Public Safety Careers -The beginning of a new tradition

Although the term of "Public Safety" does cover a vast area of careers and job descriptions, there is one thing that every person in the Public Safety field does have: Tradition.

  • Firemen
  • EMTs and Paramedics
  • Law Enforcement
  • Safety Administrators
  • Occupational Health
  • Organizational Leaders
  • Military and National Guard
  • Public Health Officials
  • Criminal Justice Workers
  • Homeland Security Officials
  • Legal Assistants and Paralegals
  • Nurses and Healthcare Givers
  • Teachers and Educators
  • Civial Defense

Tradition in the work place

Across the country, you can walk in to virtually any fire department, EMS station, police headquarters, or law firm, and find out from those who work there that they have a history in their profession. A vast majority will tell you that their job is part of a long standing family tradition, or that they even currently still work with at least one or more family members. You can even see it on the billboards of many law firms, as they advertise the names of the practicing lawyers in their firm. Many firemen work side-by-side with brothers, fathers, and nowadays, even sisters and mothers. Police officers also take part in this "family tradition". Many have a long family history in law enforcement, as their parents and grandparents were police officers as well. Teachers and educators are another example of how a career can play an important role across entire family histories.

It's fascinating how many of these workers use the term "tradition". Wikipedia describes tradition as "Beliefs or customs taught by one generation to the next, often orally. For example, we can speak of the tradition of sending birth announcements", and "a knowledge system (a means of transferring knowledge)". When most think of the term "tradition", we think of things like grandma's cookie recipe, or spending every Christmas at Uncle Harvey's house in the country. However, public safety professions use the term to describe their occupational heritage. It truly does prove how dedicated these national servants feel in regards to their jobs.

Hard work and continuous training

While a great many jobs require extremely hard work to achieve goals, few require the continuous training to stay up to date with new trends and procedures as those in Public Safety. Firemen sustain long hours in protective gear that can become saturated with water and frozen solid in the cold temperatures, or dangerously high temperatures in the warm months. Imagine the heat created inside a fireman's turnout gear while battling a scorching blaze in the middle of summer. Police offers, EMS personnel, and others are no stranger to hard work either. The physical demands on these professionals can become so tough that often times medical teams are needed to be on call just to manage health issues for their co-workers.

The work for these individuals does not stop at physical stress. Almost daily, new laws and practices are implemented to stay current with procedures that benefit society. Along with these new practices comes the responsibility of the public safety provider to stay educated. Most certifications and licenses for these individuals require mandatory continuing education each year to maintain their level of licensure or certification. Often times, this continuing education may include more than 100 hours of additional training each year, as well as any additional requirements imposed that may go beyond that. Education for Public Safety workers does not stop upon completion of their initial training program. It continues for the entirety of their careers.

Rewards for dedication

Income levels in the various Public Safety fields have seen great advances in recent years. Compensating public servants for their efforts has taken a focus in many governmental funding issues, and continues to be a topic at many board meetings by those that govern such entities. However, if you ask nearly every Public Safety professional why they keep doing what they do, even though the physical and mental strains are so high, they will simply tell you that they "Love their job". These people are driven to succeed by their dedication and their traditions that have developed. They will almost always tell you that they get career fulfillment from helping those in need, and by the self-satisfaction they receive when they perform their job.

A poll conducted by LiveScience in 2007, The 10 Most Satisfying Jobs gives a brief insight into just what makes someone happy to do the work they do. Among the list of top 10 were Firemen, Clergy, and Teachers. All of which may fall into the category of Public Servants. The results from this poll can conclusively prove why Public Safety professionals remain dedicated enough to persevere through dangerous physical and mental challenges, and then to pass on their career experiences to other generations in their family. Although monetary rewards do tend to temporarily keep employees happy, real job satisfaction comes from those careers that allow an individual to make a contribution to society by serving the public. Those involved in these careers have truly proven that they will stay with their profession, continue to learn new ways of performing it, and also endure many hardships along the way.

Education: The key to a long lasting career

The background of nearly every Public Safety worker will reveal some sort of post high school education. While many public servants may admit they did not have college plans after high school, it is evident that they all found their new job worthy of obtaining formal education in order to achieve their career status. Each year, more and more teaching institutions are finding that offering programs in these various fields is only beginning to touch the surface of the demand for them. As communities grow, and our nation's population increases, more public servants are needed to manage future issues, such as national disasters, crime, health issues, and world crisis.

The population of the United States is expected to grow by at least 1% each year. As this increase happens, more workers have to be placed in the field to combat the many issues that arise. Clearly as the demand for Public Safety workers is continuing to grow, the need for more individuals to step up and fulfill these needs is forthcoming. However, those making the jump into being a public servant can expect great things in return. Increasing salaries, a satisfying career, and the opportunity to create a new family "tradition" that will be with many generations to come. Every public servant has the opportunity to be the grandfather that future families refer to when they speak of their long standing family history in a particular Public Safety field.


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