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Fire Fighting/Prevention Supervisor  What They Do

Just the Facts


Directly supervises and coordinates activities of workers engaged in fire fighting and fire prevention and control.

This career is part of the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security cluster Emergency and Fire Management Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Assigns firefighters to jobs at strategic locations to facilitate rescue of persons and maximize application of extinguishing agents.
  • Provides emergency medical services as required, and performs light to heavy rescue functions at emergencies.
  • Assesses nature and extent of fire, condition of building, danger to adjacent buildings, and water supply status to determine crew or company requirements.
  • Instructs and drills fire department personnel in assigned duties, including firefighting, medical care, hazardous materials response, fire prevention, and related subjects.
  • Inspects and tests new and existing fire protection systems, fire detection systems, and fire safety equipment to ensure that they are operating properly.
  • Compiles and maintains records on personnel, accidents, equipment, and supplies.
  • Performs maintenance and minor repairs on firefighting equipment, including vehicles, and writes and submits proposals to modify, replace, and repair equipment.
  • Prepares activity reports listing fire call locations, actions taken, fire types and probable causes, damage estimates, and situation dispositions.
  • Evaluates the performance of assigned firefighting personnel.
  • Directs the training of firefighters, assigning of instructors to training classes, and providing of supervisors with reports on training progress and status.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work
  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Battalion Chief -- Directs and coordinates firefighting activities of battalion of fire companies in municipality.
  • Captain, Fire-Prevention Bureau -- Directs and coordinates activities of personnel of municipal fire prevention bureau.
  • Fire Marshal -- Supervises and coordinates activities of firefighting personnel of industrial establishment and inspects equipment and premises to ensure adherence to fire regulations.
  • Forest Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisor -- Supervise fire fighters who control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.
  • Municipal Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisor --