hoses to the hydrant
  • Raising and extending ladders
  • Using tools (axe, sledge hammer, etc.) to make forcible entries
  • Entering smoke filled buildings/rooms with a hose in hand
  • Dragging charged hoses up and down stairs and around furniture
  • Making openings for ventilation using saws, axes, pike poles, etc.

After the Fire
A firefighter's duties do not end once a fire is out. Crews remain on scene to check for smouldering fires or hot spots inside walls and ceilings and work to stabilize the structure. They also take steps to secure the fire scene and evidence for investigators or property protection.