In a world of endless possibility, sometimes it can be difficult to settle on a specific career path. With the market teeming with seemingly tedious and replaceable office jobs, who can blame you for wanting to have a somewhat larger personal impact? If you feel this way, there are several first responder jobs that you could look into for a fulfilling career.

First responders are the workers that you hope you never need, but wouldn’t even consider going without. They are the first in and last out to any unfortunate situation. We know them as the masses of unsung heroes that walk among us every day. Being a first responder can be an incredibly straining and taxing job, both mentally and physically. However, it can prove incredibly fulfilling, if for no other reason than the satisfaction of making a tangible difference.

First responders, also known as emergency workers, are certified specialists who are dedicated to being first on the scene in unfortunate circumstances, such as a 911 call or a natural disaster. First responders are trained to assess a situation in a pragmatic and decisive way, and provide medical and even life saving services until further help can arrive. If this sounds like something that might interest you in your life, check out this list of five of the most important first responder jobs to learn more about this daring and absolutely necessary line of work.

1. Firefighter

Fire departments don’t only just live up to their namesake. In fact, in several areas, citizens tend to call the fire department when they simply don’t know where to turn. You will always see a firefighter as a first responder to any sort of auto or home accident, and often in any difficult situation, even ones that have nothing to do with fire. Whether it’s putting out a fire or saving people from a situation in which they are trapped, the seconds in which a first responding firefighter arrives can be the difference between life and death.

Between physical training and preparation in using firefighter rescue equipment, the training to perform this job is rigorous to say the least. If, however, you find yourself with an earnest desire to save lives, consider this first responder job.

2. Police Officer

A more career-minded choice for first response work would be to join your local police department in any capacity. Along with those working in the fire department, police are usually the first to arrive on the scene of any misfortune. They assist with emergency situations by ensuring that all laws and ordinances are upheld, as well as maintaining the peace and ensuring that public streets remain safe for all bystanders. While some police departments require at least a bachelor’s degree, this is not always the case.

While it can certainly be a very dangerous job, anyone hoping to make a difference in the world of first responders and can graduate from a vigorous course at the police academy, will find it to be a great avenue to pursue their dreams.

3. Emergency Medical Services

When anyone thinks to dial 911, the majority of what they’re hoping for is a swift and timely ambulance, and for good reason. Emergency Medical Services are one of the most integral components to the first response system. EMTs and paramedics are often the difference between accident and tragedy within the margin of minutes when responding.

There are varying levels to this work. For example, basic EMTs are relegated purely to non-invasive procedure, whereas paramedic level can administer drugs. EMS workers must deal with trying hours under incredible amounts of stress, but those looking for fulfillment in service will find this job worthwhile.

4. National Emergency Services

Considering large national emergency services such as FEMA or Red Cross, whether federal or private, working as a National Emergency Services first responder can be a great path to assisting in disasters. Companies such as these dispatch professionally trained first responders to interview victims and asses damages. There are regulations specific to every job within this organization, but applying yourself to meet these requirements is definitely worth it for the fulfillment offered.

5. Field Reporter

While it may seem less altruistic than the other endeavors listed here, reporters feel that they have a journalistic responsibility to the citizens. For this reason, they are often first on the scene in any emergency situation even before medical and legal services.

While you won’t be able to immediately offer any tangible help, we all know that catastrophie must be well documented in order to prevent history from repeating itself. You may find yourself in just as much danger with far less praise, but if information is something you hold dear, this job may just be for you.

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