Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Firefighter?

About this Quiz

Being a firefighter is not easy. Not only do you need to go through months of rigorous training, but there are also lots of little details that you need to study as well. And all of this results in your rushing into burning buildings to save lives. Sure, it’s one of the most respectable jobs in the world, but could you do it?

Do you know what the buddy system is called, or what an air horn signals? Do you know what is used to battle gas fires or how old you need to be to join the squad? Do you have what it takes to be a firefighter?

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1. Oh no! You left your gear at the station! Do you run into the burning building without it?

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  1. Yes, I'm superman!
  2. No
Absolutely not! No matter how knowledgeable or experienced you are, you should not enter a burning building without the right equipment. You can put yourself and others in danger.
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2. Your hose is "charged," it:

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  1. Will shock you if you touch it
  2. Is ready to use!
A hose is considered "charged" when it is ready for use.
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3. What might an arsonist have in his backpack?

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  1. Kerosene
  2. Damp wood
Damp wood won't start a good fire. When there's too much moisture in it, any flames that are produced will not emit enough heat to keep a fire going long.
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4. To put out a gas fire:

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  1. Use water
  2. Use foam
When you try to put out a gas fire with water, the water will evaporate pretty quickly, possibly causing steam burns. Foam is best in these instances.
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5. If you take 15 minutes to get dressed when there's an emergency...

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  1. Great job!
  2. You're fired!
Fifteen minutes is way too long! Firefighters are capable of getting dressed and being ready to go in two minutes.
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6. How did Dalmatians help firefighters, back in the day?

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  1. They barked to help clear the road
  2. They made tired firefighters coffee
Back when there were no fire engines and horses were still used to transport firefighters, Dalmatians were released to run ahead of the horses to clear the way.
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7. A car crashed and you're on the scene! You extract victims using:

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  1. A hammer and some nails
  2. The jaws of life
The jaws of life may sound shark-related, but it's a tool that helps remove people from brutal car accidents.
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8. Have you learned to fly a super scooper to fight a fire? They:

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  1. Let out streams of air to fan flames
  2. Dump water onto large fires
Super scoopers fight fires by dumping water onto them from the sky. Each has a capacity of about 1600 gallons.
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9. Get out your hook ladder! It's time to:

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  1. Rescue hamsters and dogs
  2. Access windows in small spaces
A hook ladder is special because it can "hook" the ladder onto window sills and other small ledges for firefighters to gain access to people and buildings.
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10. Off to fight a fire! What do you need more, the fire truck or the fire engine?

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  1. The fire engine! It's got water pumping capacities
  2. The fire truck! It's a lot more stylish!
Fire engines REALLY fight fires. Fire trucks come in to help by carrying tools and other necessary equipment.
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11. You are in a burning building. Use your Personal Alert Safety System when:

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  1. You'd like a coffee and a donut
  2. You are in big trouble
PASS devices should be checked often to make sure they're in working order. Using them can mean the difference between life and death for firefighters.
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12. Having a working smoke detector doubles your chances of surviving a fire.

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  1. False
  2. True
All fire deaths are definitely not caused by missing/faulty alarms. But most (three in five) are. Having a working smoke detector is not something to scoff at.
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13. To look for people trapped in a burning building, use:

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  1. A Polaroid camera
  2. A thermal imaging camera
Thermal imaging is pretty handy when looking for bodies in a burning building. It allows firefighters to see heat (bodies) through the smoke.
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14. Who do you call to investigate the origins of fires?

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  1. Private detective
  2. Fire marshal
A fire marshal's job varies by state, but one of their duties is to investigate the origin/source of a fire.
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15. As a firefighter who fights forest fighters, you are called:

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  1. A fast and furious forest fighter power ranger
  2. A smokejumper
Firefighters who work with forest fires are called smokejumpers. They sometimes battle fires by parachuting into the area.
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16. When fighting a fire, use a pike pole to:

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  1. Break through ice
  2. Tear down walls and ceilings
It would be pretty nice to have ice to help put out fires, but that's not usually the case. Pike poles are for tearing down walls and ceilings.
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17. Which of these will burn faster when set aflame by cigarettes?

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  1. Soaked towels
  2. Dry bedding
Soaked towels aren't very easy to light, especially when compared to dry and very flammable bedding.
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18. You hear an air horn while you're inside a burning building. What do you do next?

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  1. You stop fighting the fire to use the bathroom
  2. You evacuate the building
The sound of an air horn is serious business! When you hear it, you should evacuate the building immediately.
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19. Before fire hoses, firefighters put out fires by way of:

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  1. Elephants
  2. Passing buckets of water
When fire engines weren't all that common, people put fires out themselves by passing buckets of water to each other in a human chain.
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20. Badly built buildings strain the economy by being a fire hazard! Firefighters call them:

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  1. Superheroes
  2. Taxpayers
Badly built buildings, which are notoriously great places to start fires, came to been known as taxpayers in fireman lingo.
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21. The "Two-In Two-Out" initiative is:

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  1. A firefighter buddy system
  2. Firefighters' international theme song
Firefighters have a buddy system to ensure they never enter dangerous places alone. Each pair should maintain visual and voice contact with each other at all times.
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22. Use the "surround and drown" technique:

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  1. To fight a fire from the outside
  2. When you are near a lake
The surround and drown technique does, in fact, involve fighting the flames from the outside, working your way in.
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23. In your fire engine, what do you use the "fire monitor" to do?

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  1. Shoot high-velocity streams of water
  2. Check up on the fire station's dog
"Fire monitor" is just one of the many names for the water cannons that are part of a fire engine. They're also called deluge guns, master streams, and deck guns.
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24. Which long-necked dinosaur inspired the name for fire trucks with tall ladders?

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  1. Brontosaurus
  2. Godzilla
The brontosaurus is known for its super long neck. In the field, the firefighting device pictured above is called a Bronto skylift.
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25. A fire that's "Class A" is...

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  1. A fire that uses wood, trash, or paper as its fuel base
  2. A fire that did really well in high school
There are 6 classes of fire (classes A - F). Each corresponds with the fuel base for the fire.
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26. Most fires started by children begin on the roof...

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  1. True
  2. False
What's a kid doing on the roof?! It's much more common for a child to start a fire in bedrooms and living rooms where they spend most of their time.
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27. Why are barrel strainers important?

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  1. They prevent debris from going through a hose
  2. They strain the coffee grounds out of a firefighter's drink
A barrel strainer prevents debris from being sucked into the fire hose when the water source is a lake or river.
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28. How long should your cross lay hose be?

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  1. 200 feet
  2. 20 inches
A hose that's only two feet long surely won't help in a battle against a fire! Cross lay hoses are over 100 times that length -- 200 feet long.
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29. Someone started the fire intentionally! What should you do?

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  1. Call the police
  2. Scold them
While firefighters and fire marshals investigate all things fire, the police do often get involved when something nefarious has gone down.
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30. It's time for inventory! Measure a hose's strength using GPM, i.e.:

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  1. Gallons per minute
  2. The Global Parliament of Mayors
GPM refers to gallons per minute, that is, the number of gallons flowing out of a fire hose every minute.
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31. Who enforces the fire code?

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  1. Fire inspectors
  2. Doctors and nurses
The fire inspector/marshal handles administrative tasks. These include ensuring that buildings meet the fire code, and a lot more!
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32. Why is it important for a firefighter to be in good shape?

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  1. So they can look good for their calendar fundraiser
  2. Their protective equipment is heavy
A firefighter's equipment weighs at least 45 pounds. That's a lot of weight to carry around -- and quickly! -- in case of an emergency.
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33. What percentage of firefighters in America are women?

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  1. Less than 10%
  2. More than 95%
There are many more men in the firefighting business than women; these brave ladies don't even account for 10% of the population.
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34. Pop quiz! Are all fire extinguishers made alike?

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  1. Yes
  2. No
Not at all! Fires can be started by different things (that's where the classes come in). So it only makes sense that they are stopped by different kinds of extinguishers.
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35. Get your acronyms straight! Does SCBA stand for Some Children Break Automobiles?

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  1. Yes
  2. No
While some children do break cars, in fireman lingo, SCBA really stands for "self-contained breathing apparatus."
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36. Firefighting 101. A "quint" is:

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  1. A part of a fire truck
  2. A special dessert for firefighters
It sure would be nice to have a special dessert, but alas, a quint is a multi-purpose tool that supplies water and access to elevated areas.
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37. In addition to fires, firefighters respond to:

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  1. Income tax related questions
  2. Medical emergencies
Firefighters respond to medical emergencies because they are trained in emergency medical procedures and often can get to the scene first!
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38. What kind of "royal" gasses are not flammable under regular conditions?

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  1. Propane
  2. Noble gases
Noble gases are pretty posh. They hardly ever react because their configurations are so stable. So no, they're not flammable in normal situations.
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39. Households should have at least THIS MANY escape routes...

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  1. 2
  2. 7
It is required that all households have at least two exits. Having two helps in cases where one of them is blocked.
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40. To be a firefighter you MUST be married or have children:

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  1. True
  2. False
Hey! There's nothing wrong with being a firefighting bachelor, or one that hasn't had any kids.
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41. Help fight fires around the world by joining the NFPA:

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  1. National Family Planning Association
  2. National Fire Protection Association
NFPA stands for the National Fire Protection Association. It's an international body that is dedicated to preventing harm and death where fires are concerned.
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42. Most American firefighters are between 50 and 59 years old:

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  1. True
  2. False
This is not true. While there are quite a few firefighters in that age range, most fall between 30 and 40.
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43. A 15-year-old can become a firefighter.

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  1. True
  2. False
Not true at all! While most states allow teenagers to become firefighters, they have to be at least 18 years old at the absolute minimum.
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44. Which U.S. state has the most registered fire departments?

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  1. Alaska
  2. Pennsylvania
There are almost 1.2 million firefighters in the United States. Pennsylvania has a lot of them, in their almost 1800 registered fire departments.
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45. As a firefighter you are more at risk of:

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  1. Cancer
  2. Falling construction beams
Surprise! Cancer is what claims the lives of most firefighters. A few years ago, it was heart attacks.
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46. A fire chief's helmet is supposed to be red, like everyone else's.

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  1. True
  2. False
When on the scene of a fire, it's important that the fire chief stands out. His/her hat isn't red -- it's white.
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47. In addition to pumping water, fire engines:

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  1. Have beds for firefighters to take long naps
  2. Have ladders and floodlights
Fire engines, unfortunately, do not have beds -- that's what the station is for!
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48. The "B" in the ABCDE first aid method stands for...

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  1. Breathing
  2. Birch tree
The "B" in the ABCDE first aid method stands for "breathing," which firefighters must check for in patients, to make sure that they are not in a life-threatening situation.
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49. Firefighting apparatuses do NOT include...

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  1. Fire Sirens
  2. Police cars
While police officers and firefighters often work together, a police car isn't considered to be a "firefighting apparatus."
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50. Liquids are combustible if they have a flash point over this many degrees Fahrenheit...

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  1. 20
  2. 100
20 degrees Fahrenheit is cold. It'd be really difficult for nearly freezing liquid to combust.
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