The firefighter is the foundation of the fire protection services. Everyone in the fire service starts as a firefighter.
Firefighters (historically, firemen) are rescuers extensively trained primarily to put out hazardous fires that threaten civilian populations and property, to rescue people from car incidents, collapsed and burning buildings and other such situations. The increasing complexity of modern industrialized life with an increase in the scale of hazards has created an increase in the skills needed in firefighting technology and a broadening of the firefighter-rescuer's remit. They sometimes provide emergency medical services. The fire service, or fire and rescue service, also known in some countries as the fire brigade or fire department, are some of the emergency services.
According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, the English word "firefighter" has been used since 1903. In recent decades it has become the preferred term, replacing the older "fireman", since many women serve as firefighters, and also because the term "fireman" can have other meanings, including someone who sets or stokes fires - exactly the opposite of the firefighting role.
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