Different Types of Firefighting Jobs

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The firefighting career field is much more expansive than the average person may assume. Various firefighting roles serve different purposes, each designed to improve and maintain public health and safety. Check out the different types of firefighting jobs to see just how diverse the field is.

Heavy Rescue

Heavy rescue firefighters are specially trained individuals who fire stations employ for unique, intense rescue missions. These firefighters are experts in maneuvering through confined and collapsed spaces, rappelling from buildings, cliffs, and mountains, vehicle extrication, and more. Firefighters hone these skills after years of training and experience.


HazMat (Hazardous Materials Technicians) are firefighters who also partake in special training to safely respond to calls involving presence of hazardous chemicals and other harsh substances. Unique equipment and suits help HazMat firefighters to identify chemicals and protect firefighter personnel.

Fire Marshal

Fire marshals help determine scenarios and spaces that are hazardous to both firefighters and the public, offering ways to reduce fire hazards altogether. Fire marshals ensure that large events, restaurants, and other public facilities are safe as possible by addressing and resolving fire safety issues. This role serves as the head of city, county, state, or provincial fire prevention or investigation bureau.

Other Firefighter Types

Of course, your firefighting career isn’t limited to heavy rescue, HazMat, and fire marshal. A few more types of firefighting roles are listed below.

  • Fire Captain
  • Engineer
  • Arson Investigator
  • Fire Inspector
  • Public Information Officer
  • Deputy Fire Marshal
  • Airport Rescue Firefighter
  • Firefighter EMT
  • Paramedic Firefighter
  • Fire Chief

Different Resources for Different Roles

In addition to fulfilling various roles, the different types of firefighting jobs also require distinct uniforms. The best PPE for any specific firefighting role will vary based on the responsibilities that come with the role.

Regardless, almost every firefighter will have their own selection of heavy-duty fire helmets to wear during active duty. Protective gloves, shoes, and turnout gear varies in material to provide optimal protection to firefighters. For example, a HazMat firefighter must wear gear that’s especially resistant to harsh chemicals, while a heavy rescue firefighter will need specialized rescue tools for navigating tricky spaces.

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